Most Recent Posts
- Weather delays HoopFest, Lyles will play twice on Saturday
- Numbers project a 75-68 Kentucky win over Baylor
- Jaleel Hytchye talks freshman year playing time, Stoops’ unsportsmanlike penalty
- Some story lines — from Baylor perspective — for tonight’s Kentucky game
- Randle on no double-double: “I’m all about winning. That’s why I came here.”
- Randle on Cauley-Stein: “He’s going to lead with his actions or how hard he plays”
- Baylor’s Austin: “Drew is just as great a coach as coach Calipari” and UK isn’t “any better than us”
- UK TV Video: Coach John Calipari pre-Baylor press conference
By LINDA SINCLAIR
I find it quite interesting that some people are on the Calipari 40-0 bandwagon. It would be a great thing to do but realistically can it be done? I say no.
Why am I not a believer? Easy enough … eight freshman. No matter how good these young boys are, they are still freshman. How many times have we seen extremely good players make freshman mistakes?
Cal is up on this team, he feels good, oh so good and he knew he would…da da da da da…But no matter the talent, no matter the coaching, things happen. Don’t forget refs, don’t forget other players trying to take ours out like they did Anthony Davis all year in 2011-12. Missed passes, stupid fouls, stepping on the line, etc, you know the scenarios it can be very ugly. Kentucky, Cal and the players always have a bulls-eye on their backs. We are Kentucky; remember that and what it means.
They have been playing against each other, they have not faced another team yet that has a different mindset, physicality and experience. They are freshmen; they have not set foot on a basketball court yet where we expect them to win. Can you imagine how nervous they will be the first time they face a ranked team, a good team? No amount of preparation from Cal can prepare them for that first game.
Willie and Alex are experienced players now; they know what it will take to win. They are more motivated and focused. They saw what was wrong last year and maybe, just maybe they can make sure there is no I in team this year.
We have Jarrod, our boy, he knows too. He might not get a lot of playing time but he is there, he is a role model and he has played against some of the best during his time at UK. Maybe, just maybe he will be the soul of this team this year, like last year and have some fatherly talks with the boys when Cal is not around.
We have Jon Hood back this year. He can shoot but how much time will he get. He is confident and healthy. He’s one of the old men on the team like Jarrod.
I want to see a Team, I want to see this team sharing not just on the basketball court, but sharing good times outside of the court. I want the ‘brotherhood’ back. That was a tremendous feeling to see those young men such great friends. We use to see post of the team going to dinner, doing things together but we didn’t see that last year. We heard about a few visiting the sick and elderly, going out of their way to be extremely kind to fans and small children, but nothing like in years past since Cal has been at Kentucky.
It is a huge burden for any player, but freshman are still wet behind the ears. We don’t know what is going on in their lives; we don’t know what kind of pressure they have before a game or during a game. Did they have words with a girlfriend or teammate? We don’t know if something is bothering them about their family. Classes, tutoring, practice, not enough sleep, not enough to eat, lack of funds to do what they want to do on the precious free time can all affect how they play. They are not robots.
It has been said this is the best recruiting class ever assembled for college basketball, but will the basketball gods look with favor on this team, will the stars be aligned for them? No one knows until the season is over in Atlanta.
I don’t care about 40-0, I care a little about #9, but what I care most about is a winning season, a good effort and no rumors or dissension like last year.