Monday, November 14, 2005

A picture is worth 1,047 words when it comes to the UK Wildcats.

I have a University of Kentucky basketball calendar on the wall in my office, well it is not exactly a calendar, at least not in the sense you would think it. It is a poster board size sheet sponsored by a local bank and it has the 30 years of Rupp Arena stamp, the upcoming schedule and a calendar for next year. It also has pictures of the Kentucky Wildcats.

It is made up to be a team picture, but you can tell that it looks kind of like a photo shop job. As I looked at and studied this year’s Wildcat team, I began to realize that this picture is worth a thousand words or more likely 1,047 words and gives us an insight into what this season may hold for the team and its fans.

The calendar has some interesting photos. As I said, it is made up to look as though all the players are together for the photo, but it is apparent that these are separate photos pieced together for the bigger picture, if you will. Having said this, it is also apparent that there are some members of the team that did have their pictures taken together.

For example, the picture has the three seven footers all standing together looking gangsta. Lukasz Orbzut, Shagari Alleyne, and Jared Carter are all standing shoulder to shoulder. It is really amazing to have three seven footers on one team, the only problem is that none of them really do too many things well. It is unfortunate that Tubby Smith cannot take the best parts from each and make a Tubbystein’s monster out of these three. One really good seven footer will beat three average seven footers every time.

Then there is Joe Crawford sitting and smiling a big "I'm glad I didn't ruin my college career by leaving UK" smile. Adam Williams is standing there with arms crossed looking all Ian Tomblinson, wondering whether or not he should have gone to a school where there weren’t 12 guards ahead of him in the rotation. In front of Adam, Ravi Moss and Ramal Bradley seem to be together in the picture looking as though they are from the mean streets of Hopkinsville and Brooklyn, respectively. They also appear to not be too worried about Adam Williams looking over their shoulder.

Then we come to Tubby who has a smile on his face, something you do not see during a game or in a year that the Cats lose more than 2 games, thanks to the hard core UK fans’ unrealistic expectations. He also has Brandon Stockton leaning on his shoulder. Brandon Stockton appears to realize he needs to lean on Tubby to get himself some playing time during his final season.

Rajon Rondo is breaking down an old school Run-DMC arms crossed pose and beside him is Bobby Perry appearing as though he is about to blow. He looks like super-fly TNT, he looks to be the guns of Navarone. He and Rondo are ready to get this season under way.

Sheray Thomas and Rekalin Sims are seen together with Sheray pointing to Rekalin as if to say, "Yep, this is the man who is going to take my job." Rekalin Sims is smiling real big as if to say, “Yep, that’s right, I am going to take your job.”

Now we get to the most interesting pictures on the calendar. We have Randolph Morris standing with arms crossed and a tiny smirk on his face. He appears to be very proud of the mischief he has been up to, lo, these many months. His smile seems to be saying, "I made it onto the calendar and I don’t even know if I will be on the team."

Who knows what will happen with Morris, perhaps UK will get lucky and be in a Charlie Villanueva situation like Uconn had to go through and he will only miss 5 or 6 games. Or UK may get even luckier and he will not be allowed to come back at all. In the long run will Morris really be worth all this trouble? Whatever the case may be, with the way the NCAA moves I predict we will know sometime before 2012.

Now, we get to everyone’s favorite Cat, especially in this area. We call him Pat-Pat, Patrick Sparks. His picture is very interesting. He has his arms to his side and a cold, dead stare that makes me think he wants to do me bodily harm. In this photo he is in full fledged executioner mode.

I feel as though we should be using his middle name when referring to him, as in Patrick Leroy Sparks was captured today after a 3 day manhunt (I know, I know, his middle name is really Grant, but it makes for a better column if I use Leroy). His eyes seem to be saying, “I am going to straight cut you when you get on the court.” He appears to be all business this season.

I just hope that Mr. Sparks doesn’t try to do too much and become careless with his play. As the old clich├ęs go, he needs to let the game come to him and play the game within himself.

I also hope he performed in a million conditioning drills this summer so he won’t appear to be out of gas on the defensive end at the end of the season. I have to tell you, I am becoming a little unsettled by his picture and I may have to remove this calendar from my office.

That is a look at the team photo in my office. I think it gives us a unique insight into the future performance of this team or perhaps I had nothing better to write about this week. In any case, I see an SEC title and a strong showing in the NCAAs; unfortunately I believe it will end with a Sweet 16 finish. Then at the end of the season, we will most likely lose Rondo and Morris, more definitely Patrick Leroy Sparks, Ravi Moss and most decimatingly…Brandon “The Brandon” Stockton. Next year’s photo should be radically different, but hopefully it will prove to be just as interesting.

No comments: