TONY VANETTI: Two big announcements yesterday. Earlier in the week, Kentucky fans thought it was ridiculous that Montrezl Harrell would come back to Louisville, and then celebrated when Willie Cauley-Stein announced that he would be coming back for another year of college.
MATT JONES: Well, I think Willieâ€™s decision makes a lot of sense, while Montrezlâ€™s decision could go either way. I think he should have gone but I can understand why he didnâ€™t. But for Willie, if he wasnâ€™t hurt it would be dumb for him to come back as he wouldnâ€™t get to work out, and because of that he knows he would fall in the draft. You only come back if you feel you can significantly go up in the draft. If Willie goes, the NBA teams were telling him he would be going 20-25. Willie can significantly rise. Montrezl, I donâ€™t know how much heâ€™s going to rise. He was going to 16-18 and can rise to about 10.
VANETTI: Nerlens Noel went number one overall.
JONES: Well, except he didnâ€™t go number one overall. He went sixth overall. He was supposed to go number one, but after he got hurt he dropped, and I think Nerlens is the reason why Willie came back. Nerlens was the consensus number one pick and got hurt and could not work out and dropped.
VANETTI: For Kentucky, I donâ€™t think it helps as much as it does with Montrezl coming back for Louisville.
JONES: Of course it does, because youâ€™re a UofL fan and UofL fans have become more and more delusional since the game when they lost to Kentucky. Kentucky is not going to be very athletic next year and Willie is the most athletic member on the team.
VANETTI: Well, my point is that we had real question marks in the post for the far court. You guys were loaded and had maybe the best big man to come along in a long time with Karl Towns. You have Dakari [Johnson], you have Poythress there, so if you have Willie going pro, it doesnâ€™t kill you like in Louisville with Trezl going to the NBA. I wasnâ€™t considering that Willie is not a great player, but itâ€™s bigger for Louisville because we need him at the post.
JONES: Well, I guess thatâ€™s fair, but UK also needs Willie. Not that he is indeed the best, because UK had a certain Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel. UK needs that link. That first Kentucky team was crazy long and always longer than their opponents. Next year they wonâ€™t be and Willie is that guy, so because of that I think itâ€™s a big thing. Now, have you been enjoying watching Cal do the media circuit? Doing ESPN, Bill Oâ€™Reilly and the Colbert Report?
VANETTI: Itâ€™s an unbelievable tour, and again, weâ€™re used to the circus that is Calipari. Weâ€™re used to the talking points. But the fact that heâ€™s thrown in some new talking points by calling the one and dones geniuses. ..
JONES: Anthony Davis is the basketball equivalent of Bill Gates!
VANETTI: Which is a bit of a stretch. These are the Bill Gates of the athletic portfolio. Why not compare Spieth, the youngster who was in the final for the Masters? But nobody is jumping on Spieth for jumping out of school after a year.
JONES: That is a completely valid point. When Jordan Spieth went to college for only one year, did anyone say that that was ruining college athletics or college golf? Of course not. And the answer is solely because Jordan Spieth is rich and white. But when these four black kids go to the NBA thatâ€™s when people get upset. Do people get upset when tennis players go pro?
VANETTI: Matt, no one watches college tennis or college golf.
JONES: OK, Tony, yes, but thatâ€™s a different question. People say it ruins college basketball and the integrity of a college institution to have people go for one year. If it doesnâ€™t happen with golf and tennis. Why does it with basketball?
VANETTI: Well, if it happens once or twice, yes. But to organize your entire program around that?
JONES: But it doesnâ€™t happen once or twice in golf or once or twice in tennis. It happens about as much as it does in basketball. In tennis there are 10 guys who go pro every year after one year, but nobody cares.
VANETTI: Now the Spring football game is coming up, Chief.
JONES: Look, nobody cares about Spring football. Kentucky is a basketball state, and no matter how much Kentucky or Louisville do well, itâ€™s always secondary. And if you donâ€™t believe it, just look at what happened this March. There has never been a moment in Kentucky or Louisville football or basketball as they cared in the leadup to that game. Do you agree with that?
VANETTI: Well, of course I agree. But anytime that you are very good, you always take this stance.
JONES: But weâ€™re always not very good at football. But I have a question for you. Are you cool with Bobby Petrino taking students who have been kicked out of other schools and asking them to come play for Louisville?
VANETTI: I think every individual is a different case, and you have to look at them on their own merit.
JONES: There was a pattern with the year before, and itâ€™s started again with at least two players. And Iâ€™m not saying these are terrible kids. I donâ€™t know. But if a guy gets in trouble at another school, they come to Louisville. Charlie Strong didnâ€™t do that, and to be fair, John L. Smith didnâ€™t do that. But Bobby Petrino has, and are you okay with that?
VANETTI: Yes, yeah, itâ€™s up to the coach. He has got to vet these kids and do his homework on each one of these kids.
JONES: You know he didnâ€™t do that before. He had a ton of trouble makers.
VANETTI: No, I donâ€™t remember one police report when Bobby Petrino was the coach of UofL.
JONES: You donâ€™t remember one?
VANETTI: No, not one. One, name one.
JONES: Okay, well, Iâ€™ll tell you what: between now and the next time weâ€™re on, Iâ€™ll give you a list.
VANETTI: OK. Fair enough. The next time weâ€™re, on give me that list, because thereâ€™s not one. There was a paintball incident, but thatâ€™s it.
JONES: But what about when Bobby left?
VANETTI: Well, under Kragthorpe those players acted differently.
JONES: But who recruited?
VANETTI: Ok, when Bobby Petrino was coach, there was no trouble. I trust Bobby Petrino to take care of the program and you just worry about stopping his offense at the end of the season.