Friday, November 09, 2012

11/09 (College Hoops Tip-Off) Quickie

The new college hoops season tips off today, and the universe revolves around John Calipari and Kentucky.

Not just because Cal broke through with his first national title a year ago. Not just because he reloaded with an insanely talented freshman class. Not just because the expectations are, once again, "National title or failure."

But because Calipari has created the most entrepreneurial system in all of sports. From sales and marketing to business development to product development, he has out-innovated everyone else.

The core? Embracing the NBA's age limit and offering the top high school players the ideal one-year finishing school before they enter the NBA: Get coached for the pros, compete for a national title, be on TV a ton and raise your personal and professional profile.

What top prep WOULDN'T want that, and -- as it turns out -- they mostly all do. And after last year's perfect execution of the plan, it appears locked in for as long as the NBA keeps an age limit.

Another team might win the national title -- Indiana is the popular favorite, but I don't see it -- but Calipari has guaranteed that Kentucky is always at the top of the list of contenders.

National title pick: Kentucky
Final Four: Kentucky, Louisville, Florida, Gonzaga
Player of the Year: Doug McDermott, Creighton
A-As: McDermott, Cody Zeller, Isaiah Canaan, Tony Mitchell, Nerlens Noel
Does Northwestern make the NCAA Tournament: No.


Colts win again: More love for Luck.
Kobe's glare: I'm with Kobe. Get over it, friends.
MLB Hot Stove: Rangers' limit with Hamilton is 3 years? That ends that.
CFB Weekend: Kansas State will lose at TCU. (That's big enough.)
Syracuse's Fine: How the hell does that guy get his rep back?
Lane Kiffin: Still bringing the LOL. Yeah, the manager totally acted alone.

College hoops opens its season on an aircraft carrier tonight AND in Brooklyn. What more do you want?

-- D.S.

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