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Where do expectations stand?

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

This Kentucky team is clearly good.  While it was always unlikely that they would live up to the outlandish expectations that some had pegged them with at the outset of the season, it appears that the team is beginning to hit their stride. Where do the expectations sit now? As the season has progressed, it has been hard to track what Kentucky fans think will happen this year.  Does the majority of the fan base expect this squad to be mentioned as a national title contender when the brackets are announced? Even the national analysts are having a hard time deciding how this year will unfold for the Cats. Depending on who you trust (if you trust any of them), various “bracketologist’s” have Kentucky slated as high as a two seed and as low as a six seed.  The next 4 games will solidify uniformity across the board for what to expect from Kentucky for the remainder of the year. They are:

1. At LSU

2. At Missouri

3. Ole Miss

4. At Mississippi State

Though Florida is the measuring stick for Kentucky in the SEC this season, I don’t think that many fans would know what to expect if we were to play them tomorrow.  Obviously every game is in doubt, but with this team I truly would have NO idea what I think would happen against a truly elite opponent. After this stretch, and with 10 conference games under our belt, this should not be the case.  If the Cats rattle off four straight wins, three on the road, I think it is time to ratchet up the expectations again (if they aren’t already ratcheted). The seeding picture will become clearer and our road to the final four easier with success in the coming games. If a national title is what is in the cards for UK this season, when the February 15th match-up against the Gators tips, the expectation needs to be that Kentucky is going to win–maybe even handily (ala the 20 point victory against Florida during the 2012 title run).

Obviously there is no accurate way to predict how this season will end for Kentucky.  They could go 1-3 in this stretch and still end the season cutting down the nets.  The 2011 final four run wasn’t foreseen by many for instance.  Still, this stretch of tough games will at least provide some stability to what we can really look for from this team.  I’ll say they’ll go 4-0. What about you?

Article written by Matt Wheatley

46 Comments for Where do expectations stand?

  1. SCCat
    9:33 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    I can certainly see 4-0. Especially if we can rattle these first two, I love our shot to win all 4.

    I can see the CAYTS going 13-3 or so in conference, and landing a 2/3.

    From there it’s all about matchups.

  2. White Castle Sliders
    9:39 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    I see them going 2-2 in that stretch. UK doesn’t have a good Resume. If they go 12-4 in the SEC and lose in the Semi Finals of the SEC Tourney then I can’t see them getting anything better than a 7 seed. Need to win out except for @ Florida and make the SEC tourney final to have any shot at a 3 or 4 seed.

    • Buckets
      9:45 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      What are you smoking? Cats are a lock for a 4 seed at worst, most likely a 3 and a 2 isn’t out of the question.

    • SCCat
      9:46 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      if we only lose @Florida, and then again to them in finals of SEC tourney, I think that’s a certain 3 and a possible 2 (6 overall losses). keep in mind all the other teams beating up on each other and losing to rivals in conference tournaments.

    • White Castle Sliders
      9:59 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      UK has one good win at home (Loserville) and a decent win on a neutral site (Providence) Other than that they don’t have any good wins. They lost on the road to a tanking UNC team and on a neutral site to another tanking team in Baylor. The SEC is so terrible besides FLA its hard for them to get good wins in the conference outside of FLA. Tell me how one maybe two (if they beat FLA at home) quality wins makes you a lock for a 4 seed????

    • A lock
      10:55 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      Mr. White Castle, it is a lock that you are either a troll or you are intently ignorant when it comes to college basketball.

    • Claire
      1:48 pm January 26, 2014 Permalink

      A lock: You are the troll when you accuse others of trolling when they make truthful statements that you don’t like or want to hear.

  3. Big Brother
    9:45 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    If anybody thinks we win our next 3 road games youve got major blue tinted glasses… this team will be just like Jones/Knight team and will struggle on road. I’ve said all year we lose 4-5 conference games and I still stand by that. FL only added gas to that fire after seeing how badly they beat down Tenn the same Tenn team that gave us fits last weekend AT HOME!!! Baylor loss and UNC loss looking worse and worse. Thank God we beat UL! There are very few games from start to finish that I with 100% certainty feel we are going to win.

    • P. Barnette
      9:34 am January 26, 2014 Permalink

      Big B:

      I agree with you totally. I have been watching UK for over 55 years. I even worked concessions in grade school at Memorial Coliseum in the Cotton Nash era. So, I too think I know a good UK team and necessary chemistry when I see it. Unfortunately this team still doesn’t show it. Sure, they have talent, but that talent and chemistry, team play etc., is still a year away if they stay in school. I believe they will stay undefeated at home, except for Florida with their four seniors starters…possibly.

      On the road, this team will be a disaster, regardless of talent. Any team that can rebound will punish this UK on the road. What’s really ironic, if this team hit just 70% of its free throws it would be UNDEAFETED! There in lies the problem. Dedication to fundamentals…period.

  4. ??
    9:47 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    I optimistically say 3-1. Very good chance to lose one of the first 2. The last 2 I’m not worried about. It’s just amazing how hyped teams and crowds get when UK comes to town. And emotion plays such a huge factor in college games. Especially against a young team that can get rattled. They win all 4, and at Auburn, and beat Florida at home and my expectations go through the roof.

  5. Seven Ate Nine
    9:53 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    Kentucky played as well as they’ve played all season @Arkansas – the most hostile road environment they’ll play in all season. LSU and Missouri won’t be that hard. Cats should go 4-0. I think they even have a good shot @Florida

  6. harry
    9:57 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    0-4 = 0%
    1-4 = 25%
    2-4 = 50%
    3-4 = 75%
    4-4 = 85%

    away game at LSU is going to be a tough, a are very athletic team.

    • Wow
      9:27 am January 26, 2014 Permalink

      Your numbers there don’t make any sense.

  7. Cking9698
    9:58 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    I have to agree with Big Brother….on paper this team should not struggle with these 4 teams.
    I do believe this stretch will be a huge measuring stick for this team. This team needs to find some hunger and a will to destroy people on the road. 4-0 would be awesome. 3-1 very possible. 2-2 most likely. That’s okay. Because like the 2011 team…this team has a shot to get to the final four if the twins and young can get them there and that team struggled mightily on the road. There is no Brandon Knight on this team, but we don’t have a liggins type lockdown defender….but this team has far more talent.

    Don’t forget this….if they do make it to the final four…only Kentucky & Baylor will have played in that venue.

  8. Big Brother
    10:01 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    Wow!!! Some of you all live in a dream world lol. This isn’t the 2012 team people. This team was waaaaaayyyy over hyped and this team isn’t even in the same league as the 2012 team. Even the 2012 team struggled on the road… Tenn, Vandy and Miss St were all road games that we struggled in that year. This team doesn’t have near the swagger or team chemistry that team had. Not even close! I do still think we can make noise in March but FL will win the SEC folks.

    • jimmyhat
      10:09 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      And how do you know Florida is gonna win the sec? We are just as good if not better than they are. We still gotta play the games. You don’t know shit! You just think you know you troll!

    • harry
      10:17 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      agreed. for the most part. 2012 squad was special, one of the best teams to win the championship of last decade. 2013 is very talent but not a good team, not yet anyway.

    • CatsfanMike
      3:27 pm January 26, 2014 Permalink

      I have to agree this team is not close to the 2012 team; that was one special team. This team is much younger and was overhyped coming in. That said, I do think this team has the potential to be very special in its own way. They are a top ten team; that is pretty darn good. If they continue to grow, as they have been, they might just do some damage in the tournament. As a fan base, let’s just enjoy the successes they are having.

  9. Cincy Cayt
    10:08 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    How many “white out” t-shirt-esque games are we looking at with the 3 road games? You know all three home crowds will be hungry for a W against UK. A lot of Mizzou fans see us as their new Kansas, and that was a crazy rivalry. Whether we go 3-0 or 1-2 I’m just hoping we grow as a team during these road games.

  10. Scott
    10:17 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    Kentucky will have one loss at the end of the year, that is at UF! Go Kats! So my answer is 4-0.

  11. Rod Strickland's Secret Smile
    10:26 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    This was the Cats’ best game all season, with the possible exception of the Louisville game. They out-performed projections from Vegas and by about 11, scoring 1.20 points per possession (good for 5th in the country if they could do that every game) while holding Georgia to .82 points per possession (which would easily make them #1 on the defensive end). And they mostly looked good doing it, contesting almost every shot, scoring off of turnovers, and passing in the half-court like they knew what they were doing. I thought this was finally the team I’d been expecting all year.

    If they play anything like that, they shouldn’t have trouble at least until Florida comes to town. I think they’ve arrived. Cal has too many weapons ready now. If somebody’s not performing, he knows who to go to, and they know what to do.

  12. SocialMedia_is_Evil
    10:26 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    terms that should have expired a long time ago, except there would be little to post, blog, or tweet without using them on any Kentucky sports blog.

    what are you smoking
    jump off a bridge
    fourth street
    meth lab
    crown royal

    just throwing it out there, any interested can add whatever gets past moderation.just words no comments or opinions needed. no sexual, racial, or political terms please, although that narrows the field considerably. i’m going to sleep now, going to see if anyone cared to add to the list in the morning.

    • Mike
      10:31 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink


  13. Realty
    10:27 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    They will lose to LSU and Missouri. Along with at Ol Miss and at UF and at least one or two more games. That’s a minimum 6 SEC losses, plus tourney losses. This is a 10 loss team folks…and no better than an 8-9 seed in NCAA.

    • jimlowe7
      10:59 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      You must have had too much Orange Leaf and got BRAIN FREEZE dude (OR dudette)!

    • What ?
      11:02 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      You are a louisville Nit Wit !

    • @Realty
      11:05 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      You lost me at your name.

    • BigBlue37
      11:47 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

      You know how I know you don’t know anything…we play Ole Miss at home…not at Oxford. Nice try though Loserville troll

    • PhilUK18
      10:00 am January 26, 2014 Permalink

      Thanks, but I’ll disregard opinions on basketball from someone who is either a realtor (a career for people too stupid to do anything else), or who is too stupid to spell “reality”.

  14. 2mites
    10:29 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    I fully expect this team to go 4-0 during this stint and do it with ease. They will win by average margins of 15+ pts a game. This is a very good team and with this talent showing as they did today Florida better be on their toes as well. UK is not like UT who just have few scoring options and the Cats are getting more options every game. As for all you worried bout LSU they got a beat down from Alb. today. Just another poser like the Georgia’s and Missouri’s. This is a sad year for the SEC as only UK and Fld. will make the tournament.

  15. jimlowe7
    10:55 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    HAVE TO WIN 3 of these next 4…the home game vs. Ole Miss (RPI 63), the away game at Miss. St. (WORST RPI of the 4 – it is 135 and would be a BAD loss), and one of the other 2 (LSU RPI 61 and Mizzou RPI 56). If that happens we will NOT likely drop in the polls and could actually move up 1-2 spots if teams above us lose. If win 3 of these 4 but the loss is to Miss. St. we will DROP at least a couple poll spots. If we win ALL 4 (which is likely since the team seems to be getting better FASTER than before) then we should for sure be ranked at least 10th in the AP since several teams above us will be playing EACH OTHER in the next 2 weeks (OK St vs OK, Mich St vs Wisc, Iowa St vs OK St, Iowa St vs Kansas, etc) and the losers will drop. It’s time for the “water to hit the wheel” for our team!

  16. na8vecat
    11:03 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    Well Bama just beat LSU at Bama , so LSU will be extra hyped .But here is the key CAT Fans Free Throws !! We sink our free shots and we win ,it’s that simple .that’s all I got to say about that

  17. Magical Run
    11:17 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    Last night a KSR writer posted that UCLA was 4- 2 in their last 5 games.
    I am predicting that UK will catch some of that magic and win 13 of their next 12 games.

  18. mike
    11:33 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    No way we lose one of these game, they are playing better ever game, to many weapons, 4-0.

  19. CatsfanMike
    11:39 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    Enjoy the victory and hope they go 4-0. This is a top 10 that got overhyped from the start. They are the youngest team in division 1.They are not the 2012 team but they good and getting better. Just enjoy the ride wherever it goes!!

  20. catsBlueNthe502
    11:41 pm January 25, 2014 Permalink

    Im betting the cats go 4 and 0 with this stretch also but I (unlike mr jones and mr wheatley) still probly wont be convinced this tm is a solid contender. I feel like we need to see a matchup with an elite team again (which unfortunately only team [florida] qualifies for) to really be certain

  21. CatsRUS
    1:38 am January 26, 2014 Permalink

    I can’t predict anything for this team. Too much of getting out rebounded.
    We ought to invent some very clever nickname for Alex. Harrell is called MegaTrez and I always wish Alex would play as well as Montreezel. Super Alex has some moves that are better than Julius. Quicker that is.

  22. Bunny
    1:46 am January 26, 2014 Permalink

    We’ll need to bring it against LSU. They almost won at Bama today…

  23. na8vecat
    3:18 am January 26, 2014 Permalink

    right bunny

  24. BBN
    5:27 am January 26, 2014 Permalink

    If cats commit less than 12 turnovers and hit 70% or better free throws they win next four. This team has to value each and every possession. Take the ball out of young’s hand and make him a finisher and we’re on our way. He has great athleticism but there are two to three plays each game he frustrates to no end – stop jumping in air or forcing it when there’s no where to go. Thought they played good today, but still want to see them win on road. Georgia with Gaines out is mediocre team at best.

  25. ibleednlue
    7:36 am January 26, 2014 Permalink

    20 point win over the GATORS???? Somebody’s been drinking the coolade. 4 or 5 seed.

  26. catfanmike
    12:22 pm January 26, 2014 Permalink

    If we go 1-3 we will have no chance at NC(as OP suggested)…they can’t have that kind of stretch at this point in the season, especially in SEC, if they expect to make a run at NC

  27. Scott
    4:37 pm January 26, 2014 Permalink

    LSU can hang with UK for a while! But if “Optimist-Stein” shows up, with his length and our guards length should disturb there under sized guards & Center. LSU<Cats!
    Missouri has Great guards, but could any of there big guys even "handle Randle" for more than 15 seconds or even just 0.5 seconds? They will have to put 6 guys on him! Cats win this one pleasingly!
    Ole Miss, minus a gunslinger and a guy named summers and who do they really have? There tallest guy is only 6-9, and only averages 7 rebounds a game! Yet again cats win!
    Miss. State, Uhhhh…Who is that? Cats win easily (Am I seeing a pattern here?)! 😉

    Finally, As the great Archie Goodwin would say: "Burr"!

    • Scott
      4:40 pm January 26, 2014 Permalink

      * “it” should disturb

    • Scott
      4:54 pm January 26, 2014 Permalink


  28. katdaddy
    5:41 pm January 26, 2014 Permalink

    If your opinion isn’t what Uk fans want to hear then you’re troll or you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. Delusional ass fans make me sick. No wonder other fans don’t like us.