Because Kentucky’s six-man rotation is comprised of three freshmen, and because Kentucky struggles to win on the road (all of a sudden, kind of), the tidy conclusion based on those two astute observations is that Kentucky struggles to win on the road (all of a sudden, kind of) because their six-man rotation is comprised of three freshmen. Other than being a stupid, short-sighted, and blind assessment, I’d agree that it’s spot-on!
Except not really at all. I’m not going to make an upper- v. freshmen-class flow chart to prove this, because it would really just insult your intelligence to provide visual evidence of something that is plainly obvious. Plus, I’m not really sure what a flow chart is or how to make one.
Instead! I have a way more hair-brained, likely erroneous theory as to why we’re losing these games on the road: we’re getting unlucky.
I know it’s a losers mentality to say, “well, we lost because they got lucky,” and that’s not really what I’m saying. These other teams didn’t get lucky in beating us, necessarily; it’s more that we were unlucky. We fumble the ball late against ‘Bama; Chris Warren’s three rattles down; Chandler Parsons goes nuts; John Jenkins goes nuts.
In the grand scheme of things, sure, we lost these games for a myriad of reasons. Still, a few bounces UK’s way Saturday and we beat Vandy (11 of Jenkins’ 32 points were second chance); Brandon Knight hits (as he had on his first four threes) and we beat Florida; and Warren’s three — every time I see the replay I think it’s going to go long.
This is all to say: We aren’t losing these games, as Jeff Goodman (and a billion others, probably) said on Twitter, because Brandon Knight doesn’t know how to lead. That’s absurd. (If anything, we lose on the road in spite of the freshmen and their productivity, but that doesn’t really fit into my Malcolm Gladwell-style narrative.) In fact, it’s much more didactic: We’re losing road games because we’re losing road games. (Mims used similar logic when explaining to you that he is hot because he is fly, and you are not because you are not.)
So while its cathartic and natural to want to blame people for these events — Liggins makes bad decisions late (guilty!); Lamb isn’t scoring; Jones forces it — it may just be a case of the yips.
So relax and prepare yourselves for Rotnei Clarke to score 87 points when we go to Arkansas.