Well what have we here? Are we seeing the New Look Cat’s as a permanent fixture? I know I have been really antsy about this breed of Cat. My angst was never about the talent level of this team, but rather the absence of a leader and a go-to guy! It is easy to see the immense talent Noel, WCS, Goodwin and Poythress possess, but their immaturity of how to play the college game have mostly overshadowed their individual talents, until now!
Playing at UK always has pressure to succeed and be mature from the get-go. Playing for Cal and the BBN isn’t easy. It is a high risk high reward playing field. It isn’t for the wall flower or the timid. It is for those that love to play for a winner and be remembered years down the road if for nothing more than “being on THAT team”!
I mean, look at the walk-on players that take the beating every day from the more talented and higher recruited players, but they do it because they love UK and playing for a winner. Look at two present players in John Hood and Jarrod Polson. They could have gone elsewhere and played a lot more minutes. They could have padded their stats at other schools, but here they are heroes to a lot more people. They are held in awe and admiration by small children, adults and not to forget GIRLS! They also do a lot of good especially for sick children.
All those that stick around know that in the end the memories outweigh the lack of stats, but also to those more talented there is the same reward. There is the opportunity for their names being placed above Rupp Arena floor in BBN immortality.
Each year we have new players with great character to thrill the BBN, but also to have their games dissected like no other place. There is risk for them by coming here. There is a test of that character when they sign on that dotted line, but for most it ends well. This year is no different except this years Cat edition is younger than perhaps any in history of UK basketball and that is right after a national championship, #8 no less!
What expectations they have faced and with no maturity for the team! Last year there was a lot of youth, but we did have Jones and Lamb with immense talent who are now in the NBA even if they only had one year of experience going into last season. However, they did have a lot of playing time under their belt. They had been in many pressure packed games even the national championship final game which they lost on a last second shot.
We had those two guys, but even more than that we had mister glue guy. We had Darius Miller. Darius was always deferring to other players even though he had the talent to play in the NBA. He always gave other players room to excel and learned much for when the time came for him to show that maturity. Last year when the young team would get shaky (and that from #’s 1 and 2 NBA draftees) Darius would be called upon to save the team. He would come in, do his thing, and settle the team down. He was their leader even as a 6th or 7th man, but what a 6th or 7th man he was! In reality, is it any wonder this team has struggled so mightily until now?
This year we only had Kyle Wiltjer left from that team as a limited contributor from last years team. I purposefully left him off of the list above of very talented guys because I wanted to highlight Kyle in this post. Kyle is finally showing that talent. Oh, he will never be a dunking highlight reel or on the national shot blocking stat sheet, but Kyle’s game is like very few others.
Why he waited so long to be the Kyle Cal knew he had is beyond me, but am I glad he finally is doing so. Kyle has taken his share of heat and I bet he would say he has deserved some of it. But, teams will no doubt start taking far more notice of him now. If he keeps demanding the ball, driving, taking it inside, outside, passes great and shoots from everywhere the sky is the limit for him! Not many teams can guard that Kyle! If the new Kyle hangs around like he did last night the team will have many more wins come tourney time.
I saw considerable improvement during the TN game, but even more during the Auburn game. Every player stepped up last night, not just Kyle, every player. We are getting into late January and Cal’s teaching and button pushing is taking shape as we speak.
What the future holds for this team is very uncertain with the limited bench we have, but we now have a different team than we had after the A&M loss. We can see the fire in the eye, the fire in the belly, the “bring it” attitude showing itself in the past two “beat them up” games!
The final won/loss total going into tourney play is another guess, however; I like the ‘New Look Cat’s’ chances much better than after the A&M game. I bet you do to!
The recent ESPN article detailing the latest NCAA changes are so absurd. They would be laughable if they weren’t so clearly transparent. I despise the NCAA not because of the entity, but because of the selected enforcement of rules and selected persecution of certain schools and individuals. They are merely a loose ended bunch of jealous political men bent on destroying those whom they don’t like.
We need to understand their latest intent! They are clearly after Calipari and nobody else. They already have all the ammunition they need to nail schools because they have the power and don’t use it except on certain programs so why this rule? This new rule allows them to just come up with any excuse they want to nail a coach or school, but let’s be real here they are after Calipari! The problem is he plays by their rules just like other coaches and unlike some coaches can’t openly break a rule, and I am looking at you, Ohio State and UNC the most current infractors (if that is a word) (if not I just coined it)! His secret is he is a players first coach!
Players like his style of coaching! Players like the school where he coaches! Players like great basketball fans, but his adversaries hate all that! They first hated UK and let us face it that is who they are after along with Cal. They want to take UK down and if they get Cal along with UK great for them! If Cal wasn’t doing well at UK that rule would not be implemented!
Look at Ohio State. That was the most egregious blatant disregard for NCAA authority for any program in the history of the NCAA (at least that comes to my mind) yet the get no real punishment for their offenses. UNC’s academic fraud is right there with them, because after all it is supposed to be about academics and they get nothing, nothing! If they really wanted to clean up the collegiate sports scene those two schools were poster children for their cause, but they whiffed! I mean completely whiffed, but look at who the schools were!?
They are after Cal period!
Now if I was Cal and other coaches I would hire a top notch lawyer before anything could be done and take them to court. They have no real authority and are acting like they are the law. They systematically destroy certain programs and coaches yet leave others alone. That rule is so stupid and asinine. They could go after any coach or program at anytime for such foolish things as a player making the NCAA look bad or posting negative stuff about them on twitter! They could and will go after coaches (think Cal) for doing things different or better than other coaches while at the same time let other coaches (think Duke and coach K) have special deals with advertisers (coach promotions) yet not allow others opportunities like that?????!!!!!
The ESPN all access thing with Cal and UK is what has them really riled up. They held that stupid meeting via teleconference rather than wait for the hurricane problems to allow them to meet in person because of the all access thing. Imagine that, they couldn’t even wait a week, come on guys don’t be so transparent! Jealousy is like that! Jealousy robs one of the ability to see clearly and think clearly and the NCAA thugs are eaten alive with jealousy!
Furthermore, having Urban Meyer make a quote about anything concerning coaches integrity is one thing, but using him while he coaches at Ohio State is a joke.
Holding a coach accountable for something a player does on his own is just a way of getting a selected coach in trouble they want removed from coaching period!
I think Calipari should be proactive and immediately sue the NCAA for their open-ended ruling with nothing other than something they suddenly decide is not suitable for them to rely upon. Think about what they can now suddenly do by creating a non-conformity issue for a certain coach or school and then not use the same standard for other coaches and schools.
Even the NCAA can’t do that unless a coach or school lets them. A coach just needs to push it and sue the jerks individually for their intent. The action would take years to move through the court system and hopefully destroy the organization! Hearsay even in modern day America is not considered a fact in any court of law! Denying a school or coach due process or ability to succeed versus jealousy is just flat out wrong and against any principle of the American dream and due process.
The very use of Calipari’s name in the article tells everyone where the rule is going and Cal needs to be proactive on the issue before they nail him for doing something better than others for his program! Also shame on ESPN for allowing Calipari’s name to be singularly used in the article!
But right now eat your hearts out IU, OSU, UNC, Duke and other hated schools that come to mind!
The Onion News released a article today about the upcoming SEC, Big 12 bowl game.
Keeping with years of tradition of getting blown out in demoralizing defeats to its dominating competitor, the Big 12 Conference confirmed Monday it has agreed to a yearly bowl loss to the Southeastern Conference.
You can read the whole article here at the Onion.
Their has been enough play for me to see all the teams a few times. Here is week ones SEC Rankings.
1. Kentucky. No way the Cats drop from this spot all year.
2. Florida. Good guards but could use some depth around the rim.
3. Alabama. A tough, tough team that will be hard to beat at home.
4. Vanderbilt. Same old Vanderbilt. Looks to be a tad overrated.
5. Mississippi State. Their wheels are sure to fall off but for now might switch positions with Vandy soon.
6. Tennessee. If Pearl could only have gotten his teams to play this hard. Still not enough talent on the floor but it looks like Tenn got a good coach.
7. Mississippi. Not sure if they are better or just luckier than Georgia. One of those teams that will go up and down the bottom of the SEC rankings.
8. Georgia. They lost to much talent from last year. With Mark Fox as a coach expect them to improve but not win to much.
9. Arkansas. Lot of talent there but still looks like a Arkansas team.
10. Auburn. Might surprise some people when conference play starts.
11. LSU. Their offense smells like a fish market. Enough said.
12. South Carolina. Even beating Clemson can’t get them out of the cellar, only LSU can.
Tennessee stayed right there with Puke till very near the end. Puke won by 10 I believe. The Blue Devils were susceptible to the dribble drive and Tennessee made it to the basket pretty much at will. Only thing is that Tennessee players, while very athletic, play like a bunch of street ballers. In other words, really sloppy stuff on their part. It was nip and tuck in the first half until two treys by Rivers and another by Curry put them up by 6 at the half. Tennessee came back a regained the lead briefly early in the second half and the score continued to flip flop by a point or two either direction till the last five minutes of the game or so. Duke went up by 8, then 10 pts. and it stayed that way the last couple of minutes as the game concluded.
No “real” Devils or Oranges were injured or put in any jeopardy during this contest.
In unrelated news, I fell asleep on the couch awaiting the next game from Maui and dreamed I came home and found a naked dwarf in my living room. I tried everything, including “caining” him with a pool cue to get him to leave but he wouldn’t go away. I finally had to call the police but woke up before they got there. It appears that watching two teams you hate play one another does strange thinks to the mind; especially having to root for Tennessee.
A better sports story than Tipton could write. The human interest factor was far more interesting too.
I’m sure if Freud were still alive he’d say, subconsciously, that naked dwarf was Coach K.
I borrowed and combined this from alpha and Boondog and jdog in the forums since I found it much more truthfull than what you could find on ESPN.
Its official now. The SEC released a statement saying the conference’s presidents and chancellors acted unanimously, and Missouri will join the league effective July 1, 2012.
After thinking about it I decided to issue a official BBR statement about it. Who gives a hoot, it’s basketball season!!!!!!!!!!!
Stay tuned for more come April.
You think Mitch Barnhart has problems with Joker not having a good season. His problems pale in comparison to Miss AD Pete Boone.
Generally laughter is the best medicine but in this case it doesn’t make me feel better. Are we seeing the future of college football in this story. One of my favorite Frank Zappa lines started with, “Picture this if you can”. Try picturing one of our favorite sports when both the right and the left get into as another battleground to draw attention to their views.
Don’t think for a minute that this Lee Habeeb is into it for anything other than self promotion. Well OK if you want to you got my permission. Me I’m gonna listen to some Frank and picture my football being pure as the driven snow.
Picture this if you can
[Howard:] Oh . . .
[Mark:] Bead jobs!
[Mark:] Knotted nylons!
[Mark:] Bamboo canes!
[Mark:] Three unreleased recordings of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young fighting in the dressing-room of the Fillmore East!
The horror of even thinking about this happening is just unbearable. Does anyone know if college bowling is in their view yet.
4 Oklahoma St
7 Boise St
11 Kansas St
12 Va Tech
14 South Carolina
15 West Virginia
16 Michigan St
20 Texas A&M
21 Penn St
22 Georgia Tech
I still think things can change, but we all know the 2 best teams in the Nation are from the SEC West
Once again LSU and Alabama showed they are not only the best teams in the SEC, they showed they are the best teams in the nation that aren’t from of Oklahoma.
1. Alabama: Alabama gets my nod again this week after bringing Vandy down to earth. This week Bama visits Ole Miss for a beat down of the bears.
2. LSU: LSU had no problem with Florida’s speed. This weekend they travel to Tennessee to cook old smokey like a Filipino has a tailgate party.
3. Arkansas: Auburn stays in the middle of the pack after getting beaten by the razorbacks. Arkansas has a week off before the visit Ole Miss for a little bear hunting.
4. Georgia: Tennessee was easy, how easy you ask. As easy as getting a date on the strip in Vegas. This week they travel back to Tennessee where Vandys defense will look better than Tennessee’s did.
5. Auburn: After playing good at SC the old eagle couldn’t get it up against LSU. A little gator bait will be just what the eagle orders.
6. Florida: Alabama made gator hash in the second half in the swamp two weeks and the Tiger ran down the gator last week. This week its the gators at home.
7. Mississippi State: UAB didn’t give them a game. Expect SC to take them this weekend.
8. South Carolina: Kentucky didn’t get anything done to improve their cellar. Visiting SC should be a little harder.
9. Tennessee: Georgia visited them Saturday and knocked Tennessee out of a chance to win the east. With LSU coming in this weekend all those freshmen are going to get their second taste of big time SEC football.
10. Vanderbilt: Bama showed Vandy that they need an offense to go with a never quit defense. A trip to Georgia will give their secondary a chance to shine.
11. Ole Miss: Bama bound this weekend will give the ole bears another loss.
12. Kentucky: The defense tried hard but ran out of gas chasing a gamecock the whole game. The worst offense in the nation, you betcha. Will a week off before a 4-1 Jacksonville St visits help? You betcha not.
LSU and Alabama showed they are not only the best teams in the SEC, they showed they are the best teams in the nation
1. Alabama: Alabama gets my nod again this week after a dominating performance over Florida. This week Vandy who is beginning to show they are a low cal offensive team visits.
2. LSU: LSU is sitting at #2 because they beat Kentucky. As much as so many writers are ranking them #1 they look like #2. This week they get a low cal Brantley free Florida at home.
3. Arkansas: Their come back over future SEC team Texas A&M is good enough to keep them #3. Next weekend an Auburn team who seems to be getting it together. How together will be seen Saturday.
4. Georgia: Miss St was easy. This week they travel to Tennessee where the passing game could give them fits.
5. Auburn: Making SC look bad is the best they have played this year. Arkansas will be a challenge for a better looking Auburn defense.
6. Florida: Alabama made gator hash in the second half in the swamp. With LSU up this weekend I’m forced to change my tune about Florida winning the east.
7. Mississippi State: Georgia got them. Will UAB give them a game?
8. South Carolina: Auburn embarrassed them at home. This week they get to roast Kentucky marshmallows at home
9. Tennessee: Buffalo stunk which is just what Tennessee needed before Georgia visits them Saturday for a game that will be for the lead in the east.
10. Vanderbilt: They had a week off before visiting Alabama.
11. Ole Miss: My upset pick of the week didn’t pan out but neither did most of my picks. They have a week off to prepare for a trip to Alabama.
12. Kentucky: The defense played a good enough game but once again the offense failed to shine and you need a light if your going to spend the rest of the year in the cellar.