Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Morning News: Kentucky's Pro Day, Jon Octeus, Martez Walker, And Craig Sword

Bill Self channeled Andrew Wiggins for his "Late Night At The Phog" attire.

Kentucky's "Pro Day" One of the more annoying parts of college basketball fan bases is everybody complaining both that the tv networks hate their team and that their rival coaches are all shameless promoters. Leaving the former issue aside, the reality of the latter is that every coach does a ton of self-promotion to try to attract recruits. It's part of the job. Did Calipari form his "pro day" event to shamelessly promote himself and to attract recruits? Of course. It's the same reason he hired an "analytics guy" to help promote his players to NBA scouts who supposedly don't realize that points-per-game is a bad way to compare players who don't play the same number of minutes per game.

Are pro scouts getting anything out of a pro day less than a week after practices begin? Of course not. Is Calipari's "analytics" guy going to improve the draft stock of any of his players? Of course not. But they impress high school recruits. And the reality is that every other fan base is simply jealous that their coach didn't think of it first. It's why Calipari is the best recruiter in the sport.

Jon Octeus Will Play For Purdue The Colorado State transfer had signed for UCLA, but failed to qualify for their graduate school. Because he's a graduate transfer he can switch schools and still remain immediately eligible, so he will play for Purdue this coming season.

Octeus is listed as a point guard, though he's not really a true point in any sense of the word. So he won't fill the gap left by Ronnie Johnson's transfer. But he'll have the chance to start, and should at least be a significant contributor off the bench. With AJ Hammons returning, Purdue does have a real chance to get back to the NCAA Tournament. They have to be considered at least a borderline bubble team at the moment.

Martez Walker Withdraws From Texas This was probably inevitable after all of the offcourt troubles for Martez Walker, who had played reasonably well off the bench as a freshman for Texas. But he has been arrested twice in approximately the last month, including an alleged assault of his girlfriend, so he's now officially withdrawn from the university.

I've talked about this before, but the issue for Texas is backcourt depth. Their front court has a ton of really good bigs, but they are going to need perimeter play, and particularly perimeter offense. This Martez Walker saga will not help.

Mississippi State's Craig Sword Out 4-6 Weeks Craig Sword was Mississippi State's leading scorer last season. In addition, Juco transfer Johnny Zuppardo will miss the entire season. But the reality for Mississippi State right now is that even if everything went right they still weren't going to end up anywhere near the bubble this season. Rick Ray still has a long way to go with this roster.

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