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Fighting the Morning After

Here’s some things we can focus on: One, we tried hard. And two, we’re still dear friends.

Who am I kidding, this sucks.  As excited as we all are for it to be college basketball season again, we had forgotten that sometimes the things we care about can break our hearts.  We didn’t have to feel that last year.  It’s unfamiliar to us now.  But the reality is this: Duke beat us, and we have a lot of improving to do.  There’s no doubt that that improvement will be there, but until then, we gotta take the lumps.

Maybe these few things will help you combat the post-loss hangover.

(1) Realize that we played the game without our point guard, and still made a great run late in the game.  Goodwin showed real poise playing out of position.  He had a 1:1 assist to turnover ratio, but did well on his free throws and was not at all a liability.

(2) Once Nerlens and Willie learn how to guard a big man, they’ll be unstoppable.  Right now, they’re being confounded by professional-level post moves that they simply didn’t have to deal with in high school.  But the hustle is there, the motivation is there, and it’s clear that they have Cal’s “will to win.”  Early in the season, that’s what you want to see.  Skills can be taught if the guys are motivated, and there’s no question that they are.  So that

(3) Check out this adorable kitten:

He’s sleeping on laundry.  How precious.

(4) How about those dunks, eh?  The boys haven’t quite figured out the “auto-lob” yet, but it’s clear that this team has the athleticism, and timing, to make for some entertaining plays.  It’s a good sign of things to come on the offensive end.

(5) We got some good shots of Seth Curry’s mom.


(6) Cal relied a ton on his five starters, playing them an average of 36.2 minutes per game.  Seriously, there was almost zero rotation.  The only two significant contributors off the bench, Polson and WCS, had 12 and 6 minutes, respectively.  That’s normally late-season form, but with the shortened bench, it was something of a necessity.  Harrow’s return will not only provide that steady, true point guard presence, but also alleviate some of the fatigue that those minutes had on the starters.

(7) Austin Rivers didn’t beat us.

(8) We didn’t have any real foul trouble, which is bizarre for a young team.  That can partly be attributed to not playing the sticky, physical defense Cal’s used to, but this post is all about silver linings anyway.

(9) Let’s not forget this:


We’re all upset, but there are plenty of things to be happy about on this November 14th.  The group therapy session radio show starts in an hour.  Let’s talk it out then.

Article written by Corey Nichols

68 Comments for Fighting the Morning After

  1. no post
    9:10 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

  2. Dear UL and IU fans, We are national champions; you are not. The end.
    9:11 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Really proud of the way our guys played last night. Completely different team than the Maryland game. Keep gettin’ better.

  3. UKfan
    9:11 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Upset? Nope, not even a little. I understand this team has a ways to go before the light comes on and I’m good with that but I would like to make a couple observations.
    1. Wiltjer is a liability if he does not shoot, he cant guard anyone with a pulse and is not a very good rebounder. He needs to move his feet, run off of some screens, and look for his shot. He either scores or he sits the bench.
    2. Both WCS and NN go for the head fakes way too much. They are so interested in blocking shots they either leave their man or leave their feet. This will be corrected during the season.
    3. Cal, PLEASE do not use Goodwin at the point anymore unless you HAVE to. The kid is to good a scorer and slasher and when he moves to PG you take this away from him.

    Keep working hard guys, you are coming around.

  4. TAXman
    9:13 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    The jump in level of intensity from just 4 days ago is astounding. I thought the team that played Friday night against Maryland was going to get beat by 20 against Duke. This wasn’t the team that played Maryland. This was a much better team, even without our PG. We’ll be scary good by January-February.

  5. Jughead
    9:14 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Cats are fine. They will beat the dookies at the end of the season.

  6. TAXman
    9:14 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Goodwin doesn’t yet know how to play in control. The nation better hope he doesn’t learn in the next 5 months.

  7. TAXman
    9:15 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I will say this though. Maryland looked far more agressive and athletic than Duke (apart from Curry). I think the Terps will play very well in the ACC this year.

  8. bluefan
    9:16 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    “We didn’t have to feel that last year.” Really? You forgot Christian Watford already? Might not be our last loss as they learn. Seems some of us took Coach Cal a little too seriously about that undefeated thing. lol

    It was a tough game very early in the schedule with a very young team. I saw a great effort, amazing talent, horrible officiating and a huge amount of heart. Proud of these kids and more convinced than ever that they will be fine. We’ll be on our way when we get the pg situation figured out. Get well, Ryan!

  9. nassau65
    9:20 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Nope, not upset at all. How many freshman laden teams in the entire country could hang with the experience of the seniors on Dook, like these kids did last night? With what Cal has done with all the other teams since he has been at UK, the game last night just showed me that by tournament time, these kids will be as good as any in the country. This is the first year since Cal has been here, that we came out of the gate, playing two really good teams. This was no mistake. I look forward to each game to see the improvements. Last night was a drastic improvement from the previous outing. Go Cats!

  10. RYNO
    9:21 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    The biggest disappointment I have this monring is I can no longer say, “LEHIGH!!!!” to Duke fans. And neither should you.

  11. Head Bussa
    9:22 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t really understand this idea that you take Goodwin’s scoring away from him if he is playing the point guard spot. He’s still going to be a scorer. If he’s a point guard, he’ll be more of a scoring point guard. It seems to me that Calipari is kind of determined to keep him playing that spot because he can see the floor, can make plays off the high pick and roll, and can throw that lob pass easier as the defense will be all over him as he penetrates down the lane. I just think Cal just doesn’t really feel comfortable with other guys running the team with the ball in their hands. I think he is much more confident of a coach with Archie having the rock. People said Tyreke shouldn’t be a PG and by the end of the year Tyreke was one of the very best in the nation.

  12. Head Bussa
    9:23 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    10 — Why? Last night doesn’t change that brutal fact for them.

  13. thewaitfor8
    9:23 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I’m honestly not upset at all. I wasn’t even upset last night after the game ended, which isn’t normal. We improved where I wanted to see improvement, and lost to a Top 10 team with veterans in the 2nd game of the season. Most of our players barely know the offense/defense and we didn’t have Harrow.

    Not upset because I think we are going to be playing very well earlier than I expected. January instead of late February.

  14. RYNO
    9:24 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    LEHIGH!!! Okay…last one.

  15. Suckitdook
    9:25 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Posts like these are stupid and pointless. I live here in this stupid state called NC. Losing to Duke for me means knocking people out the next day and unfriending. We lost the second most important game this season last night. And we waited 11 years for what we got last night?? Kentucky sucked last night. Sucked!!! And now the fans have to somehow pick up the pieces and move on, helpless to do anything about it.

  16. Suckitdook
    9:26 am November 14, 2012 Permalink


    Try living here and saying that.

  17. thewaitfor8
    9:26 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    #11 I think Harrow will take over when he gets healthy. He’s not as gifted at Goodwin, but he will run the point well. You can’t play Mays or Polson there, they’re just too slow. So until Harrow is healthy, we have to stick with that. I think it’ll take Harrow a little time to get it, but it’ll be better in the long run to keep Goodwin playing off the ball.

  18. Head Bussa
    9:28 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    15 — They sucked? That’s an extreme point of view. I think they were far from sucking. They didn’t play good, but they certainly were okay and would have beaten most teams with that level of play.

  19. thewaitfor8
    9:28 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    #16 Living where? North Carolina? I live in Louisville, and UofL fans are even saying they weren’t expecting us to be where we are already.

  20. thewaitfor8
    9:29 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    #16 Oh gotcha, you’re in NC. Yeah that probably sucks today. Just have peace knowing we are the better team in March.

  21. fish on
    9:30 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    i really enjoyed the 2nd half dunk show. man our guys were throwin down hard. i bet duke hasnt been dunked on like that in a long time, since maybe when n. carolina had stackhouse, wallace, carter, jamison

  22. Dusten
    9:30 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I took this loss so much better than the Indiana loss last year. Alex Poythress looked ridiculous last night, he’s a lot like Jones obviously. Nerlens Noel gets steals that Davis didn’t get last year. And Goodwin is GOING to dunk on someone worse than we’ve ever seen, he’s much more aggressive than Wall ever was. Get all these guys clicking and add the development of Harrow and our teams three point shot and we will be great.

  23. thewaitfor8
    9:31 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Duke had to shoot 60% in second half and I think over 50% from 3. And it was a 3 pt game with 2 minutes to go, that’s tied if Wiltjer hits the 3. We are going to be very good.

  24. fish on
    9:33 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    and if Archie cudve finished that nasty dunk attempt…wow

  25. Head Bussa
    9:33 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    17 — I think Harrow will definetely get his chances to play there, and Archie will have time to play off the ball, but I really believe the coaches feel like they need Archie running the team. This isn’t some experiment for the coaches. They have had Archie running some point guard since the very first day of practice. The concern for them is that Ryan still hasn’t shown an ability to be strong with the ball and resist, fight off, and attack defensive pressure. Until he shows he can consistently do that the coaches will feel that their hands are tied and that they will need Archie running the show.

  26. Syrin
    9:37 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Our preimeter play really hurt us on both ends of the floor. We really need Harrow in the line up. Mays just isn’t the answer.

    However, by March, this UK team is going to be AMAZINGLY good. Holy smokes are we talented. Cal needs to run some screen plays for Wiltjer, and watch the threes rain down between dunks.

  27. TheBigToe
    9:37 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    So am I the only one that thinks Seth Curry’s mom looks rather mannish? Every shot they had on TV of her I kept thinking, “Who is that guy on TV?”

  28. GoCats2
    9:38 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Never want to lose but this loss doesnt hurt as bad because I see great potential.

  29. HillbillyInBC
    9:43 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    11 – I think the point is that Archie will be even more effective as a secondary point, kinda like Eric Bledsoe was.

  30. msnthrop
    9:44 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    What is the line on KSR showing a championship ring or mentioning last years national title in any post that follows a loss by this years team? Somehow they don’t seem connected to me, but I would take the over.

  31. Will S
    9:46 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Great game, but like I’ve been saying– experience and depth won the game for Duke. Harrow is not going to help you, he will not even play in the big games in March. I would go with Mays at PG and Goodwin at SG. Can’t play Goodwin at PG, it takes away from his agressiveness and he looks lost setting up the offense. Noel is a stud, Poythress is a stud, shocked that WCS didn’t play more– Duke doesn’t match up well with athletic big men. Great game, see you guys in March.

  32. Show me the ring
    9:47 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    #30 Whats wrong with showing the ring on every post? That would be fine with me. In fact can we try to get all 8 rings on the Top of the homepage?

  33. Head Bussa
    9:49 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I completely disagree that Goodwin loses any aggresiveness when playing the point guard spot. He played it most of last night’s game and was still extremely aggressive. A lot of you people don’t want it, but I’m telling you that Goodwin is going to be playing a lot of point guard this season. He’s done it now already in two of the tougher games this season. Better get used to it.

  34. anthonydavisarmpit
    9:50 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    We didn’t lose. We just ran out of time. Sound familiar??

  35. Head Bussa
    9:52 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    34 — I hear ya Coach Self!!!!

  36. RodneyfromMcKee
    9:53 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Jerry “Tapped” Tipton…..always a jab from this turd

  37. SammyB
    9:55 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Its easy to separate the fans with a high basketball I.Q. as opposed to the fans that only know the difference between a win and a loss. Its good to see that most of the BBN are not gettin all rowed up about this loss last night, even if it is a hard pill to swallow bein that it was Duke. 6 out of 7 is a stat I don’t want to sit and ponder on for too long. That bein said this was as good of loss as it could have possibly been. Except the learning curve and move on, have to know how it feels to loose before you can truly appreciate how it feels to win, glad we got it out of the way early, don’t expect to see a L for a good while now.

  38. suckitdook
    9:59 am November 14, 2012 Permalink


    Yeah, living here and listening to all the spewed hatred from Dook, UNC and even State fans. Its hard. The world hates us, this crappy state hates us and we really needed that win last night. I needed it.

  39. RYNO
    9:59 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    12) Because we lost our bragging rights. It’s just the way it is. It’s a new year, and this is a brand new team. Until they prove that they’re better than Duke, I think all of us should give them their dues and shut up about what happened last year.

  40. Hoops Malone
    10:00 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Ryan Lemond says “eckspecially” instead of “especially”. What a dope.

  41. G-Unit
    10:02 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    where the hell is the show thread?

  42. Jordan
    10:02 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Alex Poythress dinosaur head

  43. Petrino
    10:03 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    We may have lost the score, but no way I trade our team for theirs. Way more athletic and energetic. Once March rolls around and these boys have 30 games under their belt we will be right in the mix. Duke’s boys have been together for years, and probably will be more or less the same team in March. I like our chances.

  44. Head Bussa
    10:04 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I disagree. A loss early in the season for a young team like ours is to be expected. A loss against Lehigh in the tournament is never supposed to happen. I will continue to say “LEHIGH!” until my little heart is content.

  45. RYNO
    10:04 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    12) And really, how pointless would it be to try to rub their faces in a loss from last year, when they beat UK this year? It might make you feel better momentarily, but as soon as they come back with, “75-68”, the argument’s over. They won. We have to give them their props.

  46. Petrino
    10:05 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Only bragging rights than count are the ones after the Final Four. Do we care that IU is still celebrating that lucky shot last year?

  47. UKGrad83
    10:06 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Haven’t lost bragging rights yet – UK is still National Champion. But this is a completely different team than last year and they don’t have the benefit of returning starters. They’ll take their lumps early but they have a huge upside potential.

  48. rockatao
    10:06 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    This game reminded me of early season loss to UMass in ’96, when Pitino tried to make Delk into a point guard.The offense doesn’t flow as well and you take your best scorer out of the action way too much. But how can anyone be upset over this game? They made some dumb mistakes, were out of control at times, but there were some major improvements. Noel had a very good game and Poythress was terrific. I think Duke basically won the game by playing very good perimeter defense on our three-point shooters, Wiltjer and Mays.

  49. tom
    10:06 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    3- I said the same thing yesterday morning about playing Goodwin a lot at point, out of his natural position and taking away his scoring punch and people jumped all over me in the comment section. Hope you fare better today! lol

    In my mind, Wiltjer is going to have to step up. If we had the points he is capable of, it’s simple…we win last night. Last year he had the beauty of several scorers around him and defenses laid off a bit. He passed off a lot lastyear as well. Last night, there are shots he should have taken but passed the ball. Dickie V made mention of it a couple times. Kyle has to recognize he is a big kahuna this year, take the ball and shoot. I’m sure it’s just habit but something I look for him to change in the coming games.

    27 – You are not the only one not enthralled with Curry’s mom. I’m sorry but I don’t see what folks are ga-ga about over her. Yeah, she is certainly not ugly but not worth a mention on a sports blog…as far as I am concerned. But to each his own.

  50. UKBlue1!
    10:09 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Therapy? I don’t need that with any team coached by Calipari. I needed drugs, therapy and what ever else I could get my hands on during the Billy Clyde and Tubby era. Anytime any Cat fan gets upset about a Cal coached team they just need to think about the idiot from Texas. Watch a Minnesota Gopher game it will cheer you up.

  51. Head Bussa
    10:10 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    45 — They won the battle, but the war is from over. I won’t give them an inch. They beat us because it was our best players’ second real game. Not because they are so much better.

  52. RYNO
    10:11 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    47) Give it up. We have lost bragging rights over Duke. Not for IU, UofL, and not anyone else, but we cannot continue to act like UK is better than Duke right now until this team proves otherwise. I’m not saying this team is bad or even that they won’t be the best team in the nation by the end of the year again. I’m just talking about for the near future, we have to give Duke the respect they earned last night on a neutral-pro UK crowd in Cat-lanta.

  53. RYNO
    10:14 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    51) That’s just giving excuses and being a poor sport- sounding like a UofL fan. Be bigger than them Bussa. I can’t make you do the right thing, but I think the majority of Kentucky fans will.

  54. Billdozer
    10:14 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    1- UK didn’t have it’s point guard in the Maryland game either. Face it, Ryan Harrow was M.I.A. All UK fans did was praise Polson after the Maryland game, so where was he last night?

    2- I thought Noel was supposed to be a better defender than Anthony Davis? WRONG!

    3- Awwww… an adorable kitten! Reminds me of the way UK played defense so far this season…

    4- Dunks get you on Sportscenter, but they don’t win championships. (Ask Baylor)

    5- Seth Curry’s mom probably could guard her son better than UK did last night.

    6- See #1

    7- Austin Rivers didn’t beat UK… Senior leadership did, something UK has ZERO of.

    8- Hard to get in foul trouble when you don’t play defense.

    9- Nice ring. Too bad we won’t see one this year.

    Bottom line, it’s only two games into the season but this team is lacking senior leadership, a “go-to” guy, and play defense more soft that wet paper towels. They better get it together and soon or this team will be bumped in the sweet 16. And most UK fans will find a b.s. reason to hide behind. I hear “flopping” is nice this time of year…

  55. RYNO
    10:17 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    51) See- you want to be like #54 Head Bussa? You are better than that. BBN is collectively better than that.

  56. RYNO
    10:18 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Sorry #54- You’re mostly right. I misread your post.

  57. notworried
    10:25 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    They played well, got to get Archie off the point and turn that boy loose… i agree with Dickie V we have to find a way to key Kyle involved in the offense more. THey are lost on offense that arent moving in sync and are way to crowded which is making it easy to guard them. Slow on D to but i think with communication and a little maturity they will be fine. Really looking forward to seeing this team in SEC action!

  58. Corey Nichols
    10:27 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    30 – Absolutely take the over. We take solace in what we know, and what we know is Championships. ‘Ships on ‘ships on ‘ships.

  59. bart edwards
    10:28 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Wiltjer was very good, actually. As Cal noted, Duke concentrated on taking his three-point shot away, and the other guys didn’t step up when they did that. Kyle had four assists and no turnovers, plus hit on half of his threes and had three rebounds. Not a bad line at all on a night when Duke concentrated on taking him out of the game.
    Curry’s mannish mom looks like an Alaskan Malamute sled dog in the face. Corey’s obsession with her calls his sexuality into question.

  60. bart edwards
    10:33 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    And on defense, Kyle Wiltjer held SENIOR Ryan Kelly two popints below his last season’s scoring average. And last season Ryan started only about half the games. A very solid effort from Kyle.

  61. notworried
    10:48 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    and 54 is a troll!

  62. 15 is an idiot
    10:54 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    15— you’re stupid and pointless.

  63. Love this team
    10:55 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I’m loving this team!

    Great comeback against some veteran players.

    We counted the amount of times a Dookie player fell last night. 37. 37 times they fell down. Not just falling down but throwing themselves down! Coach K must spend a whole lot of practice time perfecting the flop and falling for no apparent reason

  64. big blue Trev
    11:13 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    I would have liked to see more of WCS, Why did he only play 6 minutes

  65. Oohlala
    11:22 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    Our guys played at least twice as good in this game than any game yet. They took a very good veteran team to the wire. They could have tied it in the final two minutes and put all the pressure on Duke. Hell they played without their true point guard and again had to fight the whistle. Sure, Archie played out of control at times and the big guys got beat at times. This is freshmen basketball. Who got into foul trouble??? The freshman Noel or the senior Plumlee??? Noel obviously gave him trouble and showed signs of how good he is going to be. Good times are coming in Rupps house and by the end of the year these guys could be really tough.
    Also I heard the twin towers need a nickname. I’ve got one. THE BEASTIE BOYS.

  66. Billdozer
    11:38 am November 14, 2012 Permalink

    #56 – No worries and thanks.

    #61 – Typical response when someone drops knowledge. I’m sure you’re next response will be “Whatever…”

  67. Oohlala
    12:06 pm November 14, 2012 Permalink

    It confounds me that a great coach like Coach K would accept his team flopping. At one pnt in the second half Mays cut under the basket and no. 15 for Duke just fell down as he went by. Luckily he didn’t get the call that time. Charging calls have become the bane of basketball. If any player on any team intentionally puts himself in front of the driver solely for the purpose of trying to draw a charge it should be a blocking call. The purpose of the charge is for when a guy just runs into a stationary player. When that player intentionally steps in front of a guy at the last minute it’s just bull. It cheapens the game.

  68. Big Whoop
    12:24 pm November 14, 2012 Permalink

    It seems almost every time we play Duke since ’98 it is during a down period and we lose. The ESPN guys were loving every minute of it. Makes me grind my teeth.

    Our team has a lot to work on, but by March I think we will be very competitive. Last night was like watching 5 Teagues at the same time last year. However, you can clearly see the potential. My only real disappointment was not guarding the three point shots.