Don't read too much into UK basketball's Blue-White Game

jtipton@herald-leader.comOctober 28, 2013 

  • TUESDAY

    Blue-White scrimmage

    When: 7 p.m.

    TV: WKYT-27, FS South

    Radio: WLAP-AM 630,WBUL-FM 98.1

  • Kentucky Roster

    No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown

    00 Marcus Lee F 6-9 215 Fr. Antioch, Calif.

    1 James Young G 6-6 215 Fr. Rochester Hills, Mich.

    2 Aaron Harrison G 6-6 218 Fr. Richmond, Texas

    3 Jarrod Polson G 6-2 182 Sr. Nicholasville

    4 Jon Hood G 6-7 215 Sr. Madisonville

    5 Andrew Harrison G 6-6 215 Fr. Richmond, Texas

    13 Sam Malone G 5-11 185 Jr. Scituate, Mass.

    15 Willie Cauley-Stein F 7-0 244 So. Olathe, Kan.

    21 Tod Lanter G 6-2 190 Jr. Lexington

    22 Alex Poythress F 6-8 239 So. Clarksville, Tenn.

    24 EJ Floreal G 6-3 195 Fr. Lexington

    25 Dominique Hawkins G 6-0 193 Fr. Richmond

    30 Julius Randle F 6-9 250 Fr. Dallas

    32 Brian Long G 5-9 155 Jr. Dumont, N.J.

    35 Derek Willis F 6-9 205 Fr. Mt. Washington

    44 Dakari Johnson C 7-0 265 Fr. Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Blue-White Game is:

a) A sometimes wildly imperfect indicator of how individual players can produce in the season ahead.

b) A 40-minute look at many new players.

c) A chance to start getting used to the new way referees will wear out their whistles in hopes of enhancing finesse and lessening muscle.

d) All of the above.

The correct answer is d), which may be apparent when Kentucky stages its annual dress rehearsal Tuesday night in Rupp Arena. Recent history cautions against drawing conclusions.

Last year Kyle Wiltjer led all Blue-White scorers with 28 points. In the season's final four games, he scored a total of 24 points. He averaged 7.3 points in two UK seasons before transferring to Gonzaga this past summer.

Terrence Jones averaged 40.5 points in the Blue-White games of 2010 and 2011. Six weeks after scoring 52 in 2011, he barely had a pulse at Indiana (four points, one rebound, six turnovers).

The Blue-White game has caused even UK Coach John Calipari to make a faulty inference. When Josh Harrellson grabbed 26 rebounds in the 2010 Blue-White Game, Calipari joked that Kentucky must have a problem controlling the boards.

Har-dee-har-har.

After Harrellson tweeted his exasperation, Calipari punished the player with extra workouts. Because of the extra workouts or because the Blue-White rebounds showed a much-improved player, Harrellson posted three double-doubles in UK's eight post-season games the following March.

Presumably, this year's Blue-White Game will be a reliable gauge on how the referees will inhibit physical play this season by calling more fouls. UK has spent considerable practice time this pre-season on the new emphasis on finesse.

UK fans who attended Big Blue Madness will notice one other change in Rupp Arena. The video boards hanging over center court are gone. The boards were a one-time-only novelty for Madness. Besides obstructing views for fans in the top rows of the upper arena, the boards could affect play.

Noted Lexington Center Corp president and CEO Bill Owen: "If you had a buzzer-beater shot from beyond half-court, it'd probably hit the boards."

Tuition giveaway

UK Coach John Calipari will provide the actual 2014 spring semester in-state or out-of-state undergraduate tuition amount for two lucky students who attend Tuesday's annual Blue-White Scrimmage in Rupp Arena.

Students currently enrolled at the University of Kentucky can sign up at the regular student entrance at Rupp Arena, behind Section 34. They must present a valid UK student ID and be signed up before 7 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m.

The winners will be randomly selected and announced at the completion of the scrimmage and must be present to win.


TUESDAY

Blue-White scrimmage

When: 7 p.m.

TV: WKYT-27, FS South

Radio: WLAP-AM 630,WBUL-FM 98.1


Kentucky Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown

00 Marcus Lee F 6-9 215 Fr. Antioch, Calif.

1 James Young G 6-6 215 Fr. Rochester Hills, Mich.

2 Aaron Harrison G 6-6 218 Fr. Richmond, Texas

3 Jarrod Polson G 6-2 182 Sr. Nicholasville

4 Jon Hood G 6-7 215 Sr. Madisonville

5 Andrew Harrison G 6-6 215 Fr. Richmond, Texas

13 Sam Malone G 5-11 185 Jr. Scituate, Mass.

15 Willie Cauley-Stein F 7-0 244 So. Olathe, Kan.

21 Tod Lanter G 6-2 190 Jr. Lexington

22 Alex Poythress F 6-8 239 So. Clarksville, Tenn.

24 EJ Floreal G 6-3 195 Fr. Lexington

25 Dominique Hawkins G 6-0 193 Fr. Richmond

30 Julius Randle F 6-9 250 Fr. Dallas

32 Brian Long G 5-9 155 Jr. Dumont, N.J.

35 Derek Willis F 6-9 205 Fr. Mt. Washington

44 Dakari Johnson C 7-0 265 Fr. Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Email: jtipton@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @JerryTipton.Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com

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