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A Few Quick Late Night Vegas Notes


Vegas

This is what happens when you are forgetful. Normally this Sunday night slot is mine, but since we are out of town, I meant to find someone else to do it. I forgot and so I have had to leave my seat at the Lagasse Sports Bar (where we cashed 5 of 6 tickets today…money on the second half NFL lines…not money when betting against Eric Bledsoe) to come give some notes. It has been a fun trip, highlighted by a bizarre interaction with Jay Z (he wasnt fond of my picture taking), Drew hurting relations with Germany and watching a random person win a million bucks. But we will get to that on the radio show this week (live tomorrow from Las Vegas at 10-noon, 7 am local time). For now, a few quick thoughts on the weekend in UK sports land:

I am not nearly as down about the UK loss to UNC as others seem to be. I saw a lot I liked about the UK performance, specifically the continued improvement of the Harrison Twins. The Twins gave their best game of the year and Andrew Harrison was a baller throughout the contest. While they made many mistakes (and Andrew’s passing and free throw shooting still need much work), they looked like guards who can be elite, and we havent seen that for all the games this season. I also loved the fight of these Cats…on the road, with the crowd into the game and UNC shooting well, the Cats fought and stayed in it. They didnt get anything from Julius Randle (who had his worst game at UK), but they found a way to grind and got to the basket at will. It wasn’t perfect (clearly because they lost), but there were good signs in this loss and thus I am not apocalyptic at all.

— With that said, it is clear that I/we overrated this team at the beginning of the year. I thought this team was going to roll…I never thought 40-0, but I did think they would get through the year with only 2 or 3 losses and would put some beat downs on teams…and that simply isnt happening. The loss to Baylor hurt (the Mich St and UNC losses arent the worst thing), but more importantly, the team just hasn’t gelled like I suspected they would. There are a lot of theories as to why, and depending on who you talk to it could be the players being overrated, the fact that you cant win without a few veterans or that Calipari hasn’t done a good job finding how to get this group to play together. I can’t pinpoint the reason to my satisfaction yet (there are nuggets of truth in all the above but there are also counter points as well), but regardless of the why, the fact remains that I missed the boat on how good they would be right out of the gate. I still think the talent is there and this team can be excellent by the end of the year. But I no longer think that is certain and a lot remains up in the air. You win some and lose some in the prediction game, and on this one, I didn’t make solid contact.

— There has been a lot of negativity around UK land (from what I have seen from afar) since the UNC loss and I can understand that. People want this team to get #9 and right now that feels like a long way away. And most of the points made, while occasionally blown out of proportion, are understandable and valid, as the problems are evident. But two things are being said that I definitely do not agree with on the topic. One is the idea (to be fair, put out by one of our writers on this blog) that Kyle Wiltjer would have helped this team significantly. Look I love Kyle, but the problem on this team is defense more than anything else. The Cats are still 5th in the country in offensive efficiency, but it is there 59th place finish in defense that is causing issues. Wiltjer would have only hurt in that regard and probably would have played little. He could have been of major impact next year (when they will play a different style I assume), but I dont see any major change if he were on the team. As for the notion of “leadership” of a veteran, Kyle was quiet and not the leader type. I would not see him taking that role this year either. Second, this team is not like last year. Yes, they are struggling and yes they have been overhyped. But last year’s team was fundamentally flawed and then collapsed when its best player went down. This team has all the pieces there, but the question is only if they connect. They clearly arent 2012 (which I thought they might be), but it is also clear that they arent 2013 either.

— While there are opinions to the contrary, I now feel good about Matt Elam to Kentucky. This could of course change, but with just a couple weeks to go, a source I trust has made me feel that Kentucky is still in the driver’s seat. Most around his area believe Alabama will be the pick and one certainly wouldn’t be shocked to see him pick the best program in college football. But as of now, I like where he stands and when I make my first 247 Sports Crystal Ball picks this week, I will put Elam in the Kentucky category.

— Finally, a shout out and prayers to Stevie Johnson, who played after his mother’s passing this weekend. The picture above is him at the game today and we wish nothing but the best for one of the most fun (and talented) players to walk the sidelines in Lexington.

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Tune in the show in the morning and we will be back in Kentucky and towards normality around here by tomorrow night.

Article written by Matt Jones

62 responses to “A Few Quick Late Night Vegas Notes”

  1. ukfan

    Matt getting on the crystal ball, sweet! Congrats man

  2. Ukbradstith

    Unc was favored for a reason. Anybody that knows basketball knows this was our toughest game of the season, and I think overall we played our best game so far. The Baylor game is the only game that really worries me.

    1. Gracie

      I agree 100% — I don’t understand why some people are freaking out.

  3. Oldschool lives

    It’s not really negativity – but reality setting in that the one-and-done, players’ first mentality is not really the best way to continue the great tradition of Kentucky basketball.

    Many fans were lulled into acceptance of Cal’s unorthodox ways in the first few years. Deep down they may have grimaced when Cal made his “NBA draft night is most important moment in UK history” comment, and they squirmed in their seats a bit every time he calls UK a Players’ First program, but the final four trips, the title, the instant wins all seemed to abate those concerns.

    But the good times turned sour last year, which to be honest, was the very first year in which Cal’s team was really all his. His success previously was in at least some part (and at times in great part) due to returning players such as Patterson, Liggins, Harrelson, Miller, etc. But last year we saw the Cal effect in it’s purest form and the results, by UK standards, were horrendous.

    This year, despite the preseason number one ranking and boasts about the historic nature of this freshmen class, Kentucky’s record is 0-3 against ranked opponents. Fans are rightly opening their eyes and wondering if the system truly is the best fit.

    I would caution fans not to put so much blame on the players. They’re just kids. Sometimes they may act spoiled or entitled – but not too many 18-year-olds who have been coddled every since they could touch the rim would not be. The responsibility lies on the adult in charge.

    My advice for UK fans, even those still in love with Cal – is to at least proceed with caution. Remember that Kentucky is the king of college basketball- a claim earned over decades and not something bestowed in the wake of Cal’s first three years. Kentucky basketball is special, and deserves to be treated as a treasure to the people of this Commonwealth.

    The head coach is to protect the program, and our duty is to make sure it’s done in the right way. UK fans who are beginning to wipe the slumber from their eyes and raise a few eyebrows are not some crazed reactionaries – they are fans who love Kentucky more than a single coach. We must look out for the long-term success and health of the program, and that sometimes requires asking questions and not blindly-following any coach, regardless of how smooth he may sound.

    1. ukfan

      Well said but I disagree with a lot of things you said. Coach Cal is still the perfect fit for the head coaching job at Kentucky and I hope he stays here 10 more years. Not all of his players leave; Poythress, WCS, Willis, D. Johnson, Hawkins, and probably a couple more surprises from this years team to be quite honest. Last year was not Cals fault, when Nerlens went out all hope went down with him. Every year his teams get better towards the end of the season, a day and night difference almost. This team is STACKED and I think once conference play starts we won’t lose another game, and even if we do we will still win 6 in March, then you will be writing a new long post on how you were wrong about Cals teams.

    2. mashburnfan1

      ukfan…. we all are uk fans but you are wrong. Last year was Cals faulkt. He built thqat team and they got worse as the season went on, even prior to the injury. Very few quality coaches have teams get worse as the season goes on. With Nerlens we, MAYBE, make the tourney but would have been gone in one game. Losing to RMU he can never give an excuse for. I can get 8 guys from work and compete with RMU. Cal is not, never has been, a great game coach. He usually is a great recruiter, seems to be slipping some, and he is fun to have as a coach as he does a lot for the area.

    3. ukfan

      You’re an idiot dude.. seems to be slipping some in recruiting? How is that?? Please hit me back, I’d love to hear your reasoning, I need a good laugh. How bout you call in to Matts show tmrw and tell him that, see what kind of response you get. Lmao

    4. ukfan

      Also, Cal is not to blame. He always coaches his teams to be in the position to win games, it’s not his fault they don’t execute. If our players hit their free throws we are undefeated and still number 1 in the country. It’s the players shooting at the line, not Cal.

    5. Izzy Honorable

      Lotta good points.

      In re last year: No point guard + loss of Nerlens Noel = No Core team.

      U of K played about as well as could be expected against UNC in Chapel Hill.

      While they do need Blue Julius, it was good to see what they could do as a team otherwise.

      Obviously, experience matters; so a somewhat challenging pre-soft-SEC is good as they will get better.

    6. UKAlum

      I am as big of a UK fan as the next guy but you speak of the program as if it saved your life at one point. It is a college basketball program, that’s not something that should be “treasured”. There is a big world outside of KY, I would suggest experiencing it.

    7. VaCatFan

      Oldschool Lives is on the money. I have been a UK fan for the past 42 years. I have seen the greats and the not-so-greats. I cheered the championships and cringed with the probation.

      I was skeptical when UK first hired Cal, but have grown to be a loyal supporter and loved his outreach programs and his teaching the young men there are other people in the world besides them.

      But as Oldschool Lives said, the past two seasons have been real eye opening situations for me. In the first three seasons there were times I questioned what Coach Cal was doing, but things seemed to work out in the end. I now firmly believe the 2012 Championship Team was more about the players talent overcoming at times coaching deficiencies. Last year’s team was No. 1, as is this year’s team. I bought into the hype along with most others that this could be the greatest assembling of freshmen in collegiate basketball history. The longest, most athletic UK Wildcat team in recent memory or maybe ever.

      This weekend just confirmed what I had hoped was not true. UK has played three good (ranked) teams and was beaten by each. My family all attended the game in Chapel Hill, driving 5 hours to sit in the whited out Dean Dome. I was somewhat shocked at the reception UK fans and players received while there. Beginning with the boos (I mean horrendous) the team sustained from the very loud and boisterous Tar Heel contingent. Anyway I digress……

      Andrew Harrison = Archie Goodwin (coast to coast drive the lane, make it or pray you get fouled). It was horrible, I cringed each time he touched the ball, knowing in my mind what the outcome would be. I thought the point guard mentality was to pass first, box score reflected he had 7 assists but I was hardpressed to recall but two, 4 turnovers which included some horrendous telegraphed passes. It was alot like last year when we watched Goodwin or Harrell dribble incessantly, the dribble-drive without the drive. Harrison took eleven shots, making 3 (1 three pointer) and the rest of this 17 from the charity stripe.

      Meanwhile the the 4 most physical imposing players (Randle, Cauley-Stien, Johnson and Poythress) took a total of 20 shots the 40 minutes of the game. Johnson took 4 in 7 minutes, which is a much better minute to shot ratio than any of the other 3…..Those same three had 63% of the rebounds.

      I could go on for hours, I have relived that game over and over in my mind, replaying what was done right and what was done not-so-right. Ultimately, I agree with what was said earlier. Its not the boys fault, they only do what is allowed by their coaching staff. I found myself wondering why Coach Cal was not looking to his bench and seeking to find a combination that worked.

      I watched as he sent Lee to the scoretable only to pull him back and reinsert Alex. Lee may have been what we needed at the moment.

      I cringed to see Coach get whistled for a T with 1.9 seconds left in the first half. Taking even more of the momentum out of UK’s sail and placing it into UNC’s. If he’d have just waited till halftime to blow off the steam at the refs. Perhaps we’d have went in at halftime tied or at most down by 2 instead of 3.

      All the way back to the beginning now and to Oldschool Lives……this season seems to be developing into a repeat of last year. I pray not. I hope this team and Cal find themselves and the right combinations for a truly successful run through the conference and into the tournament.

      If not, I may have to put away all the blue I have for awhile, it can get pretty hard to live in SWVA with all the VA Tech, Tennessee, Louisville and UNC fans around me.

      Randle has become the new old Poythress of 2012-2013. Relegated to rebounding and never looked at in the post or the transition. On more than one occasion he was posted up only to find himself double teamed or with our point guard and a wing on the same side, making defending that whole area too easy for UNC to defend. The only way he could take a shot is if he tried to create something himself off a rebound, of the top of key (where they would give him the ball every once in a while when they were in trouble dribbling).

      .

  4. mashburnfan1

    I guess you don’t count defense as “ballin” or playing basketball. On the O side Andrew played better, although turnovers is a problem, on defense he kills this team. Look at the 1st 9 points UNC got, 7 were caused by Andrew in addition to Aaron and WCS getting early fouls as a result. Andrew makes little effort to get back on defense and when he is back in half court defense he loses or leaves his guy and we get burned. On a missed Young 3 Andrew was almost at half court yet was third guy back across half court on outlet pass that lead to points and a foul on Aaron, even Young beat him back. But why give effort when Cal leaves him out there anyways, 37 minutes in UNC game.

    1. Bledsoe's Biceps

      Well stated and I agree. Andrew makes zero effort to play D, especially getting back to stop fast breaks. Yet, Cal fails to use his much deeper bench to coach/teach him a lesson. Oh, Cal will get pissed and pull him for a play or two, but Andrew knows he’s going right back in.

  5. Jimharris

    Being old school myself, I tend to agree with Oldschool on some of his points. I have found it impossible to “know” any of this year’s players or have strong supporting feelings for them as individuals—except for WCS. And when they let MY school lose to every good team on their schedule, I am sick and tired of the talking heads, including Dickie, talking about how obvious their talent levels are and how good they’ll be come March. BS!

    This is not UK football where 5 star players are nonexistent and 4 stars rare. This is UK basketball with it’s great tradition–and expectations–and 25 stars on the floor most of the By the time we get into the SEC schedule and it’s perceived weakness, it is too late to prove our “greatness”. The season is a lot more than simply preparing for a few weeks in March/April. It stars in November. It has substantially more practice time now than before

    AndI would like to see one iota of evidence that the 5-star guys give a diddly squat for UK, it’s history, etc., in any way other than as a springboard to the NBA riches.

    1. UKAlum

      The game has changed, so have the players and it is never going back to the way it was. You need to clear your head of guys caring for UK history, how many SEC titles we’ve won or how many foul shots Kyle Macy hit. Just enjoy watching the game and stop worrying about whether an 18 year old appreciates the wonder and depth of a college basketball program. You’re basically getting to watch NBA All-Stars every year for a way discounted price, enjoy it. I know I do.

  6. Brad Darnell

    If Cal doesn’t switch to a zone defense we are going to the NIT again this year. The Harrisons are terrible on defense. I have went back and watched almost all the games on DVR (slow motion and pause) and the Harrisons cannot guard a lamp post. It is like having two wiltjers on the floor at one time. A Syracuse type 2-1-2 could eliminate this problem as well as solving the touchy fouls the refs are calling this year. I like the Harrisons on offense but we have to do something to cover up their severe liability on defense. Coach Cal has to coach the guys he has, not the guys he thought or wishes he had.

  7. Buckets

    So is this the most overrated, over-hyped team in history, or just since last year? Either Cal needs to do a better job coaching these “superstars” up, or he has to stop recruiting a completely new team every year. It’s beyond frustrating watching these guys play terrible defense, miss free throw after free throw, and complain about every foul called on them as they put both hands on their heads in disbelief. They were built up to be the greatest recruiting class in history and a team that was going to dominate this year, and I feel like we’ve been sold a bill of goods.

  8. Jatt Monez

    All I have to say to you UK fans is: DUH!

    Just because fans from opposing teams tell you that your teams are overrated, that the one and done philosophy will come back to haunt you, and that Calipari can recruit but can’t coach, doesn’t mean it’s just trash talk.

    Reality is catching up with you guys and it’s proving us right. Honestly I’ve been saying it since at least the MSU game; elite 8 at best. Honestly that’s being generous! I don’t think this team is terrible enough to miss the tournament this year.

    Let’s be honest though. Even if UK get’s it together and makes the tournament, that doesn’t mean teams like Baylor, UNC, MSU, and others are going to stop getting better. They’re not going to wait on you guys to catch up. For that reason, and not just because I hate Calipari and how’s he’s turning college basketball into NBA D-League, if I had to bet money I would not put you guys past the Elite 8.

    1. ukfan

      I’d take that bet, how much?

    2. Buckets

      Dear troll,
      You sure seem to (think you) know a lot about a team you are not even a fan of. Get a life, maybe?

    3. UKAlum

      How is Cal turning it into the D-League? I think you should go talk to the NBA and the NBAPA about lifting the ban on high school players.

    4. I am right because I say so

      I think the jury is still out as to whether history has proven you right or not and yes I do think your dislike of Calipari drives your “conclusion” of “reality.” The thing that amuses me with Calipari haters such as yourself (and in the media) is the ignoring of the inconvenient truth that all these horrible “one and dones” are also being recruited by the beloved UNC, MSU, Dukies, and other media anointed programs of the world. It just so happens that many of the recruits are opting for Calipari and UK. Yea I know that if the recruits did accept the offer from the other schools, these schools would stand by their honor and principles and withdraw the scholarship offer (Oh wait a minute that has never happened) . And please leave your canard about Calipari “buying” the recruit in the bag unless you have some specifics to offer as this is the equivalent of asking some random person whether he is still beating his wife.

  9. aengr

    I have been watching (and listening to) the Cats for almost 60 years……..over that time you could tune in and rest easy that reguardless of who the opponent was the Cats would give a superior EFFORT…..thats how you win 80+% of your games over 100 seasons……the last two years have not been that way…….I say its time for the sulking and whining to STOP…….lets put an all-effort team on the floor……..start Hawkins, Polson, Lee, WCS, and Poythress…….Hoodie (if he can play), Johnson and Willis can be the 6-7-8 men and the whiners and sulkers (otherwise known as the Kiddie Kats) can help with the towels and the chairs and keeping up with the balls (if they can find any, or grow any) and stuff…..

    If this team can’t beat Belmont at least we will go down fighting and clawing ….maybe the KK’s can work their way back into the line-up or maybe not……

    1. BPM

      I don’t disagree with your effort comment but the lineup you propose gets us blown out of the gym. We would average about 20 points a game. In my opinion the effort was there against UNC but it is the execution (on both sides of the ball) that is lacking. Also, I don’t get the Hawkins lovefest from alot of people. I like the kid alot and he will be a solid contributor for us over the years but he is a total liability on offense.

  10. Drubar

    I watch the team this year and all I can say is: “Where is the fire?” They seem to play with no emotion. It is always said that “we are everybody’s big game,” but when are we going to play as though we’re in a big game. North Carolina should have been it.
    It seems to me, we spend a lot of time complaining about the call we should have got or the call we didn’t agree with than encouraging each other on the court. Against UNC, Randle really struggled. We spent way too much time trying to get him going and not enough time trying to get the offense going. Too many isolation plays, not enough movement. The only isolations that seemed to work is one of the Harrison twins driving the middle and drawing a foul. But with the way we shoot free throws, what advantage is that.
    We like to run a pro-style offense and with all these “pro talents” on the team, it might seem like a good idea. We’re not in the NBA, it is the NCAA. When the team you’re playing is big, athletic, quick, and talented. When they actually do have some experience, which we lack, and go to a zone, isolations just don’t work. I think we have talent, you can see it in the players. I have heard Cal say before, if the option is talent or experience, he would choose talent. One could only hope that we could have both. What good is the best recruiting class in the nation if they are all gone after one year.
    I hate it when I hear Cal say, this is a players first program. The last time I checked, if there wasn’t a program, there would be no need for the players. The last championship team was the perfect blend of pro-talent freshman and pro-talent upper-classmen. Davis, MKG, were outstanding, unselfish freshman who wanted to win. The next level was on their mind, but they also seemed to be motivated to win. Miller, Jones, Lamb, were experienced upper-classmen with talent that stayed and loved the Wildcat nation. It’s hard to find those type of dedicated kids, but it sure would be nice to. I hope this bunch turns it around, but if they play with the NBA on their mind, we will struggle, win a few games, but struggle against the big boys.

  11. Tubby smith

    pump yourself up fans hahahahaha…when i had bobby Perry and sheray Thomas i couldn’t coach even tho i never went to a N.I.T a UK but the slick Italian is almost 15 stars away from 2 N.i.ts

    1. Bledsoe's Biceps

      Most people gave Tubby a lot of credit for his coaching ability. It was his recruiting that became non-existent and lead to his downfall. He was never going to be a NCAA title threat with players like Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas, Woo, Shagari, etc. Sure he could get to the tourney, but at UK that’s not enough. Thus the reason Cal is catching 7 kinds of hell. Unless this team has a total collapse, they will still make the NCAAA tourney, but that’s short of the expectation.

  12. Kittyfan

    Our need is for an experienced player ala Patrick Patterson. This is the sort of veteran that helps the freshman gel/not get too excited along the way.

  13. IowaCat

    Not saying cal can’t coach because that’s just dumb, but this team doesn’t reflect that on the court. They don’t look we’ll coached right now, that’s frustrating but I expect it to change. This team is one of the tallest teams at every position that I can remember in college basketball in a long time, which could make them a very dominant zone team. I really hope they utilize that after the break.

  14. RexRox

    All I can say is some of you guys have short memories. Cal has done very little wrong here. If the players don’t care about Kentucky, why do so many come back in the summer? Why do so many former players tweet about loving the BBN? Why is the charity work by UK players under Cal almost never mentioned?

    As for tis year’s team, I feel very good about the possibility of getting #9. There are really no huge problems. TO’s (this will improve with simply more time together on the court), FT shooting (hopefully gets at least a little bit better) and defense (again, simply more time playing together should improve this area). I mean, what team out there scares you? What game is going to be tougher than UNC @ Chapel Hill?

    These guys have lost three games by a total 14 points. I feel very good about March.

  15. Cracker

    Wiltjer would have been on the bench with the rest of the whites. Cal does not believe in playing honkies.

  16. js

    Mr. Johnson, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, my prayers are with you during a very difficult time.

  17. CheerLeaderMatt

    I’ll pump smoke up your butt till it comes out your ears !!!!

  18. randomer

    No offense Matt but just because some half wit KSR writer (is there any other kind anymore?) wrote that Kyle Wiltjer would help this team doesn’t mean anyone else believed that to be true.

  19. Matt Jones

    The Harrison twins are stone cold killers. UK will dominate college basketball.

    1. Texas

      Well, they were when they played in my state. Randle too.

  20. big blue

    I say go after Travis Ford!!!!

  21. CasualGayReed
  22. Michael F. Jox

    Matt, it’s cool cause not too many people believe you know what you’re talking about anyway. Andrew gave no effort ot guard his man at any point in that game, but he was a “baller” all game according to you? HA!

    I’m still waiting for us to go ZONE against UNC. I mean, they had one shooter, we were in early foul trouble, and we can’t guard a soul! Of course that’s no reason to play zone, Cal. Of course not. And go ahead and get beat by a long inbound pass twice while you’re at it.

    1. Texas

      Take it easy on Matt. He’s a sweet kid and you know kids think they know everything. He’ learning. You should more concerned with the UK coaches. The wrong one is recruiting me. It should be Stoops, not Cal. What the hell do I know about basketball? I’m football 24/7. I didn’t even know what basketball was until the millennium.

    2. Lernsumhistory

      Texas Western played a little hoops a few years ago against a pretty good coach and team… Just sayin…
      History is a bi6ch

  23. Steve D

    The classic phrase,”There is no I in team” comes to mind with this group. I have never seen a bigger bunch of individuals. I will not use the word team for this group, because they are not. The some total of the offense is who ever has it is going to shoot it. I’m poor and can’t afford $125.00 a month to watch TV, so I went to a friends house to watch the game and have never seen a bigger bunch of cry babies when it comes to foul calls, it is not just the twins with attitude problems. “Shut up and play ball”. This group has been catered to since they were 5 years old and aren’t use to having a coach on their case. The AAU leaches (coaches) do not make the “stars” play defense. This group will not win any titles, not even an SEC title.

    1. UKAlum

      Yet you can afford internet? BTW, TV doesn’t cost $125 a month.

    2. Steve D

      A family of 5 grossing 50K and paying for 3 kids in Catholic school and medical bills does not leave any extra. It is all about family and priorities.

    3. red headed step child

      Steve, wrap that rascal. Family of 5 on 50k???? What has Obama done for you?

    4. Nono

      Perhaps you should of gotten a better paying job before pumping out kids.

    5. Steve D

      family of 5 including my wife and I; and Obama hasn’t done a thing for me. I did not vote for him either time. Obamacare sucks.

    6. UKAlum

      That sounds like a sad existence.

    7. Steve D

      Life isn’t always easy, but money can’t buy everything. Faith, family & friends is what it is all about.

  24. klassact32

    I agree with Matt. I am not worried about this team. I thought they played well. Yes, there are area’s they can improve. I was worried about this stretch of games just because of the inexperience. I see nothing but upswing for this team. Their inexperience is losing games, it is just that simple. We are losing to quality opponents by a slim margin, beating the teams we are supposed to beat, take away the Baylor game. I am seeing the defense improve each game. I think we win against U of L and that springs us where we need to be.

    1. RexRox

      I’m with you klassact32. This team is going to be okay. Still wouldn’t trade championship chances with anybody else. They are definitely much further along than the 2011 team was at this point in the season. And those guys turned out pretty good. Keep the faith BBN!!

  25. Brian

    I like Cal on an individual level and think he has the perfect personality for the UK job, but the constant reloading & having a new team filled with freshman on the floor every year is getting a bit old and annoying. Sick of watching a bunch of clueless early season struggles every year. Attendance at Rupp shows I’m not the only one.

    Oh, and the shitty free throw shooting every year is impossible to watch. A 3-star recruit that has been in college for 3 years is going to be better than most 5-star freshman.

    Cal needs to get him an NBA assistant on the bench to help him with in-game adjustments because he makes absolutely zero.

  26. KYillusion

    As a balanced UK fan, I honestly don’t see it panning out for this group. I hear about all their talent from KSR and this ‘waiting period’ our fan base is hoping for, but each time a player shows development another one disappears from the moment.

    After the collapse of last season, I actually bought into Cal’s statements/philosophy regarding a deeper bench, holding players accountable, and playing with more pride throughout the season. However, I don’t see anything close to that mindset from these players or Cal’s coaching strategies. Didn’t Cal joke about having a game where 6 or 7 players could score 20+ points? Maybe the mental development within our program is lacking due to Cal’s offseason approach.

    We still need to survive Belmont and UofL, but I seriously question if this group has the maturity and discipline to go get a win on the road vs. programs like; Arkansas, LSU, Missouri, Miss St., Ole Miss, and Florida. The Cats could seriously be a (5) seed going into this year’s tournament, that’s a hard reality.

  27. markky

    twins have been the biggest disappointment. defensively they are not that good….ESPECIALLY, Andrew= OVERRATED BIG TIME. Next, would be TEAM effort which has been embarassing but getting alittle better. It’s unbelievable that Cal cannot get this team to communicate and take care of the ball any better than they have……

  28. Wedding Planner

    Will anyone be surprised if Marcus Lee transfers? He is freaking McDonalds All-American and Polson/Hawkins get more minutes than him

  29. klassact32

    Another point I think needs to made is the amount of talent with college basketball teams this year. There are some great teams playing this year which, let’s be honest, was not there in 2011 or 2012 in my opinion. When we won in 2011 I think there were maybe three or four teams I thought could win. This year there are 10-12 really good teams that could win it outright.

  30. Lewis

    The players have to take responsibility, they have to want to win at this level much like they did at the HS level. Coach Cal can bring in the best of the best but if their focus is not on the current team, the current season, then these are the results. I like this team still and I think the sky is the limit for them but they have to take pride in THIS body of work much like they did in HS.

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to be in the NBA, nothing wrong with the way Coach Cal brings kids in here and calls the program “players first”. But, the players have to want to win and take pride in the results, have pride in “I was a champion at this level” before moving on. So far, I don’t think they have. I don’t see the effort needed to be a winner at this level. A great collection of talent, but not a great team.

    Finally…this team is NOT an NIT team!! This team will make the NCAA tourney! Beyond any doubt, this team makes the tourney! Seeding mwill not be great due to the current losses and makes the road tougher, but they are making the tourney!

  31. $1.75 Tacos?

    Every team that has a “good” PG, he has a season best game against UK. Cal wants to be a member of the “I do not play zone, so I am cool club”. Every other team in the country are capable of playing a zone if they need to. With the rules this year you can not hand check, so to win you must be able to play zone some.

  32. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door

    Prayers for you and your family Stevie.

    1. WonkaWonka

      Is that going to bring her back to life or something?

    2. WakaWaka

      Dang WonkaWonka, you are a total bad ass or something.

  33. Bo Lanter's fake hair

    Cal does not make these stars responsible. Poor free throw shooting and poor defense should not be tolerated at all. You can’t make free throws or get back on D you sit. Eventually they’ll understand. Randle needs to touch the ball on most of the sets…..unfortunately, the overrated undraftable twins are icing him out….its obvious.
    Cal you don’t need practice, you need a coming to Jesus meeting with these stars and get their heads right. Play right or sit!
    Bo Knows!