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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Keith Bogans, The Next Retired Jersey

keith bogans

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.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

28 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Keith Bogans, The Next Retired Jersey

  1. Go Deep
    9:15 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Unfortunately, everyone remembers how you finished more than anything and just like you left it for last that sprained ankle is what everyone remembers most. Bogans was great and actually one of my favorites, I like him more than Tayshaun and probably my favorite player from the Tubby era. But rafters will be hard for anyone from those years for some strange reason.

    9:18 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    I say all this as a Bogans fan:
    1. Overrated out of high school. Billed as a game changing talent and while very good, was overshadowed by Joe Forte.
    2. Not personable. Simply wasn’t a warm and friendly guy.
    3. Junior season. Nuff said.
    4. Legacy tainted by Marquette. Fair or not, was captain of the best team and didn’t get it done.
    5. Big stats on “bad” teams. Lost 35 games in four years.
    6. Closely related to #2 and #5, didn’t play with a lot of joy/passion, and would go get his when the game was out of reach. No one ever puts Bogans on the all-heart team.

    • BTownUKFan
      9:24 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      What he said. I can’t blame Bogans for the Marquette game, Tubby should have never had him out there but when I think of Bogans I think of someone who didn’t deliver when he was needed most.

    • CATandMONKEY
      10:27 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      When you think of Bogans… Really? We wouldn’t have ever even been in the position to play for a Final Four spot without Bogans. Keith was not in great shape for the Marquette game, agreed…but who, outside of that conference had ever even heard of Dwayne Wade prior to that game?

      Mike Pratt, Bogans and Prince deserve to be in the rafters.

      Unfortunately, years ago,we put some guys in the rafters that never did and never will belong there.

    • madarchitect
      11:16 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Bogans was always personable to me.

    • catdaddyd
      12:27 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      0 final fours, we don’t honor mediocrity.

  3. CatsfaninFL
    9:18 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    I hate that feeling like you need to shower because you just agreed with BTI. Ugh.

  4. secrick
    9:23 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    I have to agree with you on this one. Maybe you should get this done for him.

  5. nybrasky
    9:36 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    I always say that Keith Bogans doesn’t get nearly the respect that he deserves from UK fans. He was an absolutely great and consistent player.

    I think there are a couple factors that have to do with this, mostly from a timing standpoint.

    First, he finished playing just on the cusp of the internet/social media world blowing up. Although the internet was well on its way, we still relied on “real” journalists for UK stories. Bogans was never really a media darling. Word of mouth was still where the excitement came from, which leads me to my second point.

    Unfortunately, for much of Bogans’ time the most vocal conversations (even if a minority of fans) focused more on Saul or Tubby at the time.

    Third, he was overshadowed by Tayshaun, who was a media darling, for three years.

    Lastly, and maybe most importantly, we took him for granted. Bogans was so good so early that it just became expected. Fans tended to focus on the “surprise” guys around him that were the missing pieces to making a great team – guys like Daniels, Estill, Fitch, Camara and later Hayes. We knew Bogans was going to handle his business, so the attention turned to what the others could do.

    Bogans was rightfully inducted into the UK Hall of Fame last year, which is the first step toward the rafters. He should also be in the Hall of Fame for always driving from the Lodge to his classes, even if it took longer to drive than walk. If you were in Lexington at the time, you could always hear Keith coming down Rose or Euclid.

  6. CatsFanFrankfort
    10:06 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    I actually agree that Bogans should have his jersey retired. However, it probably shouldn’t be the next one done. I think the order should be something like this:


    I have no idea what to do about guys like: Turner/Padgett/McCarty/Nazr/Mercer/Anderson/Magloire. Do any or all of these guys deserve to be up there??

    PS. Jodie Meeks would absolutely have his retired if he had stayed his senior year and we had won the championship, which, duh, we would have. And probably would have led to PPat having his retired too, since he would be a national champion.

  7. FlySoup
    10:15 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Prince, Hayes, Patterson, Wall, and Cousins don’t deserve to have their jerseys retired either. I’m think the criteria should be a player needs to have 3 of the 4: final 4 MOP, national champion, 1st team AA, 4 year player with top 5 stats in school history in 1-2 major categories

    • CATandMONKEY
      10:21 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Fourth in all time scoring. Done.

    • Hartline
      10:21 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Prince and Wall should most certainly have their jerseys retired. John Wall won smaller NPOY and Best PG awards. Prince had great numbers at UK, good numbers in the NBA and won a gold medal.

    • FlySoup
      10:24 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      CATandMONKEY… ya so he has 1 of the 4, and I think you should need 3 of the four to have your jersey retired

    • CATandMONKEY
      10:34 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Your criteria, for better or worse, are not binding rules to those who decide. Look at some of the jerseys up there. Bogans makes many of them look almost whimsical in comparison. Using your criteria, please go back in history and remove all players who don’t even make two of your four.

      Objectively, Keith is one of the 25 greatest UK players prior to the Cal era.

    • FlySoup
      10:48 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      yea i agree that my criteria wouldn’t fit a lot of the previous players, and we could probably agree that some of them probably don’t deserve to be up there… but we’re talking about adding future jerseys, not taking down past jerseys.

    • CATandMONKEY
      10:59 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Cool. I dont disagree that some hard criteria would be a good idea. Your four are a good starting point.

    • catdaddyd
      12:32 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      One of the 25 greatest? I be hard pressed to find 25 people who even know who Bogans is.

    • CATandMONKEY
      1:16 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      List 25 better. Can anyone under 25 tell you about Ralph Beard? Does that diminish Beard’s accomplishments?
      You just bolstered BTI’s argument. Bogans was objectively better than many of our guys who received much more hype and praise. BTI asked why…

    • satcheluk
      5:10 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      If you can’t find 25 people who know who Keith Bogans is, then you need new friends. That or you’re just a kid.

    • catdaddyd
      7:24 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      Bogans wasn’t even the best player on his team. I’d take Prince or Hayes.

  8. LesIsMoreKY
    10:38 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    I would think that Jeff Sheppard and/or Tubby Smith would be the next to be retired. It would be awesome to see it happen at the same time. Tubby won a title and Sheppard was the tournament MOP. They are more deserving that Bogans. Jodie Meeks had the greatest single season as a scorer but didn’t get anywhere in the tournament so I think tournament champions are more celebrated.

  9. rdhack
    11:21 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    YEP, That sprained ankle launched Dwayne Wade’s career.

  10. Saul T. Nuts
    11:56 am April 14, 2015 Permalink

    BTI sucks a big one, but he’s right about Bogans.

    • catdaddyd
      12:34 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

      I take Chuck Hayes or Eric Daniels over Bogans.

  11. catdaddyd
    12:39 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    4 SEC East titles. Really?

  12. Dave Ball
    1:49 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Wayne Turner has my vote…not only did he play as a Freshman in John Calipari’s last game as coach at UMass (96 FF) but was within a half vs Michigan State of going to 4 straight Final Fours (accomplished last by that guy from Duke)…and his contribution during that 98 Elite Eight game vs Duke when he took “Wojo” to school on his hip late in that game helped UK storm back from 17 down with just over 11 minutes to play vs that Coach K fella…on their way to #7…without Turner forget 98…that alone (and the fact that he was in 3 final fours and 1 elite 8 in his career) should merit some nod of the head (or jersey in rafter)…or Antoine Walker…then Bogans…or Casey-Pratt…

  13. catdaddyd
    8:20 pm April 14, 2015 Permalink

    Objectively, Keith is one of the 25 greatest UK players prior to the Cal era. List 25 better. OK

    Issel, Jim Andrews, Macy, Bowie, Turpin, Kenny Walker, Rex, Prince, Pelphrey, Padgett, Robey, Phillips, Minnefield, Roger Harden, Woods, Hayes, Dampier, Givens, Sheppard, Delk, Mashburn, Antoine Walker, Pope, Magloire, Wayne Turner, Nazr, Mercer, Derek Anderson, Epps, Travis Ford, Jim Master, Chris Mills, Meeks, Patterson, Mike Phillips, James Lee, Beard, Pratt, Dwight Anderson, Cliff Hagen, Casey, Ramsey, Cotton Nash, Pat Riley, Grevey, Chester and John Short.