The Kentucky Wildcats have some of the best fans, if not the best fans, in college basketball. Atlanta will be a testament to the previous statement this week when thousands of Big Blue fans invade the Georgia Dome for the SEC tournament. Wildcat fans travel well and cheer loud. They have the power to make any road game feel like a home game with a couple dozen buses.
That is why the conversation I had with a group of blue-blooded Kentucky fans today surprised me. These were real fans and they have real concerns about the direction of their program. Not really because of the amount of losses the past two years, although they are not happy about that, they are more concerned that they feel no connection with the team anymore.
In last weeks senior night the Wildcats celebrated Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson. That’s two players that have good stories in their time at Kentucky, but nothing to write a book about. Up the road in Louisville, the Cardinals sent off four players in Russ Smith, Luke Hancock, Stephan Van Treese and Tim Henderson. The Kentucky fans said they read about 10 to 20 different articles on Louisville’s seniors, “each of them had their own story.”
The system that John Calipari brought to Kentucky has seen 5-star players come and go faster than you can say, Nerlens Noel. It appears though, the average NBA fan is benefiting more than the devoted Big Blue fan, something that does not sit well in Cat country.
As an outsider looking in, trying not to have any bias at all, I can see why the fans are getting a little tired of the one-and-dones. But, I also know that if the Cats were winning like Calipari has promised, the complaints wouldn’t be as prevalent. Until things change though, some Kentucky fans will continue to ask for something different.
“I wish Cal would just go to the NBA with his players,” One fan said.
What are your thoughts? Do the Kentucky fans I talked to have a point?