College Basketball Nation: Bob Knight

Video: Bob Knight talks NCAA tournament

March, 18, 2013
3/18/13
11:56
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Bob Knight joins "First Take" to discuss the NCAA selection process, Indiana's No. 1 seed, preparing for the tournament and his new book.

Coaches most likely to join 900-win club

January, 1, 2013
1/01/13
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Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim recently became the third member of the 900-win club, joining Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight as the only Division I men's coaches to reach that milestone.

So who, if anyone, might join that elite trio down the line?

Here’s a subjective look at the most likely candidates based on age and current win total.

10. Jeff Capel (37 years old) - 162 wins
Currently an assistant at Duke, Capel got his head coaching start at 27. He'd obviously need to get another head-coaching job soon, but at 162 wins, he’s got a good head start -- especially if he ends up as Coach K’s successor.

9. Steve Alford (48) - 447 wins
In his sixth season at New Mexico, Alford has been a head coach every year since he was 27. At 48, he’s almost halfway to 900.

8. Brad Stevens (36) - 149 wins
Stevens was one of the fastest ever to reach both 50 and 100 wins. Still only 36, he has many years in front of him. But Stevens won’t have the Horizon League to kick around anymore.

7. Rick Pitino (60) - 641 wins
Six seasons in the NBA have set him back, but Pitino would reach 900 wins in about 10 years if he averages 25 per season.

6. Roy Williams (61) - 685 wins
Williams didn’t become a head coach until he was 38. That’s six years older than Boeheim was. With 215 wins to go, Williams would likely need to coach until he was about 70.

5. John Calipari (53) - 513 wins
Averaging 34 wins per season at Kentucky, Calipari is making up for the four seasons he lost to the NBA. At 53, he needs fewer than 400 more wins to reach 900.

4. Thad Matta (45) - 333 wins
Matta is in his 13th season, and he’s never had fewer than 20 wins. In fact, Roy Williams is the only coach with more wins through his first 12 seasons.

3. Billy Donovan (47) - 430 wins
Only Boeheim and Krzyzewski have longer active streaks of 20-win seasons than Billy Donovan. At 47, he figures to be halfway to 900 before the end of this season.

2. Bill Self (50) - 487 wins
No one under 50 years old has more wins than Self. Since coming to Kansas, he’s averaged more than 29 wins. At that rate, he’s less than 15 seasons away from 900.

1. Bob Huggins (59) - 717 wins
Bob Huggins is already well beyond 700 wins and hasn’t turned 60. That’s well ahead of where Boeheim was at the same age. At 24 wins per year since arriving at West Virginia, he’s on track to get to 900 at a younger age than either Boeheim or Bob Knight.


Jim Boeheim's 900th win began the same way so many others had. His team blitzed an inferior opponent with reliable offense and that patented 2-3 zone, and the Orange went into halftime leading 40-21. Syracuse fans began the second half ready to celebrate, counting down the seconds until Boeheim could pose for photos with his "900" plaque.

Detroit had other ideas. After 36 minutes of lifelessness, the Titans came storming back, eventually cutting the lead to 3 with under 30 seconds left to play. Syracuse had to take care of the ball and make free throws to win the game 72-68. In what was meant to be an easy coronation, the Orange had to overcome actual pressure.

"If we don't make those free throws at the end, we lose the game," Boeheim told ESPN's Doris Burke after the game. "We haven't had a close game all year this year. [Now] we've had one and we know what it's like. I would have rather we not done that tonight. But we'll take the win and learn from it."

[+] EnlargeJim Boeheim
Rich Barnes/USA TODAY SportsSenior James Southerland helps present Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim with a commemorative jersey.
At that point, Boeheim thanked the fans in the Carrier Dome, and then tried to make that the end of Burke's postgame interview. Burke stopped him -- "I'm not letting you get away that easy, Coach," she said -- as the coach laughed, reluctantly agreeing to further interrogation. And so even if it was harrowing at times, Boeheim's 900th win ended the way so many others: with gruff modesty, sardonicism and an endearing, cranky impatience. Yeah, yeah, 900 wins, great. Let's get this over with, huh? I've still got work to do.

With Boeheim, you always know what you're going to get. That is, perhaps, the defining trait of his career: consistency. Boeheim enrolled as a student at Syracuse in 1962, when he walked on to a then-fledgling basketball team. For the past 50 years -- 50 years! -- Boeheim has either been a player, assistant coach or head coach at Syracuse. His 37 seasons in charge are the most of any coach in Division I. He has taken 29 teams to the NCAA tournament, the most all time. He has won 20 games or more in 34 seasons, also the most all time. He has 402 Big East wins and 47 Big East tournament wins, also both the most all time.

And he has done it in a way that is both wildly unconventional and, by now, almost mechanically predictable. What other great coach in the history of college basketball has not only utilized zone defense frequently but preferred it, perfected it, turned it into an art form? What other coach has sold players on a system and, despite losing NBA talent year after year, been able to replenish talent, reload his teams and win so frequently for so long?

When you consider this consistency, it remains a shock that it took Boeheim so long to win a national title (2003) and even more surprising that it's Boeheim's only banner to date. It might be one of the great flukes of college hoops, the wacky price of a thrilling, single-elimination tournament. And one of my favorite trivia of all time is as follows: Jim Boeheim didn't win his first national coach of the year award until -- wait for it -- 2010.

There will be more time to consider his legacy. In two games (barring an upset Saturday versus Temple, perhaps), Boeheim will tie Bob Knight's 902 wins. In three games, he'll become the second-winningest coach in the history of the sport, where he is likely to finish his career (Coach K's 936 wins make him nigh uncatchable, and he's not slowing down anytime soon). We will take the time to place Boeheim in the pantheon, to discuss how we judge wins versus titles, to tease out his greatest teams and players, to take stock of a career that only gets more impressive by the day.

In the meantime, Boeheim will keep coaching his team, keep using that 2-3 zone, keep hectoring his players after letdowns and building them up after disappointing performances, and keep doing his best to avoid talking about what it all means.

Because what's the point? There's more work to do.

The man is consistent.

Video: Bob Knight selling title rings

December, 3, 2012
12/03/12
2:30
PM ET

Bob Knight joins Michele Steele to discuss auctioning his personal collection of memorabilia, including his NCAA championship rings.
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Bob Knight

The other day, in the midst of the Tip-Off Marathon madness, my buddy emailed me with a screengrab from this ESPN Media Zone schedule. He pointed to Monday's Legends Classic opener, Indiana vs. Georgia, and the announcing team scheduled to call the game: Dan Shulman, Bob Knight, and Andy Katz. His question: "Is this really happening?"

It is indeed. It was probably only a matter of time before Knight ran into the Hoosiers in the normal course of his media responsibilities, but that doesn't mean IU fans aren't simultaneously thrilled and completely anxious about what will transpire on the sideline Monday night. Will he and Tom Crean speak? Will athletic director Fred Glass get another chance to pitch that whole Hall of Fame thing? Is this the "Mr. Knight, tear down this wall (and also please stop spending so much time with Thad Matta)" moment? Will they all -- gasp -- shake hands?

[+] EnlargeBob Knight
Greg Bartram/US PresswireAll eyes will be on Bob Knight as the former Indiana coach calls the Hoosiers' game against Georgia on Monday in the opener of the Legends Classic.
If this all seems sort of silly, well, I agree. But trust me, IU fans are interested. The Indy Star's Terry Hutchens says his inbox is already blowing up before offering his take on the situation:
Now, for all of you out there that are reading into this that because Knight is doing an IU game that it means he’s ready to ride on his white horse (with a red sweater probably) back to Bloomington and become part of the Indiana family again, I would say this: Relax, take a deep breath, calm yourself and don’t get carried away here. It’s one game, and it’s one game predicated by the fact that Indiana is the No. 1 team in the nation. It was the preseason No. 1 team in the land for the first time since the 1979-80 team that Knight coached for the Hoosiers.

Could it be a first step to repairing relations? Maybe. But if I was someone at IU and hoping that would be the ultimate outcome here, I would have my doubts. It’s one game. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Whatever "interaction" fans are hoping to see, it will probably disappoint. Crean will probably speak with Knight in whatever professional capacity broadcasters and coaches speak before the game (I just work on the Internet, so I don't know), and Knight will call the game in his usually straightforward, knows-more-hoops-than-the-rest-of=us-ever-will style, and the game will end and that will be that.

Knight has steadfastly avoided his former stomping grounds, rebuffing every olive branch the new athletics administration has sent his way, to the point of ignoring his Hall of Fame ceremony. This has left many IU fans with the feels. "Why doesn't he love us anymore?" they say, not unlike spurned teen-agers. And, sure it's easy to ridicule, but I'm being a little bit callous, because you can understand why this whole thing -- a beloved coach many fans grew up seeing as a monolithic embodiment of basketball itself suddenly completely ignoring his former school entirely -- would be difficult to process.

But the first comment on Hutchens's post strikes me as about right. It includes this sentence: "It's like we're at the prom with this great girl and we're all excited about the fact that our ex might be there and -- gasp! -- acknowledge us." Indiana fans have an awesome thing going these days, what with being ranked No. 1 and landing top-five recruiting classes and generally being "back," and Crean doesn't need Knight's approval, tacit or otherwise, to maintain his position as the most popular man in the state (or at least half of it). So whatever happens with Knight, Monday night or down the line, is probably best approached with much more apathy.

Come to think of it: If Indiana fans are looking for something to get worked up over, might I suggest the fact that said vaunted class of 2013 is currently oversigned?

Crean signed six players in 2013. He will have three scholarships available next season, and four if Cody Zeller decides he wants to be a top-five pick (which is not a guarantee). This summer, senior forward Matt Roth had to not-return in somewhat questionable fashion, and Indiana had to get lucky with incoming recruit Ron Patterson's academics, for the team to get under the 13 scholarship threshold. Next season, the Hoosiers will have to a) send recruits to prep school, b) see players transfer, or c) some combination of the two to get back to 13 scholarships.

What are the chances every current and incoming player will end up feeling like they got a fair deal? Slimmer than the chances IU fans pay more attention to oversigning than Bob Knight, I'd guess.

Who wants to buy Bob Knight's rings?

October, 16, 2012
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I have to say, when I first saw the headline "Bob Knight auctioning rings, medal," a brief wave of terror came over me. You see these stories a lot in sports (particularly if you've been watching ESPN's latest "30 for 30"): A great sports figure sees his life fall into financial disrepair, and has no choice but to sell off some of the great symbolic accomplishments of his career just to pay off whomever he owes money. Surely this couldn't be happening to Bob Knight? Could it?

The answer, fortunately, is no. In fact, as the AP's story makes clear from the first graph, the former Indiana coach and ESPN analyst is selling his three championship rings and Olympics gold medal (as well as other items) for a much less depressing reason: To help pay for his grandkids' college.
"John Havlicek and I were just talking one day about all the stuff we had accumulated over the years," Knight said Monday from the Denver airport, referring to his college teammate at Ohio State who went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Boston Celtics. "As we talked we decided the money could be very useful to put our grandchildren through college."

"I've got stuff I didn't even know I had," Knight said. "I don't put anything up in the house. If you came into the house you would think I was a mailman. And I don't even wear rings."

Most coaches, even those far less accomplished than Knight (which is approximately 99.9 percent of them, now that I think about it) maintain whole warehouses of memorabilia and sporting detritus they've collected over the years. Walk into nearly any coach's office in the country, and you'll see plaques on plaques on plaques, photos, banners, various celebratory nets strewn across trophies, and pretty much anything else you can think of. But I have to say it isn't the least bit surprising to learn that Knight is the exception. And I can't really imagine him wearing a championship ring, either.

The only question now is how much such items can fetch on the open auction market. Between deep-pocketed, hard-core Indiana fans rounding into middle-age and the massive non-partisan swath of general sports collectors already out there, my guess would be a lot.

A 2000 Mag excerpt from the late Neil Reed

July, 27, 2012
7/27/12
1:48
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Former Indiana and Southern Miss player Neil Reed died of heart complications after collapsing at his home Thursday. He was just 36.

In 2000, a few weeks after Indiana fired legendary coach Bob Knight, Reed wrote a piece for ESPN The Magazine. Earlier that year, he had been at center of controversy after revealing a 1997 incident in which an irate Bob Knight placed a hand around his neck during practice.

Here is an excerpt from Reed's 2000 commentary in the Mag:


Believe it or not, I'm not happy that Indiana fired Coach Knight. I don't have any feelings about it, mostly because I've had to stand alone for so long. In a way I've been proven right, but that doesn't make my life any easier. It doesn't surprise me that he grabbed that kid's arm. Coach Knight is always going to be Coach Knight. But did I want to see him screw up? Did I want to see Indiana basketball struggle? No way.

Like I've said, I never wanted to hurt anybody. I just didn't want to live in fear anymore. Because of what I did -- leaving the program after the 1996-97 season -- and because of what I said in a March TV broadcast -- that Coach Knight had grabbed me by the throat during a practice -- I can live with myself these days.

I didn't know much about the latest flare-up until I called my parents three days after the incident. My dad, who's an assistant coach at the University of New Orleans, asked if I had heard that Indiana might fire Coach Knight. Later that afternoon, when I was watching TV, they broke in with the news that Coach Knight was gone. My first thought: "This is going to be a mess."

By the end of the day, I had 31 new messages on my voicemail. ESPN, CNN, People magazine -- everybody in the world called. But I wasn't ready to talk. I'm not even sure this story is the right thing to do. All I know is that Coach Knight's firing doesn't give me closure. I knew he would eventually do something like this to himself, but I didn't want to see Indiana suffer. I don't like to see anyone suffer, and I guess that includes Coach Knight.

What you have to understand is that I grew up worshiping Indiana basketball. I can remember my dad saying the Celtics were on TV at 8, and we'd be there, sitting on the couch, waiting for tip-off. Same thing with Indiana. The Hoosiers on at 7? Hey, we're there. It was like an appointment.

I grew up in Louisiana, but my dad would go to Bloomington every year for Coach Knight's coaching clinics. One summer, when I was 10 or so, my dad took me to Assembly Hall. He went to the basketball offices to talk with a coach, and I snuck down to the court. The lights were off and it was pitch-black, but I didn't care. I dribbled the ball in the darkness and launched shots toward the hoop. All you could hear was swish or brick. I pretended I was playing full-court one-on-nobody. That's basketball, baby. Me against Larry Bird.

Sometimes I'd imagine playing against Indiana guys. Keith Smart. Steve Alford. That's how powerful the pull of Indiana was. You'd see those championship banners swinging side to side and you couldn't help wanting to play there. That's why I took only one recruiting trip -- to Indiana. I wanted to play at Indiana ... for Coach Knight.

Nothing has felt real since I reached that goal. It's beyond anything I could have imagined. Those first few games, you'd try to look cool, but the whole time you're thinking, "I'm wearing an Indiana jersey." Looking back, I think the last time I truly had fun playing ball was during my freshman year. After that, the pressure and abuse were unbelievable. Coach Knight had these superhuman expectations. They were impossible to meet.

At the end of my junior year, all hell broke loose. We started the '96-97 season by winning the NIT, but ended it by losing to Colorado in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. That's when Coach Knight called me and two other players into his office and told us we should transfer. One of those players started crying, telling Coach Knight what he wanted to hear. The other rocked back and forth in his chair, talking nonsense. It was ugly. Then it was my turn.

"Well, what do you think?" Coach Knight asked.

"I think Indiana isn't what it used to be," I said.

That was the last time we ever spoke.
Former Indiana coach Bob Knight is obviously known as, well, that: The legendary former Hoosiers coach with three national titles, a 1984 gold medal, 902 NCAA Division I basketball wins and, at the height of his powers -- before his eventual controversial dismissal from Indiana in 2000 -- a rigorous, discipline-based cult of personality the state of Indiana wholeheartedly embraced.

[+] EnlargeBob Knight
AP Photo/Garrett EwaldFormer coach Bob Knight has little or nothing to do with Indiana University these days.
Which is exactly why the last 12 years have been so thoroughly awkward. Knight moved on -- first to Texas Tech, then to the ESPN airwaves -- without ever seeming to care one iota for the basketball program he built or the university that housed it for the previous 30 years of his life. At first, a clean split was understandable. Lately, though, despite the repeated efforts of Indiana coach Tom Crean and athletic director Fred Glass -- including and up to an IU athletics Hall of Fame ceremony honoring the coach himself -- the former coach has refused to budge.

In the meantime, Indiana fans eager to see Knight back in Assembly Hall, red sweater and all, have looked on in horror -- and by “horror” I mean “at least marginal annoyance” -- as Knight has strengthened his ties with a less well-known portion of his basketball past: His time at Ohio State.

The latest development? This weekend, OSU announced it had created a “lifetime achievement” category for OSU alums that go on to great achievement in their post-Columbus careers. Its first honoree? None other than Knight:
Because of those coaching accomplishments, Knight will be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall in the lifetime achievement category, the university announced yesterday.

“Our basketball program is thrilled with this recognition of coach Knight,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said. “I know being inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame this year is something that will mean a great deal to him.”

In February of 2011, Ohio State coach Thad Matta said he had received lessons (and a defensive drill) from “The Master.” Said lessons came just a few days before Ohio State put an absolute smackfest on Indiana, and Matta didn’t disclose them until his postgame press conference, which some Indiana supporters read as arch psychological warfare against Crean specifically and the fan base generally. (One writer called it a “scud missile right past Tom Crean’s ear.”)

If there was a message there, whether intentional or not, it was similar to the one being sent this weekend: Knight has no problem being inducted in various Halls of Fame, and his cell phone does indeed work.

He just wants nothing to do with Indiana University. And he never forgets a grudge.

Video: Bob Knight visits hometown

February, 18, 2012
2/18/12
12:04
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Bob Knight visits him hometown of Orrville, Ohio.
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Bob Knight

Video: Knight Watch on Duke

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
4:24
PM ET

Take a seat in the film room as Bob Knight breaks down Duke's inside/outside game.

Catching up with A.J. Moye

July, 19, 2011
7/19/11
2:53
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You may remember A.J. Moye from his block of Carlos Boozer in Indiana's upset of No. 1 seeded Duke in the 2002 NCAA tournament, the year the Hoosiers made an unlikely run to the precipice of a national title under Mike Davis, Bob Knight's embattled successor. Indiana fans certainly do. Moye was a fan favorite in Bloomington; his determination, aggression and willingness to play in the low block despite his lack of size earned him seemingly endless "A-J-Moy-yay" chants throughout his four years in the program.

It was that size that prevented Moye from pursuing a pro career in the U.S. Instead, the former Hoosier went overseas, where he has excelled in Finland and elsewhere. Most recently, Moye had been plying his trade in Germany for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners Frankfurt.

That's when disaster struck. Last November, Moye was struck on the temple during a practice. He was out cold for 20 minutes, but finished the practice. Later that evening, he struggled to communicate with his stepfather on a phone conversation, and he was taken to the hospital for "intensive examinations." After a few days, the doctor made his diagnosis. Moye had suffered a stroke.

Peegs.com writer Jeff Rabjohns caught up with Moye at an Indianapolis Pro-Am tournament recently. The result is must-read stuff. Moye describes his injury in detail -- the right side of his body is still affected by the stroke -- and talks about how difficult it has been to forever abandon the most important part of his life: basketball.
"I was trying to dribble. I thought maybe I just can't wake up or something. I was telling guys on my team I was feeling this way and they were like, 'Oh, he's drunk or something,' even though I'm never drunk but I'm always a character," Moye said. "I saw Marco and told him, 'Man, it feels like I'm dying or something, something's really wrong. Then the ambulance came. That was Tuesday. I woke up on Thursday."

[...] "I'm still me. I can still make a great move, but the right side of my body doesn't feel like me," Moye said. "And honestly, man, nothing's worth dying for. But to me, it almost was worth dying for. I had to look up and say, 'Am I going to die trying to play basketball?' The answer's no. Now it's about finding myself, finding what I could be comfortable doing for the rest of my life. The end of the road happened five or six years earlier than I'd have liked."

There's plenty more where that come from, and it would be bad form to excerpt too much of it here. Moye's struggle goes beyond Indiana and beyond basketball; it's about mortality, the shelter of professional life, and what we do when those things unfairly come crashing down around us.

Plus, if you're one of those people that watches classic basketball games and thinks "Hey, whatever happened to that guy?" well, now you know. In Moye's case, the answering is incredibly compelling.
Are Indiana fans cautiously optimistic? Or just downright giddy? Whatever the exact classification, Indiana coach Tom Crean's impressive recruiting progress -- he'll bring his first legitimate IU big man in Cody Zeller onto campus this fall, and his 2012 class is currently ranked No. 1 in the country -- means the Hoosiers are almost certain to improve over the next three seasons.

IU fans have sat through a combined 28 wins in the last three seasons, so you can forgive them if they're tempering their hopes until the youngsters produce on the court. Or, if unbridled hope is the most common emotion, well, you can forgive that, too.

Cautious or not, the optimism around this once-storied program's future is palpable. But Indiana fans have a special, tortured relationship with their program's history. In many ways, for both better and worse, the spectre of legendary coach Bob Knight still looms over Indiana basketball and its fans. Those fans want to honor their past, to reunite the Indiana "family," even as Knight ignores the school's repeated peace proposals and spends his time mentoring a Big Ten rival instead.

All of which is why the name "Calbert Cheaney" matters, and why Indiana fans were no doubt thrilled when they heard the following news this weekend. From the AP:
The Big Ten's career scoring leader was hired Saturday by coach Tom Crean as the Hoosiers' new director of basketball operations. Crean made the announcement during his father/son basketball camp, ending several days of speculation that one of the best players in school history would be back on campus.

"Calbert knows the standard that it takes to be successful academically as a high-level student athlete, and he knows what is expected to play at the NBA level," Crean said in a statement. "He is excited to learn the business of college basketball."

Crean inherited an unenviable job for more than one reason. Sure, rebuilding the talent crater left in the wake of Kelvin Sampson's sanctions was bad enough. But Indiana fans also want a program that does things the "right way," which means any or all of the following:
  1. Running a clean recruiting operation.
  2. Landing lots of Indiana players.
  3. Paying tribute to the past at every turn.

Crean has spent as much of his first three seasons trying to balance those concerns as he has juggling his undersized lineup. He's had to earn positive press from former Indiana greats, the kind that come out of the woodwork to give their all-important endorsements to local media outlets any time the program feels in flux. Crean has had to win those converts. He's had to establish the program's reputation in the state. (He's also had to deal with the questions asked about ties with A-HOPE and Indiana Elite, which he did quite well last month.) And on top of it all, he's had to give fans a sense of the overarching goal: a united program reverent of its past and excited about its future.

Indiana may not be able to get Knight back on campus. But step by step -- and hiring Cheaney, one of the true modern Indiana greats, is a big step -- Crean continues to heal the wounds opened in 2000 and 2008.

Now, the Hoosiers just have to win. But hey, that's the easy part, right?
We've all moved on from the rather large Bob Knight-Kentucky flap last week. In case you missed it, and I'm doubting you did, Knight criticized the 2010 Wildcats for starting "five players in the NCAA tournament games that had not been to class that semester." Kentucky took offense to the comments, which weren't true, and Knight apologized for the statement -- saying he was making a more general point about the perils of the one-and-done rule itself -- soon thereafter.

Knight's specific criticisms about Kentucky were untrue, but they touched off yet another debate about the state of the student-athlete in the one-and-done era. This debate seems gravationally pulled to John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats for a variety of reasons. One, there's an impression among college hoops fans outside Big Blue Nation -- whether founded or unfounded -- that Kentucky cares far more about success on the court than growth off it. And because Kentucky has recruited such a large percentage of one-and-done players in two years under Calipari (two more, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones, seem likely to join the one-and-done ranks before the May 8 draft deadline), this conversation is often disproportionately focused in and around Lexington, Ky.

The scrutiny here is outsized, and Kentucky didn't help itself much last offseason, when it was revealed that the Wildcats' 2009 fall team GPA was the lowest of any athletics program at Kentucky and among the lowest in the SEC. To those already inclined to criticized Calipari and his teams, that was enough: Kentucky was a team of NBA-bound semi-pros that didn't care about classes, and their team's GPA proved it.

But if you criticized Kentucky for its team GPA last year,* it's only fair to praise the Wildcats now. That's because, according to the Lexington Herald-Times's Jerry Tipton, Kentucky's team GPA improved dramatically in the fall of 2010, when it was second-best among the eight SEC men's hoops teams that released their squad's academic information. To wit:
In the fall semester of 2010, UK's men's basketball team compiled a better grade-point average than six of the other seven Southeastern Conference programs that shared their GPA information. Only Alabama bested Kentucky, and just barely: 2.83 to 2.824.

Kentucky's GPA of 2.824 marked a dramatic improvement from the first two semesters under Coach John Calipari. Those GPAs were 2.018 (fall of 2009) and 2.225 (spring of 2010), each the worst for any of UK's sports teams.

Tipton writes that Kentucky's team mark was likely affected most positively by guards Brandon Knight and Jarrod Polson, who were believed to post 4.0 GPAs. Whatever the breakdown, though, improvement is improvement. Next time Big Blue Nation hears the Calipari-based criticisms, they'll have an added data point to use in self-defense.

*(Which requires a rather large amount of naivete and simplification anyway. There's an argument to be made that a team's GPA is a rather pointless metric for determining whether that team is being adequately prepared for life after college, especially when that team is composed of players like John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton and the like. As long as he's eligible to play, do we really care if Wall posts a 3.5 GPA? If so, why? File under "arguments for another time," I suppose.)

Video: Bob Knight apologizes to Kentucky

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
6:27
PM ET


ESPN analyst Bob Knight apologized Tuesday after making false statements over the weekend about the academic record of Kentucky's basketball team.

Video: Preparing for the Final Four

March, 30, 2011
3/30/11
11:34
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Bob Knight talks about how he prepared his team for everything that goes on at the Final Four.





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