It's always dangerous to make sweeping declarations based on something as benign as an intrasquad basketball scrimmage, even if it is played before a crowd of 14,060.
And then, all of a sudden Patrick Patterson, Kentucky's 6-foot-9 center, the junior who never strayed far from the basket his first two seasons, stepped back and popped in a three-pointer.
Rupp Arena went nuts.
In fact, it was the first of Patterson's two three-pointers.
So while who knows what exactly is going on with John Wall's eligibility, after viewing UK's Blue-White scrimmage Wednesday night, there is one thing I do know.
This is one athletic basketball team.
That's a master-of-the-obvious statement, of course, until you stop and think of it's simple importance.
And how long it has been since we could make that statement.
The past two seasons, the Cats lacked the scheme, the depth, the overall talent and athleticism to let their best, heck, their only, low-post presence slide out on the floor and prove his perimeter game.
"Patrick is skilled, man," said freshman DeMarcus Cousins. "He is skilled."
Yes, he is. And, on his team, he's no longer in the minority. There is the greased lightning that is Eric Bledsoe. There is the strength, with a bit more finesse than you might think, that is Daniel Orton. There is the smoothness that is Darius Miller. There is the point-making productivity of Darnell Dodson.
There is the attitude that is "Big Cuz," i.e. Cousins, with his headband, and his sneer one minute and grin the next.
And, of course, there is the man of mystery, Wall, who is as advertised, in case you had any sliver of a doubt. He is ridiculous. The freshman is so quick he almost glides to the basket. He can lull a defender to sleep, then blow past him.
Kentucky has boasted very good basketball players this past decade or so, even a few great players. (Take a bow, Tayshaun Prince.) But the Cats have not been overrun with a preponderance of athletes, guys who can jump out of the gym, stop on a dime or blow your doors off.
These guys can. For all the sloppiness displayed in the early stages of the dribble-drive motion offense, and the fact that the team has officially been working for only nine days — "We've had 13 practices," Coach John Calipari said — the athleticism was a joy to watch.
"We have great athleticism, length, speed, quickness," Patterson said. "I think that's going to help us out on the defensive end. We've got to learn great defense, stop the opponent."
That will come. Calipari said he coaches offense first, then defense. It's the way he operates, especially when putting in an offense that none of the team — not the six newcomers, not the seven holdovers — knows.
"But with the athleticism we have, it should make it easier to run up and down the court," Patterson said. "And bring in people off the bench and continue the top-level play that we need."
That sound you just heard was the Big Blue Nation shouting hallelujah!
Nor should we forget the team athleticism necessary to let the old low-post guy show what he can do away from the low post.
"What I liked was that he was able to play this offense yet he was still so alive under the basket," Calipari said of Patterson. "Some people worry that you play this way, but you never get to the post; you will learn how to get to the post. And we have to figure out ways to get him to the post."
But ... (and this is a good but ...)
"Didn't you like seeing him shooting threes?" Calipari asked. "Aren't you amazed at his skills out on the floor where he can catch it at 20 feet and then drive it and shoot a layup and go by people?"
Indeed, this has a chance to be one amazing team.
Reach John Clay at (859) 231-3226 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3226, or email@example.com.