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The Emotions of One and Dones

(Photo by Chet White)

After recovering from one of the harshest hangovers I’ve ever had in my collegiate career I began to reflect on this incredible season. Immediately three things came to mind. First thing I thought about was Coach Cal’s legacy. Calipari is a finally able to call himself a national champion and remove any doubts about his coaching ability or recruiting methods. He quietly got revenge on an over matched Bill Self, who defeated Calipari in Cal’s first national championship appearance, and also on Rick Pitino, who bested Calipari in the same game on his way to his own first title in 1996. This was the perfect way to win a title for Cal. He took down the ghosts of his past and can now go forward with the objective of molding better basketball players and dismissing inevitable NBA rumors. The second thing I thought of was that fact that Kentucky is back on the top of the college basketball world. It has been a fourteen year wait on the eighth title for the Kentucky faithful, and to beat rival Louisville on the way to reaching the pinnacle makes it that much sweeter. Finally, the last thing I realized is that we won’t ever see most of this team wear the blue and white into battle again –and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I’m talking legit sadness came over me. I felt so close to this team on their way to glory, and now its over? The next time I’ll see Anthony Davis suit up to play basketball it’ll be for the New Jersey Nets — or worse the lowly Charlotte Bobcats? It seems like a cruel joke. A joke that will likely be over once April 11th rolls around and Kentucky receives a letter of intent from Nerlens and/or Shabazz, but until then I’ll be inconsolable.

I know, I know, we’ve gone through this twice before with the John Wall team and the Brandon Knight one too, and I should be used to it, but this one really hurts. Don’t get me wrong, the first two years of Cal’s tenure were great rides and after the debacle that was Billy Clyde’s hiring, like a scorned divorcee, I was just happy to be loved again. But the honeymoon is now over and we’re three years into a pretty successful marriage with Calipari. Within this relationship with Cal the only downside is we can’t get too attached to these players. It’s what we signed up for.

You could argue that any team that has a chance to repeat is not going to be the same as the team before it. True, but what team has five or six first round pick on it too? Is it because these kids were the ones that actually delivered the eighth title that makes us feel more close to them than the others? I don’t know. Probably. But this the best team that Calipari has had here and I’m sad to see it go. We could get into a talent debate and the NBA prospects of this team versus the others but all I know is, I wish we had another year with this team.

With the impending blessing of the NBPA, David Stern is trying to push the minimum age to enter the NBA up to twenty. Nothing would make me happier as a college basketball fan. Stern has actually done us a favor setting the current age minimum for the NBA and getting these outstanding players to play in college at least a year because most would’ve taken the same road as Kobe, Dwight, and LeBron. This rule change would allow us to have more time with our players and it is something I think that Kentucky fans would relish. Being that we just hoisted number eight into the rafters just yesterday, most will probably just tell me to enjoy the our accomplishments and not look too far ahead, but I can’t help it. This sucks.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

58 Comments for The Emotions of One and Dones

  1. BigBlue
    8:03 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    Stop using the phrase ‘one and done’…it sounds stupid and it is the same labeling all the haters of our program use.

  2. like Most UK fans
    8:04 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    i would say enjoy the our accomplishments and don’t look too far ahead

  3. 00BBN00
    8:10 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    What was it Cal said today? Oh yeah, relax & breath. Regardless of who is wearing Blue and White next season they WILL be ready in March. That much we know is true. It’s not like we’re looking at another NIT bid!

  4. vacate
    8:12 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink


  5. coacht18
    8:18 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    It’s really up to the NBA… they need to decide what they require, what their qualifications for someone to go to the NBA will be. For example ( and not at all thought out), for certain positions w/in an organization you must have a degree and a minimum # of years experience ETC… The NBA could state that in order to be drafted or considered for employment, said applicant must have completed High School, AND either played 3 years of college Bball or has completed 2 years of NBDL, or played 2 years in another Pro League.
    I suppose the NCAA/ Colleges could decide to make Athletic Scholarships 2 or 3 years binding w/ said payback if not adhered to?? IDK. What I do know is the current setup is very difficult BUT hard to deny a young person’s right to earn a great living IF qualified to do so. What do you think?

  6. stevie
    8:22 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    This is for the greatest basketball program of all time. At the moment UNC is leading UK 30% vs. 29%. Go and vote for UK. And, pass it on to all UK fans. Lets go BBN.

  7. KB
    8:22 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I feel the same way. So hope the NBA raises the minimum age to 20 for while players may have the physical attributes to go pro, I worry about their emotional well being. How many of us at 19 were thrust into a high stakes stressful work environment? How many of us were prepared to manage our money, let alone millions of dollars? One more year removed from high school would add another year of maturity.

  8. Memories
    8:23 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll miss this team for sure, but if they can move on and pursue their dreams then I’m excited for them.

  9. Dontcrydryyaeye
    8:25 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I felt the same way, when most of last years team of overachievers left. The wins over OSU and UNC were some of my greatest memories as a cat fan. I sulked when the season was over. This year is different, these guys are STARS, who will make you proudly rock the UK on your chest. When you watch the NBA all star game in a couple years, and cousins and Davis face-off, you’ll have a whole new reason to love being a CAT fan.

  10. Josh-Pikevlle
    8:30 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    don’t look too far ahead. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. snl1960
    8:31 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I know this isn’t right section for this But, does ryan harrow recieve a ring for this season’s championship.

  12. Roundstone Joe
    8:32 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I think the reason that BBN is getting attached to the players so quickly now is because we know they are likely to be gone after one year. This makes us appreciate their efforts and not take them for granted.


  13. john4uk
    8:35 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I would rather have the progran we have now than the one we had during the Tubby/Gillispie years.Just hope Cal will add a player each year who can be a contributor.but will stay 4 Hood,Beckham,Polson,Vargas.

  14. 00BBN00
    8:36 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    12. I think the reason BBN gets so attached to these freshmen is because of the minutes they are earning (over half the minutes for the team).

  15. Cking98
    8:38 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    So looking at chad fords big board, Teague and lamb don’t make the top 20. I was suprisedthat they both were not. What if they return? Surely they could improve their stock. Next year is a much weaker draft. At first I thought no one would come back but Wiltjer. Now maybe one of the two could. Both have great family units to help with their descion. Maybe that’s why bazz is not sure. He wants to play shooting guard.

  16. Just wondering
    8:44 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    This rule is better then the way it was before when about 10-15 high schoolers didn’t get picked at all.Or at the last second one decided to go Pro and ruined your class.Until we get it like baseballs rule this is the best we got.It’s legal and Cal is the best at it.I see a dynasty starting.

  17. CliffFrankLou
    8:46 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    oh my….you mean we have to choose between the high point player in the NC game or the # 1 recruit in the country to play the shooting guard? what a crisis….

  18. Cking98
    8:47 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink



    Teague/Lamb not projected in top 20 per chad ford-do they come back or get their stock higher??? If they come back- bazz who??


    Would be our strongest quartet of guards in Uk HISTORY!!

  19. CliffFrankLou
    8:49 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    How ’bout enjoying the moment? I have been fortunate enough to follow UK basketball for many years and have seen 4 national championship teams. That last interval between ’98 and now seemed forever, especially after that ’96-’98 run wherein we thought this was going to be a routine thing. If you keep thinking about the next one, you’re missing the current one. Enjoy this one a while.

  20. old_school
    8:59 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    UK fans are about to discover the downside to Calipari. Yes – we won the 8th title and we can all celebrate. But it came with a price of seeing all the players leave.
    Whose the experience we know for sure that’s returning? Kyle Wiltjer and Ryan Harrow. Wiltjer has great potential – but probably won’t come into his own until his body matures – his junior/seior year. Harrow has some experience at NC State – but who will join that duo? UK fans are left to HOPE all these freshmen pan out. We’re putting our basketball hopes on kids who havn’t even been to their senior prom yet.

    UK deserves better than that. Calipari has succeeded in assembling a team every 8 months – but this time – there are virtually no significant holdovers from the prevous team.

    Meanwhile, IU Coach Tom Cream has built a solid program that shoudl be consistetly great year in and year out for the foreseeable future. UK meanwhile very well could suffer from season where even making the NCAA tournament is not a lock.

    Seriously – If the two big recruits everyone is counting on choose elsewhere (and they very well could) we’re left with three very good recruits but who are very young and will have no seasoned returners to lead by example.

    Calipari’s success thus far has been bolstered by experienced retrners like Patteron, Harrelson, Miller, Liggins and others. No such luxury next year.

    Let’s see how much magic this guy really has, and let’s see how happpy UK fans are come Mid Februay of 2013.

  21. Just wondering
    9:01 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    #19 You are so right even though I was Born in 78.I remember Suttons last years and king Rex.Then Pitino bringing us back.Till now.From 98 Till Cal we really never were legit contenders it’s seemed like forever.My dad passed away when I was 12.My best memories of him was learning how it keep Score with him in Pitinos first years.So enjoy this they are HARD to win.

  22. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    9:03 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    20) seriously, bro?

  23. Bigbluecalizone
    9:07 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    Enjoy the moment, but the landscape is about to change,and are leader that is Cal will take full advantage. It will take a couple more years for the NBA to get the players union to go along with the change, but it will happen, with concessions. In the mean time, I think this years sucess, which in no small part was do to the Mix of fab freshmen and experience, and I think Cal realizes that. We’ll still get the cream of the crop, but I think Cal also starts to recruit a little differently, with a eye toward skilled, but less Marque players to go along with the superstar talent. Either way, we’re in the best of hands folks. In Cal WE Trust…

  24. theSkinny81
    9:08 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    21 – spaces after periods….

  25. Bigbluecalizone
    9:08 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    sorry….OUR LEADER…not Are…

    9:08 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    the problem with the age thing,getting changed it will be hard because the agents don’t want it……They make more money out of the one and doners than re-signing a player to a new contract and they will put pressure on their players the to vote against it t

  27. Just wondering
    9:12 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I know Money will never allow it.But I would love to see UK play a preseason game in Memorial.Just to link the Tradition.It will never happen due to amount of money made threw tickets sold.

  28. Just wondering
    9:14 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    #24 thinks for grammer lesson.OH yea kiss my ass

  29. old_school
    9:14 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    23 said: “but I think Cal also starts to recruit a little differently, with a eye toward skilled, but less Marque players to go along with the superstar talent.”

    I agree that would be great – but if you were a solid 4 start role player – would you go to Kentucky where you know Cal would recruit over you each year, or a place like Michigan State, Indiana or Vandy where you know that in 2-3 years – your hard work would be rewarded with an opportunity to play.

    Harrelson was a great player – but Calipari would never recruited him.

  30. Class
    9:16 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    Yep, I’ve cried a few times over the loss of our players. It sucks, but I wouldn’t trade what happened Monday night for the world. As a student, it was awesome. As a UK fan since 2003, (thats a big deal as I’m only 19 years old) this was the best possible thing to ever happen in my entire existence. You may thing thats sad, and my life must be boring, but I don’t care. Its been a great year. I’ll remember this for a life time! Thank you Anthony Davis. Thank you T.Jones. Thank you MKG. Thank you Marquis Teague. Thank you Doron Lamb. Thank you Kyle Wiljer. And most of all thank you Darius Miller. Big Blue Nation loves you and we sure as hell will miss you next year!

  31. 00BBN00
    9:22 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    20. You’re kidding right? Or you’re an IU fan masquerading as a UK fan… Either way, yes Cal recruits great players, but he also DEVELOPS them quicker than anyone in the college game (which is why he gets great players). Harrellson, Liggins, and Miller all DEVELOPED a great deal under Cal.

  32. citycat
    9:23 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    Sorry if this has already been discussed, but regarding the championshirts shirts I like the one with the 8 on the front but it has this little asterisk beside it and I can just hear the haters saying it has an asterisk cause it will be vacated or something like that. Anyone know why the asterisk is there? thanks

    9:26 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’m good with it. It’s like getting a shiny new car every year. Reload baby!

  34. Old school Sux
    9:26 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    Damn, I thought your dumb ass was gone. Glad to see you still have your same material.

  35. coacht18
    9:31 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    #20…I too have seen 4 NCAA Titles AND I’ve seen that while Patterson, Harrelson, and Miller are special to Kentucky, it has been the “new kids on the block” that have led the way. Elite 8, Final 4, NCAA Champs came from the frosh and sophs. The glass is half full, my friend, and soooooooo much better than 4 years ago. The challenge for Cal is getting BIGs to come to UK. He has proven that He IS “Captain of the Guards” w/ Rose, Evans, Wall, and Knight. Harrelson was (and is) a fine role player who somehow got the knicks to bite!? For me, Noel and Bennett are my #1 Gets for next year, not Muhammed. Cauley seems to be the type of Big, a project hopful, that Cal can get and hopefully coach-up. But, G-town is selling Post U to Noel, and Bennett still has 4 visits to make. Maybe #18 is right. I do think Cal knows what he’s doing and there may be a reason these Top recruits waited on UK to finish. We’ll know April 11.

  36. Flockofseagulls
    9:31 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    #20 is not a uk fan!!! Or is very delusional. Most of the top tier teams start freshmen not just UK. This is the way of the modern era. The 1950’s are gone and ain’t coming back!!!

  37. Ghosts of players past
    9:33 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    This team played with such poise and no selfishness, true heart, and belief that they could do just what they did. Those are just the start of the reasons why this team is so close to my big blue heart. They represented the BBN better than just about any team that I can remember, {I’ve been watching since the 73-74 season}, as for ambassadors of the university, they are top notch. I’m really going to miss this team for all the joy they brought to my heart and to my Big Blue Brothers and sisters I have scattered across the nation. After the final horn Monday night, I received calls from San Diego, Indianapolis, Dayton OH, and New Hampshire, all congratulating us for the title. These are my true friends that may not have been Big Blue supporters at first but they realized that UK means that much to the BBN.
    Thank you Cal and 2011-2012 UK Wildcats for such an outstanding season and repping the University the way you did. Again thanks for the memories.

  38. coacht18
    9:38 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    Nice post #37. You are right. It was joy to watch them play the game…especially at their ages and in this era of “me first branding”. Go Cats! Thanx for #8…can you hear us comin ucla…

  39. coacht18
    9:40 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    btw, Cals on kimmell at 11pm est- right? When does our coach sleep?

  40. bluefan
    9:49 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    Miss these kids already. I’ve never felt more connected to a team and it happened long before the tournament. Cried like a baby seeing them back in Rupp for the last time to raise the banner. But I wish them the best in whatever they decide and will follow them in the NBA also.

    #20, Either you’re a troll or you need medication.

  41. gcat4496
    9:55 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I think Cal’s method speaks for itself. After 4 years of darkness under Tubby & Gillispie we have had 3 years of greatness. An Elite 8, a Final 4 and a NC. Each year he has completely reloaded and yet has accomplished so much. Next year, we already have a nucleus of really good players. If no one else signs we have Cauley, Wiltjer, Pythress, Goodwin & Harrow. All 5 are highly touted players. I don’t forget we still have Jon Hood who is a former Mr. BB. At this point Noel, Muhammad & Others still out there are just padding the roster. We will be a bubble team or a final 4 team depending on who comes. The next few classes Calipari is already lining up more top players. Don’t think for one minute that Calipari & UK will be struggling to sign the best players in the country. They will come and we will continue to compete for titles. 4 Year players are not going to give you that.

  42. Syrin
    9:59 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    Know what also sucks? The players don’t want to leave either. They all say how much they love being at UK, the fans, the atmosphere, the learning. Players that have left say how much they miss being here. Think Wall would have rather been playing on this team or with the Wizards? How about DeMarcus or Brandon?

    Cal, please NEVER EVER go into the prevent offense again. We could have won by 30, and people would be talking about whether this was the best team ever.

  43. tyrus
    10:02 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    NBA age restrictions lies solely with NBPA. All the NBPA has to do is decided what they want and have the team’s player rep. vote on it. Stern will rubber stamp it. The process is that simple but determining exactly what they’ll vote on is not. You have the top NBA player who is the face of the NBA and never stepped foot on a college campus. Players get their payday they’ve always wanted and think nothing about the current state of the college basketball. I got mine you get yours attitude is very prevalent with pro athletes. Can’t blame them just stating it.

  44. h8'ers gonna h8
    10:10 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    in a certain, crazy way, i can agree with old_school. and just like 30 said, “and most of all thank you darius miller”. why darius? because he spent four years there? thru thick and thin? and what was it he was saying on the court after the nc? “see what this hardwork got us?!” national championships are great, DO NOT get me wrong and i loved every single second of it because this team was special, but some of us need to be easy on the blue goggles. no question in my mind that anthony davis loved lex and uk, same for terrence jones. but when will it get to the point that these players are using uk for their own good? or are some of them already doing that? and how many of them will REALLY care about uk, or lexington, or the fans after they are gone? does d-rose ever go back to memphis? just a thought and a lot of questions that time will take to answer. imo, twenty year old minimum in nba would be HUGE. if some of these players overlapped we would be absolutely unstoppable.

  45. nkyukfan29
    10:17 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    I love this team so much, I’m gonna miss them! Basketball season of 11-12 is already over ๐Ÿ™ we need to skip calendars or fast forward to october already? ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Bulldawg
    10:33 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    old school, you are right. Cal just “HOPES” these freshmen pan out because he obviously has no clue on how to evaluate talent. 5 players went to the NBA after year one and I guess Cal just got lucky those freshmen “panned” out. They made to the final four the very next year with freshmen. And of course they brought home #8 this year. If you think UK fans deserve better than what they are getting then you are obviously impossible to please. Maybe since you are such a big fan of Tom “Cream” (your word, not mine) you should just have rapping and break dancing contests with the Truth in those candy striped digs and cheer for IU. I can think of at least one UK fan that could do without your old school 2 cents worth. I think you could really help the IU program by sharing your keen insight.

  47. UK's Freshmen
    11:14 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    So you get emotionally attached to a group of 19 yr olds? After 7 months? How sad and twisted.

  48. BPsycho
    11:24 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink

    #20 WTF are you talking about? Lol That is the single worst post ever posted on this site….

  49. crazycatfan
    11:58 pm April 4, 2012 Permalink


  50. Old_School
    8:30 am April 5, 2012 Permalink

    I will never be happy. I am an old grumpy man who hates my life. You will see me post here every now and then and It wil be the most idiotic statements, every time. Why am I so grumpy and full of anger? I was dropped on my head. A lot. And I hate the Kentucky Wildcats. And John Calipari. And I hate all of you fans who are happy becuase they won a championship.

  51. markp
    8:32 am April 5, 2012 Permalink

    #20 whatever. He won a national championship. Let’s see if Crean can do it with the old recipe. It’s one thing to talk about it how it should be done but it’s another to produce results. Cal has.

    As far as the NBA making rules to keep people below 20 out of the league, I believe that is wrong. This country is about freedom of choice. If an 18 year old kid can go fight a stupid war in the Middle East he should be able to play in the NBA at any age he is able to do it. It’s about freedom in this country not governments or organizations putting the clamps on individuals. We are only thinking of our personal wants not the kids.

  52. old_school
    8:33 am April 5, 2012 Permalink

    ignore me. my meds are out, I’m too old to drive and the outside world scares me. can someone deliver my meds? I will call Walgreens and let them know. thanks! time for my shot of metamucil. sometimes I poop myself. is it 1950? I wish it was 1950.

  53. pistol pete
    10:03 am April 5, 2012 Permalink

    #39…Anthony Davis is on Jimmy Kimmel tonight, not Coach Cal.

  54. sangaman
    11:50 am April 5, 2012 Permalink

    While I’d love to see these players back next year, it would be for selfish reasons. They deserve to compete at the highest level and deserve to be compensated for their tremendous talent and work ethic. I hope the NBA lowers the age limit to 18 and maybe adapts a system similar to baseball where players who elect to go to college must stay for 2 or 3 years.

  55. MonsterMash24
    1:02 pm April 5, 2012 Permalink

    I wish Stern would realize that his league is watered down & the players should already know the basic skills of playing the game of basketball BEFORE going in the NBA…I think there should be a 3 year rule but id settle for two…I wish Stern in the next couple of days will say “There will be a two year rule now” before this crop applies…wishful thinking…

  56. Go cats
    9:02 am April 6, 2012 Permalink

    I think gilchrist will return.if so poythress will be backup to lamb or gilchrist.muhhamad will replace jones. Noel will replace Davis.will Cauley will be backup to them along with Anthony Bennett.there

  57. Go cats
    9:17 am April 6, 2012 Permalink

    If gilchrist,lamb,jones and Teague go then here is what should be our starting lineup

    Pg archie Goodwin
    sg poythress
    SF shabazz muhhamad
    PF anthoney Bennett
    C nerlens Noel
    Backup C,PF Will Cauley
    SG,SF,PF Kyle wiltjer
    Note:I think wiltjer should be a SG and SF too

  58. Go cats
    9:22 am April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Oriakhi will be a reserve with Cauley and wiltjer