BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Jersey Rafters Week, Part V: Anthony Davis and Darius Miller

Bryan the Internover 8 years

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Aritcle written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
All this week I am discussing a topic that is a popular one on this site and amongst UK fans: jersey retirement.  UK has not retired the jersey of a player that has played at the school since 1993 (Mashburn).  But, in the last 20 years, certainly there have been quite a few great players to come through Lexington, and I feel there are FIVE that have earned a jersey retirement.  I was originally going to do Anthony Davis and John Wall here today, but changed my mind and think Anthony Davis and Darius Miller makes for a more interesting comparison.  Davis as the epitome of a great 1 and done and Miller as a 4-year, consistent, well-liked kid.  Here is the schedule for the rest of the week in case you missed the other posts: MONDAY: Tony Delk (IN) and Wayne Turner (OUT) TUESDAY: Tayshaun Prince (IN) and Rex Chapman (OUT) WEDNESDAY: Keith Bogans (IN) and Chuck Hayes (OUT) THURSDAY: Patrick Patterson (IN) and Jodie Meeks (OUT) Now, before we get into today’s 2 players, I feel like I should clarify what I consider important to getting your jersey retired.  My criteria are fairly simple: -I think individual stats and accolades are significantly more important than team success.  It doesn’t mean that winning a title doesn’t help some, but if you were an average player on a title team, I don’t think it boosts you into legend status.  I call this the Cameron Mills argument. -A player’s “likeability” has no sway for me.  Rajon Rondo was not well-liked while at UK, but belongs up there more than Ramel Bradley does. -NBA success has NO EFFECT whatsoever.  If had an effect, then we would have to also take out the NBA busts.  I don’t think Ron Mercer should be damaged by what he did after UK. With that said, let’s look at the 2 players for today: ANTHONY DAVIS AND DARIUS MILLER LET HIM IN (Anthony Davis) The Individual Numbers Points: 567 (128th all-time, 5th Freshman all-time) Rebounds: 415 (1st Freshman all-time) Blocks: 186 (5th all-time, 1st Freshman all-time) The Team Numbers National Championships: 1 (2012) SEC Championships: 1 (2012) Awards 2012 National Player of the Year 2012 1st Team All-American 2012 SEC Player of the Year 2012 1st team All-SEC 2012 Final Four MOP Before 2012, I would have NEVER considered 1 and done players for inclusion into the rafters at Rupp Arena.  Anthony Davis changed that for me.  It only took a national player of the year who broke school records and also won a national title while being the Final Four MOP.  In his 1 season, Davis did everything that a player could do to deserve the honor.  John Wall had similar individual impact without the title.  If Wall's team had made the Final Four, I might have considered him.  I've mentioned that I don't consider team success as important as individual success, but when it comes to 1 year players, I think the team result becomes that much more important. KEEP HIM OUT (Darius Miller) The Individual Numbers Points: 1,248 (34th all-time) Assists: 228 (22nd all-time) Steals: 114 (27th all-time) Blocks: 99 (19th all-time) The Team Numbers National Championships: 1 (2012) SEC Championships: 2 (2010 and 2012) SEC Tournament Championships: 2 (2010 and 2011) Awards 2011 SEC Tournament MVP Miller is such a tough call.  He was a solid, consistent, loveable player in his 4 years in Lexington.  When his shot wasn't going down, fans struggled with him.  When the shots were falling, fans cheered a little bit harder for Miller.  Kentucky born players always get that kind of relationship with the fans.  The problem for me when it comes to arguing for Miller is he never was a star.  He was basically a high end role player in each of his 4 years.  And while that might earn you a special place in the hearts of UK fans, it doesn't earn you a jersey retirement in my opinion.  It's the same reason I don't think the Unforgettables should have been inducted invidually.  Together as a group, maybe.  But as individuals they didn't earn it.  The jersey retirement is for the best of the best individual careers in UK history.  I am sure Darius Miller would say he would very happy with his UK career, and he should be.  But do we really consider it comparable to the careers of Kenny Walker, Alex Groza, Jamal Mashburn, etc?  I don't see it. Follow me on twitter at @BryantheIntern or @mysports790.  And if you would like a non-UK sports blog to mess around with each day, I would highly recommend The Sports Pit.

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2021-09-24