First of 2 basketball/football doubleheaders coming up

Ira D. Combs — Tri State Sports Media

October 28, 2013

It’s not often we’re treated to these special UK sports weekends where we can see both the UK men’s basketball and football teams, but this coming weekend is the first of two in a row.

So, work hard all week in the office, Big Blue Nation, and enjoy the fruits of your labor Friday night at Rupp Arena when Cal’s elite hoopsters play their first exhibition game against Brian Lane’s Transylvania Pioneers. Then get a good night’s rest and come on over early Saturday for an extended day of tail-gaiting at Commonwealth Stadium and enjoy what should be the football Cats second win of the 2013 season against Alabama State.

Obviously, the most anticipated game of the weekend will be Cal’s Cats’ first live game action against an opponent, and it will be against a much inferior team in crosstown NAIA foe Transylvania. But we should start getting a little bit of an idea of whom Cal is looking at to narrow down the seven- to nine-man rotation that the team will eventually evolve into for SEC play and on down the road for March Madness.

I’m not going to get into that myself this week because I’ve not been able to watch any practice sessions like a few other personal friends of the team has. I’m going to take the Blue-White scrimmage Tuesday and the two exhibition games use in the evaluation process before I write a sentence on these Cats.

However, with that being said, it does appear from folks close to the program I’ve talked to who have seen glimpses of this group, it’s setting up to be another one of those rare and special seasons for the Commonwealth’s hoop fans, with strong possibilities of a deep run in the postseason. But, please, let’s drop the 40-0 talk and just enjoy these young, enthusiastic players and let their rare talents treat us to some exciting basketball for the short time they will obviously be with us.

I know Cal kind of brought this 40-0 talk into the mix himself when he mentioned that he would like to coach an undefeated team after winning the 2012 NCAA championship. Many people, and probably Cal himself, thought that comment would drift into the background while everyone enjoyed the championship. And it did for about two weeks, then the comment of 40-0 popped back up and has stuck ever since. So, let’s at least let the months of November and December play out before we re-visit the talk of an undefeated season, because there are four prime time opponents in Michigan State, Baylor, North Carolina, and Louisville to conquer those two months, and only one of them (Louisville) is at the friendly confines of Rupp Arena.

Cal’s bonus babies living in the fast lane

Want to know why John Calipari has so much success in recruiting college basketball players, and how he has taken it to another level referred to as the “one-and-done era?” Read on.

The NBA season cranks up this week as well, and in case any of my loyal readers of this column are interested, I have researched the whereabouts of those young teenage millionaires who have given Big Blue Nation their one and in a few cases two years of internship before they drifted off into the deep pockets of the NBA. Listed below is the latest low down on where Cal’s previous four years’ worth of recruits at UK are plodding their trade this season, and what their monetary value is worth in terms of contractual obligations by their respective teams for the 2013-14 season.

I’ve listed the players in order of most lucrative contract to cheapest, and the info is courtesy of the ESPN website link of the NBA.

Special note: UK obviously has a few other players still in the NBA from other UK coaching eras, but this particular column is for the purpose of signaling out Cal’s reason and/or answer to his recruiting success when he can show a recruit what he has already done to this point in his tenure at UK. It is a pretty convincing sell to any recruit, not to mention the great chance of winning an NCAA championship whether you stay one or two years.

John Wall - Washington Wizards - $ 7,459,925.00

Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans - $ 5,375,760.00

DeMarcus Cousins - Sacramento Kings - $ 4,916.974.00

Michael Kidd - Gilchrist - Charlotte Bobcats - $ 4,809,840.00

Enes Kanter - Utah Jazz - $ 4,505,280.00 (Signed with UK but was in NCAA jail for his one year.)

Nerlens Noel - Philadelphia 76ers - $ 3,172,320.00

Patrick Patterson - Sacramento Kings - $ 3,105,302.00

Brandon Knight - Milwaukee Bucks - $ 2,793,960.00

Eric Bledsoe - Phoenix Suns - $ 2,626,724.00

Terrence Jones - Houston Rockets - $ 1,551,820.00

Marquiss Teague - Chicago Bulls - $ 1,074,720.00

Archie Goodwin - Phoenix Suns $ 1,064,400.00

Daniel Orton - Philadelphia 76ers - $ 916.099.00

Josh Harrellson - Detroit Pistons - $ 884,293.00

Doron Lamb - Orlando Magic - $ 788,872.00

Darius Miller - New Orleans Pelicans - $ 788,872.00

Listed below are the 10 highest paid NBA players for the 2013-14 season

# 1 - Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers - $30,453,805.00

# 2 - Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks - $ 22,721,381,00

# 3 - Amar’e Stoudamire - New York Knicks - $ 21,679,893.00

# 4 - Joe Johnson - Brooklyn Nets - $ 21,466,718.00

# 5 - Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks - $ 21,388,953.00

# 6 - Lebron James - Miami Heat - $ 19,367,500.00

# 7 - Chris Bosh - Miami Heat - $ 19,367,500.00

# 8 - Pau Gasol - Los Angeles Lakers - $ 19,285,850.00

# 9 - Chris Paul - Los Angeles Clippers - $ 18,668,431.00

# 10 - Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat - $ 18,673,000.00