It can be hard to keep up with all the changing trends in Kentucky sports these days. Therefore, in order to keep you informed on the latest happenings in the Big Blue Nation, I chart the trends of the week, from basketball to football to every ridiculous little thing in between. Keep up with what’s hot and what’s not with KSR’s Trend Watch!
Rising faster than Kevin Stallings’ cholesterol count
Kentucky Football — Kentucky football continues its reign atop the plus column, with more and more 4-star recruits visiting campus each week. While there haven’t been any commitments this week, signing day is only twelve days away and Kentucky is on some pretty impressive radars, including Jason Hatcher, Ryan Timmons, James Hearns, and Marcus McWilson, the latter two of which will visit campus this weekend. Football recruiting has never been more popular in the state of Kentucky. Seriously…we were so depressed about basketball earlier this week that people were begging for it.
Kyle Wiltjer — Wiltjer is riding a hot streak, scoring in double figures for the past three games. Wiltjer has finally “bought in” to the fact that he can’t just rely on his three-pointers and has to go inside to score or create opportunities for others. After the Alabama game, it became clear that for Kentucky’s offense to succeed, it must go through Wiltjer.
Good Archie — We’ve been over it time and time again: Archie Goodwin played terribly against Alabama. But the week wasn’t a total wash for the talented guard. Against Auburn, Archie played great, passing the ball and pulling up for jump shots or dishing it to teammates instead of flinging himself at the basket. Even more, he played like the aggressive defender that Cal promised he would be at the beginning of the season. When Archie plays smart, he is a vital part of the team’s flow. When he doesn’t, he’s a cancer.
The SEC Tournament — A good performance in the SEC Tournament is more important than ever for the Cats, who may actually need to win it to get in the NCAA’s if they have any more bad slip-ups. Ain’t no party like a Nashvegas party, right BBN? KSR has major plans for the event, including possibly renting out an entire floor of a bar as a home base for the blog, the radio show, and Cats fans. Is it March yet??
NC State’s desperation — NC State fans are painting murals and baking cakes for Julius Randle’s official visit this weekend. All Cal has to do is point to the rafters and the empty spot for next year’s banner.
Flatter than a Flat Top (No change)
Falling like snow on cedars
Bad Archie — Like I said earlier, Archie regressed into bad habits against Alabama, trying to put the offense on his back but going about it the wrong way. Let’s hope Archie recaptures that Auburn feeling against LSU tomorrow.
Kentucky’s postseason chances — It was not a good week for Kentucky’s tournament resume. After a good win over a bad Auburn team, the Cats let a close one slide by them in Tuscaloosa. In order to get off the bubble and securely on the bracket, that can’t happen anymore, especially against teams we’re supposed to beat.
Old Habits — This team’s old habits are definitely dying hard. Against Alabama, we saw several players slip into their former ways: Archie Goodwin regressed into an out-of-control ballhog; Ryan Harrow became “Cool Ryan”; and Nerlens Noel finished an otherwise awesome game with a few bad shot fakes. Why the meltdown? The Cats simply panicked after losing the lead in front of a rowdy Alabama crowd. Hopefully a game at home will give them a chance to reset before a rough road trip to Oxford.
TREND OF THE WEEK: Upsets
If the past week in college basketball has taught us anything, it’s that March Madness is going to be wild this year. Duke and Louisville were both upset, making it crystal clear that there is no dominant team in the field this season. You better go ahead and ask for some days off in March now, because something tells me this tournament deserves a better viewing experience than hitting the boss button every time you hear footsteps near your cubicle.