Yes, Coach Cal has recruited a team so talent-rich they could be a parable — It’s Palm Sunday, after all — but if you sincerely believe UK could stick with even the worst NBA team for more than a quarter, you are out of your mind.
Take your 7-43 Charlotte Bobcats in their Michael Jordan-lead disdain for winning basketball. How would they fare against the Kentucky Wildcats? They would crush them. Consider:
1) Physiology: Not only has each of those players had the years of musculature that come with playing a sport for a living, they have the body mass of grown men. The athletic prime of a pro tends to hit somewhere between 27-32.
2) Neurology: The minute Bobcats PG Kemba Walker completed a cycle through the NBA’s other 29 teams, he upset the competitive balance versus Cal’s Crew. Being subject to the best players in the world and their moves on a game-by-game basis gives Walker offensive and defensive experience on a level beyond anything UK’s seen.
3) Psychology: I don’t care if Davis calls the neutral floor his stage, are you really considering one school has an entire program with the mental and physical capabilities to do that against an NBA team playing for an entire PA’s pride? Sure, there are players like Lebron James and Alonzo Mourning who get freakish as rookies, but they are the exception to the rule.
4) DocBrownology: Let’s say we were somehow able to transport each of the Bobcats from their final March Madness run to now for a pre-draft game versus this Kentucky team (and gave them a “training camp” of sorts to get to know one another): even in this circumstance do you think the Wildcats would win more often versus the Bobcats than a low-level power conference team would versus UK?
You have NCAA MOP Kemba Walker to go with Duke freak shows Gerald Henderson and Corey Maggette. All-in-all, Charlotte’s 14-men feature nine first-round picks, seven of which were lottery selections. Even floor and with the aforementioned time machine, I’m not sure I’m taking Kentucky to win a best-of-seven versus The Fab Five. Kansas will probably have four guys picked come Draft Day 2012. Heck — gasp — they could beat Kentucky on Monday.
So, yes, I know I’m squashing a “fun hypothetical,” but this conversation is happening way too often. Even ignoring that Kentucky lost to an 11-loss Vandy team that lost at home to Cleveland State, I still won’t come close to buying the Wildcats versus a team from the league. Quite sincerely, it is — from the three-point line well into the paint — a different ballgame.