Making sense of it all…a UK wrap-up
Sorry to be so late in updating the site about this weekend’s NCAA games, but stuff just kept getting in the way…including my disgust over how things turned out for UK in the tournament.
First off, I want to say that I’m happy at how the season turned out overall. The Cats went 35-3, won the regular season SEC title and the SEC tournament title. They were entertaining from start to finish, and the personality of the team was hard not to like.
Just think…at this time last year, UK had just let go of Billy Clyde after a ho-hum appearance in the NIT, and it looked like there could be many dark days ahead for UK fans. Nobody could have imagined this sort of turnaround in this short of a time. It is truly amazing, and I doubt if many of us will forget this season
However, we ALL want to forget that awful, awful game from Saturday night. I won’t get in to it much except to say that as much as the ball just was NOT bouncing UK’s way, it WAS for West Virginia. The insane way that their 3-point shots went in and the horrible 0-20 3-point shooting for the Cats was just too much to overcome. I’m proud of the way they competed, and although it would have been so great to have seen them in the Final Four, if they were going to lose, I’d much rather lose to West Virginia than to Duke (although I think they would have beaten the warm-up pants off of Duke!!).
So what’s next for Cats fans? Well, now recruiting heats up. We should know within the next 3-4 weeks what the lineup will look like next year. Calipari said on his radio show last night that he plans on adding 5-6 players for next season. They’ve already got the big Turk, Enes Kanter (providing he’s able to get eligible) and Stacey Poole, so we should see 3 or 4 more guys signing up to play in the Blue and White next year.
Based on what most recruiting folks are saying and what’s being shared at kentuckysportsradio.com, the thought seems to be right now that PG Brandon Knight is the most likely to sign with UK. He’s supposed to make his decision on April 14th. He will be a great addition, if he signs, and I hope we get him. After that, it seems that it gets awfully cloudy on who will sign. Most folks thought for a while that CJ Leslie, one of John Wall’s teammates from his school in North Carolina, was pretty much a lock to UK, but some other folks have entered the running lately, so it is not a sure-fire deal right now.
Also floating out there are Terrance Jones, Doron Lamb, and Josh Selby. There is still a LOT to play out for these guys, but both Lamb and Selby have said they’d make their choices known on April 17th, so we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out. Of course, a lot of this could depend on who decides to go pro and who stays.
Consensus at this point seems to be that Wall, Cousins, and Patterson will be heading to the NBA, and you really cannot blame them. The guaranteed money, plus the chance of a lockout next year, means that lots of players who were borderline will declare this year, so if you are a first-round or lottery LOCK, you are going pro this year, and all 3 of those guys are in that category. Add to that the buzz that built around Eric Bledsoe during the NCAA tournament. The draft is supposed to be pretty weak in point guards this year, so that makes his stock even higher. I think there’s a pretty decent chance we lose Bledsoe, as well.
The biggest question mark, to me, is over Daniel Orton. For some reason, NBA people seem to be ready to scoop him up, even though he played behind Cousins and only averaged about 4 points a game. But, the NBA drafts on potential lots of times, and I think there’s definitely potential there, so who knows. He’s likely to get some mixed messages on where he’ll end up, and I only hope that he chooses to listen to those that think it is possible he could slip until late first round instead of those saying there is a CHANCE he could go in the lottery. Maybe he should talk to Randolph Morris before he makes a decision?
I think that however it turns out, there will be plenty of talent on next year’s UK team, so we shouldn’t worry too much about that. It hurts to not win it all when they arguably had the MOST talent of ANY team this year, but that’s how things go sometimes. In a perfect year, it would have been UK and Kansas playing for the title, but it just rarely ever works out that way. Plus, when the idiots in the selection committee give the 2 best teams the hardest road to the final four, that never helps, either!
So, even though I’m awfully disappointed that we didn’t make it farther, I’m actually not as depressed as I used to get over losing in the tournament. For one thing, I think the last 2 years with Billy Clyde have ruined me a bit…and I’ve heard other people say the same thing.
Secondly, while it hurts that they lost because of a HORRIBLE night of shooting, it also comforts me in a strange way. I think it is better that they went out because things just didn’t fall their way instead of playing their best game and getting beat. Strange logic, maybe…but that’s what I’ve got!
Another disappointing things about UK losing is that we are now entering a sports wasteland for me, as I have NO desire to watch baseball, and I don’t like the NBA OR the NHL. I also have little to no interest in this Final Four. I’ll likely root for Butler, but I’m not sure I’ll even watch any of the games, especially if Duke is involved. Spring football practice is about to begin, so it will be nice to get some reports about the team under Joker, so that and recruiting will help fill the UK void for a little while.
Other than that, it is time to tune out on sports until the Fall and shift my attentions to working on our house…the process of which will be enough filler material for this site for the whole summer, I’d imagine…as Bob Villa, I am not.
So…what do YOU plan on doing, now that UK is out of the tournament? (hmmm…I feel the inspiration for another post coming on!)