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Two years later, Kentucky faces similar early season issues

Two years ago would you have ever guessed that in early December without a bowl game in sight, the main focus of many Kentucky fans would center around Kentucky football? We are nine games into the college basketball season and I have already heard more than a few people make statements such as, “I can’t wait for football season.” Now I know that most of this excitement and focus on football comes from the new hire and the anticipation of what is to come. The excitement for football is not necessarily a reflection of a lack of excitement for basketball. Either way, two years ago we were not talking this much about Kentucky football. We were talking about basketball. Not only were we talking about basketball, but we were talking about many of the same issues and situations that we are talking about with this year’s team.

I dug through the KSR archives to find some of the posts written following Kentucky’s third loss of the season, which came in early January to Georgia. Granted, that loss was nearly a month after this year’s Kentucky team experienced its third loss of the season. The 2010-2011 Kentucky team struggled through the beginning of the season, especially on the road in conference play. This year’s Kentucky team has faced similar early season struggles, though they have yet to reach conference play.

Here’s what we were talking about with the Kentucky team 2 years ago after 3 losses:

1. “The many faces of Terrence Jones”

2. Foul line troubles

3. Defensive struggles

4. Point guard issues

5. Limited returning experience

–Some comparisons can certainly be drawn to the struggles facing this year’s team early. Terrence Jones had moments of brilliance where he showed the type of dominant/athletic player he could be, causing nightmare match-ups for opponents. Jones also had games or stretches during games where he simply disappeared and wasn’t able to assert himself into the offense. Does that sound a bit similar to Alex Poythress? Poythress has had games this season where he has completely dominated and taken over, almost scoring at will when driving to the basket. On the other hand, he has had games where he has disappeared and struggled to contribute offensively.

— Kentucky is only shooting 63% from the free throw line on the season. Kentucky shot 62% from the FT line in the 2010 loss to Georgia.

— John Calipari was asked the other day about who he thought could be this year’s version of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or DeAndre Liggins. He admitted that up until this point, he’s not sure who that “defensive stopper” type of a player will be. As a team, Kentucky is not forcing enough turnovers throughout the course of the game. And when they do force turnovers, the conversion rate on the fast break leaves much to be desired. Early in the season two years ago DeAndre Liggins was already his team’s defensive stopper, but the rest of the team was facing similar struggles as a unit to create turnovers and produce extra possessions.

— Much of the conversation surrounding the Kentucky team 2 years ago at this point in the season was the point guard play of Brandon Knight. Even when Knight was scoring at a nice clip offensively, questions remained about his ability to control the team and run the offense. Knight was tabbed by some as more of a “shooting guard” than a true point guard. The point guard position has been perhaps the biggest question mark on this Kentucky team so far during this young season. The early struggles and health issues with Ryan Harrow put the ball in Archie Goodwin’s hands early. Harrow began to show signs late in the Portland game that he might be taking hold of the position for good moving forward. Either way, Kentucky has still yet to completely nail down the position at this point. Harrow will face his biggest test in a few weeks when Kentucky squares off against Louisville. If he plays well in that game, he may be able to put some of the point guard questions to rest. Much like two years ago though (and like last year with Teague in the early part of the season), the point guard play has clearly been an issue.

– -As we are all keenly aware of, Kyle Wiltjer is the only returning player on this year’s Kentucky team with significant experience (at least at Kentucky/under Calipari). Ryan Harrow had a year of practice under Calipari, and Julius Mays played 4 years at a smaller program in Wright State. The bulk of the rest of the minutes though are shared by newcomers such as Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein. Kentucky was plagued with similar experience issues two years ago. Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins were the only key returners from the previous season. Josh Harrellson was seldom used as he sat behind the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and Daniel Orton. The bulk of the minutes two years ago came from newcomers as well, such as Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones.

Two years ago, Kentucky was facing a number of issues after their third loss of the season. This year’s Kentucky team is sitting on three losses as well, and it seems as if they are a facing a number of similar troubles. The talking points and the conversations are centering around some of the same things. The 2010-2011 Kentucky team found a way to overcome many of their struggles on their way to reaching the Final Four. John Calipari said on Tuesday that he suspected he might not have his team this year “figured out until February.” The middle of February was when the 2010-2011 Kentucky team experienced their final loss (in overtime to Arkansas) before stringing together an impressive 6-game winning streak heading into the NCAA tournament. Perhaps the parallels for this year’s team and the 2010-2011 team will continue. Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. What can be said though is that plenty of time remains for this young Kentucky basketball team. The issues are not so irregular for this point in the season.

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

52 Comments for Two years later, Kentucky faces similar early season issues

  1. Cornball Brother
    5:40 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t Even try

  2. Really?
    5:50 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Good job summarizing what has already been said. This is just plain lazy. All you did was steal from catsillustrated and your fellow writers.

  3. Ally Tucker
    5:58 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    What’s a Cats Illustrated?

  4. UK Fan
    6:03 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Did anyone mention back then that the team couldn’t shoot or rebound?

  5. Ridge Runner
    6:04 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, it’s a (yahoo) site where teams have a homepage.

    No, you didn’t steal anything. It’s just a simular story by circumstance. He’s being a jerk.

    Anyway, yes…many simularities especially (to me) the PG questions. Albeit, we could single out Brandon. This year we kinda have a 2-headed monster to single out with hoping Harrow takes it over completely.

  6. Ridge Runner
    6:07 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I hope I am surprised with a final 4 run but to be honest…a sweet 16 is a goal for me with this team. Notice I say a “goal”.

  7. Joe
    6:22 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    You know I HATE the Daily Kos…but I doubt they know it. I don’t show up all the time and berate them for their reportage….

    IF, Matt is right, every time one of you Yahoos shows up here and gives KSR down the road for their writing, he gets 1/2 of a cent…In short, your complaining makes him money. So, I’d say he’s laughing all the way to the bank at your carping.

    Here’s an idea, IF you don’t like the writing, don’t come back, turn the channel selector, as it were. When page views fall, THEN Matt’ll improve…

    It’s like CWS…as long as butts are in the seats, Barnhart is less likely to replace Joker. When the attendance fell to 18,000 next day Joker was gone…But yo do what you think best.

  8. Not Ally Tucker
    6:24 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    5 – c’mon man. 3 is not Ally. Plus, everything he has said has come up on this site multiple times. Catsillustrated has a hundred posters who have all said this same thing before Ally did. It’s not a similar story by circumstance. This site has just gotten lazy. The other day, a writer simply reposted a story that had just been posted several posts below. Even said it was posted already. Quality is severely lacking nowadays.

  9. bobthebuiler
    6:24 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone know for sure if they are opening the erruption zone to the public for this game?

  10. Michael
    6:26 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    7 – Really dude? You know trolls say things to get exactly that same response? You just gave them exactly what they wanted. Good job spending a couple minutes on that response. We all need your moral advice to function. Thank you for your fine work.

  11. Ridge Runner
    6:30 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    8- No one really knows who posts what comment and I learned that a long time ago. So, it could be or it couldn’t be. The reason I mentioned Ally was after seeing the comment, I felt if she did post it…I wanted her to have some support. These writers take a lot of crap and during the season where games are 1 week apart, yes there is/may be some simular stories as nothing earth shattering is happening. It just will happen. I, myself years ago was picking (nothing intentional) at a couple writers and found out they may have been hurt by that. So, now I try not to do that and if I do slip up…they kinda know me now I hope.

    Bottom line is they do this for us and in all seriousness…bashing them, name calling is out of line and plain childish. I don’t like it whether a writer is the one responding or not. I know they feel it sometimes.

  12. Bollocks
    6:33 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    11 – not one name has been called. Take your holier than thou, everyone get a trophy attitude home. Not everyone is equal. Some people just aren’t good at what they do.

  13. Grow up man
    6:34 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    #8 Dont get why you come to this site Bro. If you have already seen the material on anther site why come on here to cry about it. Here I’ll solve all your problems stay at Catsillustrated and quit your crying. Why do you come to this site since its so far below you. Are you that kid in that video with that cop that got fired??

  14. hosier Wlldcat
    6:34 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    It has been a great 3 years. What ever happens this year is OK with me. IF we lose 15 games I am still Cal’s biggest supporter. He will get the best they have to give. It just might not be enough. Willy will be a STAR. It might be next year if we don’t get the big men Cal is shooting for.

  15. Ridge Runner
    6:36 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    12– Trust me, I’m am a far cry from being holy. haha.

    No, your right in this specific post -no names have been called but I was referring to posts in general as I gave an example on why I was coming to support Ally and others. But then again…deep down your a smart guy and already knew that. right?

  16. Bollocks
    6:37 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    13 – good job man. Dude need some aloe for that burn. Your logic skills are unmatched on this comment section. Keep up the good work policing something that has no effect on your life.

  17. Grow up man
    6:37 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Amen 15. I think everybody knew a down year was going to happen sooner or later. I think Cal has earned the right for some leeway. If he can get this team on track great, if not we sure are going to be bad ass next year

  18. Bollocks
    6:38 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    15 – I’m smart enough to know the difference between your and you’re. Do they not teach grammar anymore?

  19. Grow up man
    6:40 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    #16 thank you sir. You have done a good job yourself of policing, someone policing something that has no effect on their life.

  20. Ridge Runner
    6:42 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    18- Oh I see. Ya lose on the debate and so ya bring on the spelling / grammar police. I gotcha. whewwwwwww.

  21. Ridge Runner
    6:42 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I posted #18 but with the delete..I’ll just say my last post was for Bollocks.

  22. Bollocks
    6:44 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    20 – I didn’t know there was a debate. I’m just havin fun. It obviously affects people like yourself, 7, and 13. It’s too easy. Haha.

  23. Ridge Runner
    6:48 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Bollucks, -try and have “fun” by jumping on me. I’m ok with it and enjoy the back-n-forth till I get tired. Just don’t hammer the KSR writers. Your cue to define how you didn’t “hammer” the writers (Ally). Ready….go!

  24. Ridge Runner
    6:48 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Ya like the “Your”? MUHAHA

  25. Grow up man
    6:49 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    You call it having fun everybody else calls it showing your a$$. Nothing worse then someone who has to try to embarrass someone else to get some jollies. Just makes you look stupid.

  26. Bollocks lite
    6:51 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    23 – dude, just ignore him. You’re giving him what he wants. To be fair, no one has really hammered the writers. Dude just called them lazy. If that’s the worst thing said in here, I would call it civil in comparison with other posts’ comments.

  27. BLUE BLY
    6:51 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    It’ll be a long season…but I have not seen a team dominate…..UK will be in the mix at years end….DAT’S A FACT JACK!!!!

  28. Grow up man
    6:51 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I think we found the kid from that Vidio on campus.

  29. UK Freshmen
    6:51 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Lets face it. We have problems:
    1. We have either a point guard that is a re-tread.
    2. A shooting guard that can’t pass.
    3. A shooting small forward that can’t shoot or rebound.
    4. A big forward with a bad attitude.
    5. An over-rated center.
    6. A short and shallow bench
    7. A coach who doesn’t know what to do.

    Other than that, we are looking great. Go Cats!

  30. Ridge Runner
    6:51 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    26- It’s fun though.

  31. Bollocks
    6:53 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    All your attentions belong to me! Gosh you people are lame.

  32. Grow up man
    6:55 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    #27 I would like to agree with you. As bad as it hurts to say IU has looked strong. They are going to be hard to beat but there is a lot of ball to be played.

  33. Grow up man
    6:56 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Video sorry

  34. bung
    6:57 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    team 2 yrs ago didn’t like to run…bk liked to come down and set himself up for a shot…I aint sure if this team will start to run more but they look good when they do…I don’t think this team will lose as many as that team if we keep the assists and breaks up… and Hood can def help us…Ally is fine…

  35. bollocks
    6:58 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Why does my mom kiss me with here mouth open

  36. Ridge Runner
    6:59 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    32, at least we have room (OK, a lot, heh?) but seriously, room to improve. Not saying we by how much but I expect we will get better. The thing with IU is that they have reached the plateau they are at generally speaking. If that makes sense.

  37. bung
    7:00 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    nerls was never spose 2 b an instant offense…Poy should go low mo with hood and good at the wings…

  38. Bollocks
    7:01 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Good try little bollocks. Mine is capitalized. You get an f for effort.

  39. Ridge Runner
    7:07 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    good point, bung.

  40. Joe
    7:08 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    We all need your moral advice to function. Thank you for your fine work.

    Not Moral Advice, it’s a statement of fact. Moral advice would be Repent and Come Here No More….I just point out that coming here and complaining makes Matt, $’s and he laughs all the way tot he bank.

    Sorry if this bothers you, but as long as people come and B!tch I or others will point out the absurdity of their actions. What you do or don’t do is YOUR BUSINESS.

  41. bung
    7:11 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    good 2 c u mr. runner

  42. Joseph
    7:12 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    40 – isn’t that a bit hypocritical. You tell people to mind their own business, but you make it your business to point out things. Did you ever think that maybe regular visitors are the ones commenting just to pass the time? Why can’t you just ignore them? LOUD NOISES!!!

  43. Wait
    7:22 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    7 – matt gets $.50 per visit? Does he not give any to the writers? Because the posts have gotten weaker with the exception of Drew Franklin who is exceptional as always.

  44. bollocks
    7:26 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I do agree that IU is about as good as they are going to be. The only problem is I don’t think we can reach that high this year. UL and Duke could very well be in reach if and when we are hitting on all cylinders. IU will have to slip up for them not to win it all, but that my friends is why they play the games.

  45. bollocks
    7:28 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Damn #43 did you wipe your mouth off after you got done with Drew.

  46. BigBlueVein
    7:29 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    IT’S A FREE SITE !!!!!

  47. Bollocks
    7:30 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    45 – damn dude. Why aren’t you clever enough to come up with your own user name?

  48. kyfan49
    7:31 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t care, I hate comparisons, I never have understood the reasoning for comparison, especially since you are not comparing apples to apples, a wasted read…..

  49. Ridge Runner
    7:33 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Now folks, we need everyone to be super nice. No meanie heads here. Everyone is perfect and no one should be criticized. We are all fantabulous people here. You will listen to me because I want niceness, ok? Super!!

  50. Ridge Runner
    7:36 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    49– I knew it was about time when ya got sore from getting chastised and used my name. hahaha. It was just a matter of time.

  51. Bollocks
    7:38 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    50 – not me if that’s what you’re implying. I don’t do that when trolling. Not as much fun. Probably was the guy who was using my name

  52. kywildcat
    9:04 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    really need to upgrade the comments to be linked by facebook, the imposter bs gets old matt