3 things we learned: UK vs. Transylvania

Three things we learned from UK’s 97-53 exhibition win against down-the-street Transylvania (Google Maps lists Transylvania as 0.4 miles away from Rupp Arena):

1. It’s so easy to get carried away hearing John Calipari rave about practices and watching the defense-optional Big Blue Madness and Blue-White scrimmage events. UK has so much talent, and that won’t change. But we did gain a sense of perspective. Calipari says his team is young every year, and this year is no different. It’s easy to discard those lines because he’s proven so adept at getting a young roster running smoothly early. But the first half, in which Transylvania took a quick 11-4 lead and hung within a point until a UK 12-0 run in the last eight minutes, reminded us that this team has kinks to work out. Calipari was screaming at his team nearly the entire game. In no way should this game cast doubt on UK’s ability to work through those issues; it just served as a reminder that yes, young teams has its issues to figure out at a young juncture in the season.

2. The Stacey Poole Jr. story will linger until he makes a decision. As UK was warming up, Poole was conspicuously absent, and for good reason. If he played in the exhibition, it would count against a season of eligibility for him. There’s no reason for him to do that unless he is sure that he doesn’t want to transfer. (But don’t take this to mean he’s sure he IS transferring.)

It’s a weird situation to be in for Poole Jr. His father went very public with his desire to see his son transfer Tuesday night, telling multiple media outlets it would be his decision. Poole Jr. tweeted Wednesday the decision would be his to make. Regardless, the team and the fan base knows he is considering leaving right as the season is getting underway. His father has put him on the spot, unnecessarily, in my opinion. While his ultimate decision won’t be season-altering — UK’s success this season, at the very least, most definitely does not hinge on Poole — it’s a story line that will hover for the next week or two until a decision is reached and the aftermath figured out.

3. When a man who is 6-foot-11 with tremendously long arms and uncanny timing goes against a team that has one player over 6-foot-6 (and that player is 6-foot-8), said man will get a ton of blocks. Specifically, Anthony Davis had eight. Transylvania’s head coach said he tried to prepare for Davis’ length by having his player shoot layups over him holding a broom.