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If UK Is Left Out, What Doomed The Cats?

Yes it all seems like a bad dream. The year started with high expectations and another top class but now we limp into the postseason likely to miss the NCAA tournament. Even worse? Indiana, Louisville and Duke will probably land #1 seeds and accompany Florida as teams with a great chance to make the final four. So which ever one of you out there made that deal for championships last year and next thanks a lot (But seriously, I’ll take it).  If the Cats are left out of the tournament this year which factor will you be focusing on as the reason we’re on the outside looking in:

Lack of Signature Non-Conference Wins

When the schedule was released for the year the non-conference was severely lacking. With North Carolina on hold for a year and Indiana refusing to play on a neutral court our usually strong schedule was left short for one year. Duke and Louisville were the only two games against ranked opponents and offered our only chances to secure resume building wins early in the year.

The Cats ended up finishing both those games close but just couldn’t find a way to get it done and with just two great opponents on the schedule the room for error was slim. Looking back now if the Cats could have just gotten a couple extra baskets in those games they would be well in the tournament. Still losing those games didn’t exactly hurt UK. The much more damaging event from this year was the bevy of disappointing losses:

Too Many Disappointing Losses

The story of the year could easily be summed up as one step forward, two steps backward. Each time it appeared Kentucky had turned the corner there was just another head scratching loss. The Cats always seemed ready to play in games that mattered (Missouri, Florida, Ole Miss) and then lose focus against teams like Vandy, Texas A&M, and Baylor. I wonder if the team could go back and replay the season knowing the outcome how different it would be. I think we would see them bring the passion and intensity we saw in the big games to the small ones as well and what a difference that would have made.

Most of those bad losses came late in the year and on the road. Not much of a coincidence those losses came after the Cats lost their best player to a torn ACL.

Nerlens Noel Injury

The Cat’s longest win streak of the year was five games which helped them claw back into the AP top 25 for a showdown against the Gators in Gainesville. Post Nerlens UK went 4-4 with 4 double digit road losses which leaves them in their current position. Losing the potential defensive player of the year is going to have a major impact on your team and I think if Noel was still healthy there is no question the Cats would be well in the tournament right now. We wouldn’t be spending all this time looking at bracketology and RPIs. Noel going down was just a significant as the games we won and the games we lost.

 

The first three years in the Cal era have been nothing short of spectacular. If this year does end in a trip to the NIT I’d take it in exchange for the elite eight, final four, and championship along with the title coming next year. Which of these things do you wish had gone just a little differently so we weren’t pushed to the edge of the bubble?

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

100 Comments for If UK Is Left Out, What Doomed The Cats?



  1. Cals Cats
    2:36 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Noel’s injury of course. We win at least one of those games if he isn’t hurt. We only needed one more!



  2. Korean Tacos
    2:37 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    What hurt this team most is too many guys were willing to let others win the game when we played weak teams. Against weak teams guys just felt they didn’t need to play as hard.



  3. blueblue
    2:37 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I have to say, it looks like UL is probably the hottest team in the country going into the tourney. I looked at their schedule. They went through a strectch at the end of Janurary where they lost three in a row the last week of Janurary. Other than that, they have two losses on the season, a 5 point loss to Duke back around Thanksgiving and the 5 OT loss at Notre Dame on Feb. 9th. That ND loss was their last loss. They have won 10 in a row since then, 9 of which were double digit wins. So, take out that one week in Janurary, and they’d probably be an overwhelming favorite to win this thing.



  4. soggyUKgrad
    2:39 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I wish you guys would stop writing like we have already won next year’s championship…has this season taught you nothing?? it is HARD to win with freshmen, no matter how high they are ranked in their class.



  5. Hicks
    2:43 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    With Nerlens we were obviously a tournament team but we still weren’t any better than a 7, 8 or 9 seed. This team lacks two major things that all good teams have. Confidence and cohesion.



  6. Kykiller
    2:44 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    @4. They can’t stop writing like that because college kids at UK are even worse now than 20 yrs ago. I have suffered thru loses since 73. I know how special a team like last years was. We may b good next year but freshman will not win us a trophy every year.



  7. Should They Still Be Allowed To Stay In The Lodge?
    2:46 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    1. LACK OF HEART
    2. LACK OF WILLINGNESS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS
    3. LACK OF INTEGRITY
    4. LACK OF WILLINGNESS TO BECOME A MAN
    5. IT’S A BUNCH OF HALF ASSERS
    6. LACK OF INTELLIGENCE TO SEE OVER A 10 MONTH SEASON THAT THEY AREN’T LISTENING TO THEIR COACH BECAUSE THEIR HEAD IS FILLED WITH HOW EVERYBODY ELSE IS CAUSING THEM TO FAIL.

    It’s everybody else’s fault.

    Anything else?



  8. Marshall Henderson
    2:48 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I am basically giving UK the ole stinky pinky with my performance, Ole Miss in = UK in the CBI.



  9. Ares
    2:48 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Inconsistency, injuries and lack of tenacity were problems. Harrow out for a bit, WCS out and obviously Noel added to an already shaken situation. UK has to play with a sense of ergency in every game and we just did not get that cross the board night in and night out. Outside of Nerlens defense every game who brought it every time they stepped on the floor? Really no one and how many games did we get beat out on 50/50 balls. How many games did we miss a lot of free throws or have a lot of turn overs? I think it was the perfect storm and I think we just were without a real floor general. I like all these kids but we never really gelled. Again inconsistent and I think what has Cal, most cat fans and even some players frustrated the most is that some games they really did bring it and compete on the highest level.



  10. BBN
    2:49 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Calipari badly misjudged Ryan Harrow & Alex Poythress and missed out on too many recruits the past two years that could have helped this team — Shabazz, A. Bennett, A. Oriaki, D. Wells, A. Kazemi, M. Harrell, J. Stokes, T. Lacy. Add to that Cal is a below average game coach who is stubborn to a fault. Add everything up and you get NIT. Hopefully we get Randle on the 20th.



  11. mashburnfan1
    2:49 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    this group got worse as season went on. They played better in 1st two games of season. Looks like the more you tried to coach this group the worse they got. But the biggest problem is you need veteran players PERIOD. We had it last year and all top teams this year have it.



  12. ClayCountyCat
    2:51 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Pitino suspended Kevin Ware about 6 weeks ago. Look how much better that kid has played since then. Cal should have done the same thing with a few of our guys and taught them some tough love. But Cal would never do that. Shows a lack of testicular fortitude on Cal’s part.



  13. Japrick
    2:53 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I wonder why they haven’t already sent us our championship trophy for next year. Apparently there’s no reason to play the games.



  14. Tom Seaver
    2:56 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Glad I read this. I had no idea why we had a bad season, by our standards. Should have included the coaching change as a reason we lost. Since we got that new coach, things haven’t been the same since last season.



  15. HillbillyInBC
    2:57 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Missing out on a PF. Add one of Bennett, Harrell, or Oriakhi to this group and everything changes.



  16. Todd
    2:58 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I would say losing too many games doomed us 🙂



  17. Tom Seaver
    2:59 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    16. That’s insightful. You could write for KSR.



  18. bob mugge
    2:59 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I really can’t say this team would have played harder in the regular season if they’d known the outcome. The outcome was in doubt in Nashville in the SEC tourney. Vanderbilt annihilated us. We were awful. There is only one guy who brings it every game that starts and that is WCS. Polson always plays hard. We have no man to man defense and Cal needed to recognize that earlier on. When we made our run on Vandy we were in a zone and went right back to man to man and got blown out. Our defense is ALWAYS out of position and Harrow nor Archie can guard anyone in the league. It is not a pretty sight. I don’t see us in the dance and don’t think we earned it. They could have been a good team they didn’t develop. they didn’t do what they were told to do. they played for themselves individually. They needed to watch film of last years team,… 2013 –14 look out.



  19. Turtleman
    3:00 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    You all are right about people all ready counting on next year team winning the tournament before this year is even over with. Just like last year when Noel said on ESPN that we was choosing UK people then came on here and said the championship was UK and no need to play the season with all of the talent that had been signed for the 2012/2013 season. Well I guess they were wrong again!!



  20. barn
    3:01 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    the final nail is being driven now in nashville–ol miss leading by 4 with 1:30 left



  21. DowntheRoad64
    3:01 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I’m having trouble with all the UL love we are seeing. Have you guys totally forgotten that Peyton Siva is still the starting PG for UL. They WILL NOT win the NCAA’s. End of story.



  22. Cal'sFrontButt
    3:02 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Marshall Henderson is about to jam his entire fist up all the Cayut’s fans collective asses.



  23. barn
    3:03 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    6//freshmen will win every year, if they are good enough. i think the past 3 years pretty much shows what can be done with a team of freshmen



  24. Ctoafn
    3:04 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Losses. All that matters.



  25. Cal'sFrontButt
    3:04 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Here I am! Still begging for attention. Ya feel me? I am all class no doubt. My mommy didn’t give me enuff love so I need it here…



  26. [email protected]
    3:05 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Noel’s season ending injury was the demise of this team, period. You can talk about coaching and heart all you want, but the bottom line is the talent on this team besides Noel is a bit over hyped. I suspect that not a player on this team will be in the NBA within a couple years. Maybe Stein will make a good 13th man somewhere for 5 years but the rest will be in China or somewhere else playing. I say let’s all take a deep breath because next year we have the #1 class coming in next year. Plus, just maybe we will add a couple more studs to the roster and the haters will be biting their lips next year.



  27. DowntheRoad64
    3:05 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    12) I guess you know exactly why Ware was suspended, or should Cal just randomly suspend players? That would show real balls wouldn’t it? Some of you guys need to go root Karen out of the way and assume your rightful place in Pitino’s lap.



  28. Cal'sFrontButt
    3:05 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I have a way with words. I have never read a book but look at how I use the English language. Some say I am gifted. Others…



  29. Cal'sFrontButt
    3:07 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    What do you think about my posting names? I have several and they are all really clever. But that is me in a nutshell. I can’t really put together an analytic post, but I can still beg for your attention.



  30. knight_blu
    3:08 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    the problem is our players weren’t as good as advertised. in retrospect, these freshman do not add up to a #1 recruiting class and goodwin and poythress are not “1 and done” talent. I do not feel sorry for this team, they had ample opportunity get in and lets face, we are not good enough.



  31. barn
    3:08 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    18//don’t you think cal went back to man to man aginst vu is because they were killing us shooting over top of our zone?



  32. DowntheRoad64
    3:08 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    22) Does he think we body packed some coke?



  33. cals right hand
    3:09 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Ole miss just popped our bubble if it wasn’t already popped.



  34. 8generationsblue
    3:10 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Freshmen were not as good as touted and did not develop. (Except Nerlens) bad point guard play all season which did not improve. Lack of passion and fight. Good moments were just that, moments. We had an off year. I’m not down. It happens. We’ll be back next year!



  35. What?
    3:10 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I think Ole Miss was in before this.



  36. turtleman
    3:10 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    OH wait did we not beat Ole Miss and they have won the SEC Tournament!! That should help UK get into the NCAA.



  37. DowntheRoad64
    3:11 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I forget to go to Church today, didn’t I?



  38. Marshall Henderson
    3:11 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Blow me!!!



  39. mashburnfan1
    3:11 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    23} teams that win it all have veterans, as did we last year with Miller, Lamb and Jones. I count Lamb and Jones as Soph veterans cause they had the experience of a deep run the year before. Freshman can be stars and enough of them, like us last year, can be most instrumental. Still we needed the leadership of the vets several times including title game when Lamb was huge for us. Ole Miss just won so UK is officially out of tourney, no way SEC gets 4 teams.



  40. Joe
    3:11 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Ole Miss just got the last bid. KY is now out.



  41. mashburnfan1
    3:13 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    This really confirms how bad the SEC is, Ole Miss is terrible and they are champs. College basketball is horrible this year and UK with $6 million coach and top ranked class can’t make tourney. Pathetic jobs by all involved this season.



  42. KY Realist
    3:14 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Unless they expand the field to 75, UK does not deserve to get in. Bottom line.



  43. For Rent Sign At Coal Lodge
    3:14 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Ole Miss wins the SEC tournament with grit and heart.

    A perfect example for the children wearing UK jerseys to watch and learn.

    It was fun to watch and the players took responsibility for themselves. They have 5 fans. And they embraced them all.



  44. Rebel
    3:14 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Ole Miss just snatched any lingering hope. Hello NIT.



  45. Stanley
    3:14 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Even if Ole Miss lost to Fla they deserve to be in much more than KY.

    Will KY get in or not . . does it really matter? This team ain’t going nowhere. Give the slot to a team that deserves it.



  46. DowntheRoad64
    3:14 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    38) You just can’t keep your mind off blow, can you?



  47. m
    3:15 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    well ole miss won..



  48. DowntheRoad64
    3:15 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    45) I think any rational fan would agree.



  49. Mr Obvious
    3:16 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Lack of strong PG play. Cal even said so on the ESPN all access special. Harrow has no strength or will to win. He doesn’t make other people better. Once he knew he wasn’t hitting against Vandy he should have stopped shooting. A PG has to have a good BB mind. Harrow does not!



  50. mashburnfan1
    3:17 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I will now focus on the positive. At least by losing Friday we are now rested for our NIT game which will prolly be Tues or Wed. We can now give a team like Charleston Southern their biggest victory ever.



  51. James
    3:17 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    NO HEART.

    By the way, Ole Miss just nailed your coffin shut. UKAY sUcKs!!!!



  52. Lakesidecatsfan
    3:17 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    We will most likely return most of this years freshmen next year. But in the context of leadership, they won’t have tournament experience that those in posts above say we need, calling them veterans. Only Kyle will have NCAA tournament experience. Hopefully somehow we get in still. Even though it will take a miracle.



  53. Cal'sGut
    3:17 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Spread them cheeks real wide Matt Jones.



  54. caller
    3:18 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    49: do you think harrow will be at uk next year?



  55. Mr.Coliseum
    3:20 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Has ticketmaster posted the nit tickets for tuesday nite yet. Let’s go win the nit championship. It’s a trophy. What does Memorial hold 12,000 maybe, i’ll be there rooting hard. Who do you think our opponnet will be?



  56. Reality Check
    3:22 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Since Cal likes to give to charity (where everyone can see and pat him on the back), will he donate his 6 million dollar salary? He has 5 all-americans on this team, plus Stein. He [email protected] his pants this year.



  57. DT in DC
    3:24 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    How about the lack of FT shooting? A lot of those games could have been won had we shot a respectable precentage at the FT line.



  58. Biff
    3:24 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    They were doomed bc they suck donkey balls.



  59. DowntheRoad64
    3:26 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    56) Those All-Americans that you speak of- those were in High School, right? Is that the same as Division I basketball or different? I’m confused.



  60. Jim
    3:26 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    A pitiful coaching job by Cal, and he’ll tell you the same thing.



  61. dave
    3:27 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    being candy asses

    lazy play

    inconsistency

    no leadership

    poor attitudes

    shall I go on???



  62. Stanley
    3:28 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Harrow is a soph. If the Harrison PG is a one and done, Harrow would be a senior the following year. Experience does matter on the college level. He could be good by his senior year. He showed flashes of being a good player this year with little college play experience on a discombobulated team.



  63. DowntheRoad64
    3:29 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    57) Has to be the worst collective FT shooting team that I can remember. That’s what is so funny about all these people jumping on Pitino’s tip. As bad as we were, we were only four missed FT’s away from beating them AGAIN @ home. They will be back home watching the trophy presentation before we know it.



  64. John Anyman
    3:31 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Sad



  65. 4real
    3:32 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Sean Woods turned out to be right all along. The players had a “sense of entitlement”. To misquote an old TV commercial, “How do you get into the NCAA tourament? The old-fashioned way, you EARN it.”



  66. Stanley
    3:36 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    #63 – Louisville has a really good team, KY does not. What’s your point. Pitino, as usual, has his teaming peaking at tourney time. Dieng didn’t even start against UK coming off a 7 game absence with a broken wrist. Get real.



  67. Ritcheycat
    3:37 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Blame it on George Bush.



  68. Plan B
    3:37 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    What do I wish went different? I wish everybody hadn’t talked up Harrow as much as they did. “Oh, wait till next year. Wait till you see how awesome Harrow is.” Give me a break. Poythress is also a huge disappointment. Has he ever seen a basketball? What should have went differently is these selfish players realize they aren’t the lone superstar anymore and need to play together like the last Cal teams. I sure hope these kids thinking they are going to the draft have a backup plan because there is no way in hell they are going pro. Unless they want to go play in Turkey or China. Maybe the selfish (e.g. Poythress), uncommitted (e.g. Poythress), and flat out pathetic (e.g. Wiltjer and Poythress) can transfer to another team to free up scholarships for actual basketball players.



  69. John
    3:39 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Our problem was chemistry..archie and poythress were flops, nerlens injury killed us. When you recruit its a chance you take. There isnt much difference in the top 100 players. Every so often you get a team like last year at UK and they make a run.



  70. Blue4ever
    3:39 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Let’s go ahead and get this NIT thing going so Mercer or Charleston Southern whoever we’re playing can beat this bunch of prima donna’s like rented mules and get this season over with. We need to hurry up and cycle out the three viruses that have infected the program ASAP. Everyone jumped down Sean Woods’ throat but he was right about this bunch.



  71. stevem
    3:40 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    what doomed the Cats? players caring less about their success than the fans. Scew ’em.



  72. RichmondRob
    3:43 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Our bench wasn’t even mediocre + passive starters practicing against players worse than me = terrible. Cal will never have stars on the bench but I’ll bet he’ll have better talent to sub & practice against than this. I believe he has learned a valuable lesson this year and he’ll never have a team perform this poorly again.



  73. Ridge Runner
    3:44 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Uncoachable players



  74. MikeD40
    3:46 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    In 30 something games, how many pump fakes have u seen from our team this year? It may sound silly, but this team is not only incredibly soft, theyre fundamentally weak as well. 2013-14 can’t come soon enough



  75. Horsepower
    3:46 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    yes, what 61 said



  76. Cat Merrill
    3:47 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Also, for whatever reason, disappointing seasons from Poythress, Wiltjer, Harrow, and Goodwin.



  77. DribbleBucket
    3:48 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    All Access, weak home schedule, losses, lack of strong PG (Harrow was never intended to be the primary PG – Teague was supposed to be here at lease 2 years), and no heart – to name a few. I could go on and on but it’s a moot point now. Bring on football!! Will look forward to Big Blue Madness.



  78. WinstonBennett Love Machine
    3:50 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    The one consistent position for all of Cal’s teams have been the point guard, Rose, Evans, Wall, Knight, and Teague. Lamb was a serviceable backup to Knight and Teague. This year’s team had all backups, Harrow, Goodwin, and Polson(Beckham out); they could all carry the team but for limited times and situations. Harrow at 170(150 more likely)just isn’t physical enough for this level of D-1 ball, never more evident than his inability to finish layups. Cal failure to realize this after Harrow spent a year red-shirting and didn’t bring on a starting guard. He tried to mold Goodwin into a point guard but couldn’t bench him because he had no option. Archie’s shot is flat which cause defenses to guard the drive and he doesn’t have the pass first mentality. Kyle is limited cause defenses don’t have to double any of the players. Alex has great potential but didn’t play like an exceptional freshmen, but next year he will show his real talent. Mays isn’t a starting guard at this level either, mid-conference player but should have been a spot relief. Again – it all starts and ends with not having a D-1 point guard. Not thrilled with how the season went but better days are ahead for UK. I trust Cal will learn and will adjust his recruiting strategy to balance short (1 year) and long (2-3 year) term player development. WCS was his first recruit that fits the long term approach, we need that in the point position because it is so critical. It concern me the vitriol on this site with personal attacks – I don’t think we should say we hate this guy or that guy, we just had too many players that were asked to do or put in a position that was beyond their ability regardless of the level of coaching. I would recommend that Kyle work with a track coach to improve foot speed, running technique, and quickness or he is forever a 10 minute bench player.



  79. DowntheRoad64
    3:54 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    63) I don’t if know you missed it, but we ARE NOT GOOD, and lost by 3 points AT YUM! You can ride with the birds if you want, but I’ve said it all year, that they are not winning the championship. Siva is the best player on every opponents team in the last 3 minutes of every close game. Hasn’t changed in 4 seasons, and isn’t going to magically change now. You’ll see what is real.



  80. HackRichards
    3:56 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    DUH Does anyone remember the TWEETS at the beginning of the year from a last year player who insinuated that these guys needed to spend LESS time withe their WOMEN friends and MORE time in the GYM? I read it right here on this site. I am thinking it was from Doran Lamb but am not sure.



  81. James
    3:56 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Cheatapari just ordered a whole stack of untraceable pre-paid credit cards. He needs a good back-up point guard for Harrison next year!



  82. Jerk
    4:02 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I would say that scoring fewer points than our opponent is the reason we lost so many games. And not being able to guard the other team and not playing with any kind of effort, and not being able to hit the ocean, standing in it I might add, is another reason. And the first rule of leadership is, it’s always your fault. So love cal all you want, it’s his fault. Good recruiter just not the best X’s and O’s coach, and he let the players go to much, they just would not listen to him. All this together is why we sucked this year.



  83. Bob
    4:08 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    80, you’re right. It was on TweetBeat. Doron said there was too much cuffin on this team.



  84. msnthrop
    4:10 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    I’d put it primarily on recruiting priorities. None of Cal’s first three teams here were without veteran players who had some character and I think too many people dismiss the influence players like Patrick Patterson, Perry Stevenson, Josh Harrellson, DeAndre Liggins, and Darius Miller had on 10, 11, and 12 teams. When you bring in top 10 high school recruits, who know they are leaving in a year, they need to enter into a space where maturity and teamwork are the primary messages they get from their teammates. Cal and the assistants certainly try to instill this kind of ethic, but I believe a large amount must come from the culture of the team that here when they get here. When you have no veterans, you have no team culture. The problem is I don’t see Cal learning this lesson yet and he continues to recruit only top 20 players who all expect to leave ASAP and given that everyone knows that is how he recruits I don’t see how he gets a guy to come here who will definitely stay long enough to become a leader and “culture bearer” in the locker room. The guys that get better after practicing and getting occasionally into games over the first couple of years, and then potentially improve to the point they can start once their juniors or seniors, can go to another school right away and start. There is no incentive for the kind of player that can be developed to come here because they know Cal will recruit a top 20 guy in their position every year. Without those veterans in 10,11,12 I don’t think any of those teams make it as far as they did and Cal really needs to figure out a way to get a long term culture of effort and teamwork that persists from year to year even when the top kids come and go.



  85. Big O
    4:10 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Sometimes you win — sometimes you lose! Rolling the dice with a new group of talented high school ballers each year is like rolling dice. This year those high school ballers were not as talented as advertised. Plus the return players were not ready to be prime time performers either! Down year by BBN standards. We are not a NIT school. Cal whiffed this time around.

    Compare UK to Vandy. They had no BURGER BOYS and were terrible in Jan. UK had 4 if you count Noel. Our class ranked 1 or 2. Vandy ranked ??? In March Vandy had improved and UK? Which begs the question. Does Cal have to have the best to win. Most coaches can win if they get the best?

    What went wrong? It’s all on John Vincent Calapari.



  86. kes
    4:12 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    frankly,this team does not deserve a bid, and i think it would be a crime if they recieve one. there are more deserving teams



  87. Tony Edelen
    4:25 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Simple to what cost UK….. Number 22



  88. mudcreekmark
    4:29 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    72) That was my argument at the beginning of the year. How can you get better when you don’t have anyone to practice against. At the beginning of the year here would be your scrimmage:
    Noel against WCS
    Poythress against Wiltjer
    Goodwin against Hood
    Harrow against Polson
    Mays against Beckham
    Other than Noel and WCS making each other better, tell me how this made players better?



  89. playersfan
    4:38 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    What doomed the Cats? Other than they can’t shoot, rebound, or play defense! Maybe not enough effort?



  90. Stanley
    4:40 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    None of these guys had played together in college before. Except for Julius Mays, they hadn’t played hardly any time period. 18 and 19 year olds except for Mays and Polson. The crap many of you people are dumping on these kids is incredible. Hope you don’t show up at my son’s little league game.

    Hell, Lebron, Dwayne & Bosh had a rough first year. It’s more than talent. Look at Miami in the ACC. 1 6 year Sr, 2 5 year seniors, one 4 year starter. These kids haven’t even had time to learn to play the game.



  91. oldschool
    4:50 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    The problem was a personnel issue. First, there were not enough good players. This team was basically comprised of 8 scholarship players, and several walk-ons – two of which would probably not even make the Transy team.

    The head coach is responsible for personnel.

    Cal is obviously an excellent salesman. But how is he as a scout/recruiter? Does he actually do any recruiting? Or does he simply log onto the scounting services, circle the names of 10-12 top 30 players each year and begin his sales pitch.

    Why not go out here and scout these players. If he had, he may have discovered some of the qualities that may have been lacking in this years’ squad. He may have seen Poythress truly plays like an 18-year-old kid and he would have learned Poythress was not going to be a sensational freshmen. Maybe he would have learned that Harrow was soft, sensitive and not very reliable. Maybe he would have reoognized the ‘me-first’ aspect of Goodwin’s game.

    Instead, I think Cal gets hung up on numbers and rankings of players instead of taking the time to get to know them.

    Of even greater concern however, was the lack of a bench. The bench truly is a coach’s greatest motivator, but when you don’t have one, you can’t teach. Cal couldn’t teach this year.

    I’m somewhat optimistic from many of the posts I’ve seen hear, comments on other blogs, and personal discussions that more and more people are starting to see the pitfalls of the one-and-done philosophy. I would hope that Cal would be humble enough to admit that he truly needs veterans on his squad – and not just 5-star 18-year-olds. If Cal can use this as a learning experience and re-evaluate his philosophy, he could emerge a better man and better coach.

    If not, Cal and UK may continue to suffer both on the course, and in our image.

    UK fans – demand that this proud tradition do it the right way!



  92. Mike
    4:55 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Cal really got exposed for coaching flaws this year. There have got to be at least 5-6 coaches in SEC alone that are better game coaches thn Cal He has gotten by on talent levl up until this year. Whether it be offense or defense, we didn’t show anything this year. Pitino is head and shoulders above Cal on coaching level and look what he has done in last few years with the injuries he has had etc.



  93. AshCatFan
    5:04 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Would rather lose a play-in game than win the NIT.



  94. bung
    5:19 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    48 points…slow moving, low scoring, wont pass, low assist, no picks, stall ball, contested shot offense.



  95. CAUKFAN
    5:44 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    If Alex would have showed up a little more often, we would be fine. You people digging on Cal are IDIOTS! If kids don’t want to be coached and don’t want to play hard; Rupp himself would be able to get a different result. So we’ve had one lost season in 4 years. Big deal. We’ll be back on top next year.



  96. headscratcher
    5:53 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    68, 76 and practically everyone else on here – you say disappointing seasons for a, b, c, and d. Well, a, b, c, and d all had better seasons that Mays. Why do you exempt him? SMH in E-town.



  97. Mark Liptak
    5:54 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    What killed the Cats seems pretty simple to me.

    Physically soft, mentally weak…plus injuries and no bench.

    Next season will be MUCH better.

    Mark Liptak



  98. CrimsonCee
    6:36 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Hey moderator – edit this. Fuuuuuuuck yooooouuu.



  99. John
    6:44 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    Look no further than the guard play this year!!!



  100. Mike says
    6:48 pm March 17, 2013 Permalink

    No PG! Period.