Kentucky and UCLA bring lots of basketball tradition to the floor when the two teams meet Saturday at the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago. The two powers have taken slightly different paths since their legendary coaching icons retired in the 1970s.
As all college basketball fans know, UCLA has won 11 NCAA championships. Kentucky has won eight. UCLA was coached by the legendary John Wooden, who won 10 titles. Kentucky was coached by the legendary Adolph Rupp, who won four titles. Since Rupp retired after the 1971-72 season and John Wooden retired after the 1974-75 season, the two basketball powers have been through titles and turmoil.
Since Rupp retired, Kentucky has had six head coaches and has won four more titles. Since Wooden retired, UCLA has had nine coaches and has won one more title.
Because it falls under his job description, SEC director of communications Craig Pinkerton, who specializes in basketball, has tweeted Wednesday some statistical information boosting what some consider the lost cause that is SEC hoops.
It’s safe to say that this is John Wall’s breakthrough season in the NBA.
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Off its upset win over Butler on Sunday, Tennessee travels to North Carolina State, which highlights the college basketball games on television for Wednesday night.
Big Blue Links for Wednesday:
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes about John Calipari and the success of Kentucky’s platoon system. “Calipari called Joe Gibbs, Mike Tomlin and Bill Parcells to ask them how to manage two units – offense and defense, for football coaches – into a cohesive team. They told him the same thing: Show them how one side helps the other as often as possible. Be harder on the more successful unit.”
The great Mark Whicker writes for the Los Angeles Daily News that it could be a long year at UCLA if the young players don’t grow up quickly. “No, it hasn’t been a great beginning for the Bruins, whenever they poke their heads out of the Cal State portion of their schedule. They have played three teams of note — Oklahoma, North Carolina and Gonzaga — and lost to all three, although very few teams are going to beat or even compete with these Zags. It’s what happens when three of your 2013-14 players get taken in the first round of the NBA draft, but that happens at the Kentuckys and Dukes, and the tank gets refilled quickly.”
College basketball on television tonight:
- 7:00 – Oral Roberts at Oklahoma (ESPNU)
- 7:00 – North Carolina at UNC-Greensboro (ESPN2)
- 9:00 – Oakland at Arizona (Pac-12)
- 9:00 – Alabama at Wichita State (ESPN2)
- 9:00 – Middle Tennessee at Oklahoma State (ESPNU)
- 9:00 – Arizona State at Marquette (Fox Sprots 1)
- 9:00 – Western Carolina at Vanderbilt (SEC)
Looks like new Florida coach Jim McElwain has made his first significant hire, luring Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins out of Starkville.
Collins, 43, put together a defense that ranked 10th nationally this season in points allowed, but the Bulldogs were 80th in total defense.
MSU coach Dan Mullen reportedly went off on his defensive staff after the Bulldogs’ loss to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. Now his DC is headed to a conference rival.
Despite a 6-5 record that got head coach Will Muschamp fired, Florida was ninth nationally in total defense under D.J. Durkin, a Youngstown, Ohio, native who will be the Gators’ interim coach for Florida’s Birmingham Bowl game with East Carolina.
SEC football 2014 game-by-game results and leaders in Excel
SEC links for Tuesday:
Dan Mullen hasn’t had contact with Michigan, reports Michael Bonner of Clarion-Ledger.
Todd Grantham says he’s proud of time at Georgia, reports Seth Emerson of Macon Telegraph. Grantham is now defensive coordinator at Louisville, which plays Georgia in the Belk Bowl.
Alabama heads back to practice for unique challenger in Sugar Bowl, writes Michael Casagrande of AL.com.
Tennessee’s Donnie Tyndall may be worth the risk, writes Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates declares for NFL Draft, reports Ryan Black of Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
Ole Miss unveils stadium upgrade plan, reports Parrish Alford of NE Mississippi Daily Journal.
Rebels optimistic despite loss of offensive guard, reports Alex Scarborough of espn.com.
Vandy’s Riley LaChane is a good dirty basketball player, reports Adam Sparks of the Tennessean. LaChance led the Commodores to win over Purdue on Saturday.
LSU’s Josh Gray is receiving aggressive treatment for his ankle injury, reports Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate.
Ticket sales are slow for South Carolina in Independence Bowl, reports Josh Kendall of The State.