BOZICH | Over-hyped Edition of Monday Muse: UK's all-rookie team success; U of L football; Teddy Bridgewater?
How many of the six teams that place two guys on the NBA all-rookie team won an NCAA title the previous season? Is the U of L football team being overhyped? Is Teddy Bridgewater overhyped, too?
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – No Triple Crown. No pennant race for the Cincinnati Reds. No golf major championship this summer at Valhalla. No college football until August.
What’s a local sports fan going to do?
Hang on tight for the Monday Muse. There’s always something to fuss about here.
Let’s go the videotape.
1. Kentucky’s NBA Draft Prowess: A Question for Calipari?
When word arrived last week that two former UK players were voted to the NBA all-rookie first team and another crashed the second team, the follow-up questions were obvious:
A. How many times has a program placed two guys on the rookie first team?
B. How many of the teams that produced two first-team all-rookie guys won NCAA titles the previous season?
C. Is this a good thing or something that should inspire more questions for UK coach John Calipari?
A. Six times – Indiana (the Van Arsdale twins in 1966); North Carolina (Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, 1985); UNLV (Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, 1992); Connecticut (Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, 2005); Kentucky (John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, 2011); UK (Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, 2016).
B. One – UConn delivered an NCAA title for Jim Calhoun in San Antonio in 2004.
If you believe the current dialogue that getting to the NBA is more important to players than winning an NCAA title (that’s to players, not fans), then this list is a wonderful list to make. You can sell, sell, sell it to recruits, especially when you’re the only school represented twice.
But if you ask Carolina fans about the most disappointing team of the Dean Smith Era, it’s always the 1984 team that was rated number one for a good chunk of the season and then stumbled against Indiana (and Dan Dakich) in the 1984 East Regional of the NCAA Tournament.
UNLV took a perfect record into the Final Four in Indianapolis in 1991 – and then lost to Duke in the most stinging loss of Jerry Tarkanian’s career.
Seeing Towns, Booker and second-teamer Willie Cauley-Stein honored by the NBA last week was another reminder that Towns and Booker should have played more and the Harrison Twins should have played less when the Wildcats lost to Wisconsin during the 2015 Final Four.
Wisconsin, for the record, did not place either of its rookies – Frank Kaminsky of Charlotte or Sam Dekker of Houston – on the first- or second team.
2. What Does Vegas Say about Louisville Football?
What happens in Las Vegas doesn’t always stay in Las Vegas. The Golden Nugget Hotel is ready with its projected victory totals for some college football teams this season.
What is the projection for Bobby Petrino’s third Louisville team?
Nine wins, which sounds like Vegas will not favor the Cards in their games against Florida State, Clemson and Houston.
The Seminoles and Tigers are projected to win 10. Only two other programs are on the board for 10 wins – Oklahoma and Tennessee. Alabama has sagged all the way to 9 ½ and Ohio State at 8 ½, a number some are calling the bet of the century.
Where are the projected totals for Kentucky, Indiana and Western Kentucky?
No numbers on those three teams yet, in part because the sports book has only projected one team with less than 7 wins (UNLV).
3. Is Louisville Overhyped (at 9 wins)?
Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I also see nine wins on the Louisville schedule. Maybe 10. No fewer than eight. Nine sounds like a reasonable projection.
But I didn’t have to ask for FBI assistance to find a dissenting voice. Tom Fornelli of CBSSports.com has cooked up his list of the Five Most Overhyped Teams moving into the 2016 season.
There is LSU on top, Washington second and Tennessee third.
Guess who is fourth?
Bobby Petrino’s team.
Fornelli argues that he is not saying these teams are overrated. Just overhyped.
I’ll hang up and let you explain the difference.
His concern? Fornelli says that Louisville did not deliver any mega-wins while winning six of their last seven last season– and he’s right. He also says the Cards were 0-3 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25. Right again.
But if quarterback Lamar Jackson makes the improvement that Petrino believes that he will make and the offensive line solidifies, the Cards will be a Top 25 team next season. They’ll have to defeat either Clemson or Florida State early in the season to become more than that.
That’s not Fornelli speaking. That’s me.
4. Is Teddy Bridgewater Overhyped?
As long as the topic is hype and U of L football, it makes sense to tackle this topic next:
Has ESPN’s fantasy football expert Matthew Berry actually ranked Bridgewater 33rd on his projections for next season? Yes, there are only 32 starting quarterbacks in the league. Yes, Bridgewater led the Minnesota Vikings to a playoff victory last season.
And Bridgewater is 33rd? Seems silly.
Doesn’t matter. Berry ranks Bridgewater 33rd for his fantasy performance, giving the credit (fantasy credit, that is) for Vikings’ success to Adrian Peterson, the guy he installed as the top running back.
Truth or fantasy?
I’m betting on Bridgewater. I’ll take him over Jay Cutler, Sam Bradford and several others.
5. Clemson over Florida State? Here’s One Vote
The Clemson-Florida State game will be played Oct 29 in Tallahassee.
A few pre-season projections rank the Seminoles ahead of the Tigers because of overall better talent.
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit does not care. He answered fan questions on Twitter the other day – and picked Clemson to deliver against the Seminoles.
In fact, according to this story, his precise answer was: “Clemson because of the quarterback.”
That would be DeShaun Watson, who is also showing up in the pole position on many of the Heisman Watch lists for the 2016 season.
Call me cautious, but it’s a bit early to make the call on that one, guys.
6. Snoop Dog Makes His College Basketball Pick
If Tom Izzo needs a rapper to combat the glitz that Drake delivers to the Kentucky basketball program, Snoop Dog has his back.
Appearing with Izzo and former Michigan State star Mo Peterson at a fund-raiser in Flint, Mich., Snoop said that he has loved Spartan basketball for years and that he would have enjoyed playing for Izzo.
“When I watched Mo (Peterson) and them back in the day and how they had so much fun out there I like his spirit of how he knows how to coach,” Snoop told MLive.com.
"You've got to be able to coach these kids that come from these types of areas and he fits right in.”
Waiting for Justin Bieber to select his favorite coach. Or for more veteran readers, how about a pick from Paul McCartney?
7. Nate Sudfeld: The Next Joe Theismann or Robert Griffin III?
Former Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld will need time to make it in the NFL – and even if he gets time there is no guarantee Sudfeld will make it in the NFL. Most guys don’t.
But several stories out of Washington about Sudfeld have been encouraging while indicating he will get time to develop behind starter Kirk Cousins and back-up Colt McCoy. Sudfeld said that he appreciated the faith that Redskins coach Jay Gruden, a former U of L quarterback, has shown in him in this story.
8. The Preakness Does the Preakness
Somebody does a story about the best and the brightest behavior at the Preakness every year. Arash Markazi of ESPN.com delivered one of the better ones on Saturday, outlining the bikini contest, musical concerts and drinking as well as the absolute lack of interest with anything to do with Exaggerator defeating Nyquist.
You can read it by clicking here. Warning: You might want to shower afterwards.
9. Cory Ray’s Finishing Kick
Louisville outfielder Corey Ray has blossomed into a bigger national story every day. He’s a five-tool stud who has been an offensive and defensive force during Louisville’s powerful 2016 season, which takes the Cards to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Durham, N.C. this week.
Expect the place to be packed with top national scouts and farm system directors as the pecking order for the Major League Free Agent Draft is finalized. Most baseball insiders do not expect Ray to last more than seven picks, many placing him in their top five or even top three.
Baseball America loves Ray – and showed it with this story at its website, which outlines his remarkable journey to become the next Kirby Puckett or Curtis Granderson, a kid primed to defy the odds by making it big in baseball from the South Side of Chicago.
10. Poll Results
Where will Louisville center Chinanu Onuaku play basketball next season?
Louisville 62.2 percent
NBA Developmental League 23.9.
NBA 9.6 percent
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