UK Basketball Needs An Enforcer

| February 2, 2012

When John Calipari and his recruiters are narrowing their list of hot-shot high school prospects, I hope that they sign an enforcer.

Yes, an enforcer: a big strong, mean player who could instill fear in opposing players if they get out of line and deliberately try to injure a defenseless Wildcat.

We all saw what LSU defender Malcom White did to UK’s Anthony Davis in Saturday’s game at Baton Rouge.

Davis was driving with no one between him and the basket. All reports I saw and heard is that the LSU player horse-collared Davis. It was worse than that. The LSU player, in the most chicken play I have ever seen on a basketball floor, reached over the Wildcat’s shoulders (as the accompanying photo clearly shows) and pulled him down on his back.

It was a horrifying play. An enraged Calipari charged onto the court, but was held back and didn’t get far enough out on the floor to get a technical foul.

But the LSU Tiger was charged with a disqualifying foul and sent to the dressing room.

Beard, Rupp, Wah

I immediately thought of a story Ralph Beard told me. He was a great Wildcat guard from the Fabulous Five and the NCAA and Olympic Games championship days at UK.

Beard, a strong but not big guard, was leveled by a hard foul. He said that coach Adolph Rupp told Wallace (Wah Wah) Jones, an offensive and defensive end on Bear Bryant’s best UK football teams, “Wah, put that guy’s @#$% in the fifth row!”

Jones was plenty big enough and strong enough to do just that, but cooler heads prevailed.

As for Davis, he had been hurt earlier when he fell and his head hit an LSU player’s knee. Davis was addled but eventually returned to the game and finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Cats are s-o-o-o good

Davis – and the rest of the Wildcats – are playing better and better. It had to be pleasing to Calipari the way his players ran the floor. Davis, in particular, ran hard down the floor after an LSU basket or a miss. Several times he beat everyone else down the floor for an easy layup. He may be the best player in the nation and he backs off from no one.

The only things he lacks are about 50 more pounds and a lot of time on the weights. He needs to be stronger before joining the NBA pros. An extra year in Lexington, maybe?

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Category: Earl Cox on Sports

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Earl Cox, Sports Columnist
502.897.8910

Earl doesn¹t just write about sports legends, he counts many of them as his
friends. A member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, he has been writing
about sports for 60 years. Incidentally, that¹s about how long it’s been
since he¹s cleaned his desk but he knows where everything is.

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