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Kentucky Only a “Contender” in SEC Championship Race


As fair as it might be right now, it still hurts to think that this year’s Kentucky team only merits “contender” status in a mediocre Southeastern Conference.  But that’s exactly where the Sporting News has them going into league play in less than a week:

It is strange to see Kentucky already consigned to merely “contending” for the SEC title after the Wildcats entered the year as the nation’s No. 1, but they came by this position honestly. The talent still is there, and the time is there, but they’ll have to prove they can perform as consistently as Florida’s Gators.

The good news is that there is plenty of time between now and our first matchup with Florida, which is February 15th at Rupp.  That should give this team plenty of time to learn even more, and develop as a team rather than individual players.  Plus, how many free throws can they put up in a month and a half?  Gotta think at least like, a hundred, right?

But Florida’s schedule is a bit like Kentucky’s: really tough, with ranked wins at home, and ranked losses away from it.  The games between now and then are going to be the difference.  If Kentucky keeps improving like they did so clearly during the Louisville game, and if they bring up their free throws to at least 60%, I’m pretty confident they can win both games against the Gators.  Then they’ll go from “contender” to… well I don’t know.  Something better than that.

But it starts in six days against Mississippi State.

Article written by Corey Nichols

12 Comments for Kentucky Only a “Contender” in SEC Championship Race

  1. Turning Point Media
    6:11 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    I see the point trying to be made, but what exactly has Forida accomplished to be considered a favorite? They lost to Wisconsin and a not very good UCONN team, squeaked by FSU and Memphis, and beat a Kansas team that has underachieved this year so far. They have not impressed me by any means this year. So I think Kentucky is and should still be the favorite going into SEC play.

  2. Pancreas
    6:12 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    Contender to favorite.

  3. Angelo
    6:34 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    the UofL game performance gives us hope.

  4. GoCats2
    6:36 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    I hope this time off is worth it because it is killing me. Not having a game for 10 days is torture.

  5. LSU
    6:40 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    Obviously talking about the sport no on in the sec, other than uk cares about. Basekeeetball.

    • Gut check
      6:49 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

      The other teams would care if they were any good.

  6. John Ellis
    6:52 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    Florida always loses games they shouldn’t in the SEC – even the two title teams did. UK will win the conference. If the team is smart they’ll use the SN snub as inspiration.

  7. bcg
    7:07 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    I coulda been a contendah

  8. clancyhat
    7:14 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    If I were the coach, they would be putting up a hundred free throws a day

  9. Huh?
    7:29 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    Safe to say this team will lose at least 2 road games from youth and most likely free throw shooting. In college it doesn’t matter how good you are you can be upset by a mediocre team on the road. Counting a loss at Florida we are looking at 3 more losses. That’s my optimistic prediction.

    • PhilUK18
      9:13 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

      I think we could take Florida in Gainesville this year. Granted, they will presumably have Walker eligible by then, but I haven’t been that impressed by them. I also like that it’s the very last game of the regular season, giving our guys plenty of time to jell by then.

  10. Catlogic15
    8:02 pm January 2, 2014 Permalink

    Why would any of us take what Sporting News, or any other talking heads have to say at this point?

    We know who we are. We know what we have to do.