Courtside Confidential: Helping Coach Calipari sub out ‘One and Done’

04/05/2014 7:42 PM

11/12/2014 4:34 PM

Kentucky coach John Calipari has issued an ultimatum to the media to come up with a nicer-sounding alternative to the ugly “One and Done” tag that pretty much applies to every good player he has ever recruited to Lexington. Anything to divert attention away from the obvious — his best players are only in school because they have no other choice.

(In case you don’t know, “One and Done” has come to apply to the college players who attend school for one year before turning professional.)

So Coach Cal came up with the very clever and equally adorable “Proceed and Succeed” (copyright pending).

Cal is tired of the evil media pointing out that the best college players attending school for one year before turning pro is not necessarily a bad thing and well within the rules. He’s not wrong, but it is, as CBS analyst Clark Kellogg told me, “a farce.”

Cal believes “One and Done” has a negative connotation, which it does.

In an effort to satiate Coach Cal’s demands, here are 10 other potential alternatives to “One and Done.”

10.) Just Staying Eligible.

9.) Don’t Bother To Learn My Name.

8.) A-OK With A 1.8 GPA.

7.) The Most Important Thing Is A College Degree.

6.) I’m a Student First, Athlete Second.

5.) All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.

4.) I Got Into Duke Because Of My Grades.

3.) I Wanted to Attend Kansas Because Of The English Department.

2.) Pay Me (More).

1.) Cut And Run.

Sweet deal

According to Google Maps, Storrs, Conn., is only a quick 25-hour drive from AT&T Stadium. So despite having a large and slightly rabid fan base, it was no surprise that nearly half of the UConn student section tickets available for those crazy Huskie kids were empty on Saturday night.

The same thing happened in 2011 when the Final Four was in Houston and UConn made it; the fans couldn’t make the trip for the obvious reason — it’s too far.

There is a winner in the scenario, and they are our greatest resource — the kids. Just not UConn kids.

The local schools in DFW sent out an email to students that said, if they responded quickly enough, they could get baseline seats in the UConn section for $20 for all three games.

North Texas seniors Sean Stovall and John Wyatt, who attended Flower Mound Marcus and Plano West, respectively, grabbed this great deal.

The view was terrible — fans in those seats either had to stand on their tiptoes or look at the JerryTron — but the biggest shock was this:

“Parking was only $10,” Stovall said.

Booming business

One of the biggest financial elements of any Final Four is vendors pushing officially licensed NCAA gear to giddy fans looking to load up their closets with more crap they won’t wear.

Turns out, we Texans do the NCAA right.

According to a representative from Event 1, which sells official Final Four gear right now across the Metroplex, they are cleaning up. But not for the obvious reason of having four large state schools reaching this destination.

On paper, Florida, UConn, Wisconsin and Kentucky should be able to sell anything, anywhere, at all times. According to the rep, UConn and Florida are not great sells for basketball material.

Kentucky and Wisconsin, however, buy it all.

When the Final Four was in Houston in 2011, featuring Virginia Commonwealth, Butler, UConn and Kentucky, Event 1 did brisk sales. This Final Four in North Texas has been more of the same.

The rep said the lack of bootleg vendors stationed all over the area, which happens in places such as New Orleans, has served as a major boost for the officially licensed gear. Event 1 is happy to know that Kentucky or Wisconsin playing each other assures that one cash-cow school will play for the title on Monday night.

The other thing, the rep said, is they figured Texans just have more money to spend on sports-related events.

Napier is legit

Many comparisons have been drawn between senior UConn guard Shabazz Napier and two other guards who helped lead the Huskies to national titles — Kemba Walker and Khalid El-Amin.

Napier is listed by most NBA mock draft boards as a second-round pick. His height — 6-foot-1 — is the issue. But if Napier is anything like Walker, he should have a pro career.

Walker, also 6-1, was the ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft by Charlotte and has developed into a solid scorer and playmaker. He is averaging 17.8 points, 6.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds in his third season.

El-Amin was a second-round pick in 2000 but never really stuck. He was 5-foot-10, a bit “heavy” and has bounced around Europe for years.

The better comparison for Napier is Walker, and he should make an impact in the NBA.

Follow Mac Engel on The Big Mac Blog at www.star-telegram.com/sports/.

About Mac Engel

Mac Engel

@macengelprof

Since 1998 Mac Engel has covered the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Stars, the Dallas Cowboys, colleges, high schools, the Olympics, women's basketball, even amateur women's judo. He has wasted more brain space on local sports than a human should. And he's a big fan of talking about it.

Email Mac at tengel@star-telegram.com | Read The Big Mac Blog

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