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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Does Keith Bogans get the Respect he Should?

I don’t think it was mentioned on the site last week, but May 12th was Keith Bogans 34th birthday, which should make you feel really old that Keith Bogans is quickly approaching 40.  But nonetheless, Bogans big day gives me a chance to write this yearly post as my pitch as to why Keith Bogans is the most under-appreciated player in UK history.  Or at least of the modern era of UK history as I am sure somebody will bring up this guy or that guy from the 50’s.  So my question is this:

Why doesn’t Bogans get the love that other UK legends do?

Certainly there are some people who do love Keith Bogans, but I would think that if you rated favorite UK players since 2000, Bogans would rank behind Tayshaun, Chuck Hayes, Patterson, Wall, Cousins, Knight, Davis, MKG, and Miller.  And that is BEST CASE SCENARIO.  I think some people would argue that Magloire was more loved, Erik Daniels was more loved, and Ramel and/or Joe were more loved.  Hell, I know people that swear their love to Gerald Fitch up and down.  I rarely hear that about Bogans.

But, in terms of actual careers, none of those guys had the career that Bogans had.  NONE. OF. THEM.  Just a quick refresher of what Bogans did in Lexington:

-4th all-time in points
-36th all-time in rebounds
-14th all-time in assists
-12th all-time in steals
-2nd all-time in 3-pointers made
-101 total wins
-8 NCAA Tournament wins
-4 SEC East Titles
-2 SEC Tournament Titles
-Captain of only undefeated SEC season in history

This guy played 4 years in Lexington, had one of the greatest freshman seasons and arguably the best senior season in UK history when team success is included.  And after a small dispute in his first year, he did it all while being a leader on the team with no off the court problems.  Oh, and on top of all of that, he continues to play in the NBA, something Daniels, Fitch, Bradley, or Crawford can’t say.  I truly don’t know what else Bogans can do, or has done, to sway UK fans in large numbers.  But I still would call the overall fan opinion of Bogans lukewarm at best.

And don’t tell me that he never made a Final Four.  Again, Prince, Hayes, Patterson, Wall, and Cousins never made a Final Four either.  So, what is it?  Why doesn’t Bogans get the elevation to LEGEND status that some of his counterparts in the decade get?  When you bring up which modern players should have their jerseys retired, Bogans often gets overlooked.  I would argue he should be the 2nd choice behind Delk.  At worst 3rd behind Prince. 

Which is sad to me, because Bogans produced more than almost anybody at Kentucky.  Bogans represented the program better than most and Bogans has continued to represent the program well in the NBA.  Keith Bogans, the man, the myth, the legend, and the damned sprained ankle.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

48 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Does Keith Bogans get the Respect he Should?



  1. Stay away from politics, Matt
    10:20 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Matt, I generally like you, but you’ve flip-flopped on Rupp. You lead the fan base to believe Stivers was at fault for the failure of this project, but now you’ve shifted the blame to Rice. It looks like Stivers was on to something when he came on your show.



    • Kemp's Pawn & Lube
      10:25 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

      Wrong post.



  2. Kemp's Pawn & Lube
    10:23 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    And if not for his sprained ankle, we likely beat Marquette and Dwayne Wade in the tournament. I agree, he doesn’t seem to get the love and respect his career earned. Playing before the days of hyper social media hurts the perception as well. He did not have the means to interact with people the way players do now. Granted, for some that helped keep up an image that may have otherwise been tarnished, but Bogans seemed to be a decent guy.



  3. Morehead Cat
    10:31 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Bogans was my favorite player as a kid and probably my favorite player from before the Calipari Era overall. If his ankle was 100%, the Kentucky-Kansas Final Four game in 2003 would’ve been a classic, and then who knows what could’ve happened in the finals against Syracuse



  4. Roofus Howls
    10:34 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    His junior year hurt his legacy.

    Bogans was absolutely awesome – but his junior year was the worst of his career and was on a horribly disappointing UK team (IMO that same team tarnishes Prince’s legacy in the eyes of fans to some extent).

    I’m not saying that any of the above are “right” or “defensible”, but I believe that’s why he doesn’t get the love he deserves.



    • zombielibrarian
      12:24 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

      You, my friend, are spot on. Between that and no one remembering anything about his amazing Senior season due to Dwayne Wade’s coming out party in the Elite Eight he doesn’t get the level of appreciation from the fans that he probably should. Seriously, if you ask anyone about that great 02-03 season, odd are the first (and probably only) thing they’ll mention is that tourney game where Bogans had the sprained ankle and Wade went off. They likely won’t even think about that 19-0 SEC record.



  5. catdaddyd
    10:46 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Never liked his game, thought he played selfishly.



  6. SUPREMECATS
    10:46 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Most under appreciated player in our history. An absolute legend of our program.



  7. CatsfaninFL
    10:55 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Actually, thanks to UF this year, it’s not the only undefeated SEC team in history… UK history though if that’s what you were going for…



  8. robert smith
    10:56 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    I think Keith was also a victim of the fanbase coming to grips with teams playing Tubby’s style and moving away from Pitino’s full court press/3 point shooting barrage (that Pitino even had to adjust).

    Bogans and Prince were both highly prized recruits that may have come to Kentucky to play that same style as well.

    The end result I believe is that while fans loved Keith and what he did at UK, his career was one of veiled frustration of being tied to Tubby’s inability to take a talented team to a final four.



  9. ukfan
    10:59 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    definitely not respected like he should be.. put him in the rafters.. also, we will go undefeated in the SEC next year, you can take that to the bank!



  10. terwilliger
    11:02 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Love Keith, but like Robert Smith said — he never made a final four in 4 years here. It’s the same reason why Prince, Fitch, Hawkins, Daniels, Hayes, Estill, etc. aren’t thought more highly of. So much talent, so little postseason success. I love all those guys, but at Kentucky, your season is measured by your play in March and April. Careers are no different.



  11. Bigevets
    11:03 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    I think the biggest knock on Bogans was that he was so highly recruited and ranked so very high in the high school rankings throughout his high school career that it was nearly impossible for him to live up to expectations bestowed upon him by recruiting services. If I recall correctly, he played at DeMatha High with future Tar Heel player Joe Forte, who was a good college player and left school early only to be a bust in the pros.
    I think he is somewhat like Roderick Rhodes. Rhodes was more a star recruit than Jamal Mashburn when he came out of New Jersey back in 1992 but while Rhodes was a good player, people were talking about him being better than Mashburn.
    I just think sometimes recruiting services hurt the perception of these kids. Bogans was a good player and if judged by his body of work at UK and what he did for UK rather than what recruiting services told the fan base he would do for UK, I think he would be get more love.
    Prince and Mashburn were very high level recruits (As best I recall Prince was a top 25 player and Mashburn was a top 15 players) but not like Rhodes or Bogans (Both top 3 players). But Rhodes and Bogans had to follow those guys as well as live up the lofty expectations and while Bogans’ career stats are great, I just think that people expected more from him.
    With all that said, I think Bogans’ career should rank in the top 5 of UK players from the past 25 years. Played all four seasons and gave his all to the team. Not much more you could ask of him.



    • T. Tommy Littlepage
      2:28 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

      Bogans did play with Forte in high school. Bogans was ranked #2 or #3 depending on what ranking you looked at although there was a perception later in their senior season that Forte was actually better. Partly a UNC bias and partly the fact that Forte turned in to the better scorer. Two stories on Bogans: (1) when I was working in D.C. my firm did some work for his girlfriend’s dad and I was able to get some autographed stuff from him; and (2) I saw his Dematha team matchup with Highlands in a tournament at the then MCI Center. This was Highlands with Smith and Lorenzen. Older fellow sitting next to me watched them run out on the court and said “woo those white boys need to be playing football.” I told them that was what they were going to be doing. Bogans matched up on Smith (who was playing center for Highlands) and then in overtime (yes overtime with those teams) Bogans switched and picked up the point guard full court. He was a stopper and better all-around player than Forte and a man in high school.



  12. terwilliger
    11:03 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Don’t get me wrong, Keith should absolutely have his jersey retired. Prince too.



  13. The Real Pioneer
    11:20 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Probably the 2nd most underappreciated player in UK history behind Troy McKinley!



    • Hoosier Cat
      11:26 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

      Troy McKinley?? Wow!! Blast from the past.



  14. the ghost of Bill Hicks
    11:23 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Damnit…….I agree with BTI.



  15. WILDCAT24
    11:28 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Keith Bogans is in my top 3 all-time favorite players at UK. How he is not given more respect is baffling. Prince was here for 4 years as well and Bogans had the better career – great career in NBA. I remember like yesterday and he was awesome. Great defensively, great scorer (not just 3 pointers). What does it take to get love??



    • Scott66
      7:36 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

      Prince gets the nod over Bogans for the better NBA career for the same reason Bogans’ UK career is underappreciated – Championships count. Prince was a key contributor on Detroit’s NBA Championship team, and for the one that lost in the finals.



  16. GraBeardCat
    11:37 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    I always liked to watch Bogans play – he worked hard on every play, good shooter, probably the best defender on the team. He was not “flashy”, just did his job – and more. He didn’t look for “press”, and for some unexplained reason, was not followed closely by BBN (in total) after he left. I think he is one of the most underappreciated players to play for Tubby.



  17. RustyPipes
    11:37 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    5 – Bogans was selfish? The 14th all time assist leader coming from a scoring 2 guard would argue that point.



  18. D
    11:38 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    The bad timing of his ankle injury combined with the national unveiling of D.Wade did not help. Prince had a Signature moment (game) . . . Carolina. Bogans was more steady without a signature moment.



  19. Han
    11:47 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    If he didn’t turn his ankle, and Daniels’ groin was fully healed, even Dwyane Wade couldn’t have stopped the Suffocats.



  20. Florida
    11:48 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    We just went undefeated in the SEC so Bogans was not the captain of the only undefeated SEC season in history. He was the captain of one of the only undefeated teams in SEC history.

    Bogans was a beast by the way



    • Scott66
      7:29 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

      Good catch. Was hoping we could meet again in the NC this year, but you stood us up. Always good to have a worthy rival, looking forward to next year’s games.

      I remember being at UK-UF game in Rupp during Dwayne Schintzius’ career, UF always serves up great villains to boo.



    • Scott66
      7:34 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

      Crap, I just googled Schintzius, I hadn’t realized he passed away in 2012.



  21. theWilkman
    11:49 am May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Who are these people that don’t respect Keith Bogans? I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about him. In fact, the most common sentiment has always been “If he hadn’t hurt his ankle…” which seems to me like fans have plenty of respect for him and his career.



  22. mc
    12:02 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    If Keith Bogans had played one year under Cal and had that fabulous freshmen year under him and left after 5 months to the pros, people would be going nuts over him. He dedicated 4 years to UK and people forget him. Sad.



    • Casper
      12:10 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

      He played for Tubby, those years were terrible.



  23. the_ghost_of_ronnie_lyons
    12:19 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    I’ve long said that many UK fans don’t let facts get in there way of their opinions….. and I think Bogans is a prime example of that. Great player, stand up guy, and a class act, that for some reason many seemed ambivalent towards. I do think playing during the Tubby tenure hurt both him & Prince, cause many seemed to lose a bit of interest during that tenure. I think had he not sprained his ankle and led UK to the F4 and beyond, his star may shine brighter…………



  24. lou eaton
    12:22 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Agree he was awesome!!!!!!! Most underappreciated player in history of the program. Few recall that he was the No. 1 ranked HS player early on during his senior year until he had a locker room fight with a team mate who went and played at UNC…sorry can’t recall the name but both were highly ranked HS players. Perhaps the Tubby dark period did cloud our memory because he did establish a huge fact sheet as BT displayed. The high ankle sprain likely hosed us against Marquette….but that is history…



  25. Florida_Sucks_As_Bad_As_Jones'_Hair
    12:24 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    The Gaytors suck Florida. How many fans even cared? Sad you have to troll a Kentucky site to talk basketball, because none of your brethren know what basketball is in May.



  26. bobolopolis
    12:54 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Being a younger fan Tayshaun’s teams were some of the first I watched. Tay and Bogans were two of the first greats I ever watched. I barely remember the 98 title run, and remember my dad being super excited about the 96 run but was never invested in those two teams because I was late getting into the UK craze. Sacrilege I know.

    So Tayshaun and Bogans were always two of my favorites. When Tay went pro really the only reason I became a Detroit fan was because he was there. I remember Bogans brutal junior campaign where you thought that he might not recover and then he ended up having one of the best senior campaigns I can ever remember.

    Some other people might underrate Bogans but he was my second all time favorite from the Tay era onward during Tubby’s reign.

    He also came in and competed in the NBA. Tmac once said he was the only impressive player on the Magic team besides himself. Just like Tayshaun though he sacrificed a lot of his offensive game during his later career to fit a role for his team. They both could’ve averaged more scoring than they did for their careers.



  27. Correcttherecord
    1:01 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    I believe it was around 1954 that UK went undefeated period. Right?



  28. ribin
    1:11 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    He truly was a joy to watch play — under appreciated, I’d say yes—



  29. budman
    1:17 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    He was pretty much well liked until his dreadfull Junior year. That season was very hard to watch, similar to 2012-2013 season. It is hard to overcome a season like that and become a fan favorite.



  30. John Ellis
    1:32 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Issel, Casey and Pratt never made a FF; Nash never made a FF. And that was in an era when just two wins got you there. Bogans deserves much more credit – and that ankle was damaged when a Wisconsin player stomped on it when he was on the ground, accidentally of course. They need another stomping next year.



  31. clipper
    2:05 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    Remember 97 98 season and the duke game? Can you say Wayne Turner?



  32. Marc
    2:59 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    FINALLY!!!! You write something I whole-heartily agreed with!

    Keith is so under appreciated! Literally, his ankle injury is the reason we didn’t win it all that year. keith is a great player!!



  33. msnthrop
    3:56 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    I liked Bogans at UK, though I liked Prince and Daniels better on those teams…but I was pissed the way he gave up on the Celtics this year…5 million to be a teacher to others and he bailed instead…lame



  34. tom5673
    4:27 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    for anyone questioning bogans heart or selfish play, go back and watch the second half of the southern cal sweet sixteen game in ’02. dude almost single-handedly willed us back from 20+ points down.
    love keiff bogans! definitely rafter-worthy.



  35. tom5673
    4:29 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    my bust…it was the ’01 sweet sixteen.



  36. Mark
    6:42 pm May 22, 2014 Permalink

    In agreement!
    Ed Davender and Wayne Turner tie for second!
    My only reasoning that Keith does not get his due is because he was overshadowed by fan favorite Tayshaun Prince.
    Just like Pratt overshadowed by huge fan favorite Dan Issel.



  37. LOGIC PREVAILS
    2:32 pm May 23, 2014 Permalink

    I know I am late on this, but the reason why Keith Bogans doesn’t get the respect that people feel he deserves is because he was never the guy on any of the four teams he played on during his tenure. I was at UK the same time and can tell you that he was always at least second fiddle to Tayshaun Prince who everybody loved. That is not his fault that Tayshaun was just better and more loved. His senior year, he was overshadowed by Chuck Hayes who was the anchor of the defense that lead that team to go undefeated in the SEC.

    If he doesn’t hurt his ankle and if Dwayne Wade doesn’t have the game of his life (Triple-Double) in the Elite Eight, then everyone would place Keith right beside Delk as one of the True UK Greats of All-Time. It did not happen that way and as such he is lost in the crowd.



  38. Pup, MD
    12:20 am May 24, 2014 Permalink

    I always thought some of this was the way he acted on campus. I had plenty of interactions with Tayshaun, Erik Daniels, Saul Smith, and Jules Camara, and all were cool guys. Bogans was sort of a dick and even almost ran over me once on Euclid (riding with Erik Daniels). This was a pretty common opinion on North Campus at the time.