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Can Coach Cal Break Through At Bud Walton?

Via Fansided

Coach Calipari has accomplished nearly everything a coach can accomplish in the Southeastern Conference. Multiple unbeaten seasons? Check. Multiple conference tournament titles? Check. But with Coach Cal’s many honors and accolades there is one task that has eluded him as head coach of the Cats. That is to leave Fayetteville, Arkansas with a win.

Three trips and three losses. That’s Cal’s record inside of Bud Walton arena. Need a refresher? Let’s take a walk down memory lane:

2011: Arkansas 77 – Kentucky 76 OT

Via bigbluehistory

Coach Cal’s first trip to Arkansas was an absolute barn burner. Former Cat, John Pelphrey, had a Razorback team that had lost 10 in a row to Kentucky, dating back to 2001, and needed a win against the Cats to have a shot at keeping his job. Rotnei Clarke did his best to make that happen with 26 points to lead all scorers. Brandon Knight’s desperation 3 fell short and the Cats fell to 1-6 on the road in the SEC. It would be Kentucky’s final loss until the Final Four.

2013: Arkansas 73 – Kentucky 60

This is the game where the wheels came off on Kentucky’s 2013 season. Prior to this one the Cats had responded to the loss of Nerlens in Florida and an embarrassment at the hands of Tennessee with a three game home stand that had them back in the NCAA Tournament. Then the Cats entered Bud-Walton arena, turned the ball over 17 times, gave up 19 offensive rebounds, and Ryan Harrow quit the team. The season was all but over from there. As 2013 and 2014 demonstrate, trips to Arkansas can either break or make a team:

2014: Arkansas 87 – Kentucky 85 OT

Man, this one still hurts. First, you have the unbelievable play that Alex Poythress makes with 15 seconds remaining. The one where he comes from the opposite block to sky over 3 Razorbacks and make the play only Superman could make. Then Andrew Harrison, who drilled a three to force the first OT, makes a desperation heave to a wide open James Young and he evens the game. It was a foreshadowing of the Refuse to Loseâ„¢ mentality and late-game heroics that would come to define the 2014 team.

Unfortunately a second overtime wasn’t in the cards. James Young takes the final play off and whiffs completely on the box out when Michael Qualls finishes the game with authority. It’s a tough way to lose but maybe one that paid dividends when the Cats had to finish games against Wichita St, Louisville, Michigan, and Wisconsin.


So now Coach Cal and the Cats have another chance to break the Bud Walton curse. Like most years, Kentucky will once again they will have the more talented team. But also like the other years, Arkansas is desperate for a season defining win and will put an 8-1 home record on the line. Kentucky needs to pick up another SEC road win as the schedule only gets harder after Thursday. Do you think this will be the year Coach Cal breaks through at Bud Walton?

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

10 Comments for Can Coach Cal Break Through At Bud Walton?

  1. The Rest of the story
    9:11 pm January 18, 2016 Permalink

    This is not a strong road team so a loss will not surprise me. Duke lost at home tonight to that cheat Jim Baldhiem. Three losses in a row now for the Pukies this one at home too. Cats are in good company it seems.

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:37 pm January 18, 2016 Permalink

      Score prediction for the game?

  2. scottg74
    9:41 pm January 18, 2016 Permalink

    For some reason, I can see us winning this game.

  3. UK Big Board Update
    9:48 pm January 18, 2016 Permalink

    Man, a crappy Syracuse team beat Duke at home. Coach K a horrible in game coach, who obviously didn’t prepare for this team. He can recruit, fine, but he has more talent, and should be winning this game. They look like they don’t have a clue. He shouldn’t be so worried about displaying Ingram as an NBA prospect, and use the guys at the end of the bench who want to fight. I’ve said it before, and got bashed, but K is one of the worst game coaches in college.

    They can do a lot better with the proper play calling and coaching. I’ve said it for years, Coach K is one of the best recruiters in the history of college basketball. He’s an incredible motivator. He’s also a horrific in game coach. He does not allow his kids to make a mistake and play through it. He does not set up the right game plan for each outing. When the talent is off the charts, it’s easy to overlook K’s play calling shortcomings. When it’s an “average” team (by Duke standards), it’s painfully obvious…stop screaming, intimidating, bullying, and just COACH.

    He just got out-coached. I don’t expect Duke to win it all every year and I don’t expect them to do anything this year. He depends on talent to win games and the years they don’t have 5 NBA players on the team, he can’t coach. When I say he can’t coach, I am talking about setting up plays, setting up ball screens, curls. Only problem is, teams have them figured out. Clog up the middle and let them shoot 3s. You would think Krysjakxjxkswski would “tweak” something, set up plays, but unfortunately he does not.

    AAU ball has ruined the game. A 5 star is someone who can drive and dunk. Watch the mix tapes of their wonderful recruits year in and year out. Dunks and layups. No fundamental skills like ball handling, defense, jump shots or team play.

    • I don’t know if I agree that he is a horrific in game coach, but his in game coaching is exactly why UK was able to come back on them in 98. Tubby coached his pants off.

    • bluesyCat
      11:49 pm January 18, 2016 Permalink

      Lol Big Board. I can’t tell if you’re joking or not but this is one hell of a troll if you’re going what I think you’re doing

    • CATandMONKEY
      5:20 am January 19, 2016 Permalink

      These are all comments from UK fans- with UK and Cal replaced with Duke and K. These comments look pretty stupid when aimed at Duke and look just as ignorant in their original form, coming from supposed UK fans.

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:38 am January 19, 2016 Permalink

      Thanks, CATandMONKEY.

      I didn’t say it, they did.

  4. DT in DC
    9:52 pm January 18, 2016 Permalink

    I want to believe we can win. But Bud Walton is a tough place to win even with a team that plays well on the road. Hopefully they are fired up and ready to prove they can win a road game this year.

  5. bluesyCat
    11:51 pm January 18, 2016 Permalink

    We are gonna win this one because Arkan-saw the future. They aren’t better than us and we are about to right our ship. Cal steals this one behind Ulis, briscoe, and solid performance from Skal and Willis. Also…that dunk to win the game is just too brutal.