Tonight’s the big night, folks. I feel sorry for Morehead State.
Some things I’ll be looking for:
– Being as the Cats (obviously) have a lot more offensive weapons this year, the team doesn’t have to rely as much on Patrick Patterson. But I’d still like to see him begin to step up tonight and emerge as THE leader of this team. For the Cats to have a chance to meet and exceed the wealth of expectations that have been heaped upon them, I think this has to happen. He doesn’t have to lead in stats every night, but there needs to be no doubt as to who the veteran leader is.
– What Darius Miller does. The hype surrounding Calipari and the incoming freshmen have sort of pushed him under the radar as far as the mainstream media goes, but Cats fans certainly haven’t forgotten him. If anyone can help him achieve his star potential, it’s Calipari. I hope he thrives in this system.
– Smiles. It was great seeing everyone laughing and having fun in the Clarion game. Even during the big wins last year (excluding Jodie’s record night against Tennessee), I can’t remember when the team looked like they were actually enjoying playing the game.
– Mistakes. This is a fairly young team so mistakes, perhaps several, are inevitable. Calipari, ever the dagger-shooter at expectations, says that progress, not victory, is his focus tonight. But even though it’s Friday the 13th, I’ve got to believe that a Gardner Webb-esque debacle is not a worry on Calipari’s mind. It’s going to be fun watching the development of this team.
Lastly, I was watching what has become my favorite show on ESPN, SportsNation, this afternoon, and the hosts, Colin Cowherd (the guy you love to hate) and Michelle Beadle (the attractive blond) were talking about retiring the number 23. At one point, Beadle handed Cowherd a list of players wearing the number 23 in the NBA today, and this exchange took place:
Beadle: “It’s not exactly a list of who’s who of the NBA. Give me five names off that list that are going to matter. We’ve got Tony Douglas, Stephen Graham…”
Cowherd: “Jodie Meeks has never gotten the respect he so richly deserves in this league.”
Beadle: “Yea, thank you. Pretty sure they can get another number.”
Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the most flattering remark, but they were trying to compare these guys to MJ which is impossible to do. Jodie is averaging seven points a game so far this season; here’s hoping he gets a chance to build on that.
Anyway, go Cats!