Friends, I don’t need to tell you that with the upcoming UK basketball season ready to kick off proper on November 11, what we saw at the Blue/White Scrimmage has everyone excited about this year’s team. Recently I sat down with Jason Stafford of SEC SportsNet and Brian Hall of Basketball Preview Central to get their takes on some of UK’s preseason games and see how they project the Cats will perform.
Stephen F. Austin
Hall: A new coach in former Texas A&M assistant Kyle Keller means some uncertainty, and losing three starters from last season doesn’t help. But returners CJ Williams and Nathan Bain are still forces for the Lumberjacks, along with some juco transfers that should energize the team.
Stafford: I think the new landscape is really going to take a toll on this team and I fear that they won’t be able to click fast enough to get a good season going early. This certainly won’t be the SFA team we saw in last year’s tourney, and the Wildcats should eat them alive.
Hall: I have a positive feeling about this Dukes season. I think guard Josh Steel is going to be tough to stop, and they won’t see another slump like last year. I think they’ll be stronger.
Stafford: I don’t have high hopes for this Dukes squad, who were 17-17 last season, to improve enough to be a threat for Kentucky. Senior big man Darius Lewis can’t seem to stay out of foul trouble and losing two strong guards is going to hurt them.
Hall: I have to disagree with that, but we’ll see.
Stafford: I feel pretty good about this call.
Stafford: Bobby Hurley is an effective head coach, and his backcourt is going to remain tough, even if incoming freshman still need to learn his system. I think they’re formidable.
Hall: I can’t agree with you there. I don’t see them being a factor.
Stafford: You also think Duquesne is going to be a competitor.
Hall: I’m entitled to my opinion.
Stafford: Well, you’re wrong.
Hall: A fast-paced offense and a talented roster is going to lead to, I think, a great season for Steve Alford’s Bruins in 2016-17. What do you think?
Stafford: I don’t know about that. What I see when I look at this UCLA team is OH NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME WHY DID YOU STAB ME? I’M BLEEDING CALL A DOCTOR
Hall: I’m tired of you negating everything I say. Every new basketball season is the same thing. It ends here, Jason.
Stafford: OH MY GOD THINGS ARE GOING DARK. I’M LOSING SO MUCH BLOOD. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU STABBED ME WITH THAT KNIFE. BRIAN…I’M GETTING…SO…WEAK…AAH.
Hall: This is what happens when you push a man too far, Jason. He pushes back. He pushes back, Jason!
KSR: What have you done? You’ve murdered him. He’s dead! He’s dead, Brian!
Hall: That’s right. And I’d do it again. I’m tired of this constant struggle. Of all his garbage.
KSR: I’m calling the cops. You’re insane. You’ll fry for this!
Hall: Will I? It’s your knife. Why do you think requested we do this interview at your home? And look at your phone — ten minutes ago I sent you a text message that I’m ill and can’t make it tonight. As far as anyone knows, you’re the only person here.
KSR: They’ll find you out. They’ll know!
KSR: You’ll never get away with this.
Hall: Oh, you think they’ll suspect Jason Stafford’s only friend? He has no family, no other loved ones. I cultivated this friendship with him for years. I’m the only person he has. I’m the beneficiary of his life insurance. I’m going to be rich. And you’ll be rotting in prison with no one to believe you.
KSR: Please, stop this! You’re a madman! Don’t go through with it.
Hall: Look at me! Look in my eyes — I want you to remember this moment. And remember this name: BASKETBALL. PREVIEW. CENTRAL.
Hall: Head coach Joe Mihalich has assembled a great backcourt which might be strong enough for a CAA Tourney championship but not for Kentucky. Cats by 23.