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What has Kentucky’s season been like compared to what media members expected?

This is the first a of series of articles with various media members on their thoughts on Kentucky’s season as the Cats get set to start NCAA tournament play.

Question: What has this Kentucky season been like compared to what you expected on Oct. 15?

Ryan Lemond, Kentucky Sports Radio: “I never ever thought in a million years we would be sitting here in March talking about a 10-loss season and a 6 or 7 seed in the NCAA tournament. Back in October I bought into this team. I believed all the hype. I believed it was the best recruiting class in UK history and one of the best in the history of college basketball. Final Four was for certain, and hanging banner No. 9 was a strong possibility. I honestly don’t think I’ve covered a team that has failed to meet my expectations more than this team has.”

Larry Glover, Larry Glover Live: “This season has been a big disappointment. I didn’t expect 40-0 but I did think UK would have a team that could compete for a national championship and they don’t.”

Keith Taylor, Winchester Sun: “Expected more wins, especially against top 25 teams. It’s hard to gauge what to expect from a team that starts five freshmen. I definitely expected better production from Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein. Starting a freshman point guard produces roller-coaster results unless you are John Wall.”

Tyler Thompson, Kentucky Sports Radio: “Pretty much a 180. If you had told me Kentucky would finish the regular season unranked after going in as No. 1, I would have said you were crazy. This freshman class was heralded as the greatest in college basketball history, and everyone, from Cal to the media to fans, bought the hype, in part to erase the memory of last season’s NIT loss. Looking back, it’s clear that these freshmen aren’t as talented as we thought, and Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein haven’t matured into the veteran leaders that been so crucial to Calipari’s teams in the past.”

Mary Jo Perino, former WLEX-TV anchor and current Comcast Sports South contributor: “Absolutely nothing. I never believed they would go 40-0, but if you asked me which was more likely an undefeated season or 10 losses, I would have said undefeated every time. It’s not over yet, but I never really imagined myself being apathetic in many ways about this team in March.”

Mark Buerger, WLAP Sunday Morning Sports Talk: “Short of a complete disaster, but certainly a major disappointment. I always thought the 40-0 talk was dumb, and I thought the team would struggle early, especially against this schedule, but I had really figured that by now they would have things figured out and be playing up to their talent level. They just aren’t.”

Jennifer Palumbo, WKYT-TV news anchor: “I had high hopes for this group of incredibly talented players even though most of them had never played together. This is a such a young team trying to come together in a short amount of time, and this season shows talent alone isn’t always enough to win.”

Tom Leach, Kentucky Radio Network and Leach Report: “It was hard to imagine a team so reliant on freshmen would be able to avoid some bumps in the road but there was so much hype for this group that it was hard to avoid getting caught up in the expectations that were unrealistic for that circumstance.  Hopefully, we’ll all remember that for future situations.  But when that expectations bar was set so high, this team was set up to fall short.  My broadcast partner, Mike Pratt, thinks they’ve been dealing with that as far back as the Baylor game in early December and I salute Calipari and his staff for finding a way to relieve that tension prior to last week’s SEC Tournament.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/what-has-kentucky-season-been-like-compared-to-what-media-members-expected/


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  1. RememberBillCurry

    Wow Tom Leach ! Mike Pratt saw it in early December and Cal figured it out last week ! That is worthy of a salute. Just a total disappointment….would think it would have to at least be a final 4 to salvage this season and expectations. Get ready for lots of slow ball and keeping it in the low 60’s .

  2. Larry Pup

    Hey Remember…. you are just nervous, and worried. The CATS are peaking at the right time. Go warn your favorite team. You must be a Louisville Cardinal.

    1. Anonymous

      Larry, the question was expectations in relation to results. The results have not been good. Can the season be turned around. The draw is favorable. A look at Kansas State tells me that UK can and will beat them. Then comes Wichita State. Of all the number one seeds they give us the best chance of a win. Wichita State has beaten Tennessee, Saint Louis and BYU plus teams in a mid major conference. if they beat Wichita State the comes Louisville, a perfect match of UK and a horrible match of UL. If they get to UL and beat them, as I expect UK will have met my expectation of at least a great 8 and I will be a happy man. If they fail to do this the season will be a disappointment.

      1. Larry Pup

        The results for UK have improved dramatically over the last three games, and that is great to see, but this draw is still not an easy path for UK. If you think KS and WS are gimmes for this UK team you’re smoking weed. As for Louisville, they should have been placed in another region IMO, as some of us have already stated today. That is a rivalry game, and a game that will be difficult for both Kentucky and Louisville. One or the other will get eliminated in the tourney fairly early. I would rather see UK face Louisville in a final four or the championship game if they have to face them in this tourney. The pressure will be on this young UK team for sure if both teams advance to a showdown in their region since UK has already beaten UL. Louisville is a dangerous team right now, a ranked team, and a team that has been rolling. Putting UK and Louisville in the same region was done for a reason, and it stinks.

  3. Kokamo Joe

    We now have 10 loses. Ten loses is not what UK fans expect, especially with a team that is loaded with this kind of talent. So, yes this season is a disappointment for those who look at things in a realistic way. Is it a failure? We don’t know yet. Before the Cats had played a game I wrote on this site that I thought that unless this team reached the great 8 that the season would be a failure. I still feel that way. Does a failure doom the coach or the program? Absolutely not, it just meant that things did not go as well as I had expected. If little Johnny makes a D in Algebra does it mean that he is an a failure (Assuming he has A talent) for life. No. There are other grading periods just like there are other years for UK basketball. But for us to feel good about this basketball they must perform now.

  4. Barry

    Joe is right, 10 losses are not what was expected, nor is acceptable at UK. Wasn’t that the reason we pushed Tubby out? Where Coach lost control of this team was not using his bench heavily. Kids today tune out yelling, but sit them for an entire game or two and you get their attention. Coach complained about having to coach effort…that’s what the bench is for. Coach complained about kids not listening…that’s what the bench is for. Coach complained about kids doing it their way instead of his way…that’s what the bench is for. Playing kids like Lee, Willis, Hood, Hawkins, Johnson, Poythress, Polson, and even Floreal more may have ended up with double digit losses, but those loses would have come in December and January. Those kids would have developed into a team by March. Who knows, even the annointed ones may have changed their attitudes and got better too. The Twins and Young were more focused on being stars than being teammates. Stein just isn’t a basketball player. He could walk away from it today and never play another game and it wouldn’t bother him at all. Randle fell victim to the Twins and Young…they simply refused to give him the ball at the right times to allow him to thrive. Randle also failed to work on a mid range game that would have paid off big time. Coach also drank too much of the Kool Aid when it comes to cleaning up physical play…the bigger the guy, the more they leave uncalled…just ask Shaq about his days at LSU. With all that being said, this year is done. Learn from this and don’t make the same mistakes next year.

    1. Larry Pup

      I disagree with what you said here and have been saying for the entire season. You fail to give this team and players any credit for the things they have accomplished. What you said about WCS is ridiculous.

      1. Kokamo Joe

        Larry, I give you credit for being loyal to a fault. The truth is that this has not been a good season, especially when you consider the talent that we have and the fact that this team’s age and lack of experienced players was designed by the coach. Some of us are hyped up believing that we are now on our way to a championship. That is similar to those of us who drank the blue cool aid and thinking that this talent was unbeatable. The two SEC tournament wins were over poor NIT teams and foul trouble had a lot to do with our come back against Florida. Speaking of Florida. Did you notice the missed free throws which almost gave us that game. It could be that Florida just is not as good as the pundits claim, especially when you consider that the SEC has little challenge for a team that is above average. Look for Florida not to make the final four.

        Now to the Big Blue. Who knows if the tweak was magic. We will soon find out. As I have posted since before the season began…it is the Great 8 or a failure…at least for me. The Big Blue Nation has high expectations. Ten wins and perhaps another one has never set well with our fan base.

        The allure of the draft may be ringing in the ears of our freshmen. Nothing kicks most of us in the rear end more than money. Will it cause the freshmen, especially the Harrisons to rise to new heights? If it does the Cats might reach that Great 8 that I hope for.

        1. Larry Pup

          Joe…I hope UK wins it all just to shut you and a few others up. I don’t get the same feeling from you and some others that you want that scenario. I believe you want to see failure so you can say “I told you so,” because you have been singing that song all season. Say what you want Joe and I will probably disagree with you. This UK team is more dangerous right now than you and others give them credit. Their problem is still youth, and a lot of firsts. First year playing college BB together, first SEC season and tournament together, first NCAA tournament together, etc. I just say cut them some slack and root them onward until they fall. Every fan who has watched them play every game this year knows their weaknesses. We don’t need constant reminders. The season is over now. It is a new day. This team needs fans behind them now more than ever, not negative comments that only hurt their confidence.

        2. Anonymous

          Joe says “ten wins and perhaps another one has never set well with our fan base.” Say what? They have already won 24 and counting. Just poking fun. I know you meant 10 loses.

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