Professor Calipari holds court

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Kentucky coach John Calipari opened SEC Media Day 2010 with the instruction and demeanor of a University professor. "It's Princeton on steroids," Calipari said about the dribble-drive offense for perhaps the 10,000th time. "Only we want to score 90 points, rather than 50."

Kentucky is the SEC media's preseason choice to win the Southeastern Conference, and most preseason publications are predicting the Wildcats to finish in the top five in the nation. But Professor--err Coach Calipari isn't willing to accept that it will be an easy task.

"It's a tough league," Calipari said. "At the end of the season, seven or eight (SEC) teams will make the NCAA tournament."

If that's the case, then the Wildcats will have a tough road, even in conference play, to reach some lofty goals fans and preseason magazines have made for them. But top play starts and ends with players, not coaching, according to the Professor. "You have to have good players," Calipari said. "You can't coach bad players (to this level)."

Speaking of top players, the Wildcats fielded the top two candidates for SEC Player of the Year, according to the preseason poll conducted of select SEC Media. Patrick Patterson, Kentucky's returning 6'9 junior power forward, was the SEC's choice, with freshman point guard John Wall runner-up. Perhaps surprisingly, Wall did not make the preseason All-SEC first team voted on by the same media, however. Nonetheless, Calipari believed he has two gems in those players. "Patrick Patterson and John Wall are the two hardest working players on the team," Calipari acknowledged.

If talent and hard work leads to major accomplishments, Wildcat fans will be very pleased with the results of this year's team. For a fan base chomping at the bit for success after several years of lackluster performances--for Kentucky standards--the season appears likely to be just what the doctor ordered.
Join KSR's Larry Vaught and Darrell Cartwright as they bring you notes and quotes all day from SEC Media Day. KSR's premium message board community, the original WildcatChat, will be the source of continuous posts for hours today.

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