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Burning questions for college basketball season

For Kentucky it’s two exhibitions down, the entire regular season to go. It surely feels rewarding being able to see the Cats back in action on the hardwood, and beginning Friday night in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, it will actually mean something.

ESPN writer Myron Medcalf has 25 burning questions for the 2012 college basketball season. Unsurprisingly, Kentucky is mentioned in a number of the questions and has implications in others.

1. Will Kentucky do it again? Just seven months removed from a national title run, John Calipari’s squad is expected to compete for another championship. I think last season’s crew had a unique blend of high-level talent, poise and depth. I don’t know if Cal’s latest group has the same mojo, but the pieces are there … The Wildcats are stacked again. But there’s more talent and depth at the top this year. Hard to envision a run that equates to 2012, but Calipari continues to prove that he’s capable of producing contenders driven by young stars.

It’s been said repeatedly that this year’s team is not last year’s team. Drawing comparisons aren’t fair for anybody — players, coaches or fans. But that is exactly what we keep doing. At this point, the entire college basketball landscape is mesmerized at the talent John Calipari has been able to assemble in Lexington. Most have accepted their fate as forever next-best, and still others not associated with Big Blue Nation are bored to tears with the clean sweep Calipari puts on recruiting classes.

Will Kentucky do it again? It’s hard to say this early on. The Wildcats were so good last season that it is hard not to play devil’s advocate. Realistically, the only way to go is down. Without a doubt, Kentucky will have a special team and this squad will do some impressive things. But the competition is fierce and the target is once again painted brightly on the backs of our Cats. If anyone is up for the challenge, it’s a Calipari-led team.

10. Will Nerlens Noel restore America’s love for the high-top fade? Last year, Anthony Davis sparked a national love affair with the unibrow. His successor, Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel — and other standouts such as Wisconsin’s Ryan Evans — could instigate similar adoration for his preferred hairstyle, the high-top fade. One can only hope.

Is this really a question? Kentucky not only owns college basketball they own social media trends. There is always a “thing” for Kentucky fans. The high-top will reign supreme in 2012. Expect dozens more t-shirts and hashtags to appear this season.

13. How will Missouri (SEC) and West Virginia (Big 12) perform in their new leagues? Both schools need to incorporate key transfers to excel. But if they find that chemistry, the Tigers and Mountaineers will vie for an NCAA tournament slot and challenge the top teams in their respective conferences.

17. Can Florida upset Kentucky for the SEC crown? The Gators are the SEC’s best option to end Kentucky’s reign. Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy and Patric Young give the Gators a strong core and versatility. The SEC — with Missouri and Tennessee in the mix, too — could be interesting.

The competition nationally is strong, with Indiana and Louisville being the clear front-runners for the title game. But the Cats will need to fight their way through a much-improved SEC ledger before they begin eying Atlanta. Missouri, Florida, even Tennessee are legitimate threats to the Cats in the conference, and Arkansas may be a dark horse.

The college basketball season is one of the best times of the year. The excitement from the young players, the passion of the fan bases, the sold-out arenas, the high profile teams and the underdogs, the marquee matchups, and the greatest tradition in the history of college basketball. Kentucky will attempt to defend its national title, and we’ll once again be along for the ride. Buckle up.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

14 Comments for Burning questions for college basketball season

  1. ACTS
    4:10 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    Wasn’t everyone saying that bball is down this year. There is not a single team in the top ten who could compete with last year’s UK, Ohio State, Kansas, UNC, and Syracuse teams. Maybe IU beat a couple of those teams, but they still are not on the same level and UL is the veteran team who will underwhelm. There is one of those picked every year.

    UK has good chance bc everyone is down, every team in the countyr will be a 4 to 5 loss team.

    People are just trying to pump up the NCAA bc they need views.

  2. manbearpig
    4:11 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    Lunardi’s bracketology! UK #1 seed

  3. Imactastic
    4:12 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    I’m getting a tear in my eye Stewart … Your posts a sucking less right in front of our eyes… Our boys growing up

  4. Duke Sucks
    4:24 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    I could careless about where we are in the polls the first of November. I want the kick the sh** out of Duke. Duke is the most overrated team of the last 3 years, I’m glad we get a chance to play them.

  5. Will S
    4:34 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    #4) Winning a national championship in 2010 is overrated? Can’t wait to kick the sh** out of you November 13th.

  6. Duck Fuke
    4:40 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink


    Going to be tough beating Kentucky when they keep you guys out of the lane.

  7. Mann Lee
    4:42 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    The pressure is on Uavel and Eye You.

    Both will Choke!!!

    Beat dook!

  8. Rap Music
    4:46 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    Will S, props for coming here. You deal well with all the Duke haters…I’m no fan of Duke by any means, I hope we win by 1,000,000 points and make coach K cry, but stick around…

  9. Terry
    4:58 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    after seeing both games thus far i will have to point out that Mr. stein is up for best player in the nation!! Also that Julius Mays should be a starter & maybe a point guard. Did anyone see how well he handled the ball compared to others & his passing was very good. Jon Hood has definitely improved & he works very hard on the floor & a better defender than Wiltjer!! I know that I am going to get bashed by my fellow Cats fans but this is two points that I have observed & deserves a look at!!

  10. Bradley
    5:49 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    I stopped reading when he said there is more talent and depth at the top this year. How can you have that little knowledge about something you get paid to cover? Matt, you should be able to answer that.

  11. Cant wait untill Nov. 13
    5:58 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    #5 yes especially in 2010. First off Duke in no way earned a 1 seed. Most experts words not mine. Secondly the last 1 seed came down th duke and West Virginia. That is the only year in the last 15 years that the 4th and 5 th teams where not put in the same bracket. Look it up that is from NCAA excerpts not me. Plus Duke had the easiest road to the final game in 20 years. All facts
    We look forward to that game a lot more then your trolling ass.
    #8 really. Are you surprised to find Duke haters on a UK site. I can tell your about 20 years old

  12. Computer Blue
    6:01 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t wait to see IU and UofL crumble under the pressure!

  13. Value Added?
    6:25 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    #5-Your brilliant posts lead us to think you will be leaving us soon to write the Great American Novel. Any feedback on that? Just reading your words is a wonderful experience. You bring so much to the table.

  14. Will S
    7:43 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    Duke sucks and I do too.