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By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky basketball fans have been thinking about a 40-0 season and national championship since John Calipari signed six McDonald’s All-Americans and kept Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein on the team.

However, even though it’s only mid-August, here is a reminder from Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, one of the nation’s best college basketball writers, about what makes a perfect season seem a bit far-fetched.

Here’s part of what he wrote at sportingnews.com.

1) The Champions Classic is tougher: This year’s UK opponent in the Nov. 12 doubleheader at Chicago’s United Center, Michigan State, is Sporting News’ preseason No. 2 team and universally expected to contend for the NCAA title. The Spartans have nine of their top 10 players back from a year ago and nearly 80 percent of their point production. It’s a very challenging game for a Kentucky team that will, again, rely heavily on freshmen.

2) The North Carolina game is on the road: The Tar Heels do not lose often at the Smith Center. They almost never lose there to non-ACC opponents. They’ve won 63 consecutive non-conference games at the Smith Center — a streak that began in the 2005-06 season. Plus, that’ll be the first true road game for UK’s freshmen.

3) Louisville is a known quantity now: The team that went to Rupp in December 2011 became a Final Four squad, but only after finishing 10-8 in the Big East regular season. This Louisville team will be far more imposing.

4) Florida will be highly motivated: Presuming the Wildcats can somehow get through all of that and the SEC regular season schedule without falling, they will arrive at the Gators’ O-Dome to close the regular season on March 8. Can you imagine what the atmosphere would be like were the Gators in position to spoil an undefeated season for UK?

 

5) The NCAA field could be stronger: We can’t know what developments might affect the quality of the field when we get to March, but this season appears to be fairly loaded with Duke featuring forwards Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, Kansas bringing in super freshman Andrew Wiggins, Arizona loading up in the frontcourt with freshman Aaron Gordon and Michigan State and Louisville stacked as we’ve already noted.

 

 

7 Responses to Mike DeCourcy on why chasing perfection will be difficult for Calipari’s Cats

  • Rex says:

    There’s no way this team (or any team) is going to go undefeated. I am really psyched to see how this group comes together. But let’s be real. We’re talking about a lot of Freshmen. Let’s just let this team have some time to come together and hopefully Cal has them peaking at Tournament time.

  • JT says:

    Well said Rex. Too many tough opponents to suggest an undefeated season. Let’s just peak at Tournament as Rex said. And hopefully bring home #9.

  • LeoCat says:

    I agree with what Rex said. UK has too many tough opponents to suggest we go undefeated this season. Just hope they progress by tournament time. And if we are luck have a good shot at #9.

  • cats79 says:

    Gotta echo the comments that’s being made. It’s unfair to be thinking about with a mostly freshman roster.

  • bigcatstanding says:

    I think that people are missing the point, having tough competition is going to make it easier to win those games because their focus will be tremendous. there won’t be a chance of those teams sneaking up on them. these players will have pressure from the bench like no other team Kentucky has ever had, so there won’t be any slacking off on this team, or there will be splinters in their future. 2 years ago we got so close to going undefeated, if it weren’t for home cooking at Indiana and a last second shot they would have went undefeated. Do you really think that coach would be saying something like going undefeated if he didn’t think this team was very special. Get real he never says good things about the player or teams until halfway through the season. That is why I am so excited about this season that plus I as a fan know what kind of talent we are looking at. The kind of talent that has never been assembled ever before in college basketball history. So keep on being negative Nelly’s so when they go undefeated then me and the two other people get to celebrate our predictions lol. just kidding but I am projecting undefeated season, and I’m not alone coach is also looking for that.

  • Rex says:

    By no means are we being negative Nelly’s. I just feel it is expecting way too much out of any team in this day and age to go undefeated. The talent level is going to be much higher throughout the country this season. I feel there is too much parity in college basketball for any team (especially a team with so many new players on it) to go 40 and 0. I would love to be wrong as I take every loss in hoops very hard. As long as we win the game on April 7th I will be happy.

  • Anonymous says:

    Rex ) I agree about there being more talent nationwide, and better teams this year. But I have been a wildcat fan for more than 40 years, and I have never seen or heard of a team having this much talent. I really think we are on New ground here, and can’t see them having any days off or letting up with the bench being just as talented, that’s what I’m basing my prediction on, I really think we will go 40-0. I could see them maybe losing one early but non after or later. BBN OWNS CBB. ILF#9

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