Earlier this morning John Clay released an article titled “No way these Cats are going undefeated.” where he goes in-depth on why we should get the goal of 40-0 out of the hivemind of the Big Blue Nation. Simply put, Clay thinks it is just too hard. The Game is too different. The team is too young. Kentucky has the target of college basketball on their back. All that may be valid in the end but not for me. I believe in 40-0 and here are 3 reasons why.
1. The Assemblage Of Talent
After seeing the Cats in action on Friday night one thing is certainly clear. The hype for these freshman is warranted. We have the real deal. Clay makes the point that talent isn’t enough to go undefeated. In his article he examines the last team to go undefeated, Indiana, who was led by a group of returning veterans. Clay writes:
That’s right, veterans. Players who had been through enough wars to know what it was all about from taxing travel, to heckling road crowds, to winning when you’re not playing your best.
It’s the same argument that said you needed experience to win the national championship and that it couldn’t be done by a freshman laden team. 2012 disproved that theory and this team has a shot to do the same with 40-0. If momentum builds with each game then the Cats will be more focused and ready to deal with the target on their back. As long as you have the superior talent in each game you should be expected to win. Without question the Cats are going to be the most talented each and every night. Plus we have the head Coach ready to do it.
2. In Cal We Trust
Some coaches see losses as a valuable asset to their team. They are a teaching point to build around and get better. Something Cal has never seemed to agree with as he feels he can teach the same lessons from a victory as he can with a loss. Three years Cal has been close in the chase to going undefeated.
2008 Memphis Regular Season 30-1
2010 Kentucky Regular Season 29-2
2012 Kentucky Regular Season 30-1
In each of those years Cal came close to making it through the regular season unscathed only to drop a game to a heated rival. Each of those teams would go on to the NCAA tournament with a real shot to win with Anthony Davis and the 2012 squad getting it done. Arguably none of those teams had the talent of this year’s Kentucky team and none of them played the schedule that this one will.
3. The Schedule
This year’s schedule certainly makes the road to 40-o seem a bit more daunting. However, the schedule could also be viewed as a way to keep the Cats with their eyes on the prize from game to game. This team isn’t going to get surprised when you have to be prepared for Michigan State, UNC, Baylor, Louisville, and Florida. They won’t have a chance to let their guard down and get caught. If they make make it through the non-conference unbeaten then 40-0 could be a real reality.
So what do you thin after Friday? Is 40-0 talk foolish like Clay suggests? Or will the Cats be the first team in three decades to do it?