Kentucky lost its opening round game in the SEC tournament on Tuesday. The 10-seed Cats took Auburn to extra innings behind the arm of Sean Hjelle, but lost in the 11th inning, 4-3.
A lot of fans point to injuries for the reason behind the early exit and behind the disappointing close to the regular season — and injuries did play a big role. Others have said the team never really looked in sync throughout the year, which may also be a factor. Hitting slumps came at bad times, too.
But I know the real reason why Kentucky was eliminated from the SEC (and maybe the NCAA) tournament on Tuesday: Coach Mingione did not call in to Kentucky Sports Radio on Motivation Monday.
Motivation Monday has been vital to KSR since Mingione began making his weekly appearances last year. His pep talks have gotten all of our weeks off to a great start and inspired us to be better in our daily lives. But this past Monday, the phone never rang. We were left without Mingione’s uplifting words to fuel us for what was ahead. We were lost. I didn’t know if I should be a sink or a drain. Ryan forgot to take his thank you walk. Matt fed his negative dog and his positive dog starved to death. And it clearly impacted Mingione and his Wildcats down in Hoover as well.
Next week Kentucky will learn its NCAA fate in the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at noon. I’m sure Mingione will be a very busy man that morning, but we need a call to get our mojo back.