By LARRY VAUGHT
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook editor Chris Dortch understands why some fans seem to almost have a hatred of Kentucky basketball.
“Fan is just short for fanatic and can mean Looney-Tunes,” said Dortch. “If you are like me and appreciate basketball and understand why people of Kentucky appreciate basketball, you can appreciate Kentucky fans’ appreciation of their program.”
Dortch expects John Calipari to have another team UK fans will appreciate this season, especially with the return of sophomore Isaiah Briscoe.
“Cal had his pick of guys to play the point last year,” Dortch said. “Not anybody could really stop him off the dribble. If he just gains consistency in his jump shot, he could be the key guy for UK because of all he can do.”
He also thinks Derek Willis and Isaac Humphries could both play bigger roles than some envision.
“Probably 95 percent of the teams in college basketball, Humphries would have played on last year. He could play a ton this year and will really help with rebounding I think,” Dortch said. “I thought Derek Willis was a key factor down the stretch last year with the way he stretched defenses. Cal can use him strategically and he will continue be a key.
“Plus, freshmen need upperclassmen to show them the way to play and say, ‘Cal yelled but he does not hate you,'” Dortch said. “Any year Kentucky has holdovers and guys who did contribute a lot the previous year, it really bodes well for the next year. Cal has a lot of five-star guys, but he needs blenders, too.”