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Time to “Buy In”

Following yesterday’s game Harrow was asked about the results of the game and he said the he, Archie Goodwin, and Nerlens Noel all played with energy. Those who didn’t need to “buy in”.

Harrow’s transformation this year has been pretty remarkable as he has made the shift from pariah to where he is now trying to step up and be a leader. He’s exactly right too. The time is now for the other guys to buy in or face several more disappointing losses. This team has the pieces to be an elite team but too often guys are content to take a play off or get beat on defense all without displaying the refuse to lose mentality that has made Cal’s teams great.

The Cats have certainly ran into some bad luck this year. Against Baylor they couldn’t buy a bucket. Against Louisville they couldn’t hit a free throw. Yesterday a guy goes for 40 and seemingly couldn’t miss. All while different injuries and illnesses have limited the bench’s depth. Still that doesn’t make up for the lack of effort that has been displayed at times this year.

First up is Kyle Wiltjer. Kyle is limited by his own athletic ability but getting up just two shots and grabbing just two rebounds in twenty minutes is something that cannot happen. Coming into the year many assumed that Kyle would be the teams leading scorer but he has struggled to make an impact in several games. If the team is going to transform then Kyle needs to buy in and adapt to find a way to put points on the board.

Next is Alex Poythress who remains an enigma. First half he was solid finishing with 9 but in the second half he only had one basket to finish with 12. We need two halves from the guy. How can you dominate on one play and get dominated the next? Poythress needs to buy in but at this point can we count on that happening? He is what he is.

This team is now at the crossroads. Play the way we know they can and they enter the NCAA tournament with a chance to do some damage. Drop some more games and they’ll be trying to reach New York to play North Carolina in the NIT championship. Ryan Harrow is right, it’s time to buy in.



Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

70 responses to “Time to “Buy In””

  1. hersheyisaber

    We all thought by mid-January that this team would be firing on all cylinders. Here we are now and we are still uncertain what the next game will bring. It is not impossible just yet to make a late run and make some noise and get teams nervous to dance with us. But that time is narrowing down fast. Harrow was spot on. BUY IN! But personally I am still on the fence. It is going to take some hard work and really looking deep into what kind of player you are. They really need a “come to jesus meeting” with Cal. Let’s hope for the best.

  2. Right!

    Nice post #1. You are spot on!

  3. Jackie Joyner-Kersee

    Louisville doesn’t exist. Right?

  4. herheyisabear

    @Jackie. Of course they exist. But we were banking on a typical UofL fan to question it.

  5. ShawnP

    Too many soft players to buy into this team.

  6. Mike

    I have been waiting for weeks for some of the team to nicely call out some of their teammates for apathetic play. Wiltjer and Poythress both need “heart transplants” and there are no donors currently available. Perhaps it is time for fellow students to join in.

  7. ag slater

    Yeah ill buy in to this team when they dont play like a bunch of soft sissies. Wiltjer and mays are horrible especially on defense. Poythress is a baby and Goodwin is out of control everytime he gets the ball. We suck. Nothing to buy into

  8. Mike

    Sorry Cal…Mathew Mitchell is now the “flavor of the month” and takes over your magician title and, yes, he is a better dancer.

  9. Syrin

    KSR has been too easy on Willie Cauley Stein. The guy has hands of stone. I have no idea how this guy payed WR. If Gilchrist got a finger and a thumb on a ball, it was flat out his. WCS can get 2 HANDS on a ball, and it will bounce around like a ping pong ball. He doesn’t block out AT ALL, but rather just tries to out jump his opponent, and never comes up with a loose ball in a crowd. I think he’s been a disappointment in addition to all those mentioned. Mays is limited to say the least. I’d play Polson more than Mays. Polson has a knack for coming up with a clutch shot, rebound, steal, etc. Mays has a way of missing open shot after open shot after open shot.

  10. UK Freshmen

    Ran into some bad luck? That’s just hilarious. The lack of good coaching or poor free throws isn’t a matter of ‘bad luck’. Plus with nearly half of the season to go, you’re who you are. Period. And don’t give me the angle of this team eventually improving. So is every other team. Especially the good ones with good coaches.

  11. MemphisCat

    As you all can see, we have a lot of weaknesses, but college basketball is weak this year. I still think we can turn this ship around and become a “decent” team by March. Not to say we will be a Final Four team, but at least a Sweet 16 team. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  12. mudcreekmark

    I know you all will think I am crazy for saying this, but I have been saying it all year. This team can not be a team to make a deep run without Wiltjer being one of the top scorers. I was one that thought he would lead us in scoring this season.Now you can throw him under the bus by saying he only shot the ball twice but what are we doing on offense to get him looks? I just think when you have a shooter like Wiltjer,(See Chris Lofton) you have to do something to get him looks. He is never going to beat his man off the dribble so we have to set screens, double screens, rubs etc.(See Chris Lofton) for him. Not just let him stand out there and expect the other team to just leave him open. Hide him on defense by putting him in the middle of a zone where he doesn’t have to close out on a shooter because we all know he cannot close out.He is just too slow. We just don’t have enough weapons on offense to just write him off.

  13. Uk fan

    Hope springs eternal but I believe the die is cast with this team. Wiltjer will never be a contributing factor to this team. Goodwin suffers from a lack of basketball IQ which most likely will not translate to the kind of team first player we need him to be if we are going to advance in the tournament. WCS for all his effort does not possess the offensive skills to take this team to the next level. Most of all, these young players do not seem to understand that they are much greater together than any of their respective parts. Anything of course is possible, but the odds are long for their future coming together. We can always hope.

  14. Syrin

    Yeah, we hear you U of L freshman. Michigan looked great this weekend as did Duke. Ohio State looked great last weekend when they got whacked by Illinois, and Minnestoa looked AWESOME when they got crushed yesterday. Seriously, I hope you are a women’s studies major since you have limited upside. Meanwhile, this team has NBA level TALENT, if that talent can coalesce before the end of the year, we have more upside than any of the previously mentioned teams. But you’re a U of L fan, and a douche bag who ingests semen with regularity. Yeah poor coaching is our problem Tell that to the banners. I love how idiots like you tell us it’s coaching but can’t actually pin point what. It’s just “coaching”. I can tell you everything Tubby did wrong as a coach. Cal has done all the right things with this team. He benched Mays and Poythress, he’s cut back on Wiltjer’s play time. He worked on a zone all week going into Vandy. That’s good coaching, but sperm swallowers like you are just idiots.

  15. Syrin

    #12 – I agree. Plus, every time he shoots and misses, he gets benched so he’s stopped shooting. Bench a guy like Goodwin for poor shot selection, not missing a good shot.

  16. big blue 1

    my god people leave kyle and alex alone

  17. FAN

    Laughable to even still hold a glimmer of hope for this team. They don’t even deserve to wear UK jerseys during the games.

  18. UK Freshmen

    My Cards will be #1. I told you keeping my Pitino bobblehead doll implanted firmly in my rectum for 4 months would pay off. And oh yeah, Cal is a terrible coach, just like all other coaches who win national championships.

  19. Hh


  20. Troy

    #17 – and you will be the first douche bag to cheer when they do well in the tournament. Phukc heads like you are the kind that are that no one wants as a “fan”. Go cheer for U of L. They’re going to be #1 you band wagon piece of shite.

  21. ouch

    As much as the Wilt kills me on defense, its hard for a shooter to hit his stride when he gets jerked out every second, while big Willie had more than one let down on defense yesterday and gets left in just to make more mistakes. Thankfully foul trouble kept him on the bench and off the floor. You can’t blame Wiltjer for being gun shy and worried about getting pulled for breathing to hard. Sometimes Cal’s arrogance is just too much, if things don’t change I don’t see Wiltjer sticking around and I don’t blame him one bit.

  22. Goose

    WKS isn’t the problem, neither is Harrow or Noel. The problem children are Poythress, Kyle, and Archie. This team lacks a leader – lacks a guy that says ‘follow me’ into battle. They play like 5 completely unrelated parts. If they don’t find some glue somewhere they will go down as one of the greatest underachieving teams in UK history. Especially in a year without any real powerhouse to fear. This should be a perfect year for a young team to thrive.

  23. Honesty

    Look on the bright side, we will have some experience returning, because none of these guys are NBA ready.
    Let’s not talk about how far we will get in the tournament at this point…let’s work on getting in first. At this point the resume sucks and there are limited opportunities to pick up impressive wins.

  24. UK Freshmen

    Syrin – more upside upside. If that’s true, maybe they can get to #50 RPI. Here’s an example of poor coaching: Allowing an average player to rack 40 against us at Rupp and thereby single handily beat us. I mean with all that NBA talent, you’d think an average coach could find some way to stop him and win. But you’re right, it takes a genius to bench Kyle. The emperor wears no clothes.

  25. Syrin

    #22 – you aren’t paying attention to WCS. He gives effort, but he doesn’t rebound, doesn’t block out, gets burned on D, and gets balls taken away by guys half his size. Other than that he’s incredible.

  26. FAN

    @Troy sorry if I’m not ok with an NIT birth. I don’t expect a national title every year but to be in the NIT is exactly where we were with Billy Clyde. Oh and watch your mouth especially in your moms house.

  27. ouch

    GOOSE: you are an idiot that doesn’t know much about basketball. Kyle is not the problem…he isn’t in the game long enough to be the problem. While none of these guys are NBA ready…at least 3 will make the jump ready or not. Maybe Cal needs to talk some back to school instead of bragging about kids getting drafted and then playing the next season in the D league.

  28. Bottom Line

    This team is toast. Cal is a fantastic recruiter. But doers not have the talent he needs to win. He is an average coach. He needs overwhelming talent to win at a high level. You can choose to spin it however you want. But that is the truth.

  29. Syrin

    UK dumbass. Ever seen Kobe get hot? How about LeBron? How about Jodie Meeks? Good god, you keep showing us how incredibly f***ing stupid you are. You have NEVER played sports have you? If a player gets hot, NOTHING can stop them. NOTHING! Just like in football, there is no way to stop the perfect pass. You can double team a guy and drape players all over him, but if the pass is perfect, it will get completed. Most of those shots were contested and that’s ALL YOU CAN DO! That killer three towards the end came from him being double teamed and kicking it out to the open player. Things like that happen. Tony Delk scored 50+ in an NBA game. My god you are dumb. Our bigger issues come on offense and rebounding where we take poor shots, don’t block out and miss open shots. The coaches are working on ALL of those things, but the players aren’t executing yet.

    Seriously, you type these posts from a Magic the Gathering tournament, don’t you?

  30. mudcreekmark

    26)You now have no credibility. Anyone who would say that we are exactly where we were with Billy Clyde is either a troll or an idiot so from now on STFU.

  31. Troy

    #26 – NIT. Teams with 12+ losses go to the NIT. Apparently, that’s also the level of your IQ, shite for brains.

  32. Honesty

    ouch is spot on. I’m tired of seeing these guys come in and leave after one year only to be completely irrelevant in the NBA. Cousins and Wall are relevant. BK has done okay. Averaging 16 ppg of that fact that you are 6’10” to 7’0″ is not a guarantee that you are going to succeed in the NBA. Making six figures for 3 or 4 years will not set you up for life either. If these guys want to play in the league as a career, they need to stay longer and develop. None of them are ready. If I were a GM, I wouldn’t take any of them.


    when noel and stein can develop an 8 foot jump shot this time will prosper and serious… everything is so congested inside because we have no interior offense… noel gets his points by sheer second effort and putting back teammates misses… noel and stein get the ball in the paint inside the fouls tripe constantly and NEVER.. repeat NEVER look to shoot.. when opponents see that they salivate… right now we are an NIT team and thats where we will end up… ur drinking the kool-aid not jumping off the band wagon…im being a realist…

  34. UK Freshmen

    I can’t spell but don’t hold that against me. I am an astute fan of the game and I know a bad coach when I see one. Please join me in my bold mission to remove Cal from his head coaching job. Can’t tell you who the new coach would be ,but rest assured, I will be his right hand man…I believe that players will relate to me because of my positive approach to Life…

  35. FAN

    #31 ok lets just see who is right at the end of the season. I hope your right but I doubt it unless something changes fast. Also why don’t you try posting without cursing, it makes you sound less then bright.

  36. Cal'sMassiveGut

    The players don’t respect Cal because he wants them in tip top shape. Yet, he looks like 1974 Elvis himself. He needs to lose that huge tire and show that he is not a lazy sack himself.

  37. UK Freshmen

    I am much smarter than Cal. Otherwise I would not be here on this Board. I am a highly-respected purveyor of basketball acumen. Just ask me. Seriously, I know more than the current coach and have chosen a negative approach to degrade his abilities. This approach served me well when I had a job and it should serve me well now…I have found that running down others is the best way to go.

  38. Goose

    27 – you’re the idiot if you don’t think Kyle is not a problem when he goes from the only returning player who was counted on to be a leading scorer and he can’t even make enough impact to stay in the game! It’s not that he plays little – it’s that he can’t play well enough to get on the court. You are the idiot for sure.

  39. UK Freshmen

    This team has a terrible coach. Everyone agrees with that. If, not they are stupid. I have a very high IQ, especially when it comes to basketball. Almost all successful current college coaches look to me for advice. The fact that I deliver it in a very negative way, should not take away from my brilliance. Bow down you Fools!

  40. Stan

    We hung a banner last year and have what may be the best class in history coming in next year. Let all the haters talk bad about us now, kick us while you can,run up the score,make fun of us, talk about our coach and talk bad about all of the real fans because trouble is coming for you assholes next year.Next time we are on TV,look up. You will see 8 Title banners hanging and they are cleaning a place for number 9 next year.

    Oh yeah, screw 15 second quickie rickie and the stupid ass cards. They won’t win it all this year, they choke like rickies girlfriends on a…. well,you know.

  41. Goose

    27 – I guess you don’t think getting beat on defense every time – or standing there watching others scrap for a loose ball is his fault? You don’t know crap about basketball – save your lectures for a subject you have a clue on – if there is one.

  42. Mike

    Cal doesn’t get a total pass on this team not getting better. He seems to be only recruiting star power, height and needs to focus more of Heart, I.Q. Team Play, and defense….ditto rest of coaching staff.

  43. FriendofKyle

    Don’t worry, Kyle is likely not coming back next year. He knows he will be buried on the bench next year and does not want to rot on the pine like Hood. He may transfer closer to home (maybe Gonzaga).

  44. Delk for 3

    Everybody just calm down. I would also like for everybody to cut it out with the coach speak; stuff like “we need to come together as a team,” or “the players need to buy in.” Just stop it with that crap. Let’s just call it how it really is: We need a guy to step up and provide us with some consistent scoring other than Archie, Ryan, and Nerlens. We also need more rebounding. To me, I think the missing link is Alex Poythress and if he can start to get us 15 ppg and 10 rpg this team will be much better for it. This team is offensively lacking and they aren’t playing hard enough defense or rebounding enough to compensate. If it wasn’t for Nerlens this team’s defense would be atrocious. This team just has to decide that they will stay in front of their man every possession and rebound like crazy. When they start doing that we will win a lot of games. I fully expect us to come to play vs. Tennessee this week. We’ll see.

  45. ouch

    Goose: you got me…wow.

  46. Delk for 3

    To be honest, I think Kyle is a nice kid but I could care less if he left. He is just flat-out a liability on the floor. I remember a caller pointing this out earlier in the season and saying Kyle’s minutes will drastically decrease. In return, Matt referred to that caller as stupid.

  47. Delk for 3

    Even if Kyle goes to Gonzaga, he will not play all that much.

  48. ouch

    Delk for 3: i totally disagree…If he goes to a school like Gonzaga he will play big minutes and put up good numbers. We will soon find out especially if they begin to allow players to transfer and not sit out if they have a certain GPA.

  49. Doc

    Looking forward to next year, we need randle and wiggins and a solid group of 7 recruits. I am happy with Goodwin, Noels, harrow now. Poythress has Great potential and can improve by march. Wiltjer needs growth maturation and more strength to play at this level and will develop by the an end of his junior year, ( likely senior or never with the last game), like wiltjer,WCS has potential and normally would be our center for next year and only a bench player (sub for Noel’s ). WCS is ahead of schedule and wiltjer is behind given his shooting ability. Mays may have a nice shot but is not for the caliber of this team and lacks speed, height, defense for our needs. We are missing several pieces and if we had shabazz and bennett would have been top 5.
    In retrospect it would have made a huge difference for Meeks to have played with wall( would have beat WVU and lamb to be our go to shooter this year. There are obvious defiences at times and we are 2 talented players short ( ie a shooter and power player short this year) this could be bennett/shabazz or a lamb
    I agree we can use more heart but it is what it is. Next time, get more recruits.
    I actually think cal is one of the best evaluators of talent and he knows what he is doing( starters and the 6, 7, an 8 players for next year,

    we are short this year but not again.

    I also think we should get rid of our bench for next years team, and have Polson as one walk on. Anyone else thinking the same thing?

  50. Goose

    Kyle no doubt is a nice kid. It’s just painful to watch a kid that could have a job waiting at the next level if he just had a motor. Lots of guys have limited athletic ability and still succeed with extra effort and willpower. Kyle just doesn’t seem to have that gear. Can’t stand to see players watch a loose ball on the floor and don’t dive on it. Say what you want about WKS but he’s on the floor fighting. I’ll go with that guy every time.

  51. NCAA Compliance

    I’m just happay a team like Florida, IU, Michigan, Louisville or Duke will win it. All of those teams have 3 and 4 year players and coaches that don’t make a mockery of the college game. Much more rewarding to those fans who have have a runner (Wes) hand deliver players for an 8 month stay. It worked for uk last year because Cal and wes got lucky when they bought a once in a lifetime player in davis. UK had 5 other pros on that team, but would have been a sweet 16 team and out without davis. Also, shows how much Cal needs elite level players to win big. Seriously, he had 5 other pros last year, but needed 6 to win it. He has 4 pros on this year’s team and they s?@ck balls. And yes, a couple of the teams I have mentioned have had small ncaa isues but nothing compared to Wes buying players for Cal.

  52. Delk for 3

    Everybody just needs to reserve judgment on this team and Cal’s coaching of this team until we are done with the season. I remember Brandon Knight and Co. losing six of their first 13 SEC games to the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Georgia, Florida, and Vanderbilt. The Arkansas loss came to an unranked and struggling Razorback squad on February 23rd, 2011 — right before Cal’s team reeled off 10 straight wins to get to the NCAA Final 4.

  53. Doubting Thomas

    All of these negative posts aren’t going to help this situation for sure. Our (THEY ARE OUR TEAM) team needs to come together and find a way to get past these disappointing losses. You think they don’t care??? They are much more upset than the fans are. Coach is upset and the team is upset. They will come together and put a great season together for us to watch and enjoy. We don’t even play the tournament until March!!!! Hopefully they don’t read the crap that is being posted on here. You guys keep trying to find someone to BLAME!!! There’s no one to blame. We have a bunch of young guys that will come together soon and start playing and winning. I never give up on the cats and I will never look to blame anyone for our losses. We got outplayed and it is over. Let’s move on to the next game. Until then STFU and stop trying to BLAME these players for our disappointment. I’m sure they blame themselves and are disappointed enough on their own.

  54. oldschool

    What bad luck? missing free throws is not a product of bad luck.

    Then the author of this post cites injuries and illness? WHAT????

    Harrow was ‘sick’ for a while – but that was probably more a personal issue where he needed his family to screw his head back on straight and get back to Lexington ready to man up.

    Hood was ill- but he wasn’t getting any minutes any way.

    The lack of depth on this team has NOTHING to do with injuries or illness – but an inability or unwillingness of Cal to recruit a bench – or to develop a bench. Harken back over the past two seasons to all those games against Montana PolyTechs where we had 35 point leads with 10 minutes remaining and the bench guys never slipped off their sweatpants. Cal is too focused on getting his NBA stars their stats so he can reach his dream come NBA draft night.

    If this team has no depth – the buck stops with the head coach. Own it!

  55. Delk for 3

    51 — Hope lying to yourself makes you feel better. I’m not lying when I say it was awesome to watch the boys cuttin’ down the nets last year. I know you as a Louisville fan do not have any clue how that feels. No way you can remember all the way back to 1986. LOL

  56. oldschool

    51- well said. I’m finding more and more UK fans who are a bit uncomfortable with the one-and-done philosohpy – not just because of the weaknesses it creates on the team like this year – but because of the complete lack of integrity toward the spirit of the rules.

    UK has become nothing but an 8-month auditioning stage for the NBA. Cal exploits the players, the players exploit the UK legacy and the fans are fooled into thinking this is the wave of the future.

    The NCAA will eventually crack down if they’re smart. Make college basketball return to the college spirit and the concept of the ‘student-athlete’.

  57. Delk for 3

    48 — Disagree with me all you want. I don’t mind. Mark Few likes to get up and down the floor and Kyle is too slow for that, and any big-time D-I program like Gonzaga will hesitate to keep Wiltjer in when the opposing team is continuously exposing his lack of defensive ability.

  58. Cal'sTities

    Man, I bounce up and down when Cal is acting like a horses a@s on the sideline. Someone, tell Cal to get me a bra. I could use the extra support.

  59. Delk for 3

    56 — You may be finding a fan here and there that believes that, but you are by far in the minority. Most of us have no problem with young people going on to better their lives. There’s no difference between a young basketball player and a golfer like Tiger Woods leaving school early to pursue their dreams and solidify their financial futures. Most of us fans don’t feel that our basketball players owe us anything.

  60. the

    I think billy g 2008 nit team could beat this years team….

  61. Delk for 3

    Again, I will point this out: I remember Brandon Knight and Co. losing six of their first 13 SEC games to the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Georgia, Florida, and Vanderbilt. The Arkansas loss came to an unranked and struggling Razorback squad on February 23rd, 2011 – right before Cal’s team reeled off 10 straight wins to get to the NCAA Final 4.

  62. theSkinny81

    24 – Kinda like when Josh Harrellson had a career night in points and rebounds at the Yum? A JuCo walk-on?

  63. theSkinny81

    56 – LOL, then everyone will bitch when we have John Walls and Anthony Davis, etc for multiple years. Either way, I like our chances.

  64. Jim

    I’m not sure what Poythress’ problem is. I just watched his YouTube highlights against Duke. He was explosive, emotional, and aggressive.

  65. Thisteamsucksass

    These people that are talking crap about Cal as a couch need to get off here and stop watching the games. These same people was jumping up and down last year saying how great he is. The only thing he did wrong is that he has the wrong mix of players this year. You can go out and look at a player all you want to see that he has talent but you can’t Judge his heart. There is our problem. We do not have a player with heart. We have the best players at every spot on the court every night. But if they are afraid to be that guy then it means nothing. Cal can coach them up all he wants but sometimes a guy just don’t have that in them to be the man a winner. The thing that made Jordan so great his will to win by any means. I’ve only seen a couple of guys have it since him. Kobe was and MKG had it last year for as. These guys are role players that need to be lead not winners that will go make something happen for the team.

  66. Cal'sSweatyNipples

    65) If you ever watched his Memphis teams (ore wes), you would know he is a mediocre coach. Buying top players make all the difference in the world. Unless of course, you didn’t buy enough of them, like this year.

  67. Cal'sSweatyNipples

    *pre not ore

  68. lonnieb

    to the Louisville fans talking about cal cheating…….

    Regardless of what’s going on i would much rather have a coach giving some poor kids some money than having a coach banging assistant coaches wives and aborting little kids… the end of the day lets be serious about ones moral compass

  69. lonnieb

    Cal sweaty nipples

    Cal only had 5 five star players at umass and.Memphis prior to UK……not sure why everyone always feels like he had elite talent. Stupid people just do not realize how impressive he had been at 2 schools that he brought up from nothing….

  70. theSkinny81

    66 – So then whats Pitino’s excuse at Louisville? Talk about dropping the ball from UK to UofL…………