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

Today on KSR: Cats leave Vegas with back-to-back losses

I think we are all John Calipari in the above picture – a feeling of disappointment and disgust after the Kentucky Wildcats fell to Ohio State last night, 71-65. The loss was the Cats’ second straight in Sin City as the team heads home for the Christmas break before a massive game vs. Louisville on Saturday.

Now for the news to start your Sunday; the second-to-last one of the decade.

Nate Sestina had his best game yet

It really wasn’t all bad yesterday, as grad transfer Nate Sestina had his best game as a Kentucky Wildcat. In just his second game back from a wrist injury, Sestina finished with 17 points which included an impressive 5-8 from three. 

Ohio State did not have an answer for the Hagans to Sestina connection on the pick-and-pop, and the Cats made them pay for it at times. If that play can become more consistent, it adds a much needed layer to the offense.

Three Point Shooting is an epidemic

Remember how I said Nate Sestina was 5-8 from three? Well, the rest of the team was abysmal from that spot. In fact, players not named Sestina were 2-15 from three. That’s 13.3 percent. Now I might not be a basketball expert, but you aren’t going to win games doing that.

The easiest solution to this in my opinion is to frankly stop shooting the shot. In the past two games, I can think of at least four or five threes that were in transition. Sure, if they go in, they can be massive boosts to momentum, but missing them is like taking a shot right to the knee.

On the topic after the game, head coach John Calipari said, “I’m not spending much time on it. We’re just taking a lot of shots. And we chart every shot. And at some point, you say, fall back on your training. You made 60 in five minutes. You made 67 in five minutes. You can’t make them when they’re wide open? But I think I’ve got a good shooting team. Thank goodness for Nate today.” For more on this, you can click here.

I understand why Cal said this. He is trying to instill confidence in a team that is struggling to start the year. With the being said, using the words of Dick Vitale, you can be blind in one eye and not be able to see out of the other, and you’d be able to tell this team is not a good shooting team right now.

Is there room for growth? It’s possible. Players like Immanuel Quickley and Johnny Juzang have had quiet shooting seasons from beyond the arc. If one of them finds their shot, it could be a massive spark in a turnaround.

Louisville is next

If there is one thing that could change the Big Blue Nation’s mindset towards this team, it would be a win over Louisville. I might be crazy in saying this, but I think this is one of the most important regular season games of the Calipari era. I say this for multiple reasons.

For one, a loss would send a lot of fans up in arms about “Calipari losing his way” or “we won’t make the NCAA tournament.” This team doesn’t need that.

Another reason is that the SEC continues to struggle overall. “Quality wins” won’t be able to come as often as in recent year’s past. Teams like Florida and LSU have struggled to start the year, and Tennessee just lost their best player for the remainder of the season. This game against Louisville is a massive opportunity to pick up a “quadrant one” win.

Although the best reason is still, they’re Louisville. No other reasons really needed.

UK Hoops wins at Cal

(UK Athletics)

In more positive UK news, the UK Hoops team picked up a big road win over Cal last night. Rhyne Howard hit a jumper in the closing seconds to help give the Cats the win.

Seriously though, if you haven’t seen Rhyne Howard play basketball, you need to find a way to. She is unbelievable, and this UK WBB team is a lot of fun to watch.

Other SEC Basketball Results

  • Tennessee 75 Jacksonville State 53
  • Missouri 63 Illinois 56
  • Ole Miss 83 SE Louisiana 76
  • Utah State 65 Florida 62
  • Alabama 92 Belmont 72
  • Auburn 74 Lehigh 51
  • Vandy 88 UNCW 73
  • Texas A&M 64 Oregon Stat 49
  • USC 70 LSU 68

That’s the news you need to start your Sunday. Have a great day and a very Merry Christmas!

Article written by Sam Gormley

Follow me on Twitter @GormleyKSR; "The Whitest Man in the World"-JRock

16 Comments for Today on KSR: Cats leave Vegas with back-to-back losses

  1. jim tom
    10:04 am December 22, 2019 Permalink

    Then quit recruiting Uber athletic dudes who can’t shoot.

    • KYJelly
      12:00 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      Dumb comment. Pay attention, he was recruiting guys who can shoot. Maxey came in as a good shooter, Juzang a great one, and Nate a great one. Quickley was supposed to be greatly improved & Hagans had improved enough to at least be a threat if left open.

      What happened is that all of those guys are set-shooters. Maxey is the only one with the athleticism to get his own 3 off of a curl, but he is way too inconsistent right now.

      I’ve posted it a couple of times, this team needs to do what the 2014 team “tweaked”. Drive to the basket and when the defense collapses kick it out to an open guy for a SET 3. Then teams will respect that and not collapse, then you can go for the layup or dish inside. Suddenly, every time you drive there are three outcomes the defense has to think about. It’s basketball 101

    • 4everUKBlue
      12:11 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      Well said Jelly. Go Cats!

  2. VirginiaCat
    10:37 am December 22, 2019 Permalink

    I thought we matched Ohio State in intensity and toughness and the BBN was out in force. Unfortunately, we have a marginal front court that is not fixable in my opinion. I love Richards as a person, but he is incapable of holding his own against top competition. Our long ball shooting is abysmal, which stands in contrast to Cal’s earlier statements that he would not recruit players who couldn’t shoot. We will get better in that department – it would be hard to get worse – but it won’t be enough to compensate for our inherent deficiencies. Lets continue to support the players. They are just kids who want to do well and deserve our encouragement. Cal did a fantastic job his first six years when he had the best talent in the country. He deserves recognition for that, but he also deserves criticism for the program’s decline since 2015. He has missed on many, many top recruit and doesn’t get the most from the talent that he does land. The process of putting together a team seems haphazard. That, in combination with his limitations as a bench coach, his inflexibility, and his OAD focus, suggest that the magic may be running low on fuel.

    • Dark Soul
      11:24 am December 22, 2019 Permalink

      Well said

    • KYJelly
      12:05 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      I’m not gonna echo the “well said”, because I think it’s a close-minded description.

      Cal recruited shooters. Maxey & Sestina were good, Juzang was great coming in. You can’t recruit whether that skill will translate or not. (Read my post above on that)

      You also can’t point to Cal not having the talent anymore. He still get the 2nd best recruiting class (now number 1 with Wiseman gone). Our class next year is looking insane. I do think the league has involved towards the NBA path that the 3 is more important than it used to be and I don’t think Cal has adapted to that well, but he’s still an amazing recruiter getting great clases

    • 4everUKBlue
      12:12 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      Once again I agree with Jelly.

    • 4everUKBlue
      12:15 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      And let us not forget that some of the players he missed on were bought, take Wiseman for example, it doesn’t get much clearer than that. And throw in evidence that K pays players but never gets caught, as in Zion’s mother got a new mansion, Bagley’s dad came into some money mysteriously and that’s just to name a few. We don’t pay for recruits, if we did we would not be outbid.

  3. classof68
    10:56 am December 22, 2019 Permalink

    Very controversial article. Now everyone will be arguing all day whether the next decade starts in 2020 or 2021.

    • runningunnin.454
      11:43 am December 22, 2019 Permalink

      Eh, the upcoming decade in the Gregorian calendar will be called the “twenty-twenties”. It will begin on 1-1-2020, even though it will be the 203rd decade.
      The problem was that Roman Numerals had no concept of zero…but we do.
      If you don’t believe me, call SiriusXM ’60s channel and ask them to play “Bridge Over Troubled Water” which came out in 1970. Or…you could request “25 Or 6 To 4” by Chicago for fun, ha ha ha ha.

  4. dave1964
    11:46 am December 22, 2019 Permalink

    Just sick of a shining turd Cal makes everything sound great but in reality this team has many problems that will not be fixed mostly due to soft players that have low basketball IQ slow feet under the basket that can’t guard

    • 4everUKBlue
      12:17 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      I’m just sick of the turds in the punchbowl aka dave1964 and mashbum, to name two.

    • VirginiaCat
      1:38 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      Lets stop blaming the players. I didn’t see a lack of effort yesterday or slowness. I saw a group of young men who were playing very hard and doing their best to win. Who among us would want to be held to a standard of perfection in our chosen professions? Cal is the program CEO and we should expect more accountability than his oft repeated admission that he was out coached. Leave the players alone. Support them and hold the adults responsible.

    • 4everUKBlue
      1:49 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

      How about we hold the adults in the comment section accountable VaginaCat.

  5. zoupman
    11:59 am December 22, 2019 Permalink

    Cal is a trendies coach. Team will get better.

  6. Big Sexy
    8:57 pm December 22, 2019 Permalink

    “Disgust” after losing to arguably the best team in the nation? I’m a little disappointed but they hung with them. Another example of why people hate UK fans. I wish the fickle fans would just get off the bandwagon. We go through stuff like this every year. UK fans whine, cry, and moan. They peak late, win about 30 games or more, and end up at least in the elite 8.