The 2013-14 season is here, and Kentucky will spend the entirety of it trying to atone for the disaster was the 2012-13 season. John Calipari’s team is trying to do something that no team in the history of college basketball has ever done: Win a national championship relying primarily on 6 freshmen who were McDonald’s All Americans. With disappointing losses to Michigan State, Baylor (lol) and North Carolina, the team will fail to reach its ultimate goal of perfect season, and will instead try to console itself with a national title. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Live While We’re Young: Going into the Belmont game Saturday, Dakari Johnson had only played 7 minutes in the prior 11 days. In fact, if you exclude the UNC game, he hadn’t played even one second since logging 11 minutes against Boise State on December 10. Predictable whispers about disgruntlement and a transfer elsewhere ensued. “That’s kind of baffling because he’s loved Kentucky from Day One,” said every person interviewed for this article. Of course, UK fans are known to be impatient, unreasonable, mean and not all that intelligent, so you can hardly blame Johnson for looking to get out. He undoubtedly came to Kentucky with hopes of being Calipari’s next one and done, but Coach Cal’s refusal to give Johnson a chance to showcase his skills has caused the freshman to put his champagne wishes and caviar dreams on hold for the time being. For now, he’ll just have to remind himself of the lyrics to that old Jimmie Rodgers ditty from the 1920’s: “I’m a thousand miles away from home just waiting for a train.”
*They Don’t Know About Us: With the next installment of the Dream Game imminent, one can hardly blame the backers of defending champ Louisville for feeling good about the matchup. In fact, a quick survey of UofL fans on twitter reveals universal confidence amongst Card Nation. “KENSUCKY GON LOOSE NO DOUBT #RISEUP #CARDNATION I LUV WEED” boasted UofL backer @IamDaGRAYTEST on Twitter earlier this week. And he’s not the only one who sees the game as a mere formality. “KKKALIPARI may have da best playerz munny can by but we gotz da man PATINO da illest!!!” reasoned @BLUNTZFADAYZ, who’s not only a basketball pundit but also has a “docterate in gettin bizzay” according to his Twitter bio. Finally, @cHaNeTrEz offered this bit of insight on the game: “Perdiction: LOUISVILLE — 99 uk — 13 randel cant handel SVT it’s the yeer of THA CARDS we finna smash ukkk then beet them derty canes in that bowel game i dont no what it called #L1C4!!!” The experts have spoken. Better luck next year, Cats.
*Story Of My Life: UK holds a 30-15 all time record vs. Louisville. Also, John Calipari is 4-1 vs. Rick Pitino since arriving in Lexington. This does not bode well for Kentucky. While one can expect UK fans to point to what happened in the past as a reason why the Cats will roll tomorrow, the fact is that no player on UK’s roster played a key role in any of those prior victories. Louisville, on the other hand, is defending national champion and returns several key players from last year’s team. While it’s true that the Cards did lose their two most important players from last year’s team, and that this game is in Rupp Arena instead of the Yum! Center, and that UK has a much deeper and more talented team this year than last year, and that UofL only beat UK by 3 last year despite everything I just mentioned, I’ll say it again: Louisville won the championship in a different year with a different team. Therefore, they will beat Kentucky tomorrow. End of analysis.
* On this date: On this date in 1991, Kentucky earned its 16th all time win over Louisville. The Cards hope to return the favor tomorrow.