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Monday morning notes: Davis' wingspan edition

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Anthony-Davis-Poster_NEW-FINAL.jpg In case you missed the news last night, fans attending Tuesday night's game between the No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats and No. 8/7 Florida Gators will be greeted by a poster bearing the image of Anthony Davis above. The poster supports Davis' already strong credentials for National Defensive Player of the Year honors. The poster was designed by Craig Hornberger and photographed by Chet White, both of UK Athletics.

While we count down the hours to tipoff of the third top-10 matchup in Rupp Arena this season, let's run down some of the more notable happenings from around the world of UK Athletics.

This might be Calipari's most dominant team

I don't mean "most dominant" within its own conference, because Kentucky will be hard pressed to bulldoze this year's SEC the way Calipari's Memphis teams used to simply blow away the rest of Conference USA. For example, Calipari's 2007-08 team, the one led by Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts, outscored C-USA by 0.29 points per trip. While UK's current scoring margin in SEC play is more or less identical (0.28 points per possession), the calendar says it's early February and the Wildcats have the meat of their schedule still to come.

No, I mean simply if I had to choose two of Calipari's teams to square off for the title of Coach Cal's best ever, I'd match up this group with that 2007-08 team. The scoring margins recorded by both are way beyond anything we saw from Calipari's first two teams in Lexington, and you might remember those teams reached the 2010 Elite Eight and 2011 Final Four, respectively. Right now, I would rate Anthony Davis & Co. as the strongest of Calipari's three Kentucky teams. That's how good they've been to this point.

Add the defense of 2010 to the offense of 2011 and you have Kentucky in 2012

The 2010 Kentucky team that starred John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson played much better defense than many observers realized at the time. Relative to what was "average" for the SEC in 2010, that UK team was actually a hair better on D than this group is this season -- and if you've seen the Wildcats this year, you know that's saying something. But even with Wall doing his thing on offense, that team couldn't come close to what Calipari has this season in terms of scoring efficiency. In this respect, the current edition of Kentucky more closely resembles last season's high-scoring team. Calipari always has talent, but this season he has something that he hasn't been able to claim before: the SEC's best offense and best defense.

  • Also from ESPN, a new edition of Bracketology came out yesterday. Yet again, Kentucky nabbed one of four top seeds, along with Syracuse, Missouri and Ohio State. Joe Lunardi also has the Wildcats heading to Louisville for their first two games, but this time he places Kentucky in the South Region (Atlanta) rather than Midwest (St. Louis). This is a preferable destination because either Kansas or Missouri is likely to be the second seed in the Midwest.
  • UK Hoops may have dropped its first SEC game of this season on Sunday against LSU, but Matthew Mitchell's team remains in sole possession of first place, 1.5 games ahead of Tennessee. The Wildcats have a week to recover from the loss before a mammoth rematch against the Lady Volunteers next Monday in Knoxville, Tenn. In the most recent Associated Press Top 25, UK fell one spot to No. 7 while Tennessee sits at No. 11.
  • The loss didn't do much harm to the Wildcats in the latest edition of ESPN's women's basketball Bracketology, as UK holds firm as a No. 2 seed. Charlie Creme has UK headed to Chapel Hill, N.C., for first and second round games and Kingston, R.I., for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.
  • I neglected to mention this on the blog yesterday, but the men's tennis team continued its winning ways this weekend with a pair of wins. Headlining a strong Sunday was a win over visiting Pepperdine, the 12th-ranked team in the nation. The Wildcats recovered to win after losing the doubles point for just the second time this season, with Alejandro Gomez winning the decisive last point for the second consecutive week in a 4-2 victory. UK's 8-0 start is the best in modern program history.
  • Back to basketball, two of the Three Amigos from UK's aforementioned 2009-10 team had huge nights in the NBA on Monday. DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points, 19 rebounds and three blocks in the Sacramento Kings' 100-92 comeback victory over the New Orleans Hornets, following up strong on a 21-point, 20-rebound effort on Saturday night. Cousins is currently fifth in the NBA with 11.6 rebounds per game and second with 4.4 offensive rebounds per game. John Wall's second season with the Washington Wizards has been a bit more of a struggle, but Wall was dominant in Monday's 111-108 win over Toronto. He posted 31 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals. He also had a pair of crucial blocks in a 16-second stretch in overtime to preserve the victory. We're less than three weeks from NBA All-Star Weekend, when Wall and Cousins will likely be taking the floor together in the Rookie-Sophomore Game.

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Recent Comments

  • Guy Ramsey: Unfortunately, this was an in-game promotion only, so posters will not be available to fans who didn't attend last night. read more
  • Claire B. : How can we get a copy of this poster? read more