Blue-White: A case of false light

UK Senior forward Eloy Vargas is guarded by freshman Kyle Wiltjer during the first half of the UK Blue-White Scrimmage at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., Oct. 26, 2011. Photo by Brandon Goodwin | Staff

By Les Johns| @KernelJohns

ljohns@kykernel.com

UK senior center Eloy Vargas dominated the boards in the Blue-White game last year, pulling down 16 rebounds in the Blue team’s 126-104 victory.

Those 16 rebounds are more than Vargas accumulated in the final 21 games of the season.

Junior guard Darnell Dodson scored 26 points in the 2009 Blue-White game, going 4-for-11 from behind the arc in the Blue team’s 106-73 win.

Dodson netted double-digits eight times that season, hitting four or more 3-pointers in a game just three times.

Wednesday night’s Blue-White scrimmage in Rupp Arena will likely be entertaining for the fans, but it will not tell us much about how good this team is or how well it will play together.

It will, however, be an event.

Last year, the two teams combined for 230 points and countless highlight-reel dunks. Terrence Jones was in full beast-mode, shredding the non-existent defense for 52 points and 16 rebounds, hitting 24-for-31 from the field.

It will be the first chance to watch six roster newcomers perform in pseudo game conditions.

Is Harrow as quick as everyone says? Is Poythress a “man,” as Jimmy Dykes said last week? Has Wiltjer actually become both stronger and quicker?

Some questions will be answered, but not many.

UK head coach John Calipari is flirting with the notion of playing two bigs, freshmen Nerlens Noel and Willie Cauley-Stein, together  — possibly creating a near impenetrable interior defense.

That lineup is unlikely to be unveiled Wednesday, and if it is, would create massive mismatches on both sides of the court.

If you put those two together in a scrimmage, who is going to guard them?

Most likely, the two big guys will battle each other the entire 40 minutes, which will be interesting, but largely unimportant.

Noel missed most of the summer workouts while focusing on academics due to his reclassification, and high school multi-sport standout Cauley-Stein has focused completely on basketball for the first time ever just the past couple of months.

Neither player has developed his offensive game yet, and both should be significantly different players as the season wears on.

Adding to the festivities will be the showing of the ESPN UK All-Access program at Rupp Arena. Immediately following the Blue-White game, the first and second episodes of the series will be broadcast on the arena’s big screens.

The scrimmage takes place at Rupp Arena Wednesday, with tip-off slated for 7 p.m.

There will be dunks, lots of fast breaks and plenty of scoring. Expect to be entertained, but not informed.