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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Putting It In Perspective…

We’ve had a lot of good times in the bluegrass sports realm the past year and a half, but this weekend was not one of them.  But just like my mom always used to tell me, the bad days only work to make the good days seem better. So with that, let’s look at the losses and try and put them in perspective a bit.

From lest damaging to most:

—Deandre Daniels won’t return our calls – While Deandre Daniels has yet to spurn Kentucky for Kansas, all indications are that he will be suiting up for the Jay Hawks next year.  By ranking him as the ‘least important’ of the losses this weekend, I don’t want you to think I’m just trying to downplay the potential commitment as that’s not the case.  And don’t get me wrong, Daniels would be a great get for Cal.  But as far as I was concerned, Daniels value was exponentially higher if he would find a way to contribute this yearsomething he seemed pretty much against. Next years class is already out of this world with talent, so the miss on Daniels doesn’t sting as bad.  Sure it’s disappointing, but on it’s own, not terrible.  Of course if the financial papers don’t go through and Daniels becomes a Cat, I will immediately anoint him the greatest Small Forward since Tayshaun.

Conclusion: While losing Daniels would be a disappointment, Kentucky basketball will be just fine without him – especially if he sticks to his ‘not playing until next year,’ pledge.

—Georgia takes the lead in the SEC East – It’s never good to start your SEC season off with a loss, but as far as acceptable losses go, this is one of them.  Not only does Georgia appear to be one of the better teams in the SEC this year (though one Kentucky should still have beaten, admittedly,) they played one of their best games to date yesterday.  Their fg% and ft% were all above their average, they were playing at home, and while Kentucky came out flat in the first half Georgia had no such problems.  The game is concerning because Kentucky can’t let it become a trend, but if they can use it to gain experience and learn a few things (like, you know, don’t foul so much,) it will be beneficial down the road.

Conclusion: The loss stung more in the context of a disappointing weekend.  It’s a 16 game SEC season, and it’s tough to start it off on a loss, but if the Cats can learn from it – and the game is an aberration not a trend – it could end up being helpful.

—The addition of Enes Kanter to the coaching staff– By this point the Enes ruling didn’t come as much of a surprise to most people.  Cal knew signing Kanter would be a risk, but he took it anyways, and I would like to think he would take it again if he had the chance.  Had Kanter joined this Kentucky team the ceiling would have been off the charts.  The Kanter loss hurts pretty bad, but in reality we have been pretty fine without him for the most part.  You’d love to see a kid with that much talent playing, but ultimately it’s not in the cards and while he may have made the difference turning a sweet sixteen with potential for more team into a final four with potential for more team, this team has been and will be fine without him.  Plus I hear he is a pretty good X’s and O’s guy.

Conclusion: Kind of like facing a break up when you know it’s going to happen, the loss is tough but in your gut you know this was the likely outcome.  Hurts the team this season, but the team has gelled without him, will continue to improve.

Team in turmoil dominates the football Cats – This is the one that hurts the most, and I’m hardly what you would consider a football guy.  I’m not going to go into the painful memories of what happened, but in their likely final games, you really would’ve like to have seen more of the Cobb and Locke show.  But unlike the Enes ruling (which had a direct influence on one season only,) this one could be felt for some time to come.  The potential for Jokers first team was huge – or at least much higher than it actualized – and to say that it underperformed would be an understatement.  The momentum that Kentucky football had gained under Coach Brooks has all but dried up after a shellacking to a mess of a Big East team.  I still think Joker can be our guy, but it’s clear that what he did this season wasn’t cutting it.  He’s already made some changes, but it’s going to be a long summer for Phillips.

Conclusion: EVERYONE PANIC!  Not a lot of positives to take into the summer season, and next year will have to be much better all around.  While Joker’s seat may not be getting hot just yet, you gotta bet he’s got his worry hat on.

Article written by Will Lentz

35 Comments for Putting It In Perspective…

  1. Done
    1:41 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Joker can take off his worry hat and pack it in his bags with the rest of his belongings and hit the road.

  2. Urban Meyer
    1:47 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I’ve been in the market for a horse farm and a new team to coach… Any offers out this way?

  3. Steve Fitts
    1:55 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Worse still for the football Cats, the pendulum in the UK – U of L rivalry appears to be starting to swing in Louisville’s favor. Charlie Strong has a stronger incoming recruiting class than Joker Phillips. Strong got two more 4-star commitments yesterday. Louisville is not going to be a guaranteed win from now on. If Charlie continues to outrecruit Joker, we are in deep trouble. I still like our chances this September at Commonwealth Stadium, but when we return to Papa John’s in 2012, we will likely be the underdogs.

  4. EW
    1:56 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Some KY football fans crack me up. I can remember not too long ago winning 2-3 games per year. Now we’re only winning 6-7 and the sky is falling.

  5. Big D
    2:02 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I drive a whole lot of miles and spend a lot of income to go to UK football games. My tailgate partners are top notch and we always have a large time. Having said that, I am so relieved I did’nt spend a dime to go to Alabama to watch that disaster. Thanks to Coach Superiors EGO and Vandy, we were able to pull out a whopping 2 SEC victories. For a season that began with such optimism and promise to have spiraled downward out of control both on and off the field is dissapointing to say the least. Now we see what happens to recruiting, since it’s all only verbal right now, and how many season tickets get renewed. Might be the right time to spend even more money and get a lower level seat to watch mediocrity at best. Thanks for letting me vent.

  6. John
    2:09 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    When viewed with a non-emotional aspect, it is abundantly clear that Joker Phillips is not the answer for building upon the foundation that Rich Brooks built. This team lacked the motivation to perform and the will to win that was such a blessing to the Brooks’ led teams. What’s worse, the team never appeared to gel, lacking cohesivenes across all the units, including horrible kick off coverage, gaping holes in the defensive front, and poor coverage in the secondary at critical times throughout the losses they experienced. The only bright spot this year was the initial performance of the offense, which even so proceeded to trail off at the end of the year with sub-par performances during the critical last four games, and a pitiful, horrid performance at the bowl.

    The most worrisome conclusion from the season was the team’s obvious decline in discipline, or perhaps an inability from the coaching staff to manage the issues that pop up “in house”. Just a gut wrenching thing to witness given the longstanding increase in professionalism exhibited by the Brooks’ led teams.

    The University needs to spend money and a whole bunch of it. Money leads to terrific facilities and terrific coaches that gain automatic respect from the talent, which leads to terrific talent that wants to come here, which leads to a reasonable expectation of competing at the highest level in the sport. All discussion of the football team’s performance is moot and riddled with fantasy until the University puts its money where its mouth is.

    The University needs to spend the cash necessary and needs to give Joker Phillips his walking papers. Today. Anything less spells another lost decade of wasted time and scuttles the hopes and dreams that was Brooks’ legacy for the long suffering University of Kentucky football fan.

    It doesn’t need to be an emotional decision. It just needs to be what is best for the program and the University.

  7. Enes Kanter
    2:11 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink


  8. Mike
    2:18 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    6. John,…you said it all very well. This team, for most part, got worse as season progressed along with the competition. What we witnessed yesterday was, supposedly, the worse loss in UK bowl history which was reported earlier. Joker is a really nice person, and I don’t care how often he preaches his love for the school that does not qualify him to be a HC in SEC. You have to put some liability on Brooks for thinking he was ready for the position.

  9. weezy
    2:18 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Go cats

  10. Big D
    2:21 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I only see 2.

  11. Stew McGoo
    2:38 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Anybody see Kentucky Fans/Enes Kanter on Deadspin this morning? Embarrassing.

  12. Ben
    2:40 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Joker must win at least six games each of the next two years just to stay even! He is promising to do better than that and it will not happen in my opinion. I have been a fan for over 40 years and I have seen this cycle before. I hope for the best, but I just do not see the wins with the tallent we have. We need a big name coach to bring in the tallent necessary to win in the SEC. They have failed at quarterback and that is one position that you cannot fail at.

  13. Will Lentz
    2:45 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    12. I disagree. We certainly had the talent to win the Mississippi games this season, and the Pitt game. And we were close to winning the Auburn game. Sure better talent would be great, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I think the focus instead should be on game prep (so they don’t have atrocious first halves,) and playing more aggressively. With better talent you can play conservatively and win (see: Alabama,) but with less talent you have to take risks (see: Boise in the fiesta bowl.)

    Just my two cents though.

  14. catfanblue
    2:51 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    How long does Joker get to run the program completely into the ground? He has had enough time to prepare for this moment he should be able to take off flying instead he falls on his face.
    A big disappointment so far.

  15. ThatsAShame
    2:56 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    We didn’t have our starting QB. Kinda hard to win without one of those. Blame the D or special teams but when they know that one third of the team is broke I think they suffer as well.

  16. the fan
    3:01 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    .4 You keep being happy with 6 wins vs teams that basically sucked, UK didn’t improve in the SEC, UK fans need to wake up and want to win more big games in the SEC and quit be happy about beating WKU and Burger King U just to make it to some bowl game.

  17. john4uk
    3:07 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    If UK had put up any kind of fight in their loss to Pitt yesterday,that loss would not have been so bad.But they did’nt.They rolled over and played dead,and there was no excuse for it.We fans have been told all year how hard they practice,how tough their conditioning was,etc.But reality was a team not fit to play at the D-1 level,particularly at the level of the SEC.Here’s hoping Mitch Barnhardt does some serious evaluation of the head coach and staff,and makes the necessary changes.Something is dreadfully wrong with this football program and it’s time to fix it.

  18. Perkasaurus
    3:18 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    6. You made a lot of sense until you brought up the money. It won’t buy success in the football program in and of itself.

    I gave up my season tix when UK renewed Curry’s contract after two or three seasons of exactly what we saw this season and yesterday. BBN loves their football CATS, but no amount of love will keep the stands filled with another year like this one.

    I hate it for the kids like Locke. He deserved to go out better than this I assure you. Cobb’s brain-trust will pick him up and carry him to the NFL declaration podium…..

  19. Morgan d
    3:24 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    If joker doesn’t get Lamar Dawson and Jon Davis decommits then I will be extremly concerned with the program

  20. bankshot
    3:38 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    A couple of plays left me very concerned about the program. One, how could Newton sit on the sideline all year and then when he gets the chance not pick up one inch in a critical 4th down situation. I got to question if he has the ability to lead the team in the future. The second is how do we allow the blocked punt, I question everyone involved in that play. If you want to be a good team these type of things don’t happen.

  21. KevinKat78
    3:40 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I’ve been around 53 years now. I’ve seen UK have 3 or 4 good Football teams. Good not Great. I can’t say but one coach was really good. Fran in the 70’s. UK has kept sorry coaches for years at a time and talked about them as if they were great. Maybe UK should give Joker some time before going nuts. UK was as good as most years this year. The basketball game at Georgia upset me more.

  22. El_Duderino
    4:15 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I love it, if the road ahead of you has enough rough spots it’s sure to knock off the bandwagon fans!

    Here are 10 positives, I take away from the 2010 season, which can led to future success @ Kentucky!

    1.15th Bowl Appearance & 5th Consecutive Appearance (School Record)

    2.Snapped a 10 game losing streak to #10 South Carolina & obtained 1st victory against Steve Spurrier (1-17)

    3.AP 1st Team All-America/Randall Cobb & CFN 1st Team All-America/Danny Trevathan

    4.1st Team All-SEC/Randall Cobb & Danny Trevathan, 2nd Team All-SEC/Larry Warford & Chris Matthews, 4th Team All-SEC/Mike Hartline, Derrick Locke and Winston Guy

    5.CFN 2nd Team Sophomore All-America/Larry Warford, CFN Honorable Mention Freshmen All-America /Jordan Aumiller and PSCF 5th Team Freshman All-America/Qua Huzzie

    6.Honorable Mention for the AFCA’s Academic Achievement Award, which is presented annually to the school with the nation’s highest Graduation Success Rate calculated by the NCAA

    7.Randall Cobb sets SEC record for All-Purpose Yards in a Season

    8.Paul Hornung Award Finalist-Randall Cobb

    9.Rick Minter named Co-Defensive Coordinator & Steve Pardue named Running Backs Coach

    10.42nd Recruiting Class of 2011 w/ an Army All-American and several recruits still considering UK

  23. markp
    4:38 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    15. Hartline would have been sacked numerous more times yesterday than Newton, he’s immobile and Newton was running for his life all game. Hartline was never a difference maker. Cobb was the only difference maker on offense. Take him away and we are toast. Next year we are in trouble because we should have been developing Newton this year with Cobb, Locke and Matthews around. Joker is a freakin joke as head coach, he was as offensive coordinator and is not the answer. Spend money and get a real coach.

  24. Mbs757
    4:47 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    #6 has it right. But I do disagree with other commenters regarding the talent we have and coming in. We have good players and Joker has been very successful in bringing them in. The problem seems to be with the coaching staff. For a defense that only played 1/2 per game the whole seasons a failure to motivate. For an offense to have to work double duty to stay in the games only took it’s toll and wore the players out. That was evident watching how it’s production declined towards the end of the season and finally in the bowl game. Morgan Newton didn’t stand a chance with the miserable protection he received. Again that falls back on the coaching having 16 practices to prepare. Next year I fear will be another poor season to endure. Mitch sees no need to spend the money for a top quality, proven coach while he continues to fill Commonwealth and support the other athletic programs at a discount rate. Let’s hope someday UK will get an AD with vision to promote the 2 moneymakers: football and basketball programs not just 1.

  25. ribin
    4:53 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Newton not getting an inch is only the second part – if the play before he’d ‘turned upfield’ instead of going another step or two to ‘jump’ over a player, he’d had the first down – maybe it would have kept a little momentum going – alas – another bad finish to a promising year.

  26. frappufrappu
    4:54 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    terrence jones just looks like a retard on the court and when doing interviews. he seriously looks like he’s in special-ed. he said his senior year he was taking 7th grade math. what a queer. his face is pure ugliness

  27. Jamal
    5:14 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

  28. Urincatland
    5:16 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    13 and that starts from the coaches…

  29. joeb
    5:16 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    4) I completely agree! There was a time when UK couldn’t even beat the division II schools on the schedule, and now they win 6 games consistently, and, as a bonus each year we beat one of the SEC powerhouses, such as S. carolina this year and almost the mighty Auburn. Let’s support our coach and give him a chance to prove himself and build our program. I like his focus on recruiting, and I like his passion for the UK program. Anyone that thinks we will land a big name coach is wishful thinking, and for that matter, with the available resources, recruiting facilities, strength of SEC, stadium which seems to be falling apart, and a fan base that has no patience – even for the bball team – what high profile coach would put their reputation on the line and want that kind of pressure. I saw Urban Myer’s name mentioned earlier, even he would be run out of town by our fan base after two years of mediocrity. Until we, the fan base, become patient, we will not reach the next level.

  30. joeb
    5:20 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    16) S. Carolina and nearly beating Auburn! I hardly call that Burger King University.

  31. catfan38
    5:21 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    We buy four football season tickets and also go to several away games each year. Having been to nearly every SEC stadium, I must say that Commonwealth Stadium is far superior than most other schools! I can’t speak for media rooms, etc., or of where we entertain recruits and their families. I would think the campus itself and the atmosphere at our basketball and football games would make a young person want to play at UK more than some plush furnishings they would probably never see again!!!

  32. the fan
    5:44 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    30. nearly doesn’t count as a win.

  33. Done
    6:48 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    29) If we were winning 6 SEC games, I would be happy, but 4 gimmies and 2 SEC wins don’t cut it, especially when one of those wins was Vandy.

  34. Compassbowlian
    7:30 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Ridiculous comments, ridiculous verdicts re Joker. Momentum? The previous team finished 7 and 6. Then the first year head coach slips all the way to 6 and 7 and it’s panic time? The defense sucked because they lost tons of fantastic talent to graduation and the NFL, and we aren’t a program that can just reload yet. The offense had an inferior line and inferior fullback compared to the previous year, and the rest of the players were the same, and yet they showed vast improvement.

  35. psycocat
    9:06 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    If we allow Enes to practice, can it come back to bite us(NCAA vacates) later if the NCAA rules that asst. coaches are NOT practice players?