Wow, we sure talk a lot about baseball and football. I swear, I actually care quite a bit about college basketball (you might want to go elsewhere for your NBA posts). As I believe I've mentioned before my two teams are Purdue (alma mater) and Kentucky (hard to avoid in this state). Just to perpetuate my self-indulgence today you're getting a comparison between my two teams. Plus, they both play in-state rivals at the same time on Saturday. How to choose? Let's break it down.
Orlllllaaannnnndoooo "Tubby" Smith vs. Matt Painter provides a pretty stark contrast. Tubby is now in his ninth year and inspires a really striking array of sentiments throughout the state while second-year head coach Painter is probably too new to inspire much emotion either way (with the exception of a certain nameless co-blogger who once told me that he needed to "get a new face"). There are a people out there who absolutely hate Tubby and some who adore the man. Realistically, he ought to fall somewhere in the middle. Tubby's recruiting has been suspect (let's just say another hapless 7-footer might drive some people over the edge) while Painter was apparently out kissing a lot of babies in the past couple years because they might just have the best recruiting class coming in next year since the Big Dog. Edge: PUSH - Too different to compare.
The Wildcats were supposed to have Ramel "Smoove" Bradley running the point with Joe "What's a First Step?" Crawford playing two-guard. Unfortunately, however, Smoove proved yet again that he really loved AAU ball and forgets how to "pass" in crunch time. Whoops. What this means is that freshman Derek Jasper has been playing the point as the Cats turn to the three guard "we can't recruit big men" lineup. The Purdue backcourt features Chris Lutz who seems like a genuinely good kid who plays hard next to point guard Terrance Crump who doesn't exactly inspire a feel-good story. He's the same kid who got drunk and drove over a fellow student last fall. Much bigger whoops. They have the pleasure of playing next to David Teague, a streaky shoot-first guard if there ever was one. Much like our dear old friend Willie Dean, I have a feeling nothing makes Teague happier than hearing Jim's Son scream "Shoot it!" as he fires up another airball from beyond the arc. I feel like the team rebounding numbers wouuld skyrocket if somebody positioned themself for the airball every time he shot. Edge: Kentucky - the whole Crump situation was really fucked up.
Now we come to the strength of both teams. Purdue has Carl Landry, who has my dad's hairline but is firmly cementing himself as one of the best players in the country who nobody knows about. 20 points, 8 rebounds per game people. Pay attention. Next to him is Gordon Watt who transferred from Boston College and seems to be a reasonably talented player, but all I really know about him is that he has two brothers, Marcus and Michael, and two sisters, Angela and Ashley. Sounds like a lovely family. Down in Lexington, the saga of NBA free agent Randolph Morris continues. Truth be told, he's finally living up to his potential but you'd never know it since he has the same array of facial expressions as Eeyore. He really ought to be averaging more than his 17 points a game, but he's got to deal with Bradley firing up fade away threes. Of course, he could get offered five million dollars and be off to the NBA any day, but surely that couldn't happen, right? Anyway, next to him is the deadly combo of Bobby Perry (senior leader, always convinces us he's better than he is) and Sheray Thomas (played 18 minutes one game this season without taking a single shot). Edge: Purdue - the Wildcats get negative points for Sheray Thomas.
Who uses a center anymore? This is the new skool!
Season So Far
Kentucky: 6-3, Marquee Win: IU last Saturday. Ugh, this is not making the Wildcat faithful proud. Of course, they could be 9-0 and people would complain that they hadn't won by thirty points. They do have the talent to be a good (not great) team, but we'll see if they get there.
Purdue: 8-1, Marquee Win: Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC challenge. How nice is it not to be the whipping boy in the challenge for once? Just as a reminder for those of you who've managed to block it out of your memory, the Boilermakers only won nine games last year. Nine! And they have eight already this year before Xmas. Of course, they haven't had to play a road game yet this season (Maui not withstanding), so we've still got a lot to prove. Edge: Purdue - Eight wins! Fucking A.
Overall Edge: Purdue
Sorry 'Cats, but I promise I'll still be here after another second round loss to UAB.