Being a Kentucky fan this year has been like playing with TnT. Some times we were up and sometimes we were down, and sometimes we were blown away by the triumphs our teams gave us.
Football started the season off with many of us having high expectations for our Cats to continue their climb to the top. After starting the season with wins over Louisville and a couple of cupcakes we came face to face with reality that’s the SEC. Granted we beat the old balls coach and took national champion Auburn to the wire before losing but we couldn’t get over the hump with the east teams. The Vanderbilt win can be ranked up there with the cupcake wins over Western Ky and Akron so the only reason to mention it is that its a win. Tennessee was the loss that hammered the team and fans the worst. They were down according to our thoughts and ripe for the picking. Unfortunately instead of picking the Orange they squeezed us like overripe grapes. The final game of the season was a embarrassing lose to Pittsburgh after losing QB Mike Hartline due to stupidity.
What should we expect in Jokers second year? A better defense and special teams for a starter. On the other side of the ball with the loss of so many key players we should expect a grind it out less scoring offense with more use of the TE position and fewer long completions.
Triumphant players: Randall Cobb, Derrick Locke , Danny Trevathan, Winston Guy and Mike Hartline.
Tribulation player: Mike Hartline who ruined his best season.
Season Ranking: Tribulation
Basketball started out with some eye popping games by the freshmen before running into UConn and a tsunami named Walker in Maui. We finished the non conference part of the season strong with wins over big east powers Louisville, Notre Dame and a blow out at Indiana. A 2 point loss to North Carolina could have as easily been a win and the rest of the games fell into the football cupcake category.
We started play in the SEC where home games were like canned food for the Cats and away games were dried food. Losing those road games made the Cats realize that they preferred canned food and they finished the season roaring by beating Florida and Vandy at home and then showing they were over those road woes by pulping the Vols.
Then the Cats continued to show they had crossed over the hump by sliding through the SEC tournament like a veteran mature team while showing the fans that they were the team that the fans and coaches thought they could be.
After an insulting #4 seed while Florida received a #2 the Cats traveled to Tampa where it took a last second shot by Knight to win pull out a tough win over Princeton. After a revenge game win over West Virginia they faced #1 overall seed Ohio St. Once again they proved they were able to win a close game as Knight finished the nutz off with a jumper with 5 seconds left. That brought them to the regional finals where unlike last year the Cats had a easy time knocking off North Carolina in a sweet revenge win.
Then it was off to the final four in Houston to face UConn in the semifinals. The Cats came out cold and were down by 10 at the half. At the start of the second half shots started falling and they took the lead only to go cold and ended up losing by 1 point.
Everyone knows what I just wrote and if they don’t agree blame it on my magic fingers.
What can we expect with next years team? That’s going to depend on who returns. Josh is gone but if Knight and Jones decide to return like Lamb has said he is and you throw in the #1 recruiting class this team will be hard if not impossible to beat. Hopefully coach Cal will finally realize that free throws are a necessity not an after thought.
Was this Coach Calipari’s best coaching job? You bet it was but that’s to be expected when you coach at the best basketball school in the country.
Finally thank you guys for giving us what we have longed for for 13 years. Hanging a final four banner in Rupp ranks you right up there with the best to ever play for Kentucky in our hearts.
Finally part deux. In my opinion the player of the year for the wildcats is Josh “Jorts” Harrellson.
Triumphant players: The whole team especially Josh Harrellson who took his game to a level where he has been invite to Portsmouth..
Season Ranking: Triumph