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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: If Duke is #1 in November…….

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After watching the Duke game last night and the highlights from their top players that all writers clamored for, I have a feeling that Duke might be the preseason #1 team.  It’s possible it could be Kansas and it’s possible it could be us.  But I think it will be Duke.  And if it is, that will mean Kentucky will be playing a #1 team in the regular season for the 13th time in school history.  The previous 12:

2014: #1 Florida 84, #25 Kentucky 65 (Gainesville)

2008: #1 North Carolina 77, Kentucky 58 (Chapel Hill)

2008: #1 Tennessee 63, Kentucky 60 (Knoxville)

2007: #1 North Carolina 86, Kentucky 77 (Lexington)

2007: #1 Florida 64, #20 Kentucky 61 (Lexington)

2003: #6 Kentucky 70, #1 Florida 55 (Lexington)

2001: #1 Duke 95, #7 Kentucky 92 (East Rutherford, Jimmy V Classic)

1997: #1 Arizona 89, #8 Kentucky 74 (Maui Invitational)

1988: #1 Duke 80, Kentucky 55 (Springfield, Tip-Off Classic)

1981: #1 North Carolina 82, #2 Kentucky 69 (East Rutherford)

1979: #5 Kentucky 69, #1 Indiana 58 (Lexington)

1975: #1 Indiana 77, #14 Kentucky 68 (Louisville)

A combined 2-10 in these games and no wins away from Lexington.  Now you could argue that most of these games occurred in the early part of the season when the team was not at its best.  You could argue that they really don’t matter, as the Duke game really doesn’t matter all that much.  And when it did matter, Kentucky is 4-5 in the SEC/NCAA Tournaments against the #1 ranked team in the country.

Either way, there might not be a regular season game I have been more excited about than this one.  I don’t think we have a better player than RJ Barrett and maybe not better than Zion Williamson.  But 1 through 8, we certainly have the better TEAM.  Which makes this game even more interesting because Calipari has always been the guy with the better players against programs who claim they have better “teams”.  It’s a little bit of a switch in the reputation of the Calipari era.  And I can’t wait.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

50 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: If Duke is #1 in November…….

  1. bigblue2284
    10:15 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    I’m going to get major hate for saying this but Duke looks better. I won’t claim to know the quality of their opponent but they have two elite scorers and Zion Williamson is a great rebounder to boot. I said yesterday Herro was my favorite because of his scoring ability and both Barret and Zion look even more elite at scoring. Duke is the team to beat and Zion Williams is a team changing talent. This is not to say we can’t win a national title but duke has to be the favorite.

    • ukbradstith
      10:21 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Hard to say. The team Duke played last night was considerably worse than the teams we faced. That being said, Zion is awesome. I assume PJ will start out guarding him, going to be tough. KJ will have his hands full with RJ too. Just have to hope our returning experience wins out in the end.

    • Sentient Third Eye
      10:33 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

      I’m not convinced Duke has a lot of high-motor kids. Sure they have a bit more overall talent, but they have a lot of guys on their roster who aren’t self-starters. A few of those can keep a team from reaching its potential. Coach K will have to choose between playing all this talent for sitting the low-E guys in favor of playing six or seven.

    • Alex90
      11:29 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Not sure how you come to this conclusion after watching Duke beat a D2 Canadian college team by only 19 with 2 players doing all the scoring. I realize they have 2 starters out but that was not impressive. UK has talent 1-8 man on the roster while duke has a significant drop off after 4. Assume 1 person gets in foul trouble, what do they do then?

    • bigblue2284
      11:51 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Let’s be honest neither UK or Duke faced great competition. UK is deep but I question their perimeter shooting, they’re going to be wildly inconsistent from a scoring perspective because they don’t have elite scorers or shooters. Green is supposed to be a great shooter and he is awful, seriously who labeled him a great shooter? Herro may be the best shooter and after that, it’s Brad or bust.

    • henderblue
      12:23 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Doesn’t matter to me if Brad shoots 75% from the floor. He can guard NO ONE.

    • Alex90
      1:37 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Now UK can’t shoot? Really guy just stop you’re embarrassing yourself.

    • KyZoneBlitz
      2:05 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      No offense to ya bigblue but, I have to disagree based upon a couple different aspects, let me explain….

      Ok, yes, technically, they looked SLIGHTLY better, but it wasn’t by much, because we looked pretty damn good too. Also a major, MAJOR factor in duke appearing better would be the step-down in comp… excuse me, —the massive nose dive off the cliff— in competition they played compared to international pro teams filled with multiple pro NBA prospects and former division-1 college players would, in my opinion have a little bit to do with that. Hell, we were 9 point dogs 2nd game of the tour. Duke basically played the equivalent of us playing Transylvania, or whatever division -3 school you can find that is without a doubt out-matched in every way, while we played solid competition with grown men, and multiple dudes that will be joining this seasons college players in the upcoming NBA draft. So in retrospect, did duke really look better? Or did we dominate teams that could join a D-1 college conference like the acc, big-10, or big-12 this year and compete to win it with a pretty damn good chance to do so, while duke played a team that is equal to just a notch above maybe grambling state, or can jose state, which if you want to know how bad those teams were last year, just Google them. It’s easy to look like elite scorers, when you are Barrett and Zion playing against middle schoolers. No offense to ya big blue, I know you said you didn’t know much about the team they played, but I stick by my original assessment, we are going to win that game.

    • bigblue2284
      3:10 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Alex90 Say what you want but I watched them struggle to hit a shot in the second game. Again not to pick on Green but if you don’t hit shots why are you playing? He constantly turns the ball over and misses open looks.


      Two issues Cal always has, one poor half court offense and two lack of shooting. One is because of the coaching style the other is because he is recruiting drivers not shooters. Additionally, if he would press once in a while they could speed up the game and not have to go into the half-court offense. Even when he was platooning he didn’t press that much.

    • jbev
      11:25 am August 17, 2018 Permalink

      bigblue2284.. You struggled to watch them hit a shot in the second game? The game where Quade went 4/4? The game where the entire team shot 64%? You obviously have no clue what you’re talking about man..

    • bigblue2284
      12:57 pm August 17, 2018 Permalink

      jbev how about against the Bahamas national team? 37% from the floor and 10% from three. So maybe it wasn’t the second game my bad, you clearly can see my point… If you watched that trip to the Bahamas and aren’t concerned about shooting I can’t teach you basketball at this point.

    • jbev
      1:47 pm August 17, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah they shot bad in their first game ever, in a different country. What about the other 3 games after that? Are you not taking those into consideration. If you think judging a teams shooting based on 1 out of 4 games is “knowing basketball” you’re heavily mistaken (especially when the shooting display was extremely impressive in the other 3). If you think a team cannot have an off night shooting, you haven’t played ball one day of your life.

    • ukcamel
      2:37 pm August 17, 2018 Permalink

      Gotta agree with KyZoneBlitz. If you think Duke is better, fine. They have a loaded roster and that’s a valid and defensible viewpoint. Duke is the Vegas favorite to win the title, after all. But if you think Duke is better based on this game vs. our games in the Bahamas, you are taking crazy pills.

  2. mothandras
    10:25 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Hate to say it as well.. but Duke is going to mow us down. Been calling it since Zion committed. Our only hope is that, they find out hes ineligible for some reason.

    • Cokely53
      10:29 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Doesn’t sound like you hate saying it. Keep calling it all you want but we will be fine. 2 or 3 guys doesn’t make a team. It was a division 2 Canadian team. They played stiffer competition in high school. Calm down everyone.

    • runningunnin.454
      11:44 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Duke was behind after one quarter last night, and only led by 12 at the half…made some really slop[y TO’s.
      They will have a depth problem, as well…keep running fresh players at them the whole game, and they will fold like a cheap suit.

    • BBN_strive_4_9
      4:34 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Is that you Slater?

  3. Bullitt County UK fan
    10:31 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    1. Kansas
    2. Kentucky
    3. Gonzaga
    4. Duke

  4. Wade
    10:32 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Wow that made me feel bad… our record sucks

  5. JustUrAvg
    10:46 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Oh my one game against a team who moved like they were running in mud and Duke has already won the championship. H.y.p.e.r.b.o.l.e.

  6. Catsfan1715
    10:51 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    They played a Canadian college team with a losing record last year……

  7. SHCooper
    10:52 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    It’s kinda like Williamson dunking with no one guarding him that won’t happen in a game.

  8. DelrayCat
    10:55 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    We kill them in an open floor, up-tempo game.
    A half-court slogfest, they probably get us.

  9. TJY
    11:00 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Remember, since Coach K moved to the One and Done player, he has quit coaching defense. Furthermore, this will be the first game of the year, so overall any defense they do have, will be even less than that. Give me UK in this game…if you see UK +points, take it and take it big!

  10. Vanderblue
    11:16 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Sounds good to me. Let Duke beat up on these very low level college teams during their trip, get their hype up so they’re #1 and let our guys go in with a chip on their shoulder. Duke isn’t getting much from these games, hell I imagine their second/third stringers would put up a better fight.

  11. EK
    11:29 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    So Puke had to guys score 64 of the teams 86…against a glorified high school team. So they’ve got 2 ball hogs an a bunch of chumps. Let everybody rank them #1… Bring it on. GO BIG BLUE!!

  12. ibescootch
    11:30 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    I watched the game, and I feel like I can be pretty objective here. I have no idea what game y’all were watching because that was painful. Look, Zion will have 147 rebounds a game, some highlight dunks and blocks, and Barrett will score a ton, but honestly, I was not impressed. Beyond them, I didn’t see a single player that looked like they could handle KY. Those two guys are elite, and they were missing Reddish and Young, so I’ll give them a little wiggle room, but there’s no way in the world you could watch UK play and that game and come away saying Duke is a better team all around. Absolutely no way.

    • Alex90
      11:43 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Thank you. It was actually pretty terrible that they gave up 70 to that team

  13. Alex90
    11:31 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Duke beat a bad d2-d3 college team by 19….yea 2 starters are out but that wasn’t impressive at all. Zion was impressove though but that all changes when he gets similar sized players on him who actually can contest his shots.

  14. kenny
    11:32 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    We should probably just forfeit.

  15. Alex90
    11:32 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Btw the ppl in here saying Duke will win are clearly Duke fans. No UK fan that watched the Bahamas games would say that so definitively

  16. bbnZach
    11:49 am August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Dook is going to run us out of the gym. Who is guarding Zion and Reddish?

    • Alex90
      12:00 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Keldon Johnson on Reddish
      Ej/PJ/Reid/Nick Richards on Zion

      Not that hard dookie..btw UK will have 5 threats on the court and Duke just gave up 70 to a hs team

    • runningunnin.454
      12:05 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      We have two talented fives, (o.k. I won’t say platoons).
      And, Dook is going to run us out of the gym with four good players, and limited depth? Nope.

  17. jbev
    12:35 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

    I am very confused as to what game you all watched. First of all, the team they played was about the talent level of an upper level high school team. I’ll be objective and honest here. They looked rough to me. Sure, RJ scored, but who isn’t going to score shooting 30+ times? (Imagine Herro putting up that many shots). His vision and passing was not pretty and he turned the ball over constantly. Zion looked good offensively and rebounded well, but again, against competition he had a major advantage on. Defensively, Zion will be a liability, he was getting beat off the dribble constantly.. That’s the only two to even talk about. Yes, they’re missing two players, but this team literally is only 4 deep (If you want to say 6 deep with their two lackluster bigs, then go ahead). Bolden looked like… well like first and second year Bolden. He looked awful and any of UK’s bigs would eat him alive. They have no quality bigs to begin with, and no decent backup bigs at all. They have no true shooters and no backup guards behind Jones. Unless they get their top 4 hardcore conditioned to play 33+ minutes a game with no drop off, this squad will struggle against good teams. If anyone has this team favored over UK, I just don’t see where that’s coming from…

    • henderblue
      12:44 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      Well done jbev. The whole thing was click bait. Throw in some borderline Duke lovers and poof…you got yourself a little debate. I ain’t skeered of no blue devils. Bring em on. Go Cats

  18. KyZoneBlitz
    1:20 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

    I think Barret may be the overall best player on the court, but I think 2nd will be Keldon Johnson. He is a better player than Zion Williamson in my opinion. Zion may be the better athlete, but overall, Keldon has a much more versatile skill set. Sure, Zion can jump out off the gym and dunk nonstop, but, at best his shot is mediocre. Keldon Johnson isn’t a Sharpe shooter like Herro, but his shot is definitely above average, and he is also in his own right a very very good athlete, maybe not quite as freakish as Zion, but he can elevate pretty well too, proven in the 4 highlight videos against international pro competition. Not the equivalent of Transylvania, you know, who Duke played in canada. I then think PJ Washington will be the 3rd best player on the floor, and if Washington and Travis play physical in the post with Zion and duke, I don’t think they will respond very well. I think Hagans and Quickley will be disruptive defensively on the perimeter, which I think is our major advantage. Yes, they have Barrett, and Williamson, but our guards are superior to dukes in every way, and it will show. Our depth will cause them problems as well.

  19. Matt10
    1:56 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

    How do some UK fans have the intestinal fortitude and time to spend to watch Duke play anyone other than UK? Recovering in a hospital and no other channels? Lost a bet? Lordy, must be something crazy! You couldn’t pay me!

  20. Greatcatfan
    3:03 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

    The only way a UK fan can watch Duke is theyve

    • Greatcatfan
      3:05 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

      They’ve been so blue balled they can make out who’s playin.

  21. Bigblue7982
    3:19 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

    They played a D 2 college. Cats by 10+

    3:28 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

    Our guys go onto the court looking to eat souls and embarrass the other team. Last night I saw a couple of dudes looking to make highlight reels. If you watch these “highlights” you will notice that many times Zion passed up the open man/easy play to attempt a more difficult shot. This effort may fly against D-II talent, but not against most D-I teams.

  23. BBN_strive_4_9
    4:29 pm August 16, 2018 Permalink

    AAAAAAA, dook beat a d2 Canadian team we have to forfeit!!!!!!!!

  24. notFromhere
    12:45 am August 17, 2018 Permalink

    Guess everyone talked about them playing a similar schedule to what Cal set up for UK. SnapeK recruits like him, schedules like him, so what’s next? Not like he can beat up on Pitino coached teams…

    CoachellaK, come up with an original idea OTHER than taking the worst sports in the history of college basketball and making them even poorer sportsmen

  25. jonthes
    2:10 am August 17, 2018 Permalink

    I was at the Meadowlands game and Jay Williams got bailed out on a last second foul call on Prince under the basket. Typical Duke game officiating. Disgusting.

  26. ChetSteadmansSalisburySteak
    11:06 am August 17, 2018 Permalink

    We’re going to be really good come Feb-March, that being said; this game is in November. We won’t be anywhere near a polished and finished product. Duke has the advantage in this one with the skill and level of talent alone, but I think in the big picture Kentucky will have the higher ceiling, and will get to that higher ceiling and then some (in Cal I trust). A loss here is a bummer but means absolutely nothing.

  27. KYjellyRoll
    11:10 am August 17, 2018 Permalink

    U.K. Will run dook to death. U.K. Will have EJ hopefully and maybe Baker. That’s two more players on top of the team we saw in the Bahamas. I’m just gonna say Duke will not be able to keep pace for 40 min. They’ll fold after 32

  28. dbake
    1:00 pm August 17, 2018 Permalink

    I will make the call right now. Travis will end up on Williams. Despite his skill Travis experience and size will be more than Zion can handle. First big game against a possible one seed (being us). Travis can match Zions size and strength edge Travis for experience. Keldon has more than proved he can handle Barrett and will do so again………edge Keldon. Our guard play and depth will harass Dukes guards to the point of breaking down…….edge our guards….Only spot I see Duke out playing us is Center and even then it is just a possibility………Cats by 5 at half, cats by 12 at the end

  29. VMI1957
    1:11 pm August 17, 2018 Permalink

    DUKE 84 – UK 70

  30. TBW3011
    11:32 am August 19, 2018 Permalink

    Zion isn’t close to as good as some are claiming. Wait until you see him against size and length. He’ll struggle.