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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Can We Please Have One Season Without Hyping So Much? Please.

Look, I am not saying that whenever this next college basketball season begins that Kentucky isn’t going to be AWESOME.  Calipari definitely seems high on this team and despite his normal hyperbole, he is saying things he doesn’t say about every team.  But what do we gain by already arguing “Final Four or Bust” or “3 losses or less” kind of predictions?  Why must we always claim out incoming freshman will have a Wall, Davis, Towns kind of impact?  What do we actually gain from doing that?  And if you don’t believe, take a run down memory lane since 2015:

*Everybody remembers that Skal Labiessiere was a Top 3 player in his class, right?  He was supposed to be the next Cousins, Davis, Randle, Towns, Noel.  He was the natural successor to those guys.  Tyler Ulis was coming back for a 2nd season.  Isaiah Briscoe was a Top 20 player and one of the 2-3 best guards in his class.  Jamal Murray was going to be this dynamic Canadian sharpshooter.  And it just never clicked for that group.  They were a fine team, but people were seriously discussing 40-0 again with that group, especially after they won their first 7 games, including over Duke.  They ended up losing 9 games and falling in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.

*This team did turn out to be a great team, no doubt.  But despite starting the year #2 in the polls, they lost home games against Kansas and UCLA, they are one of only 2 teams to lose to Louisville, and let us not forget the Malik Monk laughing episode at Florida.  At that point in the season, that team was 18-5 and ranked 15th in the country.  Now, they figured it out in the end and had a shot at the title, but the hype coming into the year didn’t materialize until late February.

*The hype around this team was high as well.  5th ranked in the preseason.  Freshman class includes Kevin Knox, SG Alexander, PJ Washington, Quade Green, and Nick Richards.  Hami Diallo was going to be one of the greatest transfers in UK history.  Sophomore Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones were going to make great leaps.  Jarred Vanderbilt, when healthy, was going to be the difference maker.  And basically, outside of Alexander, most of these guys were a disappointment.  Washington came around by the end of the year and Knox had a couple moments, as did Diallo, but this might have been Cal’s 2nd or 3rd worst team.  They were fringe Top 25.

No team had more hype coming into a season than this one.  Remember the Bahamas trip?  40-0 was a lock for many people.  Instead, they lost the first game of the season by 34 points.  Now, this team was still a very good team.  They never got above #4 in the rankings again but they were a very, very good team that finished with a disappointing loss to Auburn.  But the hype around this team was so out of control and it burned all of us for that entire season.

Now we’ll never know how this team would have finished the season but should we forget about Evansville?  Should we forget about the Las Vegas trip?  Hell, the first game in March was a home loss to Tennessee.  So again, the hype that we all created at the beginning of the year, and after an opening over Michigan State, only came back to haunt us and make us not actually appreciate what was a really good team, but rather consider them a disappointment.

Now look, everybody gets to be whatever kind of fan they want to be.  But I will just continue to never understand why we must hype these UK basketball teams before they have ever played a game.  Calipari plays into this often and is doing it for real this year.  And maybe this team becomes a national champion and goes 38-2.  But having been bit by over-hype for 5 consecutive season, excuse me for not buying it and instead letting the season play out.  That way, should this team struggle in the early season, it won’t bother me as much as it bothers many of you.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

20 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Can We Please Have One Season Without Hyping So Much? Please.

  1. mrpokerchips
    10:02 am July 23, 2020 Permalink


  2. Heavy C
    10:14 am July 23, 2020 Permalink

    Yep…I agree. Lets Walk Some Walk.

  3. will welty
    11:00 am July 23, 2020 Permalink

    Hami wasn’t a transfer

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      11:47 am July 23, 2020 Permalink

      Right. Plus, Vanderbilt WAS a huge difference maker…when he played. He was a rebounding machine, and the way he pushed the ball up the court and made those bullet passes. Unbelievable.

    • T-Town Cat
      1:15 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

      We were 7-7 in the games Vanderbilt played. Much better record without him.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      1:49 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

      7-7? I forgot that.

  4. The Original WTF Guy
    11:03 am July 23, 2020 Permalink

    I totally agree. It’s stupid and creates expectations that cannot be met.

    While we are at it, can we just realize that our season is going to go through the same cycles it almost always goes through – we are going struggle early, but at some point we will have a game where we will have “turned the corner” only to get to the conference and look lost in mid-January. Again, there will be a big win or two and #1 seeds will be dancing in our heads before another streak of bad games when some will question our ability to even get a bit. Finally, sometime in mid-February things will slowly start coming together and by March we will be one of the top teams in the country. Can we for once just enjoy the ride knowing what our destination is rather than acting like every game, or even every half, is equal to the entire season?

  5. 2Dogs
    11:08 am July 23, 2020 Permalink

    I see the word we a lot in this article. I assume you’re referring to yourself, apparently, and the unrealistic fans, of which there are many, with the “Final Four or Bust” mentality. Perhaps I’m in the minority but I can be hyped up about a team without placing this standard on it. I go into each season knowing (yes Mashburn, knowing) we have a legitimate shot at a final four or a championship. It’s typically not a smooth ride but that’s just how it goes. There are actually other teams out there which are pretty good. At the end of the year we’ll see what happens. Sit back and enjoy or white knuckle it. That’s up to you.

    If this comment shows up twice I apologize. It was so cutting edge it was moderated.

  6. CatsFanFrankfort
    11:13 am July 23, 2020 Permalink

    Meh, I used to think it wasn’t great to get built up so much in the preseason, because it just puts pressure on the team all year. But really, its the same sort of mindset that people have about Alabama in football, isnt it? We SHOULD be a top-5 program every season. Fans expect it at this point. I think Id rather see that continue. Granted, it does make things stressful once losses pile up, but it shows that we are one of the few top-tier programs in the country every year.

    I do agree with the above post that people get carried away if we lose a few times, and suddenly the sky is falling. As long as we start to become a cohesive team in February and March (which we have done in all the years mentioned here – I think people forget the streaks the 2016 and 2017 teams were on going into the postseason, especially), then we’ll be fine.

  7. CatsFanFrankfort
    11:24 am July 23, 2020 Permalink

    I do also legit believe that the 2016-17 and the 2018-19 teams were two of the best teams we’ve had. Those elite-8 losses are next to only the Wisconsin loss and the WVU loss as most painful for me in the Cal era. So close to Final-4 in both of those years. They hurt far worse than either of the Uconn losses for me, since we seemed to overachieve to even get to those games in 2014 and 2011.

  8. chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
    11:29 am July 23, 2020 Permalink

    “people were seriously discussing 40-0 again with that group” (BTI referring to the Ulis-Murray team)

    I’m calling bull hockey on that one Bryan. I was fairly high on that team after we dismantled Duke, but 40-0 talk? Puh-LEEEEZE! If someone links to a KSR post or other article with fans saying that (more than 1 or 2 delusional fans), I’ll eat my words, but I don’t believe it.

    Drew wrote a post during the 16-17 season (Fox/Monk team) saying “When we beat Arizona State in Puerto Rico, we all thought we might go 40-0. You thought it. I thought it.” I remember replying “No, we didn’t all think it. YOU might have, but I will never think that again until we are 39-0.” Okay, truthfully, if we finish the regular season undefeated again, I’ll think about it, but not to the extent I did in 15. That FF loss was just too difficult for me to get THAT invested again. If we finish the SEC tourney and are still undefeated, yeah, I’ll be pretty hyped, but I still hope I would be a bit more tempered than I was in 15.

  9. Aar
    12:25 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

    The talent Cal brings in, his coaching skill and his staff’s coaching skill make his teams worthy of the hype every. single. year.

    At the same time his teams can be a train wreck every year. It’s a high risk, high reward way of putting teams together and it certainly is fun to watch.

    BTW, BTI, you and KSR are the prime hype-masters for BBN. Quit your whinin’

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      12:28 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

      Your next to last sentence was 100% correct. However, I would add the phrase “and at times frustrating” after word “fun” in your next to last paragraph.

  10. Wild Turkey 101
    12:26 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

    Hire Tubby Smith as coach and we’ll never hype it up again.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      12:30 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink


      Hey, go easy. Tubby seems to be a good guy. When he left it was time for a change IMO, but he still did a great job in 98. It’s too bad his recruiting had fallen off at the end there.

    • Wild Turkey 101
      9:48 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

      Just saying you can only hype when you have the studs.

  11. Lip Man 1
    12:57 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

    Well written story and I completely agree.

  12. somerset bill
    2:17 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

    BTI… I think we need to read other people. You hate out positivity. We hate your negativity. I think a change could do us both a lot of good.

  13. mfmaysville
    3:24 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

    2016-2017 and 2018-2019 were great squads and when on could have run away from any other team in the country those years except for maybe Zion’s Duke team. Ulis and Murray could have carried Cats to Final Four. If PJ hits some free throws against K-State that team makes final four. Cal has earned the hype. Of course every year is final four or bust. Kentucky isn’t for everyone.

  14. BigBluSoTru
    4:38 pm July 23, 2020 Permalink

    WTF BTI is this BS your writing your one of Matt’s top Lt’s on KSr when it comes too years of UK hyperbole especially BB. I know what your trying to do reverse psychology you figure being a little reserved on positives will make Uk win #9 . You dam well also believe the hype this year too. . And some of these idiots on here agreeing with you are full of it also ! Not one dam UK bb fan thinks we are not going to win it every year.