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3 Ways The Cats Can Bounce Back Following A Disappointing Loss

Well it has now been twenty-four hours since the ball was tipped and Kentucky took to the court to fail miserably in Baton Rouge. With just 11 games remaining on the schedule there isn’t much time left for the Cats to find their way and enter the NCAA tournament firing on all cylinders. If they are going to bounce back a good place to start would be with these three things:

1. Get A Win Streak Going

What’s the easiest way to forget a loss? Simple, just win. The Cats have ample opportunity to do just that over the next two weeks with a slew of winnable games. The toughest test will be this weekend when they head to Columbia for our first SEC game at Mizzou. The game is a must win for both teams so you can expect an intense environment and effort from both sides. After that game the Cats will have Ole Miss at home and Auburn and Miss St on the road. If the Cats can get some issues ironed out and win all their home games remaining they could be heading to Florida at 15-2 in the SEC with first place on the line. It’s still a long way to go and in order to get there they will first need to toughen up

2. Refuse To Lose

Whatever you want to call the will to win this team just does not have. They are the guy that gets popped in the mouth and returns to his seat in the back of the room. They don’t have the alpha dog in them. Other teams just aren’t afraid of these Cats and come into the game not just hoping to win but expecting to. Something has got to give and these freshman need to dig deep and find whatever it was that guys like Brandon Knight had in spades. They could learn a lot by just looking at the play of Alex Poythress. Last year he was like most of the guys on this year’s team as he often appeared timid, quiet, and showcased a lack of heart. Poythress has looked like a new player this season and showcased some fight when the Cats fell behind by 15 with 7 minutes to go. Alex grabbed two offensive rebounds in the next forty seconds to cut the lead to 11 and give the Cats a window back into the game. If they all had the focus of AlPo perhaps this season would be very different so far.

3. Focus.

Last night it seemed like the ball was tipped and the Cats were instantly in a 22-6 hole that would leave them buried for the entire game. The game was yet another slow start that would result in a deficit nearly impossible to overcome on the road. The issue has been prevalent since the Michigan State game and one that presents the biggest cause for worry about the rest of the season. Is this a group of guys that love the game of basketball or just a talented group of kids who are hard work adverse. I know it’s hard for freshman to show up ready to compete at a high level but now the team has their back against the wall. They can’t accomplish their goals if they don’t focus up and fast.


What else can UK do to bounce back?

Article written by Andrew Cassady

Follow me @ACassady_KSR

41 Comments for 3 Ways The Cats Can Bounce Back Following A Disappointing Loss

  1. Dakari
    9:32 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Can someone help me up please, I am still laying in the 1st row.

    • bleedblueky
      8:21 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Haha and totally agree!

      How about to reward & start some players who “trully” deserves it and use this as motivation for the new benches Coach Cal?

    9:37 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    These guys need to rely on their natural talents, not their basketball talents. Willie is 7’0″ for crying out loud. He needs to use that, his speed, and his potential physicality. Dakari needs to take his big body and use it on the boards and defensive end. The Harrisons and James are a trio of 6’6″ guards. No body can match that. They can throw balls over the defender and can even take it in the low post on potential mismatches. Alex, he’s good for right now. Julius needs to pass. he needs to be an offensive distraction. Pick and rolls with him will leave someone wide open. He also needs to use his size to dominate the defensive side of the ball. Once all these natural talents are in line, the basketball aspect will find its way.

  3. Melvit
    9:39 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    “What else can UK do to bounce back?”
    Have all the freshman return next year.

    • 2mites
      9:47 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink


  4. Dylan
    9:43 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    “What else can UK do to bounce back?” Get their head out of their ass…

  5. mb78
    9:43 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Umm…did someone actually put time into an article asking how the team can bounce back following a disappointing loss and answering it with “win” and “don’t lose”? It’s sad when “try harder” is the most substantive answer the article offers.

  6. Eric Kaufman
    9:45 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    The best way to win is to win. Did I accidentally stumble onto the New Yorker? What a hot take!

    9:49 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Care, that’s what they can do. Folks like you and I sitting at home, shouldn’t CARE more about how they are playing and performing then they do themselves. CARE, that is what matters, CARE about your assignment, CARE about what the coaches are telling you to get better, CARE about your teammates, CARE about the perception you are creating. FLAT OUT JUST CARE!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. 2mites
    9:56 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    This season is toast put a fork in em. A sweet 16 is the highest attainable for this group and anyone can see that. They shy away from physical play like a high school kid will do, they need to be men and muscle up and come back next year as men and not boys. Also Cal needs shooters, not worthless drive after drive to the basket for 40% shooting. Stop recruiting names and start recruiting players. The McDonald’s all Americans are good but will not win a NCAA title without experience. One and done IS done!

    • Issel's two front teeth
      3:08 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      I think Kansas stole the right idea from Cal’s 2012 team. Get the two best freshman in the nation, then fill out the class with 4* players with heart. I dont want more than two superstars from each class. Too many head games to play!

    • Issel's two front teeth
      3:15 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Cal had Wiggins locked up, then he got greedy. Love watching Wiggins play this year. Plays within the flow of the game.

  9. Big Dave
    10:01 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Instead of coming up with innovating motivation like “play” and win games, how about we start by implementing a zone defense with the longest team in the nation? Freshmen or not, if we aren’t there yet with our man to man then when will we?

    • 2mites
      10:08 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Cal cannot teach zone he does not know how and I don’t think Jim Behiem of Syracuse will teach him. Cal would rather let everybody shoot layups on us time after time and shoot 60% than change anything. He really believes nothing needs to change, he still thinks WCS is out beat big man.

  10. katdaddy
    10:05 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Now 2mites are ou a troll or are you a UK fan who’s tired of this new crop of freshman every year? We need a coach that will build this program and not a D-league camp for the NBA.

    • dUKe
      10:12 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Agreed…I don’t see one player on this roster NBA worthy at the moment. Can you see the twins in the first round right now?

    • 2mites
      10:15 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Nothing against the freshmen WHO STAY, but the one and done thing just ain’t gonna work, never has never will. Remember even Davis and Gilcrest had a group of experienced players who kept the team on point and also had real chemistry together. No way Cal really expected this group to be that special with such little experience. Fan? Damn right I am but am really sick of the one and done crap.

  11. Ho Lee Fuk
    10:11 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    I think Cal should take them to Body Shapes Medical, and get their T count checked. I am pretty sure most of them are low.

  12. IowaCat
    10:11 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Start making shots, very simple. Our best offense comes off of 2nd chance opportunities around the rim, I don’t see that as a good thing. Just means we struggle with finding/making open shots. We miss so many open shots. Start making them.

  13. Bounce On Down The Road
    10:14 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    I know how the Kitties can bounce back. Just bounce their sorry asses off to the NBA. This season is officially over after last night. Complete Rubbish. At least Tubby’s teams competed, even if they were out-manned. Cal’s going to take the Knicks job anyway.

  14. Stop the One and Dones
    10:20 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    With the one and done players, every year is going to be a struggle. They’re freshman for god’s sake. The Fab Five (Michigan’s) ain’t walking through that door. The Fab Fve happens once every 10 generations. Cal’s needs to go to the NBDL. He’ an excellent marketer, but not an x’s and o’s guy in a game situation . Just drive and throw it up. Our Freshman will rebound with 2 hands, not.

  15. James Young
    10:22 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Screw you Dakari. I’ll just let you sit with the students. Don’t steal my 2 points.

    • Issel's two front teeth
      3:22 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      One of the worst assist team in the nation! Tired of watching the one on one crap ALL THE TIME.

  16. Refuse to Fight Back
    10:23 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    But coach that big man hit me. I thought you wouldn’t let that happen.

  17. Throweth You Under The Bus
    10:26 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    I’m Coach Cal and if you don’t do what I want you to do. I’ll throw you under the bus at my press conference or on my radio. Poor old Ryan Harrow, he’s still being scraped up off of 2nd Avenue in Nashville after Vandy dispatched UK’s sorry asses in SEC Tournament. I have had it with Cal. What a chump.

    • 2mites
      10:38 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      I am not giving up on Cal but he has got to adapt his coaching style for the players he has and dump what does not work. His man to man just does not work with these guys and why he cannot see that is a mystery. With experienced players he does a good job as was the case with the Anthony Davis team with all the experienced players on that team. He can do it when he stops being so stubborn and adapt.

  18. Matts Son
    10:33 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Kansas is playing right now with 12 minutes left they had 16 assists on 25 baskets. Tharpe had 10 assists and zero turnovers. We had 8 assists last night on 32 field goals. Our point guard played 35 minutes and had one assist. That is what is wrong with our team in a nutshell.

    • 2mites
      10:40 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

      Kansas has shooters UK does not and that is the difference. They hit open shots UK does not.

  19. Haven't Given Up Hope on #9
    10:47 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    That’s an interesting comment to have all of the freshmen return and am sure that’s meant in sarcasm, but I think it also kind of proposes a question about where we currently stand and for next year. Would we really want all of these freshmen and some of the upperclassmen returning next year? I think Matt had a good point this morning about the overall team chemistry or really the lack there-of.

    There is some kind of a distraction that is threatening to implode the entire season and think it is more than one issue and player at hand. Too many things happening over the past few weeks have led up to this starting with Willie Cauley-Stein and working it’s way down the line.

    Andrew Harrison has clearly shown that he is a talented athlete, but he is not a leader, at least not in this stage of his career. I’ve never seen a coach have to physically shove his own point guard, the guy that is supposed to be the coach on the floor, into position. That was absolutely out of this world inexcusable for Harrison to be sitting there watching the ball getting dribbled around at the top of the key, waiting for it to come to him. That is a clear definition of a kid who is not focused on running this team. Cal is never going to come out and say it, and neither is Andrew but would love to hear from him about what his thought process was at that particular moment. I don’t blame Cal for being frustrated and trying to get through to him, at this point if this kid doesn’t understand what it is to lead a team in big-time basketball, I’m not so sure he ever will and does not have a future in the pros.

    WCS has had some kind of personal issue going on, whether it be with Cal, with a teammate, girlfriend, what-have-you. But, whatever has happened does not matter so much as will he ever be willing to shake it? Whatever it is has taken him away from being a legitimate inside defensive threat to a player that in my opinion, is more of a liability than an asset. Yes, he is talented, yes he is tall and takes up space in the lane, yes can score a putback every once in a while, but his head is clearly not in the game. So, the question is, WHY would you, and HOW could you really leave him in the game if he is clearly not focused on what he knows he is supposed to do and get into a shouting match with not only Cal but Kenny Payne as well? He has an issue(s) with being told what to do and does not take criticism well and is completely tuning Cal out now, that’s the sign of a lost player. If you read between the lines of his comments he says that when he was going through his slump, guys were intentionally dodging him after the game to avoid him, why were guys avoiding him instead of trying to talk him up? Where was his point guard (the supposed leader) to get him back on the same page? Something destroyed this kids confidence. He is not even close to being ready to leave early for the pros, and with his attitude issues think he might need to transfer somewhere that he won’t have the spotlight on him.

    Finally, the last thing would be James Young. Another fantastic ball player, can shoot the lights out when he is on a hot streak, but is prone to losing focus as well – especially on defense. It’s like no one has ever taught them to move without the ball in their hands. He can keep on gunning, but is it that difficult to even look and see if anyone else MIGHT be open or have a mismatch to take advantage of? How do you leave a player wide open under the basket to go running towards the three point line to cover your own man? The higher percentage shot is under the basket, what was he thinking?

    I absolutely love Cal to death, think he’s a fantastic coach and do not question his abilities as a coach and as everyone knows will never throw another player under the bus. If he didn’t call out Harrow & Goodwin last year to say they needed to get off the team, he is not going to do it to Harrison, WCS or Young.

    All 3 questions above are legitimate, and they could turn it around. But in order to do it, they need Harrison to step up and back up the claim as the former #1 point guard in the country. That means he would have to mature awfully fast and quit worrying about having the ball in his hands for 40 minutes. WCS has to have an attitude adjustment by sitting out at least from the start of the game, worst case by sitting an entire game to get the point across that either you roll with us, or you will eventually get rolled over but you are not going to hijack the entire season and team for the sake of being a whiny punk. Young has to start playing real defense, and same as Harrison to quit worrying about how many touches he gets on the ball. Can they do it and still save the season? Absolutely. Do they want to? We’ll see. Depending on how we play at Missouri will tell us whether there is any hope or not. Let’s hope so.

  20. Real Cracka
    11:00 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Is this a joke? If so it’s the same one I just heard after the Arkansas game. You’d be wise to just worry about a win Saturday. Trying to think past the next game with this inconsistent team is a lesson in futility. Better pray we win Saturday or it’s going to be a full fledged meltdown in BBN.

  21. sunnycat
    11:09 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    Ohio State lost game #5 tonight. That is a team full of Jr’s and Sr’s with Final Four experience and a Sr PG who is supposed to be a lock down defender. So much for the experience argument I guess.

    • Bledsoe's Biceps
      8:10 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Are you really that stupid or just trying to be funny? I’ve not seen anyone claim an experienced team can’t be bad too. Experienced/older players alone does not guarantee success.

  22. Adobe, Inc.
    11:13 pm January 29, 2014 Permalink

    That’s a really nice photo. Anyone else notice they all are wearing different shoes?

  23. Wldcatwilie
    12:11 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Win @Missouri it ain’t gonna happen.

  24. specialetta
    6:54 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Play better defense. Players feed off of good defense stops which usually results in offensive points.

  25. lou eaton
    8:15 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    So many problems BUT I fear it is about each freshman trying to individually raise their draft stock! This is the wrong concentration to have while trying to beat experienced players. Alex is playing better than anyone right now so why not play him, Young, Randle and the two twins together and let them play. Cal has a tendency (all the time) to yank a player the first time he commits a turnover….this screws up the mental part of their game…let them screw up twice before yanking them and then don’t blow their brains out verbally while correcting them…they are still FRESHMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Mean Randy
    9:45 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    How about starting Pothyress and Johnson for starters please

  27. bung
    9:48 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    assists and fast breaks…

  28. Brandon
    10:22 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    At this point I think it should be obvious we are nowhere near the 2012 team, or even the 2010 team. It seems like we are somewhere between the 2013 team and the 2011 team. Time will tell, but we can only hope we end up closer to the 2011 team.

  29. theWilkman
    11:03 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Stopped reading after this comment in point 1:
    “The game is a must win for both teams so you can expect an intense environment and effort from both sides.”

    How on earth can you EXPECT effort from this team on the road with what they’ve shown? If anything, we should expect them to fold like they have previously. The pleasant surprise would be if they actually stepped up to the challenge and won.

    I haven’t given up on this team, I won’t until they play their last game of the season. However, if the Missouri game is anything like Tuesday’s debacle, then my “hope” will be getting out of the first round of the tournament, not #9 like it was pre-season.

  30. Caywood
    11:09 am January 30, 2014 Permalink

    I say Willis for President. He takes the initiative to go to gym late at night and….enough said! True leaders bleed blue. Turn him a loose and give him a chance to instill some fight in our Mickey Ds.