The freshman transition:
Link of the day:
So here's a pretty neat look under the hood at how Rivals.com's class rankings are derived, how many points a Terry Beckner would be worth, et cetera. My first inclination is that the top players are worth far too many points, but ... well ... the teams with the top recruiting classes win the top games, so I guess maybe not...
To basically explain it, players are assigned a set number of points based on their Rivals Rating (RR). A 6.1-ranked prospect receives 150 points, a 6.0-ranked prospect receives 135, a 5.9 ranked prospects receives 120, and so on down the line in increments of 15. Additionally, players ranked in the Rivals250 receive bonus points depending on how how they're ranked. The No. 1 prospect in the country gets +100 bonus points. The No. 25 prospects gets +55 bonus points. The No. 166 prospects gets +19 bonus points...And all those bonus points are added to the points they receive for their Rivals Rating. It's all explained in greater detail right here. [...]
The top name on the board is East St. Louis defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr., who is currently a four-star prospect ranked No. 40 in the country. He alone would be worth 184 points to Missouri in the team rankings formula. Other highly sought after names on the board are Hale Hentges (90 points), Carlos Davis (90) and Khalil Davis (105 points).
So ... tonight's happening
On being part of teams trying to go unbeaten, as Missouri did in Big Eight play when he was an assistant in 1993-94, and Kentucky’s seen as a candidate to do now overall …
"Well, I wish they hadn’t had a couple of close games to be quite candid with you. I think what we face is certainly a team that has so many different weapons. They’re very deep. They’re big. They’re long. The thing that most impresses me about Kentucky, other than all the things I just said, is that when they don’t play great, they still find ways to win. They did that Saturday against A&M, and so that’s the most impressive thing I think to me about Kentucky. We all know they’ve got good players and they’re very well coached, and they have a great fan base.
"Going through a league undefeated — it was a long time ago when it happened here — I think other than the skill and the talent, it takes a little bit of luck. In the situation that we had here at Missouri back in ’94, Eric Piatkowski shot a ball — it was the game to go to 14-0 — he shot a ball, and to this day I swear the ball was in, and somebody punched it out of the net. It takes some luck, but they’re so well coached, and they’re so good that the most impressive thing for me is they find ways to win even when maybe they’re not playing great."
Calipari has taken notice of Missouri’s improved play the last few weeks.
"Well, they lost a lot (from last year), and you would think they wouldn't be this confident," he said. "But their big man (Keanau Post) is playing well. Their wings are competing. Their guards are playing great in pick-and-rolls and doing things they have to do. They're excited about league play. You can see the fight that they have, that they're not surrendering. They don't have it in their bones. They're just going to play. It's going to be a tough opponent for us." [...]
Calipari said he planned to address his biggest concern with his team on Monday: "Have we lost our edge?" he said. "Have we lost our swagger? Have we lost a little bit of our focus? And then if we had, what was it? What was our swag about? What was our focus about? What was our edge? What gave us an edge? And then the question becomes, how do we get it back? If we lost it, what were reasons we could have lost it? And it's not like we're totally … we’re still winning tough games and we're fighting like crazy. It's just that we're not exactly where we were. "