The 2012-13 season in underway, and just like in 1989 and 2009, the Kentucky Wildcats will struggle to make the NCAA Tournament. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Do They Know It’s Christmas: Last Saturday, Butler upset then #1 Indiana. However, in a move that had to have been a blow to the egos of Kentucky fans everywhere, Butler fans opted not to rush the court. As everyone recalls, when Indiana upset then #1 UK last December, their fans flooded onto the court as if they were fans of a junior college team who had just defeated the Miami Heat. However, in stark contrast to the Hoosier fanbase’s attitude towards Kentucky, Butler fans apparently have too much respect for IU to humiliate them by storming the floor. Indiana fans, of course, had no reservations about mocking the Big Blue Nation last year. Talk about embarrassing. But I guess that’s the difference between Indiana basketball and Kentucky basketball.
*Do You Hear What I Hear?: Kentucky has long been viewed as a “basketball school.” This seems to be changing lately, however, presumably due to the struggles the hoops squad has experienced this season. A couple of weeks ago, the UK football coach had a press conference that was attended by hundreds of Kentucky fans. This had never happened during Calipari’s tenure. And on Tuesday of this week, Kentucky’s offensive coordinator had a mid-December press conference that received widespread coverage by the media. This was first during the Calipari era as well. In fact, even high-profile football recruits are commenting on the fact that Kentucky fans just don’t care about their basketball team any more. And as embarrassing as that may be, the ultimate insult may be that Kentucky fans have voted UK into the lead in a contest to put the football Cats on the cover of a popular video game next year. With all this in mind, can Kentucky basketball still claim that it’s “Where The Season Never Ends?” Doesn’t look like it.
*White Christmas: Saturday against Lipscomb, Kyle Wiltjer played his best all-around game of the season, scoring 23 points (while hitting 7 of 9 threes) and collecting 12 rebounds. This does not bode well for Kentucky. Apparently fed up with Wiltjer’s lack of hustle and shooting accuracy, John Calipari opted not to start the sophomore versus Lipscomb. Wiltjer publicly told his coach where to stick it, by playing as well as he’s played in his entire career. The fact that Wiltjer would so openly and maliciously embarrass his coach in such a manner speaks to just how much tension there must be between the two. Regardless of whether Calipari starts Wiltjer tomorrow against Marshall, you can rest assured Coach Cal is hoping he doesn’t see a repeat of what transpired last week.
* On this date: On this date in 2006, Patrick Patterson was tipping off his senior season in high school. A few months later, he committed to Kentucky, where he eventually played and drove a car that you wouldn’t think he’d be able to afford.