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Is there any reason to still be Optimistic?


My mom has always been very critical of my dad and I. When it comes to sports, we are what you would call your true pessimists. It’s not all our fault though. Being raised as a Reds and Bengals fan, what have we had to be optimistic about? We are still quite pessimistic when it would come to Kentucky basketball, but luckily we could still find some bits of optimism during even the lowest of times, but after last night… is there anything left to be optimistic about this season?

1. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to impress

Going into the season, Gilgeous-Alexander had possibly the lowest expectations of any member of the recruiting class. In some ways even Jemarl Baker had higher expectations than the Kentucky point guard. He has blown everyone away. It is hard to think where this team would be without Shai. We are all fearing that an NCAA Tournament bid might be in limbo, but if it wasn’t for Shai, this team wouldn’t even have a chance at the tournament.

The best part about him? He is continuing to improve. His improvement is one reason for me to feel optimistic about the remained of the season.

Everyone of Calipari’s successful tournament teams has had a good point guard. Gilgeous-Alexander is looking to fit that mold.

2. In Cal We Trust

If there is one person that can make this team win, it is John Calipari. He has worked miracles with teams before. Did the 2011 and 2014 team show signs making the Final Four? Not really, but Calipari still found a way to get them there. I still have faith in the Kentucky coach. He has not lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament while at Kentucky. Why should it start this season?

3. This Team can be REALLY good

As we have seen at points this season, when this team is playing well, they can beat anyone in the country. Think back to the Louisville game. The Cats THROTTLED the Cards. Think back to the second half of the West Virginia game. The Cats came back from a double digits to beat a ranked team on the road. Of course, with all of this being said we have still seen this team at its’ worst. The second half of last night’s game was terrible, but it is one to move on from.

Overall, there might not be a lot to be optimistic about, but there is still something. This season is not at a complete loss. There is still an entire month until Selection Sunday. It is a cliche, but the next month of the season is the most important. It is time for the team to stop living in the past. Play your game.

So I ask you… what is YOUR reason to stay optimistic about this team? Let’s try and have NO negative comments about the team, no matter how hard that might be.

Article written by Sam Gormley

Follow me on Twitter @GormleyKSR; "The Whitest Man in the World"-JRock

80 responses to “Is there any reason to still be Optimistic?”

  1. abevh5

    Thanks for bringing up the point of no negative comments sam. Getting tired of all of the negativity cause this team isn’t living up to standard

  2. TheBIGGeez

    Any reason to still be optimistic? Yes of course
    Is it really likely they will turn it around significantly? Probably not
    Does it mean we have to give up on this team? No
    Can they beat Auburn? Unlikely, but with this team they probably will win Wednesday
    NIT bound? No
    Should we stop getting so worked up over 1 season we struggle? I hope so

  3. ilovekaturday

    There’s no reason for us to be optimistic the season is over

    1. BBNDan7

      Then stop watching the games and reading about the team

    2. ilovekaturday

      Bbndan do you have a crush on me bro you comment on everything I comment on and you sound like a dumb ass

    3. catsarerunnin

      Lots of ppl comment on your nonsense “bro”. Don’t flatter yourself with hopes of a bromance.

    4. 4everUKblue

      Hell yeah ^^

    5. Catlogic15

      5 Stevie Wonders would have played better defense in the 2nd half last night

    6. 4everUKblue

      I’m sure you were much better than any of these kids when you were 18.

    7. Booby Petrino

      Katurday does not have a crush on punctuation. Never met it, apparently.

    8. ilovekaturday

      You’re so clever. Since the grammar police is here, I’ll be start using punctuation.

    9. syrin23

      That might be the dumbest comment I have seen.

    10. BigBlueNationDude

      You obviously dont know runnin. He crushes any negativity. Thats what hes good for.

  4. kenny

    You picked the wrong fan base for no negativity.

  5. timewilltell

    Bleed BLUE!

  6. scottevil21

    The positive thing about this team is it’s talent it’s filled with talent. we have one of the most talented teams in the nation. unfortunately that’s not translating into winning ball games. in case everyone forgot winning is the most important thing as it pertains to on the court activities. the question I’ll ask every BBN member I see is this. how happy are you going to be on draft night if we don’t make the ncaa tournament?

    1. dakich is stupid

      Not very, we don’t have to like all of Cal’s motives. It’s his style and we’re just along for the ride. Here is hoping for a miracle.

    2. scottevil21

      and that’s what it’s going to take to get this team to play hard and tough cuz they don’t want to.

    3. syrin23

      Why do you say they have talent? PJ can’t hit a lay up or FT’s. Our shooting guards can’t shoot. Our center has made half his dunks. This team is athletic but short on talent

  7. bluemoonofkentucky

    We all know what this team is capable of…. if they play HARD and play TOGETHER. If each player, would play to their strengths it would be helpful. Vanderbilt off the bench to energize, play hard D and rebound…. only shooting offensive put-backs or shots from the paint! Knox and SGA should have the ball in their hands more AND need to drive it to the rim…. and get to the line!! Defensive intensity from all will result in more fast-break buckets which is our game…. Go Cats!

    1. dismore

      Yeah playing hard and together is important but honestly they have a very low basketball IQ and that’s very hard to teach especially at this level with freshman. Until they understand the game they will struggle to win with pure effort.

  8. jduff32

    No, and 5 minute scoring droughts are inexcusable. How hard is it to put the ball through the hoop when you play this game every day?! Also, how many games now have we seen Hami clank it off the side of the back board. Just terrible.

    1. BlueDeuce

      …actually that has been Green clanking it off the backboard (several times off the side!).

      Hami passes up easy scoring opportunities for Sports Center highlights–that never happen. I have watched Hami pass up passing the ball four times the last two games where his team mate would have scored easily but he drove it there and either missed or turned the ball over.

      The game last night he was the “team mate” asking for the pass/lob and JV did not pass it to him. Most likely because JV was asking the same thing of Hami on 2 of the 4 previous mentioned scoring opportunities.

      Did you see Hami get his ankles broke at A&M last night too…Green also lost his shoes during that game! Can’t guard the perimeter at all!

      Selfish…that is this team. I hope they pull it together and learn to like each other and trust one another and want each other to be successful.

  9. Rembrandt

    Our basketball team has the length and ability to play good defense in spurts. It won’t surprise me if this is a pretty good defensive team a month from now.

    But this team struggles to score points. They don’t shoot well from the perimeter, and they don’t make entry passes well enough to create scoring opportunities in the paint.

    We beat West Virginia, but West Virginia is another team that struggles to score points. The only way this team can beat a good opponent in March would be if Jarred Vanderbilt and Nick Richards become effective scorers in the half court. But as long as we have more turnovers than assists, this team can’t get out of its own way.

    1. dismore

      This is the worst basketball IQ team I’ve ever seen Cal have, especially on defense. I don’t see a month being enough time to change defensive IQ’s. I’m thinking it will take the off-season to get it done. But we will lose 5 from this team so hoping the next group has a higher basketball IQ.

  10. mrcoconuts

    I keep thinking about the Cleveland Browns fans – they still cheer. All the time. They still root for their team year in and year out. We have one (so far) not-so-good year and everyone seems to be piling on the negative train bc it’s easier than holding strong and believing in your team. If. And that’s a big if. Any member of this team reads these posts do u think it helps? Come on. This is KENTUCKY. We r better than this – fans and team included.

    1. scottevil21

      oh yea your right good job guys for failing to win ball games my bad you can lose here all you want just get to the NBA. they should be motivated by the negativity they see not scared of it. seriously if they can’t handle negative posts online then how are they going to react to cal telling them they messed up in the middle of a game. if you can’t point out the mistakes they make then how will they learn from them. they need to play better and right now they aren’t playing well at all. it’s mid February guys not November anymore if we don’t turn it around quickly we are looking at the possibility of not making the ncaa tournament that reality isn’t positive.

    2. Skeps

      Go to a Cleveland Browns website and I’m sure you’ll find people that are not happy. Who would care if they read these comments? Why would they care what strangers think? I looked at a Duke website yesterday and they’re pissed about their team. And it’s the same thing there with fans telling the concerned fans to shut up and not question Coach K.

  11. krautdog

    Agreed. If anyone can bring these guys around
    Coach Cal can. But I do hope, in the future, he recruits more shooters.
    The dribble drive guys can shoot floaters, layups & jams but they
    need some outside help
    to open the lane.

    1. BigBlueNationDude

      Jesus couldnt turn these guys around. Put a fork in em they done.

    2. syrin23

      Three years in a row, the pre-season concern for our team has been shooting. I don’t know why he doesn’t recruit two pure shooters EVERY class. If you have good shooting, you can be competitive in every game.

  12. crazycatfan65

    This team cant shoot, pass or defend and that’s not even their worse fault. Lack of basketball IQ is this teams main weakness. No matter how many go or come back, the lack of basketball IQ will still be the same. You either have it or you don’t and this team doesn’t have it.

    1. 4everUKblue

      Like BBDan said, then stop watching and commenting. These are kids trying to find their way and I will support them no matter what. They’re good kids and don’t deserve to be talked about the way some of our so called fans do. What if it was your kid?

    2. Parker_UKFanNC

      Please share a clip of how great you were at 18 cause I know I sure as heck was nowhere near the level of these players and neither were you. So take your sorry, spoiled, attitude elsewhere. Fans are fans for a reason, because they weren’t ever good enough to play, Coach, commentate, or even ref the sport. Therefore, your opinion is exactly that; an opinion. Your statements hold no weight yet you speak like an expert? I look forward to this team making the tourney and hope they make a run to show you and every other “fan” with little to no basketball IQ, that you should shutup and cheer instead of complain.

    3. scottevil21

      why do you read the comments if you are going complain about people commenting. if the guy is wrong tell him how he is wrong not how he needs to stop.

    4. dismore

      Agreed. Pointing out that the team doesn’t have a high IQ isn’t a personal attack on these kids. It’s simply a fact. Love how they always change the argument. I’m guessing when these guys get criticized in their job reviews they have a come apart. Seem not to take honest criticism very well. ?

    5. Parker_UKFanNC

      The point I was trying to make is that the people saying these kids have low basketball IQ have lower basketball IQ than all these kids. It’s kind of funny cause typically the only ones who can give fair criticism are experts or people who have higher IQ’s or more experience in something. Therefore, when “fans” make statements about things like a players basketball IQ it’s stupid. The biggest issue this season is the fight in these kids. The lack of effort is annoying. Back when I played in high school the only thing I had going for me was my hustle and effort I gave every time I stepped on the floor. As a little 5’9 white kid that barely weighed 110 soaking wet, with slightly above average athleticism, I had to hustle to be able to play. These kids have high basketball IQ’s otherwise they wouldn’t be at the Div 1 collegiate level. Their major issue is lack of effort and lack of playing for each other. They play for themselves. Whenever they have functioned as a team (small spurts in games) they have looked great. But every game without fail, they slowly lose the effort and discord takes place on the court. I know there are problems with this team but it’s kind of annoying to see people making judgements without and experience or expertise on the matter.

    6. scottevil21

      these kids were recruited based on potential just like everyone else who has a div.1 scholarship. part of having a high basketball IQ is understanding that you have to hustle and fight. they don’t. in your own statement they don’t fight and hustle and play for each other. you can’t win ballgames without those things everyone knows that. if they don’t do those things then either they don’t want to do it or they don’t know how. so which is it? are they lazy or do they not have high basketball IQs or is a combination of the two?

    7. dismore

      Parker you need to watch more AAU basketball and then tell me they have high basketball IQ’s. I go to two local tournaments every year that brings in the top teams plus stream a lot of games. Just because they have Div I physical talent does not translate to having a high basketball IQ. The AAU games are mostly horrible when it comes to knowing how to play the game, ie basketball IQ. And you don’t have to be an “expert” to give fair criticism. Many fans have played the game plus been involved in some other way. Some have a good knowledge of the game.

    8. Skeps

      Not sure why “fans” think a negative comment about a players skills is the same thing as a personal attack. If someone says they can’t shoot it’s not a personal attack. Scottevil, they won’t discuss concerns over the program. All they do is tell everyone to shut up.

    9. scottevil21

      no kidding they won’t debate because the debate doesn’t exist right now. this team isn’t very good right now. if this team was good you wouldn’t be commenting on the article because this particular article wouldn’t exist.

  13. bigbluenation90

    I seriously doubt it I think this team is finished. I just hope they do t give up

  14. Rdcombs

    One reason to be optimistic, is the fact that there are zero great teams this year. ZERO. If our wildcats can get it together and get hot for 6 games, who knows.

  15. ilovekaturday

    Why would I be optimistic only person on the team with a jump shot is Brad and he doesn’t play

    1. jaws2

      Incorrect, Brad does NOT have a jump shot. He cannot jump. He does have a nice set shot though!

    2. ilovekaturday

      lol you know what I meant lmfao

    3. Booby Petrino

      No one really knows what you mean because all you do is write one really long sentence that just runs on and on and on and you can’t tell if you’re changing talking points or still just running on with the same thought because you don’t know how to use punctuation see what I did here

    4. cats646

      I actually understood him/her perfectly fine. Geez, just because there’s no punctuation means you can’t understand a sentence. You must be the unintelligent one. Complain about something that matters booby.

  16. 2blues

    Reasons to be optimistic: This team is talented, there are no great teams, and Cal is our Coach

    1. ilovekaturday

      this team is talented with athletic ability no one can shoot no one can defend there may be no great teams but we’re terrible and cal can’t coach so that’s awkward

    2. Booby Petrino

      Yeah the hall of fame coach with over 80% winning percentage at UK and a national championship can’t coach. You’re dumber than your run-on sentences indicate, and that’s saying A LOT.

    3. cats646

      Yea that is a dumb comment katurday. Cal is a great coach. But booby, again I tell you to please complain about something that actually matters. Complaining about punctuation is soooo petty.

    4. BigBlueNationDude

      Haha.

  17. BigBlueOnYou

    I’m trying to remain optimistic! Been a rough few weeks for us cats fans

  18. G_Money

    Stick a fork in us, man. We’re done. There’s a chemistry problem going on off and on the court. It’s obvious. Cal needs to take a cue from the Tubster and show someone the pine.

  19. dakich is stupid

    The defense had gotten a little better prior to this game. Team really looked lost on defense. Several steps back, wonder why the regression. Can someone plz clip Gabrielle’s nails. That was kind of embarrassing.

  20. jahanc2uky

    Reason for optimism: The jump shooting can only go up. Our schedule over the next 6 games is worst than what we would face in tourney. At 20 wins this season, we would still make NCAA.Now lets focus on winning 3 games over next 7.

  21. Booby Petrino

    “Let’s try to have NO negative comments…”
    Bandwagon fans who think they are real fans “this team sucks, blah, blah, blah” lol you guys are more pathetic than you claim this team is. Can’t even pass on a post that asks for no negative comments, you HAVE to cry. Hilarious.
    I love Cal and I love our team every year, win or lose. If we had several bad years in a row, I’d start getting concerned. So far it’s been a mostly fun ride with Cal, so I’m staying optimistic.

    1. ilovekaturday

      Your name is booby petrino and you’re calling fans that are just being real pathetic lol okay

    2. Booby Petrino

      Yeah and I’m calling fans who don’t know how to use punctuation stupid too lol. And I’m correct!
      There’s a story behind my name, but I’m not wasting my time telling you. Been using it for years here, you newbies just come to cry when we lose wouldn’t know.

    3. ilovekaturday

      Who uses punctuation in a text smh dude I’m not writing a college paper idgas about punctuation your story probably sucked anyways

    4. jahanc2uky

      Booby, this is Kentucky… Several bad years in a row would make us IU. Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, & Kentucky complain in-season for bad basketball. I dont love watching bad basketball! I love UK, will watch every game, and will not consider myself bandwagon for expecting good basketball from a blue blood. The ride with Cal has been great, but not this season and I’m not watching past UK games in Feb. So excuse my negativity for being disappointed in this seasons coaching, play, and potential for a turnaround. Also, asking UK fans to try and be postive about a .500 record in conference play with 6 games remaining, is a dumb request.

    5. ilovekaturday

      Thank you. We are the premier program we expect excellence every year.

    6. Booby Petrino

      Lol good lord, get an education.

    7. ilovekaturday

      Dude if you wanna be the grammar police. Go teach a 7th grade English class.

    8. RealCatsFan

      What’s the over and under that “katurday” never made it past 7th grade? 😀

  22. scottevil21

    one thing we can all agree on is that we hope this team can turn it around. it’s just not looking good.

  23. UKLugo

    I think the word “hopeful” better suits my feelings for this team than “optimistic”.

  24. UKLugo

    My two reasons for being hopeful is talent and youth.

  25. rcope58

    My reasons for remaining hopeful about this team is 1. Their incredible potential to get better and 2. Coach Cal! I believe Cal will find the tweak needed for this squad soon.

  26. ilovekaturday

    Booby petrino why are you so obsessed with me? Damn dude hop on off my jock. I’m sorry people like me picked on you in school.

  27. BigBlueNationDude

    No none at all.

  28. luke_emberton

    West Virginia isn’t going to be ranked by tomorrow unless something drastic changes there’s no hope for this team I hope it changes and I’ll be cheering for them to the very end

  29. SoCalCat

    Cal has been begging his team to have a passion to play as a team. I don’t think they know how. Time is running out. Hopefully, there is a miracle sometime soon. 6 regular season games left.

  30. bluecrowe

    Reasons to be positive, Cal is our coach and more often than not he figures something out by March. The guys are children, which means it is entirely possible they could collectively flip a switch and get it. The negative is this year has been a waste if they do not figure it out because I think what we have created at UK means we will still lose several of these kids when none of them should think about the NBA for next season. They will all be playing in Eastern Europe if they leave. They do not understand basketball, but that is okay because they are 18. The negative is several of them are going to leave no matter what, which means we will not benefit from the experience they had this year. It seems insane. I love Cal,

  31. Larry

    Sometimes it looks like key players are looking ahead to the NBA and dismissing their college days entirely (for example, watching PJ shy away from contact or Hami ignoring an assist opportunity to try and make the highlight reel). Is it against the NCAA rules for Coach Cal to ask Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Alex Poythress to talk with Hami or PJ or Jarred and explain how the NBA works, and that if they don’t learn team play from Cal they’ll learn it in the G-League at $30K per year? If these kids think that the NBA will be easier than college they are deluding themselves. They need to use this time to build their game if they want to be drafted in the first round and land a million-dollar contract. Some guidance from someone who has been there could go a long way toward turning this team around.

  32. jajones4043

    The best thing about this season is that poor seasons typically help reset Cal and he comes back with a really solid roster the next year. I love Swaggy Cal but he and we (the fan base) all needed to be brought down from the clouds and this team has done that. And those that say we are a negative fan base, find me a fan base from Middle School basketball through the NBA that isn’t negative?

  33. BlueDew

    These young men are not children. They are young adults. I’m sure if they were treated like children they would be offended. They have been pampered and spoiled as basketball players. They have most always been the fastest, strongest, and best players on the court. They didn’t have to go 100% on both ends of the court the whole game. Now, they are playing at the highest level and when things are going bad they don’t know how to react. So, they stand around waiting on someone else to make a play. When that doesn’t happen they become frustrated and just go one on one and do everything against what the U.K. staff is teaching them. The difference in this team is we don’t have those upper class players to be the calm during the storm.

  34. TBW3011

    No

  35. TB112162

    ilovekaturday you calling some a dumb ass is funny you had to be looking n the mirror when you made that comment