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What Happens Now for Kentucky

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  • What Happens Now for Kentucky

    So now here we are inside the wreckage.

    Kentucky is in an odd position where it's not just going to be dismissed as a non-contender (we saw that last year) but pretty much completely ignored by the college basketball world--at least until the Seton Hall game one month from today, and maybe not until the North Carolina game on December 22nd.

    It's not the worst place to be because it could make the players focus more on basketball than their own brand, but if you're a college basketball fanatic like I am, it's a bummer to hear the experts talk about every big-name team but yours. We got that all last year and I thought this year would be different.

    The good news: it's November 8th. We're 0-1. We have at least 30 games left to play. We begin tomorrow night against Southern Illinois in Rupp, but I'm guessing the enthusiasm is going to be low. And after a performance like we witnessed Tuesday, I can't blame fans. You don't pay a coach like Kentucky pays Cal only to have the team go out there and do that.

  • #2
    Looking at Southern Illinois: they won 20 games last year and return their top four scorers. So the game tomorrow night won't be easy. If we play defense like we have been they'll beat us.

    Kavion Pippen, nephew of Chicago Bull great Scottie Pippen, is one of their top returners. They also have a guy named Thik Bol.

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    • #3
      I know my enthusiasm dropped like a rock after the game Tuesday night. Its going to be another year like last year apparently.

      I was looking at Southern Illinois the other day and thought the same thing. This won't be an easy game based on how UK has been playing. Very veteran group and a good player back that missed all of last year Thik Bol.
      Kentucky fan since 1971.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KevinHall View Post
        I know my enthusiasm dropped like a rock after the game Tuesday night. Its going to be another year like last year apparently.
        To be fair to last year's team, they never played like that.

        They had a couple games where they looked bad but nothing like what we saw Tuesday. The team last year would have blasted the team we saw Tuesday night.

        This team with this roster should not play like that. There are no logical reasons for it unless Duke is actually that good, which I just don't accept because I don't think it's possible.

        One small clue may've come down the pike in a Courier-Journal article that was published sometime over the summer. The gist of the article said that the players were worried about playing time. At the time everybody just shrugged, because we'd seen them in the Bahamas. We all assumed it would be fine. Now it appears there may have (stress may have) been something to that piece. What you could be seeing is players who are concerned about how they fit in, and a coach who hasn't articulated properly how they need to play.

        Cal has been away quite a bit recruiting. We may've seen the fallout from that as well.

        I just don't think it's the roster at issue. There is no reason a roster like this should play that poorly.

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        • #5
          I think the important thing to keep in mind is that Duke is very good. And everyone knew that. But I didn't expect them to be that good that soon.

          This is still a very talented team that UK has. And they are going to be good as well. Obviously not nearly as quickly as Duke is.

          I hate to say it but the Duke game may turn out to be a blessing. No one likes being embarrassed. If there was ever a wake up call to be delivered that was it.

          Tomorrow I expect to see a team that is pissed, that scraps and fights. Sometimes it takes a beatdown like that to make it sink in that just showing up isn't enough.

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          • #6
            I'm totally convinced Billy Gillispie's last team, which essentially featured Jodie Meeks shooting it every time down the floor, would have stayed in that game Tuesday much longer than this team did.

            That shouldn't be. Something is deeply wrong with Kentucky. Only question is whether it's temporary or not.

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            • #7
              Drop back 10 yards and punt... oh wrong sport. lol

              Just hope these young guys keep their heads and figure things out.
              Proverbs 25:24

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              • #8
                I have no idea what to expect now. We could win by 25 tomorrow night or lose again and I am not sure I would be surprised.

                The PG issue is real and I'm not sure there is a quick fix to be had. Hagans can play defense but has no offense, Quickley has offense but no defense, and Green...well, I'm not sure there is anything he does particularly well.

                PJ was a huge letdown Tuesday night, he needs to get his act together and do it quick. Travis will continue to be fine but if he is the best player on the team this year we are in huge trouble.

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                • #9
                  I don't mind Travis being the best player. Duke had nothing for him the other night. We wouldn't have won but if they would've gone into him starting in the first minute we might have kept that game relatively close. It took them roughly 8 minutes of game action to throw him the basketball.

                  I think Johnson is the best player because he plays with the most electricity. But Travis should be right there. I'm unsure what's wrong with that. Guy is a stud and one of those prototypical "college" players you see on all Final Four type teams.

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                  • #10
                    I'm sure most have seen some of the comments from Cal's press conference this afternoon, but a quick rundown:

                    * Thinks the Bahamas trip may have actually been bad for Kentucky. Over-inflated things a bit.

                    * Says his coaching sucked.

                    * Wanted to lay off Duke and pack it in (which is how you'll beat them), but the players didn't follow the report or he may not have expressed himself clearly.

                    * Says Duke ran no plays at all.

                    * Trying to figure out how his point guards have to play. Says we don't have a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on this team. Thinks his point guards may have to be more the facilitator types like he had back at UMASS (this is a bit of a worrying comment IMO).

                    * Says Duke played with a "chip." Every player they had was trying to show Kentucky they were better. Thinks Coach K was trying to prove some things as well against him (and did).

                    * Wonders aloud about Nick Richards. Says he "thought Nick would be better by now."

                    * Dismisses the idea that players don't have talent; says, "We can fly. We just had guys acting like it was high school."

                    * Seems to intimate that he might shrink the rotation down a bit.

                    * Says he completely trusts UK compliance regarding the Vanderbilt deal. Says they are so rigid with the rules it's a little uncomfortable at times, but he trusts them.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Will Lavender View Post
                      I'm totally convinced Billy Gillispie's last team, which essentially featured Jodie Meeks shooting it every time down the floor, would have stayed in that game Tuesday much longer than this team did.

                      That shouldn't be. Something is deeply wrong with Kentucky. Only question is whether it's temporary or not.
                      I agree something else is going on ,watching us getting run out of the gym by Duke on National TV and with the exception of Keldron nobody seemed very upset or angry about it on the floor. That is a problem; can you imagine Ullis or MKJ s reaction in a similar circumstance. They would rather cough up a lung rather than take a beating like that. Cals reaction was disconcerting as well.I heard him say 3 times in the post game presser I’ve been doing this a long time , these things happen. Really. I would love for him to explain how a team of 10 McDonald’s All Americans goes out on the biggest stage against the best team and play like the walking dead.Worse how do they look so disinterested and uninspired while doing it. This game will define UK’s entire regular season in people minds no matter what they do from here out A great post season run in the tourney will erase it. The game was that important and the humiliation that profound. Watching kind Cal kind of shrug afterward and say these things happen was infuriating
                      Last edited by Jload; 11-08-2018, 03:04 PM.

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                      • #12
                        We going to be alright, worst possible horrible game against Duke but our team is way better than this. This was like that one horrible round of golf when the wheels fall off and nothing goes right, we still good..
                        I can spell, blame it on my not so smart smart phone, makes up it's own words as it goes.....

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                        • #13
                          I have been watching Calipari since the Memphis days and in games like that, for whatever reason Cal just watches it happen. I dont know the stats but he either sucks at coming back or doesnt care. I have seen some of his Memphis teams get down and then go into panic mode. The one trait they have in common is they start just jacking up shots.. Cal watches the destruction and just seems to be an observer. I didn't watch this game so I don't know how he coached or acted but I do know from history this has happened before, maybe just not to a team this good.

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                          • #14
                            I'm not going to argue with anybody who thinks that Kentucky is in big trouble, but I'm not panicking or even particularly concerned.

                            They'll be fine.

                            Now, if they're still getting throttled by 30 in mid-December, we can revisit the argument.

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                            • #15
                              After the Bahama trip I sent a text to my daughter in Seattle telling her the Cats were "as advertised" and "legit". After the Duke game she texted me back..."advertised as what??? Legit at what????" lol.

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                              What Happens Now for Kentucky

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