The Villains team for Monday’s game against the Big Blue All Stars is comprised of players who are both friends and enemies of UK. Here’s a look at what, exactly, these players have done to make themselves be considered a Villain.
Shelvin Mack (Butler) / Kenneth Faried (Morehead State) — One was born in Lexington, ended up going to Butler and reaching two NCAA finals. The other went to an in-state school, became a rebounding monster who garnered national attention and was a Cardinal Killer in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. They both played with the Big Blue All Stars in their exhibition tour. These two shouldn’t be made to wear the Villains shirt. Give them a blank penny from the Johnson Center and thank them for providing the extra bodies needed to actually have a game. And have a rebounding competition between Cousins and Faried.
Zach Randolph (Michigan State) — In 2000-2001, No. 2 Michigan State beat UK 46-45 in a December matchup. Randolph, who was a college one-and-done, scored two points and grabbed two rebounds. Which, I guess, technically could be considered the difference for Michigan State. But for the Villains game, I’m most interested in seeing Randolph battle Cousins (both of whom were on “Most Likely To Gain 30 Pounds During The Lockout Like Shawn Kemp”) down low.
Nolan Smith (Duke) — Did not play UK. But, he was born in Louisville and is the son of former Louisville player Derek Smith, so he’s a villain by birth.
Eric Gordon (Indiana) — Did not play against UK in his only season in college. Indiana lost that game 71-50. He did get to watch from the sidelines as John Wall threw down this dunk against an inferior Indiana player). Now, he’s playing (and competing) with Eric Bledsoe for a spot and for the title of Best Eric on the L.A. Clippers.
Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina) — Did not play in UNC’s 77-58 win in 2008-09; had 14 points and 11 rebounds in UNC’s 86-77 win in 2007-08; had 7 points and 3 rebounds in UNC’s 75-63 win in 2006-07; had 6 points and 10 rebounds in UNC’s 83-79 win in 2005-06. He’s also Psycho T.
Corey Brewer (Florida) — The only SEC Villain, Brewer went 6-1 against UK and was a key cog for a Florida team that briefly eclipsed UK as the class of the SEC. Averaged 10.5 points per game against UK on his career.
Rudy Gay (Connecticut) — Scored 19 points in a second-round win over UK in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Any player from a team who ended a UK season is an enemy. Speaking of, where’s Dwyane Wade for this game?
Terrence Williams (Louisville) — Had 19 points and 8 rebounds in a 74-71 win over UK in 2008-09; had 15 points and 6 rebounds in an 89-75 win in 2007-08; had 7 points and 6 rebounds in a 49-61 loss to UK in 2006-07; had 5 points in a 61-73 loss to UK in 2005-06.
Christian Laettner (Duke) — The Shot.
Who else would have been perfect for this team?
1. Joakim Noah, former Florida hate target — The obvious choice, and one organizer Jeff Sheppard said he worked hard to include. He would have been perfect, but he must still be avoiding more UK pom-poms.
2. Devan Downey, former South Carolina guard — the little guy came up big in handing John Calipari’s first UK squad its first loss. On the bright side, the South Carolina student government decided to get all Cocky and send UK a “we own you” letter that’s impossible to back up.
3. Dwyane Wade, former Marquette guard — The biggest season-ender of the last decade.
4. Kemba Walker, former Connecticut — he killed UK at the beginning and end of last season, and almost single-handedly saved UConn from UK’s Redemption Tour in the Final Four.
5. Joe Mazzulla, former West Virginia — Or, a 1-3-1 zone.
Who are the NBA teammates going up against each other in the Villains game?
Chuck Hayes and Terrence Williams, Houston Rockets
Enes Kanter and Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets (UPDATE: The press release erroneously said Kanter was with the Denver Nuggets. He is actually with the Utah Jazz. We apologize for the inaccuracy.)
John Wall and Shelvin Mack, Washington Wizards