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Why It’s Ok for Kentucky Fans To Be Frustrated, But Not Give Up on the Season


I’ve been watching college basketball religiously for well over two decades, and the more that I think about it, the more I realize that I don’t think I ever remember a result quite as stunning as what we saw from Duke-Kentucky on Tuesday night.

Take the two most tradition-rich programs in college basketball. Take the two most talented teams top-to-bottom in the sport. Take two Hall of Fame coaches and put them on the court together, and what do you get?

A 34-point blowout. Huh?

Only that’s what happened on Tuesday night, and there really is nothing else to say that hasn’t already been said. It was a game where Duke was so thorough and dominant, it’s leading to all kinds of hyperbole and Wednesday morning quarterbacking from college basketball fans: Is Duke the Bama of college basketball (no, please stop). Is Kentucky’s season over before it begins (no, please stop). And is Zion Williamson the evolutionary next step in the sport of basketball, with 6’7, 285 lb. cyborgs taking over the sport from now until the end of time? No, please stop. There has only been one Zion Williamson in the history of basketball. And what he does is not replicable.

So yes, Duke was the far better team on Tuesday night, and yes, they should be the unquestioned No. 1 team in the country going forward. But it’s also safe to play the season, and let’s not just hand them the national championship trophy now.

To quote Denny Green, “If you want to crown their ass, crown ‘em!” but I’m not ready to do that yet. Even if again, they truly put forth a transcendent, unbelievable performance on Tuesday night.

Still, there are reasons to still to tune into college hoops this season, and if you’re a Kentucky fan (which most everyone reading this article is) to not give up on the season yet.

Here are six reasons why.

(Also, for a full, additional breakdown of the game, download today’s episode of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast, which was recorded right after the game)

Duke probably just played their best game of the season

Please, please, PLEASE understand this is not intended to be a shot at Duke. Their play on Tuesday night was simply mesmerizing. They were better than Kentucky in every way a basketball team could be, on offense, defense, special teams – woops, not that last one. But you get the point.

Still, right now I think it’s fair to say that there is a tier-system in college basketball: It’s Duke and everyone else (something we’ll hit on later). But I also think it’s fair to wonder if Duke just so happened to play something close to their version of a perfect game. And we just happened to see it on college basketball’s biggest stage on opening night.

You may think I’m crazy, but hear me out.

First off, I don’t think we’ll ever see a better three-point shooting performance from Duke’s “big three” than we did on Tuesday night. I’ve been watching Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish play to varying degrees for three or four years now throughout their high school careers, and none was ever an elite shooter. Heck, I remember watching all three at the Nike Hoops Summit just in this past April and thinking the same thing.

Yet there they were on Tuesday night, shooting 7 for 16 combined from beyond the arc. That’s 44 percent. And obviously once the those threes starting falling, it completely altered Kentucky’s game-plan.

It is also hard to imagine it’s replicable over the course of the season.

With all due respect to how much all three have clearly improved in a few short months on Duke’s campus, no one improves that much, that quickly. And I find it hard to believe that they will regularly duplicate that performance. Especially against elite teams. Especially when those elite teams know that they need to prepare for the possibility that those three guys can make open jumpers.

Secondly, Duke only had four turnovers all night. Part of that I’m sure was a lack of urgency on Kentucky’s end defensively (at least that’s what John Calipari claimed in the postgame press conference) but regardless, again, I find it hard to believe that a team with this many freshman, will be this mistake-free going forward.

Finally, Duke’s non-freshmen all played their roles masterfully. Alex O’Connell hit three’s, Marques Bolden was, umm, better than expected, and Jack White had nine points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.

Seriously, read that last sentence again. Jack freakin’ White nearly dropped a double-double! If you’d had called Vegas to ask for a line on that, they wouldn’t have even been able to give you a number. They’d have said “Who the heck is Jack White?”

Again, Duke was phenomenal on Tuesday night and I don’t want to take anything away from them. But to ask them to be that good from beyond the arc, that good taking care of the ball, and get that much production from their role players for 40-straight games this season seems like a lot to ask for.

John Calipari didn’t put Kentucky in the best position to win from the beginning

As soon as the broadcast showed Kentucky’s starting lineup of Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, P.J. Washington and Reid Travis, I knew the Wildcats were in trouble. Why? Because to me that starting lineup signaled one thing: John Calipari was putting out a lineup that he believed best matched up with Duke, as opposed to the one that best accentuated Kentucky’s strengths.

Again, this is just my opinion, but it felt like Cal was playing from a place of weakness rather than strength. That he was playing not to lose, rather than to win. That’s just my opinion, and you’re free to disagree.

Still, let’s take a deep dive, and in doing so, I want to be clear on one thing: I feel bad going after 18-year-old kids personally. But as John Calipari says, “You can’t hide at Kentucky.” And certainly not after a night like last night.

With all due respect to Ashton Hagans, he wasn’t ready to be on that stage. I truly believe that Calipari inserted him into the lineup because he is the Wildcats’ best defensive player at the point guard position, and that the hope was that Hagans would create chaos on Duke’s primary ball-handlers. The only problem was, not only did Hagans not create that chaos, he also – at this point in his career – isn’t ready to bring anything to the offensive end of the court. I don’t care what the mock drafts say (which, in my opinion, have him ranked absurdly high), but right now he has next to no usable offensive skills at the college level. Yes, he’s an elite athlete. But he can’t run an offense. He can’t create his own offense against good defenders. And he can’t shoot. That’s a deadly trifecta against a team as good as Duke.

It’s the same with Tyler Herro. I love the idea of him providing instant offense off the bench like he did in the Bahamas. And I’m sure that in spots he can and should be used as a starter. But to me, moving him to the starting lineup takes more away from your bench than it adds to your starting lineup.

That’s why I would have liked to see Calipari stick with most of what worked for this team in the Bahamas. Immanuel Quickley is the best table-setting point guard on the team, so let him run the offense. Let Quade Green play at the two. Not only does he provide at least a fraction of the offense that Herro does, but it also allows Herro to remain a spark of the bench. You’re giving up size, but you can make up for it with P.J. Washington, Reid Travis and Keldon Johnson. If you want to insert Nick Richards in there like in the Bahamas, fine. Although I do think the right three guys started in the frontcourt.

But the point remains the same. The starting lineup that Kentucky put out there on Tuesday night did not give the Wildcats the best chance to win. It might cut it against good SEC teams. But it won’t cut it against a team as talented as Duke.

P.J. Washington will not play a worse game all season

To me, this was maybe the single most shocking revelation from Tuesday night outside the final score: Not only did P.J. Washington not play well. He stopped competing. I figured you’d see hell freeze over, you’d see pigs fly, you’d see Coach K sprout a gray hair or two before that actually happened.

Only here we are. Washington finished the night with eight points and two rebounds. And as my buddy Nick Coffey said in a post-Champions Classic podcast we recorded last night, it was a “quiet” eight points. Those two rebounds also tied for his lowest total last year, and he never had less than three rebounds in any of the Wildcats’ final 15 games last season.

Point being, Tuesday night was a statistical anomaly for Washington. But it was also a different kind of anomaly as well.

That’s because of all the things that I expected to see, I never imagined a world where Washington would stop competing… only that’s exactly what he did on Tuesday night. The one thing you could always count on last season was for Washington to play hard, to bust his butt… to be an alpha. He didn’t always go for 20 and 10. But he always played like he expected to go for 20 and 10, if that makes. And he showed the same attitude throughout the trip to the Bahamas, where he was probably the team’s best all-around player.

Now flip that with what we saw Tuesday night in Indianapolis. Serious question: What was P.J. Washington’s best moment from that game? I’m not sure one exists.

That’s also why if I was Calipari, the first thing I’d do when I reconnected with this team is sit down Washington, show him his body language on tape and have a long talk with him.

He’s a veteran and a leader and he needs to be better.

The good thing is, it’s hard to imagine him being worse.

On second thought, you probably won’t see a worse game from anyone outside of Keldon Johnson and Reid Travis

And if there’s a silver lining here it’s that: As a collective group, I’m not sure that Kentucky can play worse. It helps that they probably won’t face a better team all season (more on that coming below).

Now look, these individual players obviously have weaknesses. Quade Green and Tyler Herro struggle to score against length. The good news is, name me another team that has multiple wings like Cam Reddish and R.J. Barrett, who have a combined wingspan the size of Delaware and can switch on every pick and roll? That teams doesn’t exist. No team has three future lottery picks on the wing.

Down low, Nick Richards (who we haven’t even talked about) and P.J. Washington were out-toughed. But I’m pretty sure they won’t be fighting for rebounds with a 6’8, 285 lb. power forward any time soon. Mainly because another one doesn’t exist.

Look, there are a lot of good teams in college basketball.

But nobody can do the things that Duke can.

Speaking of which…

Duke is the best team Kentucky will face the entire regular season

As I mentioned up top, I don’t think Duke is some unbeatable juggernaut. But knowing what I know about everyone else in college basketball, it’s clear that their ceiling is significantly higher than everyone else’s.

Seriously, all you had to do was watch closely last night. Kansas was the team (besides Kentucky) that most people felt like was the No. 1 team in the country coming into the season. They looked really, really, REALLY good against Michigan State, and the 92-87 final score wasn’t indicative of how one-sided that game was. At the same time, Kansas at its best doesn’t have anything close to the gear that Duke did on Tuesday same. Anyone who watched both games Tuesday night could see that.

I also watched North Carolina, a consensus Top 10 team coming into the season (frankly, I’d have had them a bit lower). Yes, they were on the road, but they have major questions in their backcourt. Even at their best, the Tar Heels are not in the same stratosphere as Duke.

Maybe Gonzaga is close, but they are also injury-riddled right now. We might find out exactly how those two teams matchup since they could be playing in the Maui Invitational in a few weeks. I like Auburn. But they aren’t close to Duke. Same with Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada, whoever.

Point being, it’s a long season ahead. But one consensus seems pretty clear: Duke’s best is better than anyone else’s.

Finally, Kentucky will learn from this game

In hindsight, maybe it all came too easily early for Kentucky. They had four blowout wins in the Bahamas (Mega Bemax is SO dropping in my polls after this one), and they more or less sleepwalked through their two exhibition games.

Maybe they assumed that they could flip a switch whenever they wanted. And maybe against some teams they can. They did learn however that against some teams they can’t, and Duke is one of them.

That’s also why in the long-run, this game might end up as a learning tool. Not just for their upcoming games, but on the possibility that they face Duke again going forward.

Ultimately, we see teams in all sports learn from a loss all the time, and there’s no doubt that Kentucky will learn from this one. There’s also no doubt that if they were to face the Blue Devils again, they will come out more prepared, more focused more… ready to go.

Yes, there are plenty of reasons for Kentucky fans to be frustrated. But it isn’t time to panic. And it isn’t time to give up on the season.

It’s just one game.

And let’s be honest: There’s nowhere to go but up from here.

Article written by Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres is covering football and basketball for KSR this season after four years at Fox Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, Facebook or e-mail at [email protected] He is also the author of the only book written on the Calipari era, “One and Fun: A Behind the Scenes Look at John Calipari and the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats.”

83 responses to “Why It’s Ok for Kentucky Fans To Be Frustrated, But Not Give Up on the Season”

  1. katmandue2you

    AN ALL SYSTEMS FAILURE

    1. syrin23

      Absolutely true, and there was another factor. I rarely blame the refs, but man oh man we had a treak of 4 straight possessions where they got phantom calls and were the beneficiary of no calls. PJ Barret walks every time. They call it the “Euro-step” which is NBA speak for legal travelling.

      I disagree with Aaron about Tyker Herro, The guy made some bad shots but led the team in rebounds (!!) and assists. Our returning players showed us why they returned. They were terrible. I mean god awful trash terrible. How anyone can defend their playing time after that is beyond. Returning to UK doesn’t “earn” you playing time. Effort and performance does, and when PJ quit, I wanted them to revoke his scholarship. Reid Travis, Keldon, Tyler, etc. all played hard until the brutal end. You quit, then transfer.

    2. Wade

      Tyler should play point move the ball and wait for it to come back to hit his shots so he can move freely while people watch the ball move to the interior. He was running all night trying to get open. That’s the only play we ran and Reid just being physical. Pj ej and nick had as many boards at Tyler. Sad! Guards ain’t no good but I like Hagans attacking but we need either quads or Quickley to become the guy the other sits. Maybe platoon with d team and o team so each team can practice against what will be in front of them. We really should!!! 5 guys need to get together. We have 5 months. I never cheered by the way! That’s never happened. Does anyone watch Mayans in fx?and I’m super excited about football and my show Vikings coming back on history channel! Anyone watch????

    3. BigolBlue

      Yeah the refs cost us 40 points

  2. rtda225

    After watching last night’s game I am not sure how you could be arguing that we should’ve started Quade. He was the worst player on Kentucky last night and that is saying a lot. He was a liability defensively trying to guard one of the their three wing players and offensively he made poor passes and continued to shoot contested threes and long jumpers. Disappointed to see that from a second year player.

    1. Willis Wolf Tattoo

      No Nick Richards was the worst. 13 minutes, 0 points, 3 turn-overs, and 2 rebounds.

  3. Booby Petrino

    Mr. Torres, don’t be bringing that logic into ksr at this time… Right now the trolls and Eeyores just want to dominate the discussions.
    That was sarcasm, of course. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote. Bravo.

    1. bigbluebanana

      What’s really funny about the trolls is that the same ones complaining about L outrecruiting Cal, and saying we have no star players and that is pathetic, are the exact same ones that bitch every year when we get stars that leave after a year and they always…ALWAYS say they’d rather have several “good” players that’ll stick around. We may actually have that this year and all they do is bitch. It’s a vicious cycle our “fans” try and explain. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. That should be many UK “fan’s” motto.

    2. 4everUKblue

      Let us not forget this part of K’s resume.

      2017 – 2nd round loss to USC as 2 seed
      2016 – 3rd round loss to Oregon as a 4 seed
      2014 – 1st round loss to Mercer as 3 seed
      2012 – 1st round loss to Lehigh as 2 seed
      2007 – 2nd round loss to WVU as 2 seed
      2006 – 1st round loss to VCU as 6 seed

  4. StuckinLville

    I think this was the gut check they needed. Something our 2015 team should have had. Our guys were cocky and now they have been humiliated. Look for a different team on Friday.

    1. dUKesUKs

      Most likely the most embarrassing UK game of any sport in my life and I’m 53 years old. Definitely in the Top 3 and I can’t remember the other 2. We got “OUT” everything(d)….I guess it all started with OUT-RECRUITED! Then OUT-COACHED, OUT-HUSTLED, OUT-DEFENSE(D), OUT-SHOT…..ETC ETC. Absolutely horrible!!! Now, what will everyone involved do to fix it going forward? Go Big Blue!

    2. 4everUKblue

      Feel better now?

  5. nybrasky

    Don’t they know that success is Earned Not Given?

    1. Aar

      Earned Not Given has redshirted (purely a joke)

  6. VulcanEar

    What a horrible day. So glad when the one-and-done rule is over. Zion is like AD mixed with Lebron. IF Duke has an L, it will be because of injury. Out of everyone we didn’t get, Zion will always be #1 on the wish list.

    1. Willis Wolf Tattoo

      If any of the big 3 get in foul trouble they are taking an L. They’re also not going for 33 and 28 every night out either.

    2. eddiesuttonsliver

      duke in foul trouble? How high are you?

    3. syrin23

      Duke won’t win it all. No chance. Despite last night, they are not a great outside shooting team. They will play some defensively tough team that packs it in the paint, takes away the drives and inside game and forces them to shoot threes. Zion is going to be a fouling machine.

  7. dbake

    Here’s the deal. This just wasn’t a loss at the beginning of the season. This was more…this was embarrassing. I know most if not all that watched has to admit that there is more to this…you not only can see but feel it. UK does not lose to Duke or anyone by 34 points. EVER!!! That is why this is so significant. When we’re playing NC in December and Keldon rips the rim off with a vicious dunk over Luke May. It’s not gonna feel the same…when PJ is mean muggin in the Yum Center…nope… There is more here than meets the eye….this one not only stings it’s got a allergic reaction…never by 34..

    1. Booby Petrino

      Lordy you’re dramatic. I’m going to enjoy is winning in Louisville and would be thrilled to see us beat UNC. One loss (especially the first game of the year) doesn’t negate any happiness the rest of the season

    2. dbake

      Not one bit dramatic. It’s true. Like I said this was not just a first game of the year loss. You can see it. Hope we do beat UNC and Louisville. Play like yesterday…promise it will not happen. It’s like this we beat whomever else this year….DUKE still beat is by 34…amd if we will make it all the way….we will cross there path again…and I promise I don’t want to face a March Duke team…you think 34 is bad

    3. Wade

      They hit everything doubt they hit those shots like that maybe 10 don’t fall and we still lose by 20. I’m in shock we got a lot of work to do. Platoon time! Herro is a pg!

    4. KentuckyRob

      Don’t get your panties in a knot. You are DEFINITELY overreacting.

    5. Booby Petrino

      still seems dramatic to me, so we’ll just have to disagree. we shot like doo doo and still managed to put up 84 points. we won’t shoot like crap every game. Clearly need to work on our defense, and we will. You are running on a lot of assumptions and acting as thought they’re facts. Assumptions based on 1 game. You already have Duke in the championship game, just like a lot of the ‘sky is falling’ people around here. They are great team, but as we well know (38-1), being a great team doesn’t guarantee you a trip to the championship. ANything can happen during the course of a season. Chill the hell out…or just keep being dramatic, whichever you prefer.

    6. ClutchCargo

      Yep, dramatic. It’s one crappy game, just accept it and move on.

    7. BigolBlue

      Hilarious how people say its one game. This one game showed this team isnt good. Isnt coached well and has 0 chemistry. This team is gonna lose a lot of games. Our guard play is by far the worst Cal has had. Even worse than Harrows team. Another blank year from uk. Starting to be a trend. Cal isnt good at getting titles. Cal thought he had a good team. So underprepared

    8. Skooms

      Big Ol Blue Douche strikes again. GTFO of this board and site! You don’t post ANYTHING when UK wins by a decent margin, yet EVERY single loss or close win brings you out of your cave. You truly are one miserable troll. Yup, not a human being, you’re the dog shit that gets stuck on someone’s shoe.

    9. Booby Petrino

      Still convinced “blue” is really codered502 #trollin

    10. 4everUKblue

      Bigoldumbass can’t count so he might be coderednec502, Just curious how many games do you think this counts as?

  8. Truth_Hurts

    You know why Duke probably played their best game all year? Because other teams will actually make an attempt to play defense against them. How many unguarded 3s did they make? I hope I’’m wrong, but probably not the last 30 point loss. Kentucky has to get better defensively, especially around the perimeter, or we’re in for a long season.

    1. secrick

      You said it no defense. The thing that bothered me the most was the effort or the lack of effort.Also this team was not ready to play and that’s on Coach in my opinion. I will be watching every game this year and yelling my butt off for this team win or lose but please play hard even if you do lose. Duke is a great team.

    2. catsarerunnin

      Duke may have played their best game but that’s a very high ceiling. They won’t have to play at that level to win most of their games. They would have hammered every team in the country last night. Unfortunately we were the sacrificial lamb.

  9. davis2319

    Duke shot uncharacteristically well from three. That won’t happen again. Yes they are a very very talented team, but even they played over their heads last night, and Kentucky didn’t even show up with the exception of Reid Travis and Keldon Johnson. The only problem is, Calipari will never out coach Mike K. Our offense had absolutely no idea what was going on and was stagnant the whole game. Meanwhile on defense we were playing a 3-2 zone basically letting Williamson catch the ball at the free throw line??? He will score 10/10 if he gets the ball at the free throw line. Our rotations were not even close. No communication on baseline cuts, a ton of wide open corner 3’s. Just a horror show all around. Calipari better strap in because it has been 7 years since we last won a national championship. BBN is getting a little bit anxious and last nights performance didn’t help.

  10. rdcore2

    Good article.

    As always the fans are ridiculous on here. It was one game and we came out flat against a team stacked with talent who expected OUR best knockout punch. And we just didn’t give it. Nothing from PJ, Nick, or Quade. If they don’t shoot lights out and we actually defend this is a much closer game. Simply put, we weren’t ready and they were. If you’ve ever played sports – sometimes this happens and any team with as much talent as Kentucky WILL learn, respond and grow. We are still a top 3 team this year and you’ll see that come March (as always).

    Hot take – RJ nor Cam will shoot that percentage from 3 the entire rest of the year. Also – Duke will look like a group of freshman many times through the year.

    Other hot take – Vegas had us as a favorite for a reason – they don’t make mistakes – we just didn’t come to play, simple as that. Should we be embarrassed? Yes. Worried? No. We’re still the same team that was favored 1.5 yesterday and they’re still the same team that were dogs before. Every team in basketball sometimes has complete Anamoly’s and unfortunately ours was on the biggest stage to start the season. Oh well. Let’s go win 30 more

  11. UKinIN

    UK is 0-1. Not 0-10. Everybody chill.

    1. Truth_Hurts

      I’m ok with them being 0-1 it was the 1st game of the season. It’s a marathon not a sprint. What’s concerning is the way that they got to be 0-1.

  12. JPGott2

    Who the heck is giving up on the season?????? Anyone that does, LOL, is not close to a fan.

    It was 1 game where everything went wrong other than Keldon Johnson.

    – Poor shot selection
    – No help defense or defense in general.
    – zero pg play.
    – not an ounce of effort to speak of compared to Duke’s intensity.

    The talent an pieces are there. They just got to play team ball and spread the rock around to get the open shot. UK played as bad as it could have and still scored 84.

    This is November, not March. Take a breath.

    Go Cats!

    1. Truth_Hurts

      That’s what really has me worried about this team. Cal says all the time he can’t coach effort. How do you not get motivated to play against Duke on opening night? Other than Johnson no one even looked interested in playing.

  13. AllBall

    Our defense and passing were some of the worst I’ve seen at the college level. Why do our guys struggle with help defense and simple rotations?
    Cal’s gonna have to figure out who the best point guard option is or the offense will continue to be stagnant.
    On the bright side, we don’t need to worry about peaking to early.

  14. cats646

    It’s cause Brad isn’t playing any more. He was our best player.

    1. Luether

      Stupid post and NOT funny…

    2. cats646

      I chuckled while typing it so it served my purpose.

  15. Booby Petrino

    Kyrie is still crying about Jamaal going for 50. Maybe they played for Kyrie lol

  16. big cat

    I sure am glad it’s still football season. Love BBN and basketball cats. See you in March when it counts. Let’s roll at Neyland on Saturday!!!!

    1. big cat

      IRONIC huh?

  17. Eazy19035597

    We should know how this needs to happen now, especially after the last year or two. When you deal with freshman that aren’t a top 5 or 10 player, then they take a while to play well consistently. Look at someone like shai and pj. They just need some time. Thankfully theres football to hold us over until they work out the kinks. I still thank UK is the only team the can match up with duke, and once our freshman(IQ, Hagans,herro) start to take the next step, we will be in good shape. The starting 5 for now should be IQ kj pj Ej and travis

    1. bigblue2284

      PJ is still awful, I’m sorry it’s true. Cal hasn’t had a decent class since Fox and Monk and a great one since 2014. Cal no longer gets the top players he gets more of the top 10 – 25 range. I assure you Wiseman doesnt come to UK, watch.

  18. BPatte

    I’ve never seen UK so outclassed in my life. We looked like a high school team playing a NBA team!!!!

    1. MegatonRange

      12-15 losses minimum. Basketball season is over, just FedEx the trophy to Duke.

    2. dcforuk

      Well, if none of our freshmen would have gone pro under the old rules, then you would only be off your assessment by 6 months!

    3. dcforuk

      We will be fine! Suck it up buttercups. dUKe unfortunately is special but the rest of the teams they play aren’t at their level. They, not KU, is the best team i. The country….

    4. henderblue

      12-15 losses? Megaton you’re an idiot

  19. davis2319

    Last nights game summarized. Duke showed up ready for war, punched us in the mouth and we crawled back in our hole the rest of the game while Duke poured it on. We started playing selfishly which just fueled Dukes already white hot start. Quick shots lead to fast breaks and their fast breaks led to points. We quit. Duke is not 34 points better than us.

    1. MegatonRange

      You’re right, if Coach K hadn’t called off the dogs, Duke would have won by 60.

    2. henderblue

      Good summary

  20. SGD

    2nd tier recruits, that is what we have on this team. This is not an anomaly. This team struggled in the 2 exhibition games. They tried to play the same way against a much better team and got destroyed. The good players left for the NBA. The ones who stayed are no better than they were last year. No consistent shooters,again. Richards has no heart, not sure if we even have 5 players who do. I hope the embarrassing hanging #10 talk goes away, it won’t be this year. Duke will probably get 10 before the Cats.

    1. bigblue2284

      Cal hasn’t recruited the top overall player since Townes I don’t believe. The recruiting has slipped and so has UK now. Doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that something has changed with recruitment.

    2. 4everUKblue

      Yeah something has changed, it’s called the duffel bag drop and Duke is the best at it. We don’t pay players here.

  21. Aar

    Great article, Aaron. That sums up my feelings mighty well.

    1. Luether

      Ditto…

  22. kjd

    Their freshmen in their prime time debut kicked our collective freshmen arse in their debut.
    This is one of the worst efforts ever by a KY team. We heard talented, driven, desire, etc. Fell flat, totally.
    Oh, but they’re freshmen, we’ll get better. Yes, and so will Duke. The March roadblock waiting for us if we can make it.

  23. Chet Manley

    Terrible take on Hagans. He was our best PG last night and the only reason he didn’t create chaos on defense is because the officials took him out of it early. Hagans was the only bright spot I saw out of our front court last night. Hopefully now the UK fans will give up this obsession with Herro. A streaky shooter with zero defensive ability is not the second coming. He got dominated by a role player last night.

    The reason we got blown out is simple. A couple things didn’t go our way early, and instead of bowing our necks and playing through it, we panicked. Is Duke better than us? Yes. Are they 34 points better? I don’t think so.

    1. MegatonRange

      They’re not 34 points better, they’re 50 points better. Coach K invoked his own mercy rule.

  24. bigblue2284

    Seems to me once Wes disappeared from Cal’s circle so did the recruits.

    1. Booby Petrino

      And once we lose a game the trolls come out. Pitiful.

  25. natertatter

    ive never seen any team lose by 34 points and go on to make a final four…that was the the worst ive ever seen any kentucky team play……hard to be optimistic after that.

    1. SCCat

      What about UConn’s loss to UofL in 2014? It was only 33 points a (81-48), but it was within 30 days of the national championship game.

    2. dcforuk

      Good point SCCat

    3. henderblue

      SCCat just took your theory out of the equation natertater.

  26. dcforuk

    I cannot explain my reaction last night. Never in my life did I think I would witness UK lose by 34 points and not be mad or frustrated. It was an odd experience and feeling. Everything in me said turn off the T.V. But i knew tyler would come around in the second half and I was just too amazed by Zion. I cannot get over that he is 280 lbs, 45 inch vertical, dribbles like a pt guard and pure shooter. Crazy stuff. I think we’ll be ok but Nat’l Champ goes thru Duke. If Zion stays out of foul trouble in all competitive games, they may (yuck, cough….) run the table…..

  27. dcforuk

    That was the best team we will play all year and they played just as about as good as they will. It’s all downhill from here!

    1. kjd

      Duke’s first game of the year, led by freshmen, will be their best of the year? I don’t think so.

    2. dcforuk

      22 assists, 4 turnovers, 10 steals, 46% from three not to mention 118 points. Ok, their second best game of the year!

  28. dcforuk

    Duke lost to UNLV in finals in 1990 by 30 and beat UNLV in FF in 1991. All we are missing is the off season!

  29. dcforuk

    Great post!! A basketball season is full of hills and valleys. The hills are never as grand as they initially appear and the valleys are rarely as bad as they “feel.” Let’s subordinate our feelings to our beliefs and move on. What do we believe? Duke is very very good. We are average but not bad right now with tremendous up side. We can still make a FF run!

  30. UKfanman01

    I’m tired of hearing about it. Let’s move on. They’learn.

  31. davis2319

    Fire Calipari, hire Nick Saban!!!!!! Only way we will out-recruit Coach K

  32. davis2319

    Duke Peaked

    1. Racerr11

      First I want to say I am a Kentucky fan thru and thru but PJ did exactly what he did all last year, some games he’s Superman but alot of times you don’t know he’s out there so it was no surprise he was a no show but I expect him to improve and be more consistent this year. Losing like they did should be embarrassing to them and maybe the best thing that happened. We will be a good team this year top 10 at least so it’s not a big deal what happened just another learning lesson that Cal will fix. Thank goodness we have Cal. Puke played an unreal game and won’t shoot that good again this year, hit circus shots all subs played there best ever. We will probably get them again in the tourney so I would rather win the last one than the first one.

  33. BTownUKFan

    Why would anyone give up on this team after one game? If that is your attitude you are not a true member of BBN. THis team has work to do, as all Calipari teams do in November. We’ll be fine.
    GO CATS !!

  34. hooter6911

    Well, they’ll be Duke’s bitches all year long. That has to suck. It sucks for me living in NC. Can’t imagine what they feel like. Let’s hope it lit a fire inside of each one of them. I’m not interested at all in watching them whoop up on Southern Illinois and freaking Winthrop kind of teams for the next month. I’ll believe in them when they whoop up on Seton Hall, and Utah, and UNC. I don’t even know how good Seton Hall and Utah are though. I believed this team was special until Tuesday night happened. It’s going to be hard for me to re-gain that belief that they are something special. Those blaming this game on the Ref’s, really???? So if we had good ref’s we would have won that game?? Come on!!!!

  35. sportsbird66

    They are never anyone’s Bit$hes!!! One game into the season! Come on! It’s only 1 game of 40. They will only get better.

  36. KYCat4EVER

    Wow! So glad I have your permission to be frustrated! ?