The 2013-14 season is here, and Kentucky will spend the entirety of it trying to atone for the disaster was the 2012-13 season. John Calipari’s team is trying to do something that no team in the history of college basketball has ever done: Win a national championship relying primarily on 6 freshmen who were McDonald’s All Americans. With disappointing losses to a whole bunch of teams, the team will fail to reach its ultimate goal of perfect season, and will instead try to console itself with a national title. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*No Questions Asked: When UK played at LSU Tuesday, only about 6,000 fans showed up. This isn’t the first time this year that the Cats have been greeted by a less than full house on the road. When they played in Dallas in December, only a fraction of Cowboys Stadium was filled. What gives? Are opposing fans less than impressed by this latest group of Kiddie Cats? It sure seems that way. Some Big Blue Defenders would argue that winter storms had an impact on the small crowds referenced above, but that excuse simply doesn’t pan out. For one thing, basketball has always been played in the winter, and winter has always had snow storms. So why is this just now becoming a factor? For another thing, look at the 2008 SEC Tournament. Hardly any people showed up to watch Kentucky play Georgia in the quarterfinals in Atlanta that year, and there wasn’t a snow storm in sight. In fact, it was relatively warm outside. So say what you will, but the fact of the matter is that while teams like Duke and UNC are attracting over 30,000 fans for road games at Syracuse and Syracuse, respectively, Kentucky’s crowds are getting smaller. Sign of the times, I guess.
*Go Your Own Way: On Tuesday, Kentucky lost to LSU. Two days later, reports surfaced that the Harrison twins would not be entering the NBA Draft. Presumably, this means they are transferring. Though this hasn’t been confirmed by the Harrisons themselves, they would not make this announcement until after the season ends. Whenever they do make it official, however, one must question the prudence of this decision, as one would not think the twins would want to sit out a year. In other words, this means they are apparently transferring to an NAIA school, which really makes no sense at all. But then again, I’m not the one who broke the news. Could this be why 5 star point guard Emmanuel Mudiay spurned Kentucky for SMU? Yes it could.
*Say You Love Me: Yesterday, 5 star defensive tackle Matt Elam picked UK over Alabama. This was on the heels of the big announcement that UK is spending $45 million to build a new football training center and practice fields. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Clearly it shows that the school is emphasizing football at the expense of basketball. Could this be why the basketball Cats have underachieved this year, and have already racked up 5 more losses than Calipari guaranteed they would? Recent history suggests that if UK has any hopes of winning a national title in hoops, the football program must be abysmal. In 2012, the basketball Cats won a national title, which followed by an embarrassingly bad 2-10 record in football. There are many other examples of this phenomenon, but there’s no use in belaboring the point. The bottom line is that while UK football coaches were saying “Yahtzee!” UK basketball coaches were saying “Sorry!”
* On this date: On this date in 2014, Northwestern has never been to the NCAA Tournament, yet is undefeated against Indiana this year.