Wanna feel real old? Keith Bogans turns 35 this year. THIRTY-FIVE!! 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 the entire cast from this year. 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
-37th 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 first 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. 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. After Delk had his jersey retired this year, I would think Bogans should be next, maybe Tayshaun and then Bogans. But that also seems unlikely to happen.
Which is sad to me, because Bogans produced more than almost anybody at Kentucky. Bogans represented the program better than most and Bogans continued to represent the program well in the NBA. Keith Bogans, the man, the myth, the legend, and the damned sprained ankle.