You've heard John Calipari praise Marquis Teague for his evolution at the point guard spot and how important that improvement has been to UK's success this season. All ESPN's Dan Shulman can say is "amen."
Shulman saw the Cats early, when he and Dick Vitale worked the Kentucky-Kansas game in mid-November in New York, and he saw them three months later while working the game at Vandy. And Shulman noticed a major change.
"I remember the Kansas game. In the first half, he was all over the place, trying to make spectacular plays. Over the course of the season, his game has evolved," said Shulman on "The Leach Report" radio show. "He's looking at himself as more of a distributor and less of a flashy scorer and understanding the role a point guard has to have on a championship team."
Shulman is also an excellent baseball play-by-play announcer and he turned to that sport to analogize the difference he saw in Teague.
"He was trying to hit home runs at the beginning of the year and all he needs to do is get base hits. He's got so many weapons on the floor with him and if he tries to do it all himself, not only is it not in his best interest but it makes the other people around him worse," said Shulman.
"I think for Kentucky to be the favorite to win the national championship,two things have to happen," he said. "Teague has to distribute the ball--which I think he will--and Terrence Jones has to play like he can. To me, Terrence Jones is the single biggest "X" factor in the country. If he's on his game, I don't know if anybody can beat them."
Darius Miller can do something this weekend only other Wildcat has done--win consecutive MVP awards at the SEC Tournament.
Travis Ford captured the honor when the Cats won the tourney title in 1993 and '94.
Does a fat lady sweat at a dance?"
That was Ashley Judd's answer, when asked if she plans on following her beloved Cats to the SEC Tournament in New Orleans this weekend.
Judd's new TV series "Missing" debuts on ABC the next week, on March 15, the same night that Kentucky might well be playing in the NCAA Tournament's second round. If that happens, Judd says she'll be watching the game and recording her series' debut.
And watching a game with Judd is not something one does casually. When she was attending Harvard, she invited some classmates to watch a Kentucky game--on the condition that there were serious enough about college hoops to pass her test (remember the movie "Diner," when a potential groom required his fiancee to pass a test on Baltimore Colts knowledge?).
"This is not a trivial, light, 'let's watch a little basketball and talk about school' (event). You must be a Kentucky fan and if you can satisfactorily the following questions, you quality to come to my house and watch the games with me," Judd told them and young man from Berea aced the test. "He became my basketball buddy that year."
What was the test like?
"The first one was really easy--who was the MVP of the Final Four in 1996. Another one was what was Jeff Sheppard's vertical leap coming out of high school. It was 42 inches. I wanted someone who watches basketball the way I do. I don't mess around," Judd said.