Don’t we do this stuff every year?

Image result for john calipari

Isn’t the beginning of basketball season just great? 

It’s been a little different this year because of football.  Kentucky usually doesn’t go 9-3, have a player win three awards, and have three guys named to AP All American teams. 

I thought that would be a blessing and I think it has been.  Football casted a shadow over basketball for a month, and all that did was delay what is happening now, and by that I mean all of this negativity.

Usually Kentucky football is a joke and when are jumping on basketball, acting like football doesn’t exist when Big Blue Madness hits.  These kids, who are normally only 18 years old, are thrown into the spotlight immediately and criticized from the first tip until the final buzzer in March.

I am blessed to not remember much of the Billy Clyde years, so when Cal got here I became addicted to Kentucky basketball.  I remember going to bed on the night Kentucky played South Carolina.  They lost that game.  I woke up the next morning to hear that and didn’t believe it.  Man I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.

I cried for what felt like hours after Kentucky lost in the Elite 8 to WVU that year.  I did that after most losses, especially after heartbreaks.  The last time I cried was after the Wisconsin loss.  I know I am not the only one.

I started down the next depressing path as I decided to get a Twitter account in 2015 and didn’t pay much attention to it.  I started to get on it daily in 2016 and noticed one thing.  A ton of negativity.

They call the BBN the best fanbase in the world, and it is.  But, if you’re only on Twitter then you think we have the most negative, fans in the world.  There is a progressive cycle though, that happens every year.

At the beginning of the year, we’re excited and anxious for the season.  If we don’t start the season 10-0 and look like world-beaters, we go crazy.  We start the “should Cal be fired?” stuff and we lose our minds.  Then we go through the depressing SEC schedule, but this year the conference is insanely good, normally it sucks.  Last year we lost four games in a row and thought the team was going to miss the tournament, and I did too.  We all know what happened.

The end of the year is always exciting.  Cal has his guys ready and 90% of the time, UK wins the SEC tournament and goes deep in the NCAA Tournament.

We go through this cycle every year and we tell ourselves that Cal will have these guys ready by March, which usually happens.  We get all bent out of shape because an orange ball doesn’t go through a hoop or when a buzzer sounds the opponent has a higher number on the scoreboard than Kentucky does.  It’s hilarious if you think about it.

I have tried to not, I guess get depressed, over basketball in the past year.  It hasn’t really worked but I am still making an effort.  

Here’s a reminder.  When or lose a game, a recruit, etc.  The sun will come up the next day and our lives go on.

P.S. For the love of God, DO NOT tweet the Calipari daughters about their dad.  Thanks.

Go Cats.


Advertisements

ATTENTION: $15 tickets for UK vs. Utah

Image result for kentucky erupption zone

Yes you read that right.

Since UK goes on Christmas break soon, Kentucky is offering a special deal.  Fans can purchase eRUPPtion Zone tickets for $15 each for this Saturdays game against Utah, which tips-off around 5 pm EST.

Tickets will be sold at the Rupp Box Office on Saturday, beginning 90 minutes prior to tip-off.

If you haven’t been to a game or have never sat in the student section, this is a great opportunity.

Safe to say I will be highly disappointed if the student section isn’t packed on Saturday.  C’mon BBN!

Go Cats.

UNC Greensboro’s hilarious feud with Jim Boeheim

UNC GREENSBORO SPARTANS Logo Vector

Tomorrow, your Kentucky Wildcats take the court at Rupp Arena to face the Spartans of UNC Greensboro.  The game is scheduled to tip-off around 1 PM on ESPN2.

The only things I know about the Spartans are that they are located in Greensboro, North Carolina and that they had an hilarious feud with Syracuse head coach, Jim Boeheim, a couple of years ago.

After Syracuse lost in the first round of the 2017 ACC Tournament to Miami (FL), Boeheim let his opinion be heard about the tournaments former host, Greensboro, NC, saying there’s “no value” in playing there.

The cities Twitter account (@greensborocity) tweeted, “We kindly disagree. But I guess you can lose in the 1st round anywhere. At least it’s a quick ride home.”

I believe the tweet has been deleted, but you’re more than welcome to go looking for it yourself.

Syracuse didn’t make the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and was the first team out, making them the No. 1 seed in the NIT (Not In Tournament).  There opponent was of course, UNC Greensboro.

The cities Instagram account then went to work:

The NIT’s selection committee chairman, Reggie Minton, told ESPN that the matchup was not a way to work up drama.

“You guys are a lot smarter than we were, we didn’t have that in our minds.” Minton said.  

Sadly, the Spartans lost to the Orange, 90-77.

Go Cats.

I believe the blow out by Duke will be the best thing that happens to this team all year

Image result for kentucky vs winthrop

Kentucky was able to get the 87-74 win over Winthrop yesterday.  They looked great on offense shooting almost 57% from the field and 38% from behind-the-arc. 

Ever since the second half of the SIU game, Kentucky has looked like the team we saw this past summer in the Bahamas where they looked like world-beaters.

Now, I know we’re only through five games and it’s still very early, but I have a feeling that the beatdown by Duke may be the best thing that will happen to Kentucky this whole season.

After the Bahamas, we all thought we had another 2015 team, or at least I did.  I think Kentucky played very good in the Bahamas, but I also think the opponents they faced didn’t play anywhere close to their full potential.

“we weren’t prepared physically or mentally as I thought we would be, and that’s on me”

“Did we get arrogant, all of us, me included? I don’t know. We’re going to find out.”

“Like I told them, we’ve gotta get five guys that will fight like heck and leave them in and play themas long as they can play. Find those five that will fight together and play together and leave them in. And the rest of you will sub when they need abreak.”

Those were some of the quotes from Cal after the Duke loss.

The reason I say it will be the best thing that happens to Kentucky all season is because this team will be built from the ground up.  Cal will force them to be disciplined and focused always on the court, which can be difficult for these freshman at times.

Today and for the past few games, other than three-point defense, this team has looked alert defensively and very confident on the offensive end.  Two things we saw in the Bahamas but didn’t see against Duke and SIU.

Take a look at some of the stats:

Scoring
Total Points 430 391
Points Per Game 86.0 78.2
Scoring Margin 7.8
Shooting
FG: Made-Attempted 143-289 142-304
FG: Percentage .495 .467
FG: Per Game 28.6 28.4
3PT: Made-Attempted 26-76 56-127
3PT: Percentage .342 .441
3PT: Per Game 5.2 11.2
FT: Made-Attempted 118-154 51-72
FT: Percentage .766 .708
FT: Per Game 23.6 10.2
Rebounding
Total 210 116
Per Game 42.0 23.2
Margin 18.8
Assists
Total 78 73
Per Game 15.6 14.6
Turnovers
Total 77 69
Per Game 15.4 13.8
Margin -1.6
Assist/Turnover Ratio 1.0 1.1
Points Off Turnovers 19.4 19.2
Steals
Total 32 28
Per Game 6.4 5.6
Blocks
Total 28 11
Per Game 5.6 2.2

Go Cats.

Kentucky gets their first win of the season against SIU, 71-59

Related image

That wasn’t the prettiest win in the world, but after a very rough first half, Kentucky was able to rally in the second half and beat Southern Illinois, 71-59.

I saw more of the same team we saw against Duke Tuesday night.  Kentucky came out with no energy and some of the most careless basketball I’ve seen in the Calipari era.  The team needed a spark and got it toward the end of the first half, leading 31-28 at halftime.

The second half was a different story.  They looked more energized and looked like they were hungry for the win.  I’d say that had a little bit to do with the ten point deficit they faced early in the second half.  Immanuel Quickely and Keldon Johnson came alive in the second half scoring 15 points each, leading the team.  Quade Green scored 14 points and EJ Montgomery scored 10 points.  Nick Richards grabbed 19 rebounds, which is a record that ties Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and I never would’ve guessed that.

The good news is we saw this team actually play well tonight.  I was really worried after they came out tonight looking as bad as they did Tuesday night, and I honestly thought this was going to be a very rough season.

The thing that hurt Kentucky the most was turnovers as they had 13 in 13 minutes and through 2 half’s and 13 minutes of play, they had committed 27 turnovers.  They had 19 tonight.

What worries me about this team is they don’t have a go-to scorer or playmaker.  Now maybe we found that tonight in Immanuel Quickley or Keldon Johnson, but there isn’t one consistent player.  We’re only through two games so far and maybe someone separates themselves from the others, but as of right now I don’t see that.

This team is talented and will hit a stride at some point this year.  Will it be like last year where they hit it late in the year or will they find their way early? If you want to be good early, you have to find three guys that can be good consistently and play long periods of time.  Keep in mind, Tyler Herro, Ashton Hagans, and PJ Washington haven’t given us anything so far this year.

We’re only through two games and I’m not panicking yet.  Kentucky looked good in the second half which gave us something to get excited about, but will that translate to the rest of the season?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Tonight was the hardest game Kentucky will play until Seton Hall in New York.

The Cats are back in action on Wednesday at 9 PM against North Dakota.

The football team thought plays tomorrow, and right now that’s all I’m worried about.  Kentucky got the win tonight, now let’s go kick UT’s ass tomorrow.

Go Cats.

If Kentucky basketball is out of the spotlight, it won’t be for long

Image result for jaden mcdaniel

With Duke winning the recruiting battle of 2018, it looks like they have put themselves in the spotlight for this season, but not for long.

Pictured above is five-star Jaden McDaniels, a 6-10, 185 pound power-forward who is ranked in the top five of the 2019 class and ranked no. 1 at his position.

McDaniels has offers from Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, and Duke.  He is making his official visit this weekend to Lexington and would be a huge get for the Cats as it would give them a very talented big man for the 2019 class.

Kentucky already has commitments from Tyrese Maxey, Kahlil Whitney, and Dontai Allen.

The Cats are still in the hunt for top ranked recruit James Wiseman (things aren’t looking great for the Cats) and third ranked recruit, Vernon Carey Jr.

This could be a huge class for Kentucky and could give them the edge they need going into 2020.  Things could also fall apart and Kentucky could be without a significant big man in the 2019 season.

Check out some highlight of McDaniels:

 

 

John Calipari says the team was “playing for themselves” against Duke

Related image

John Calipari met with the media today to discuss Kentucky’s upcoming game against Southern Illinois and mostly to talk about the ugly loss to the Duke Blue Devils Tuesday night.

We’ve seen in a lot since John Calipari has been here, young freshman trying to do it all by themselves in the spotlight and play selfish.  Cal says the team played to “get theirs” Tuesday night.

“We were out there, instead of playing for each other, they were trying to get theirs.”  He also said a friend called him and said that the it looked like they were “playing with their hair on fire.”

Cal told them, “We gotta get five guys who will fight like heck and leave them in and play them as long as they can.  Find those five who will fight together and play together and leave them in and then the rest of you will sub in when they need a break.”

Calipari also said the guys acting like it was high school, “We took bad shots.  Guys were acting like it was high school.  Then we got down and they say ‘I gotta get mine now.’ What? You don’t play that way at Kentucky.”

We’ve seen this before with young teams full of freshman.  This team is in good hands though with three sophomores and a grad-transfer.

They have seven games until they travel to New York to face Seton Hall, then they come home to play Utah, and then head to Chicago for the showdown with North Carolina on December 22nd.

Winning those games will make it easier to forget about the Duke game and we’ll also see if they have learned from it.

Go Cats.