Let me start by reminding you all I’m a Morehead boy. Grew up there, went to Rowan County Senior High School and graduated in the Year of Our Lord, 2002. And though I’ve lived in Lexington for the past 7 years, Morehead is still home to me. That all means I’ve still got a very soft spot in my heart for the Eagles. And, to be honest, if Billy Clyde were still patrolling the sidelines, I might have actually pulled for Morehead in tomorrow night’s tilt. But, things being as they are, I’ll be cheering for Patrick Patterson to eat Kenneth Faried’s lunch.
But that doesn’t mean I think UK will win going away. There are several things I know about this Morehead program that should at least be noted by the Cats. The way I see it, Morehead could possibly win and here is why—
1. Have you ever actually been to Morehead? There’s not much there. We just got our first Buffalo Wild Wings a couple years back. Still don’t have an Applebee’s. “Going out” means going to the Plaza Lounge which is every bit as seedy as it sounds. Seriously, I just don’t think you understand. We cruised Main Street for entertainment in high school (Ok, so granted we cruised Main Street to blast townies with SuperSoakers, but you catch my drift) for goodness sake! So what I’m saying here is that there are virtually no distractions in a town that small. It’s all basketball, all the time for the Eagles.
(A funny story: There are no public indoor basketball courts in Morehead, so during the winter months we would sneak into Johnson Arena on Morehead’s campus to play. One particular day we were in there playing and Kyle Macy brought the team in to practice. We were sure we were about to get kicked out, but Macy just told us we could use one end of the floor and they could use the other. It was bizarre. We continued playing 21 as the Eagles did their drills. I still don’t get it.)
2. John Wall is not playing. Look, it’s obvious UK’s offense flows much much better when Wall is in the game. We struggled mightily against Campbellsville and if Bledsoe isn’t ready to go, the offensive woes might continue. Only this time we’re not playing an NAIA school, we’re playing a team that lost very little after giving Louisville a good run in the NCAA tourney last year.
3. Donnie Tyndall can coach. Can he outcoach Cal? I don’t know, but Tyndall has all of Morehead abuzz about MSU basketball. He’s brought respect back to the program and national media attention that hasn’t been seen since a one Mr. Dick Fick patrolled the sidelines (or layed down on them, whichever).
4. Kenneth Faried will give Patrick Patterson all he can handle. If you haven’t seen Faried play yet, you must. This kid is fun to watch. Several Big East schools were looking at him but he inexplicably landed in the hills of Appalachia and was a key cog in the OVC title run last year. While it’s true UK will have several guys to throw at him, I would still anticipate being impressed with this kid. Tyndall likened him to Dennis Rodman, minus the penchant for kicking cameramen and cross-dressing.
5. Ok, so it was a stretch to come up with 5 reasons why Morehead would win.
In all honesty, I see this being a pretty competitive game. I doubt the outcome will ever be in question, but I see this as a GREAT early season test for the Cats. My Prediction: