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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: I’m Pissed Indiana Is Not on the Schedule, But Not For Why You Think

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I have always been an advocate for bringing the Indiana series back on the schedule.  I think the reasons it was dropped in the first place have been silly and a little bit dishonest.  I will go to my grave believing that if Christian Watford’s shot rims out instead of goes in, we are still playing that series.  We were mad because the experience was really bad AND we lost.  But that’s just my opinion and doesn’t really matter 7 years later.  The issue I have today is that the replacements on the schedule and the reasons to defend the blocking of IU are flimsy and flawed.  It has hurt fan experience.  The schedule hasn’t gotten better because of it, and we are actually not gaining any recruiting advantage.

Here’s what I am going to do.  I am going to take each argument that people often use as to why NOT play the series and tear it to shreds.

ARGUMENT #1: We replaced Indiana with neutral games in the Northeast (’17 against Hofstra, ’18 against Monmouth, ’19 against Seton Hall) to gain a recruiting advantage in that area.  More good players there. 

Where to begin on this one.  First, Kentucky has a NATIONAL brand and recruits NATIONALLY.  We go where the players are not simply focus on one area.  This isn’t football where we recruit 3-5 states.  We recruit the best no matter where they are.  But if I accept the premise that we wanted to get in an area with more elite players, that isn’t correct either.  Since the Class of 2009, there have been 16 players from New York and New Jersey who were Top 25 recruits and…….wait for it…….16 players from the state of Indiana who were Top 25 recruits.  We would get just as much exposure by playing in Indianapolis every year than trekking to the Barclays Center.

New York and New Jersey (16 total recruits)
Lance Stephenson (’09)
Kyrie Irving, Tobias Harris (’10)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (’11)
Kyle Anderson (’12)
Tyler Ennis (’13)
Karl-Anthony Towns, Isaiah Whitehead (’14)
Cheick Diallo, Isaiah Briscoe (’15)
Nick Richards (’17)
Naz Reid, Louis King (’18)
Scottie Lewis, Khalil Whitney, Bryan Antione (’19)

Indiana (16 total recruits)
Deshaun Thomas (’10)
Marquis Teague, Cody Zeller, Branden Dawson (’11)
Glenn Robinson, Yogi Ferrell, Gary Harris (’12)
Zakarie Irvin (’13)
Trey Lyles, James Blackmon (’14)
Caleb Swanigan (’15)
Jaren Jackson, Kris Wilkes, Brian Bowen (’17)
Romeo Langford (’18)
Isaiah Stewart (’19)

ARGUMENT #2: Indiana is no longer the program they once were.  They are not relevant and do not carry the prestige from the 90’s and before.

This argument I could go with.  Indiana certainly is not a college basketball power anymore and doesn’t appear to be on the verge of being one.  Since Bob Knight left, there have been four head coaches, a scandal, whatever Tom Crean was, and not a lot of wins.  But what have we replaced them with?  Since the series was dropped in 2012, we have played neutral site games against Baylor (’14), South Florida (’16), Arizona State (’17), Hofstra (’17), Monmouth (’18), and Seton Hall (’19).  Would we argue ANY of those programs is clearly above Indiana?  I wouldn’t.  So why would we support those games, in which most fans couldn’t afford to go and none carried any kind of special interest within the fanbase over a rival to many with a game that is within driving distance and cheaper?

ARGUMENT #3: We have everything to lose and nothing to gain by playing Indiana.

That is the argument of a loser.  What you really mean is we are better than them but they could still beat us so we’re scared.  And what’s funny to me is almost EVERY game on our schedule you could say that.  What do we gain by playing Georgia Tech this year.  Or any of the other 8 rum-dums on the schedule this year?  We gain nothing by beating Tech and if we lose it will be quite the embarrassment.  We are better, both historically and currently, than almost any team we face.  If your argument is we gain nothing by beating Indiana, then you should also be an advocate for playing only Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan State, Virginia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, Texas Tech, and Purdue in the non-conference.  No, you play a school like Indiana for the challenge of it.  Should you win?  Yes.  Could you lose?  Yes.  You know what that sounds like.  Every god forsaken NCAA Tournament game you’ll face.  You know what you gain from playing Hofstra in Brooklyn.  Not a freaking thing.

So here’s the thing.  I really don’t care all that much if Indiana is on the schedule or not.  As a Louisville native, the IU and UL games were always the biggest two on the schedule every year.  They were games I could go to and many fans like me could go to.  But Indiana has dropped off for sure.  I am OK saying that we can do better.  But we haven’t done better.  We have done worse.  Not only for the fan experience, putting games in locales that are not reachable, but against opponents nobody cares to see.  And given that truth, I don’t see any legitimate reason to not get Indiana back on the schedule on a yearly basis and, for once, be honest with the fanbase and do something for them.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

37 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: I’m Pissed Indiana Is Not on the Schedule, But Not For Why You Think

  1. Carltyra
    10:22 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    Slow click day?

  2. JPhelps
    10:30 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    1) Indiana recruit list is loaded with kids who either are being investigated for receiving impermissible gifts OR have been for such. The other states, aren’t as concentrated with that.

    2) This IS the reason to not play it. They’re not worthy. And none of the opponents we’ve replaced them with are eyebrow raising, but they aren’t exactly a step down either. IU is on that level.

    3) I agree is a losers mentality. Don’t be scared. Just stop at reason 2. “Yeah, we’ll call you back if we need to schedule you.” And just never call back.

    • Basteballer
      1:16 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Argument #1 – This is actually helpful. Looking at the quality of the recruits from NY/NJ it is CLEARLY a superior source of talent.

      Argument #2 – BTI is focused on fan experience and doesn’t realize that a win over a lesser team that will do well in their own conference actually HELPS our RPI and SOS more than beating a lowly IU team.

      So, yeah… the only shredding he did was to his own credibility.

  3. BlueByYou
    10:33 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    who cares

  4. ClutchCargo
    10:41 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    The choice isn’t between playing IU or playing a terrible team. You can choose to not play IU and schedule a decent team. Are you trying to demonstrate every logical fallacy? If so, you’re doing a great job.

  5. 4everUKblue
    10:47 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    Cody Zelller??? Remember how AD owned him? I don’t even recognize half the names on the Indiana list and like JPhelps, “the other half are either are being investigated for receiving impermissible gifts OR have been for such.”

    Oh and like BlueByYou said….”Who cares”

    • grammarpoliceUK
      1:05 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Agree 4ever, And teams like Baylor, Arizona St., and Seton Hall have been better teams than Indiana over the past few years.

  6. kentuckyrld
    10:47 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    The author is an idiot and obviously has no understanding of what went on during the last iu game.

    • 4everUKblue
      11:26 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

      And does the idiot author not know that Cal has offered to play them in neutral sites? And you’re right, he obviously has no idea what went on in Bloomington. They need us, we don’t need them, it hasn’t ruined the fan experience for me.

    • 4everUKblue
      11:26 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Easy to see why Bryan is still an intern.

    • Dkeeble
      1:13 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Agree 4ever
      This was obviously not a well thought out, or researched, post.

  7. CatsfaninFL
    11:27 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    I have been on record here as saying, and i’ll say it again, I lived 4 years in that state. The attitudes experienced by our fans, players and player families is par for the course when it comes to that states opinion of Kentucky. They hate us for reasons I’m not certain of (I have my opinion, but it is just that). THAT is the reason i don’t want to play them. They hate us and treated everyone like absolute crap who was in attendance. Awful hospitality that quite frankly is exactly what I think of them. It has nothing to do with fear… there is a reason they have dropped so far since 2012 and having the ability to say “come here and you’re guarenteed to play some of the best in the noncon” is gone. They have languished in recruiting and national prestige ever since. Bye felicia. Now UNC on the other hand.. pls bring that back…

    • MtnCat
      11:53 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Not losing sleep over Indiana. Bring some excitement to Rupp though, we like variety. SEC schedule is more like having to take medicine rather than enjoying the experience of a featured game.

  8. Fly Cat
    11:32 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    No to Indiana. No to Indiana, just because.

  9. BlueNotes
    11:55 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

    Good grief! Scrolling past all these ads to get to the comments box is worse than playing Indiana!

    Indiana is desperate to return to relevancy. Our playing them does NOTHING for us and everything for them. That is the only reason to NOT play them.

    There are schools of equal capabilities – like Hofstra… (Yep, Hofstra = Indiana)… that allow fans in other areas to go see the Cats. If I am a fan would I rather see Indiana in Rupp or go see the Cats play in the Manhattan Center? ROAD TRIP! Heck, I’d rather do a Home n Home with West Virginia than Indiana! (Which would be a good debate questions – which does more for UK a HnH with Indiana or WVU?)

    Why not do a Home n Home with Ohio State? Better school than Indiana!

    Why not do a Home n Home with Georgia Tech (which we are doing)? Atlanta is CATlanta!

    There is ZERO point ZERO business, recruiting, fill the seats at Rupp, or entertainment value in doing anything with Indiana. They are the SNOOSIERS!

    • 4everUKblue
      11:56 am August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Get an adblocker like adblock plus or one of the others and you won’t have that problem.

  10. Bruce Dickinson
    12:02 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    Dumb article with dumb arguments to play Indiana. Obviously whoever wrote this does not care about the safety of the players or the fans.

  11. christopherharrison26
    12:07 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    I guess the author needed to say something inane again. It seems he can’t help himself. Whoever is in charge of who gets to write for KSR – PLEASE get rid of this guy.

    Never anything useful – poorly reasoned, poorly researched material is all he presents. It’s worse than a root canal without anesthesia. True disdain is what this article elicits.

    Sorry but it’s hard not to become a bit agitated at such tripe.

  12. A_Blue_Wildcat
    12:24 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    Indiana needs it desperately, we don’t.
    I love rivalries but when you have a school that charges their court when they win a game it’s no longer worth it.

  13. ukbradstith
    12:33 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    I was at that game in 2012 and this spot on. BTI might be smarter than 50% of our fan base combined. Like at I said, I was at that game, and it was a terrible experience for me personally. However, that just made me want to go in there and beat their brains the next time. Not chicken out like we did.

    • Cletis75
      8:45 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Whatever. I have lots of friends with season tickets to IU. They even agree that the way our players and fans were treated was embarrassing. They threw loose change and rolled up change at our players that have very bright futures ahead of them, and assaulted some of our fans. Some of our players asked Cal not to put future players in that position. Cal agreed because the safety of his players comes first. If you and BTI don’t care about the safety of our players, then you are selfish azzes!

  14. Dustin Rumbaugh
    12:35 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    There’s an easy answer to these questions….

    Cal is recruiting-centric. Always has been and always will be.

    What helps us more? Giving IU the ability to say that “you can come here and play on the big stage against Kentucky and then against the Big 10 powerhouses” or having IU have to admit that they can’t schedule a big name opponent because they’re a trashy fan base at home and endanger the health of opposing players? Quit playing checkers and start playing chess. Whether we want to admit it or not, if we have someone wanting to stay in this region to play basketball, our biggest opponents are IU and UL (with Michigan State and now Memphis thrown in there). He’s not only sticking to his guns about keeping his players safe, Cal is also crippling what could be one of our biggest rivals on the recruiting trail.

    We get no benefit from playing IU whether it is home and home or neutral sites. They benefit astronomically from that game. Cal is playing chess. Everyone else is thinking about checkers.

    • 4everUKblue
      1:37 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Like Button! ^^^

    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      3:01 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      And we get one more benefit from not playing them, we don’t have them dragging our SOS down further then Hofstra currently does.

  15. BobbyBlue
    12:55 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    If he is correct that U.K. is missing on recruits from Indiana then why not instead play Notre Dame —- the Christmas time games back in the day were always exciting. Oh yeah, Notre Dame is no longer relevant since Digger Phelps left,and I guess that would be to far for him to drive from,Louisville.

  16. Dkeeble
    1:18 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    The idea of subjecting our fans and players to the hostile environment in Bloomington is as ignorant as the points made in this column.

  17. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    2:57 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    Bryan the unpaid intern must be a IU fan because he looked at all the reasons people said not to play IU and immediately went into troll mode. His arguments have already been invalidated by past post on this site yet he runs right back to IU’s arguments. I’ve never said we have nothing to gain and everything to lose but I’ll defend that position for a second because of the straw man argument he made of being scared. He’s right people are scared but not of losing like he so pathetically thinks. No decent people are scared of being put in situations where they and their families are abused and in danger of getting hurt. Decent people are afraid for the players being abused and getting hurt. Decent people are afraid for special needs individuals who are the main target of these walking garbage cans because they can’t fight back. And finally decent people are scared of having to confront a level of stupidity on par with his everytime an IU fan thinks.

  18. michaelb
    3:03 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t forget about the queens native Doron Lamb

  19. michaelb
    3:07 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    I’m sad to see the Indiana series gone because I’m part of the bbn that is let’s say ‘long in the tooth’ and right behind the Louisville rivalry was the Indiana game that I looked forward to every year & so did a lot of people I know . I actually think us ending the series hurt them indirectly in the recruiting game . It just seems like they dropped off the map after we severed ties with them . I believe they could compete more fiercely in recruiting having a game vs us . Some great prospects just don’t like ky and want to own them & it spurs their recruitments one way or the other sometimes

    • michaelb
      3:14 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Check this scenario out in how our recruiting affects them . Okay we got a nice 2guard names joe Crawford at Kentucky , he has a couple little brothers that were just as good if not better … & I like to think their sibling rivalry extended all the way to which college Jordan Crawford committed to which was IU . Point being our relationship with Indiana affected them in many ways … & now it’s not as evident and they’re not as relevant

  20. michaelb
    3:09 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    Y’all quit picking apart every post . It was insightful and it’s the dry season around here for basketball just be glad we have something to read everyday

    • Looother
      6:27 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      Agree – and this could be one of BTI’s greatest works…

    • 4everUKblue
      8:47 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

      You two are two peas in a crazy pod, as well as two suck ups.

  21. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    3:36 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    They like to do polls on this site so here’s one.
    A: Nick made Bryan write this to make himself feel better about his post.

    B: This is Nick’s ghost writer name when he really sits the bar low.

  22. UKFanSC
    4:36 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    You guys are pretty hard on BTI. The article was simply stating his opinions on the series and certainly contained a few controversial statements but damn……some of you are vicious little bitches, and more than a few of the counter arguments were weak, emotional drivel.
    Having said all that……HELL NO. We should not play those hicks in Bloomington for all the reasons cited.

  23. Tdaddybbn
    5:04 pm August 29, 2019 Permalink

    I live in Southern Indiana and am married into Hoosier fans. They were rough in 2012. I even got in a argument with my father in law about the crappy treatment Bloomington gave to Wildcat fans. Never the less, i would love to play them every year at a neutral site just to kick the CRAP out of them 98% of the time !!

  24. Aar
    9:48 am August 31, 2019 Permalink

    IMHO, keep IU off the schedule and lose the Louisville game as well. When you have a team on the calendar every season, it makes them a rival. Rivalries should mutually benefit both programs. For the entire Calipari era, UK has been in the position of providing a benefit to either of those programs. It’s probably appropriate for an in state school but WKU and/or Murray State would benefit more from playing UK. They could also be more deserving based upon how much less scandal occurs in those programs. There would also be much less hatred and negative emotion in those games.