By Gary Parrish
I wrote a column last week while in Kentucky about how much the Wildcats will use freshmen this season, and I made the point in that column that "no team in the history of college basketball has ever won a national championship relying so heavily" on the type of young roster John Calipari possesses. I could still argue that's technically true because four of Kentucky's top seven figure to be freshmen, and two others are sophomores. But what I've discovered -- because a friend pointed it out -- is that Syracuse's 2003 championship roster was built similarly.
Three of the top five scorers were freshman -- Carmelo Anthony (22.2 ppg), Gerry McNamara (13.3), Billy Edelin (9.0).
Hakim Warrick (14.8 ppg) was the second-leading scorer.
He was a sophomore.
Josh Pace (4.3) and Craig Forth (3.8) were sixth and seventh in scoring.
They were both sophomores, too.
The lone senior on the team was Kueth Duany.
He averaged 11.0 points per game.
So, yes, Kentucky's top seven this season will be technically younger than Syracuse's top seven was in 2003 because UK will use four freshmen, two sophomores and a senior instead of three freshmen, three sophomores and a senior. But, obviously, it's close. And I just thought that was something worth noting.
Also worth noting ...
That Syracuse team lost its season-opener.
The coach who beat them?