I want to go to there.
Well, it’s a big time for Kentucky athletics. This week marks one of the most important periods for the University, and the Commonwealth, as we undertake an arduous task yet again. We thought this time couldn’t come fast enough, but now that it’s here, we don’t really know how to handle it.
That’s right, it’s basketball season. I’ll leave the football head coach speculation to Matt, Drew, Rashawn, and Nick, as guys that surround themselves with the folks in the program, and have actual insight above and beyond the average fan (and KSR blogger). Joker was, in my largely worthless opinion, a good man that earned a great deal of respect. I am disappointed that we didn’t get more wins, as I hate to see folks get fired. The players liked him, the University liked him, and he looked me in the eye the one time he shook my hand. As this discussion continues through the week, be sure to tune into those four guys I mentioned particularly closely. They are involved with the program, and do know things that a lot of others don’t. The rest of us are all just guessing.
That said, we have other things to lighten the seriousness this week. After an exhibition with Transy tonight (who led last year’s championship team 11-4 at one point in the early going), the Wildcats look to open the regular season on the road against Maryland on Friday. I doubt that there’s any chance of the team “looking ahead” to Duke, as it’s the first real college game for a lot of them. Plus it’s in Brooklyn, and Jay-Z will probably be there. Hard to overlook that. Expect our guys to be focused. Sloppy, but focused.
But UK isn’t the only team preparing for the matchup, naturally. Mark Turgeon has the Terrapins focused on matching up with the defending champs. According to ESPN’s Andy Katz:
2. Maryland has a chance to make its mark on Day One by playing the youthful and inexperienced Kentucky at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Friday night. The Terps have plenty of work to do this week in preparation, according to coach Mark Turgeon. “We’ve got to practice better, get physically tougher, screen better and share the ball,” said Turgeon Sunday. “We’re shooting too quick. We’ve got to get better halfcourt defense.“
It’s good to see that Maryland is struggling with half court defense, since our young team is probably still learning their half court offense. After their exhibition last Friday against Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a selection of the Terps were made available to speak to the media. Among generic quotes about nerves, halftime speeches, and team growth, the players provided some insight regarding their week leading up to Kentucky.
Freshman Forward Charles Mitchell:
I’m looking forward to playing Maryland basketball. I’m not worried about the hype around Kentucky. I’m worried about Maryland performing and getting the win. I’m not worried about what other people say about the other team.
Freshman Guard Seth Allen:
I feel we’re ready for Kentucky. It’s next week, we have a whole week of practice until then. We’re just going to play as hard as we can and bring that to the game.
Allen was the leading scorer for Maryland, who trailed the Div.-II team into the second half. Expect the two very young teams to battle turnovers and defensive lapses throughout the game. Because Kentucky is more talented, they can likely recover from those errors more effectively, giving Kentucky the ultimate edge.
Also expect plenty of “WE. GOT. THE HARRISONS. ::clap-clap-clapclapclap::” chants. Those should be a lot of fun.
Whatever happens, it’s gonna be a crazy week. After a long basketball offseason, and longer football regular season, it’s about time. Let’s hit the week in the face with a hammer, folks.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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