Well, what do you know, the basketball season has officially begun, but with a whimper rather than a bang. North Carolina opened up last night against the Fighting Isaiah Thomases, and lo and behold, the Tar Heels were not even a shell of last year's team. But of course, like UK, they are very young but very talented, and they will certainly improve.
The SB Nation UNC blog Carolina March has more, as does this News and Observer piece, about how the Heels did in their first outing versus an opponent that counts. Of course, UK doesn't get a shot at a counter until later this week, but it will get here, folks. Be patient.
Ohio State had a convincing 100-60 win over Alcorn State in a very efficient outing. The Buckeys look to be a very interesting team, and unlike UNC and Kentucky, is loaded with less talent but much more experience. Teams like Ohio State often make a lot of noise in March, and this team will bear close watching throughout the year.
#25 Syracuse was easily handling tiny Albany as I was going to bed, and Murray State was getting set to take on Cal, but that tip is past my bedtime.
After the jump, all the news that's fit for Wildcats.
In Patterson's dream game, he keeps firing from downtown and he can't miss | KentuckySports.com
In Patrick Patterson's fantasy, he dribbles the ball downcourt and swishes three-point shot after three-point shot.
"I'm going to play Jodie Meeks," he said. "Just like Tennessee."
That just seems so...right. Patterson has a nice stroke and a nice release. He may not be Jodie Meeks this year, but I do think he will surprise us all from the arc.
- Dunlap, Snowden star in UK women's scrimmage | KentuckySports.com
Basketball Prospectus | Articles | The List: Season-Opening Edition
Another ranking, once again UK is fairly high.
Improving Cobb part of ‘extensive’ injury list at UK | Vaught's Views
One day, we will have a season where we are not so banged up. One day.
Western Kentucky fires coach David Elson in seventh season amid 0-9 season - ESPN
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have fired coach David Elson amid the Hilltoppers' first fully eligible season for FBS play.
SEC power rankings - SEC - ESPN
11. Kentucky: One of the most time consuming things Kentucky coach Rich Brooks does every Sunday is read off the injury report. The Wildcats (5-4, 1-4) are really banged up. Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb didn’t play last week in the 37-12 win over Eastern Kentucky, but both are expected back this week against Vanderbilt. The Wildcats would like to get all the drama out of the way and become bowl eligible this week. Otherwise, they’ll have to beat Georgia or Tennessee to do so.
Five Bold College Basketball Predictions - Andy Hutchins - The Sporting Blog - Sporting News
The best team in the SEC will be Mississippi State. Forget about the John Wall Show at Kentucky: The only team in the SEC coming off an NCAA Tournament berth and returning all five starters plays in Starkville. Add Renardo Sidney, currently caught in eligibility limbo, and the Bulldogs may have the most imposing frontline in college hoops in Sidney and one-man block party Jarvis Varnado. Maintaining the quietly above-average guard play of last season could be their key.
MSU will be very good, but not better than Kentucky. Andy is letting his hopes write a check that reality can't cash.
Kentucky Sports Radio " Blog Archive " Rich Brooks press conference notes
I'm disturbed that the team is still worrying about MSU. Forget it -- its water under the bridge now. Beating Vandy, Georgia and/or UT would more than make up for it.
NCAA College Basketball Power Rankings - NCAA Basketball - ESPN
I'll take a #4 ranking for now, but I honestly believe we will be better than Texas and Michigan State. Interesting to find Dook all the way down at #9. Cardinals at 21? Nah. That's too high, I don't get it. I also don't buy Minnesota as top 25 yet, but I would have them fairly close.
Butler #10? Not. Maybe 18. Michigan 15? Well, that won't likely last. Georgetown probably deserves to be a bit higher. West Virginia top ten? Well, maybe close.
65 things to watch during the 2009-10 season - CBK News - FOX Sports on MSN
2. How will new Kentucky coach John Calipari mesh the old with the new? Patrick Patterson, Darius Miller and Perry Stevenson must figure out a way to co-exist with the new guys in Lexington — freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, Darnell Dodson and Daniel Orton.
Projecting the Field - NCAA Division I Mens Basketball - CBSSports.com
Last season's first projections just rimmed out. But a new season is about to tip off and Gary Parrish launches his first tournament field projections, following the talent trail to Kentucky and Kansas.
Florida and Vandy both just miss? One may, but not both. Only 5 bids for the SEC and 6 for the ACC. Hmm, must be a last-season hangover.
WBIR.com | Knoxville, TN | Tennessean: Criticizing SEC officials is easy call for some
In our smoke-and-mirrors world, SEC refs are supposedly doing whatever is necessary to keep Florida and Alabama undefeated and on track for a showdown in the SEC Championship game.
The theory holds that SEC powers-that-be want to keep the records of both teams spotless until Dec. 5, thus assuring that the winner plays for the national championship and the loser remains ranked high enough in the BCS standings to lock down a spot in one of the other major bowls.
Heh. Conspiracy theorists -- gotta love 'em.
Can college hoops' opener ever earn buzz? - Beyond the Arc - msnbc.com
They don’t because college basketball’s opening day is blasé. There’s no national tie-in or big recognition about the season starting. Maybe it’s because the season’s too long, or maybe it’s because the games will be blowouts.
The NCAA knows it and is – slowly – addressing the problem. Kind of.
College basketball preview: Year of the blueblood - Mike DeCourcy - College Basketball - Sporting News
What separates the bluebloods, though, from the nouveau riche — Michigan State, Arizona, Connecticut, Texas, Florida and the like — is how dramatically their cataclysms can be transformed into triumph. It took Williams two seasons to lead the Tar Heels to a championship after inheriting a young team that had finished in the NIT. Howland and the Bruins began a three-year Final Four streak just two years after UCLA endured back-to-back losing seasons.
DeCourcy gets it absolutely right again.
- UK at Georgia set for 7:45 p.m. on Nov. 21 | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
Peters: UK’s season is on the line at Vanderbilt | Vaught's Views
Corey Peters has no problem admitting that Kentucky’s season is on the line Saturday at Vanderbilt.
You bet it is. Big time. Wins at Georgia or vs. Tennessee are possible, but very tough.
Memphis making an ultra-clean Calipari break - Beyond the Arc - msnbc.com
To be fair, no school spends much time lauding the coaches who leave for other jobs, particularly in the media guide. That’s a space reserved for the new regime and the current season’s players. As Mark McGwire might say, why dwell on the past?
Heh. Whatever. I could care less if Cal is ever remembered as Memphis' coach.