Sorry for the hiatus guys, planning a wedding is not easy, but after a dreadful last week or so for the big blue faithful, I just have to vent. My frustrations with this team do not compare to any of Calipari’s teams. Not even last year’s doomed squad.
Now I can get over a loss to a veteran Michigan State team. I can get over a loss on the road at North Carolina, and even a home loss to a very good Florida team. What I will not accept is a loss to LSU, Arkansas and South Carolina on the road in games where our talent should have lead us to victory. When I take a step back and look at the big picture, I notice that these kids are still playing selfish. Plain and simple. It seems like on fast breaks whoever has the ball HAS to be the one to score. It seems as if even though you have 2-3 guys on you, you still want to take the ball inside without even giving your guards a look (Although I love you Julius, you can’t beat 3 players every time.) These guys are selfish and their play is proving it. I get so nervous when I watch one of our games and we are up or down by a small margin within 5 minutes, due to the fact you never know how this team will finish out. I agree that the ball needs to fall into the hands of Julius Randle, but….I think he needs to slow his brain down and decide his first move. It is very easy when you are the only viable offensive option on your high school team to want to take the ball to the hole, I get that. What I do not get is how you want to come to Kentucky and play with the best but cannot trust your teammates enough to put the ball in their hands and possibly let them make a play. Or how about the Harrison twins driving the ball with under 3 minutes left and looking for a quick alley-oop knowing the team you are playing is looking for that? I just don’t get it. This team has all the potential in the world to take home their 9th National title, but until they a learn how to play as a team, then we have a snowball’s chance in hell.
Another thing; How come Calipari does not actually have a gameplan on offense or defense once they are inside 5 minutes? A nice inbound play, play some press, zone?? I honestly believe he lets his players do what they want on the offensive end. With so much talent, it’s hard to argue with him, but come on! Defensively, this team is long and athletic enough to play a zone, even showing flashes of a National Championship team when they did play a zone a few times this season. Something has to give and this team has a lot of ground to make up in a short amount of time. To have as many athletes as they do, their transition defense is still below average at best I don’t know if certain lineups aren’t gelling, or what, but I am frankly tired of seeing this good of a team coming up short in games they should win. I am tired of hearing the excuses from Cal about youth and inexperience. This is no longer a young team anymore. How’s about this “Young Cats”: Pass the ball, play hard defense, block out, and hit FREE THROWS!!! If you guys can solidify at least three of these four areas of your game, then you my friends will have a (hopefully) happy ending come April. If not, get ready for the draft, or get ready for your sophomore season. IT’s that simple.
Tomorrow is Senior Night vs Anthony Grant and the Alabama Crimson Tide, and we will send off two of Kentucky’s own and beloved, Jarrod Polson, and Jon Hood. These guys have went through a lot since they first came to Lexington, including winning a national championship on the Anthony David lead Wildcats squad, so it’s only fair that we send these two Cats home with a win. If anyone has deserved a win it is those two young men. They have came to work the last 4 years against all of the best the NBA talent to walk in and out of Lexington, Kentucky. If you ask anyone around campus they will tell you that these two put in work to get where they are. Setbacks for Jon Hood include a torn ACL, and even worse having Billy G as a coach fresman year. Jarrod had a breakout game last year against Maryland, showing that the hometown kid can come in a make a difference. So tomorrow ladies and gentleman; stand up, cheer and applaud these two as they take their final walk on the Rupp Arena floor for the last time as college basketball players. It’s all but a given that a couple of the other members of this years Kentucky team will be playing their last game as Wildcats at home as well.. Whatever the case may be folks, frustrations or not, let’s show our boys some love, so hopefully we can bring number 9 back to the house Rupp built. Now, say it with me now…
OHHHHH C-A-T-S!! CATS CATS CATS!!