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The Good, The Bad, The Panic: Seton Hall Edition

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  • The Good, The Bad, The Panic: Seton Hall Edition

    The Good

    * Washington Smashington. PJ Washington was Kansas St. Washington today, putting the team on his back and carrying them for the last 15 minutes of the game. His free throws were also tremendous, and I never thought I'd type that line. If you got that effort every time you'd have an All-American, but unfortunately we won't get that effort every night.

    * The Shot That Didn't Matter. Keldon Johnson's miracle halfcourt buzzer beater looked like it was going to save Kentucky, but alas, it did not. It was still an awesome moment while it lasted.

    * Don't Go to the Monitor. Kentucky caught a bad break on the late rebound by PJ Washington that ended in the guy nearly taking his head off, and it looked bad...but I'm actually glad they didn't call that a flagrant. I think the flagrant foul craze in college is ridiculous, it's a play that guys almost never get hurt on, and I wish they would dump going to the monitor except when the coach challenges. I like the common foul there.

    The Bad

    * Protect the Bigs. Foul trouble was a problem for Kentucky virtually all day today, and in the first half we even saw the Yeti known as Jemarl Baker. But late in the game Reid Travis picked up his fourth, and for some reason stayed on the floor--something Cal never does. Of course at that point we had already let Seton Hall take a lead and the game was super tight, but when he picked up his fifth it immediately called into question Cal leaving him out there. That was a huge deal when the game went to overtime.

    * Early Struggles. The first 10 to 12 minutes of that game was the worst UK had played all year offensively by a good margin, and as we were throwing up bricks Seton Hall really tried to give the game to us. It was almost like watching low-major basketball, and so when Kentucky finally did start playing well instead of working from a large margin, we were only up a couple of possessions. Cal being okay with that performance--as he claimed to the sideline reporter--in the first half is a problem.

    * Stop the Bleeding. Cal has pointed out what a problem this team has cutting off teams when they go on runs, and we saw a repeat of what's been happening to Kentucky for a large part of the season today. When Myles Powell, who looked like he was napping for most of the first half, got going, he really got going. And we couldn't deny him the basketball, couldn't run him off the three-point line, couldn't really do anything except force him into tough threes that he just kept making. We let guys play out of their minds against us, and it really reminds me of the 2013 team in that regard.

    * Sophomore Slump. With the exception of Washington the sophomore class gave us almost nothing today: a couple of baskets, a couple of rebounds, and that was about it. We thought we were going to get improved players like Jones and Lamb, but instead we've gotten at least a flatline from our sophomores, and maybe even a regression. That's seriously disappointing and it's not really something that can be fixed.

    * There's no "I" in Timeout. Cal once again doesn't call a timeout in a late-game situation, something that really shouldn't surprise us but it always does. I think with certain teams you let them play there. If you've got John Wall on the court, let 'em play. But John Wall is nowhere to be found obviously, and we had really struggled getting into our sets for almost the entirety of that game, so I think you've got to call time-out and draw something up for Washington. Seton Hall had shown they really couldn't handle him without fouling, so you've got to put the refs in a situation to make a call. But Cal doesn't operate that way, which shows that he's still using the MO that he started at Kentucky with. Problem with that is that we don't have the type of personnel we did then.

    * Face of Danger. I still don't like some of the things I see from this team in terms of the way they react after things happen. They don't look together to me and the make-up of the team looks bad. There are other issues, but they don't behave like a cohesive basketball team. This doesn't bode well because when you walk into one of these SEC arenas for a road game, if you aren't together you'll get embarrassed.

    The Panic

    * Not Our Herro. Tyler Herro was the most disappointing individual player today, getting six threes, all of them coming at crucial times, and missing all six. Five of those threes were so wide open that there was no one within 20 feet of him. He's now shooting a dismal 32% on the season, and he's missing shots that are drawn up from the sideline. You can't have clankers at the shooting guard position, but the problem is on this team that we really don't have anybody behind him.

    * Steeped in Mediocrity. We were beaten by a bad basketball team that's in rebuilding mode. Yes, they went crazy from three. Yes, they had one superb individual player. But in no universe is that a good team, and the fact that Louisville--a team in rebuilding themselves--beat them does not bode well for Kentucky.

    * End of the Line? You're beginning to feel some real tension in Kentucky basketball now, as the media has turned on Cal a bit, he looks like an old man sitting over there, the quality of play has fallen off dramatically from what we saw even a couple of years ago, and things just look, if not desperate, then definitely pretty concerning. It's really easy as a fan to be over-dramatic about your team after a tough loss, to make grand proclamations about how bad things are. But it's also easy to just look the other way and hope for a turnaround from a team that might not have it. It's still only December 8th, and we've seen some decent Kentucky teams look bad on December 8th, but that Seton Hall bunch is one even our rawer teams would have pummeled. I think last year's team handles Seton Hall with not much of a problem. This is bad basketball we're watching right now, and that hurts to say.
    Last edited by Will Lavender; 12-08-2018, 08:28 PM.

  • #2
    That “end of the line bit” seems over the top and way off base.
    Jordan Peterson is my spirit animal...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Spiritof96 View Post
      That “end of the line bit” seems over the top and way off base.
      Could be. But I pick up some real concerning things from this team and its coach. If you add in the weird recruiting stuff that's happened over the last three off-seasons and Cal's insistence that he still had the fire during BBN (he spent a good three or four minutes trying to stress this, perhaps trying to counter a rumor that was going around on Twitter over the summer), then you have to wonder if he may be nearing the end.

      One of the first things he said when he took the job here was that he didn't want to wear out his welcome.

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      • #4
        We are at a fork in the road, I think. Cal either gets it turned around this year and finds another gear in recruiting, or we're watching his last days (by choice, not by force, obviously).

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        • #5
          Without a good penetrating guard Cals offense doesn’t work. This team is the slowest and worst fast breaking team I’ve seen since Cal got here. Don’ see how this team gets fixed without an effective point guard. Tyler Hero will be a good maybe great player here if he stays 2-3 years, but right now his shooting is hurting us, he needs to be on bench. That’s the problem ,no 1 or 2 that is ready to play consistently at this level. You could feel the train starting to slide back down the hill last year, this year it is picking up speed. I don’t see this story ending happily

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Spiritof96 View Post
            That “end of the line bit” seems over the top and way off base.
            No it isn’t at all. Cal’s 60, keeps getting beaten at his recruiting game, he has made comments in the past about this not being an old mans job.

            Maybe he gets it turned around but the last two years have been straight mediocre and next year might be just as rough.
            "Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." -Homer Simpson

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            • #7
              I think we all know that the Wisconsin loss was the breaking mark. Cal was shattered, and from what I read here and other places so was the fan base.
              losing in the NCAAs is no sin or shame. Every year everybody but one does it.
              Losing a chance at a perfect Kentucky season with history right in front of you seems to have been the game changer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Spiritof96 View Post
                That “end of the line bit” seems over the top and way off base.
                Nice long write-up and that's your only takeaway? Let's see you do better.

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                • #9
                  Well I had a busy afternoon with the game set to record, only to find out Fox Sports made the baffling decision to switch to the Louisville-IU game at the beginning of overtime. And maybe that's for the best. I'll just pretend that crazy KJ buzzer beater was the end. Agree with JLoad that these guys look like they're a couple years away from being good team players.

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                  • #10
                    CAL needs superstars to win.

                    Not to nit pick, but I think Herro is actually shooting 27%. Fortunately he can make other shots or he would be Josh Carrier II.

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                    • #11
                      I liked the write up... I think there are many things to point out as to what's happening such as some of what was touched on and then some other high level points:

                      1.) Sophomores - they aren't good. PJ is an average player at best and is nothing over the top special. The others are 4 year players and aren't improving much. Richards is garbage. Nothing more than a bench player. I don't understand how you can have hands that big and can't catch a ball. Green - I don't know if I've ever seen a player commit so many unforced turnovers.
                      2) Recruits - Cal and his team are missing on these recruits. Even though these are highly talented HS kids. They are not translating to the college game. Too many holes in their game. He's getting size and athletic kids, he's not getting good, smart basketball players. This freshman group has some talent but once again, it's talent that needs to stay in college at least 2 to 3 years. He's missing out on a lot of good basketball players and I'm not always talking about a top 5 recruit although he's been missing on those as well.
                      3.) Cal's Offense - Is absolutely terrible. He does draw up some good plays here and there but his offense often promotes so much standing around especially by the bigs just standing around looking to screen that it gets very predictable.
                      4.) The Hype --- Needs to stop. Each and every year, the media and Cal hypes up these kids that they are not ever going to live up to the expectation. Just stop already. Stop playing the so-called "Professional" teams and making it sound like they are good. The best HS teams in the country would beat that garbage that they played in the Bahamas.

                      Overall - this team is not very good. The defense is terrible and they will probably lose another 6-8 games due to it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spiritof96 View Post
                        That “end of the line bit” seems over the top and way off base.
                        I don't think so. I've been telling my friends for a couple of years I'm afraid the best of the Cal Era at UK is in the rear view mirror. Because, as BobS said on this thread, Cal needs superstars to win. And he hasn't been getting superstars for a while.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 40bill View Post
                          I think we all know that the Wisconsin loss was the breaking mark. Cal was shattered, and from what I read here and other places so was the fan base.
                          losing in the NCAAs is no sin or shame. Every year everybody but one does it.
                          Losing a chance at a perfect Kentucky season with history right in front of you seems to have been the game changer.
                          The only thing I'd say about this is that Kentucky had a really good season just two years ago. Was a shot away from the Final Four with a team full of guys who went on to the NBA.

                          The breaking mark has really happened in recruiting. He isn't recruiting like he was ten years ago and I don't think he's coaching at a high level either, so it's kind of a double whammy. Maybe all that's a symptom of Wisconsin but I sort of think Cal might just not have the spark he had early on. He seems weary, and that's something I've just noticed this season.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by largebluej View Post

                            I don't think so. I've been telling my friends for a couple of years I'm afraid the best of the Cal Era at UK is in the rear view mirror. Because, as BobS said on this thread, Cal needs superstars to win. And he hasn't been getting superstars for a while.
                            I do think this roster is far better than it has shown.

                            They seem fractured to me. Splintered apart. I see a ton of worrying signs just in their body language and the way they interact with each other on the court.

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                            • #15
                              Jeff Drummond‏Verified account @JDrumUKLooking at the UK season stats update, the Cats have been outscored from the 3-point arc by 96 this season. That's a crazy number in nine games, almost -11 in that column per game. With more and more people playing four guys on the perimeter, that's a hard number to counter.

                              Comment

                              The Good, The Bad, The Panic: Seton Hall Edition

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