For those of you who have children that still believe in Santa I'm sure you are all too familiar with "Letters to Santa", and if you haven't already done so, I'm sure you are getting ready to help your children write their Christmas lists, stamp the letters, and then get them mailed off to the North Pole. Or perhaps you are a grandparent who is assisting your grandchildren, or maybe you are simply an adult who is still very much a kid at heart and you, too, want to make a list. Either way, it really doesn't matter, the point is that this is the season for making wish lists and they give you the opportunity to see if you have been naughty or nice this past year.
I know that we all regularly post wishes and hopes that we have for our players as that is just what fans do. After a loss we want random things for so-and-so, and since we are a particularly hard-to-please bunch and are never quite satisfied, we even want random things for so-and-so after we win.
I'm a sucker for posts that are relevant now, but posts that are also interesting to look back on, so with that in mind, I thought it would be rather fun if we had all the basketball-related type things that we want for this year's team posted in one neat singular place. That way, in one, two, or maybe even three months down the road we can look back on our lists and not only see what areas of concern were addressed, but which ones might still be lingering.
In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season what better way to make our requests than to ask Santa? Based upon what we have witnessed from our boys up to this point in the season, I'll go first and make my list as to what I would like Santa to bring some of our boys this year in order to help out our team.
I am writing to you on behalf of some fabulous members of the Kentucky Wildcats Men's Basketball team. I'm certain that they have all been on their best behavior this year and I happen to think that there are a couple of things that they might need in order for us to have a stellar season. If you could assist them with the following it would be greatly appreciated.
First of all, there is one of our outstanding point guards named Eric Bledsoe. Eric is extremely gifted, appears to be in great physical shape and plays much larger than he actually is. But, one thing that might help our dear Eric at times would be the gift of control when he is in possession of the ball. I would also request that you assist him in the healing of his apparent tendinitis as he is having some pain, and since our Eric has shown great poise down the stretch on more than one occasion in this young season, he really does deserve the reprieve.
Next I would like to talk about one of our big men, Daniel Orton. Daniel has a certain gentleness about him and his demeanor definitely gives me a sense of calmness when he is on the floor. I'm never really worried that he will do anything totally horrible or out of control, but on the reverse side, I would request that that you bring some ferocity and aggression to his game that he could use when the occasion calls for it.
One of the three seniors on this year's squad is Perry Stevenson. Perry's role on this year's team is quite a bit different than it was last year as he is not getting nearly as many minutes as were asked of him last year. Even given Perry's somewhat diminished role, it appears to me that Perry has kept a great head about him and has come in and given good solid minutes and I would ask that you see that he is able to maintain that great attitude and those solid contributions. He is a senior and most surely has a special place on the team.
Next, I want to talk about yet another senior on our current team, the oft-criticized, Ramon Harris. Ramon is another person who goes about his business in rather obscurity and depending on what he does on any given night he is either forgotten about because he did just enough, or he is remembered because he made a mistake. In addition to possibly giving Ramon a bit more of an offensive repertoire, please see to it that he is able to keep up his defensive intensity and also, more importantly, please give Ramon the gift of being able to tune out all of the outside chatter (criticism) and just go about his business.
Now, let's move on to the beloved boy from Kentucky, Darius Miller. Although I think he has made considerable progress from last year, he still has a tendency to disappear, and although I realize not all the boys on our team can be standouts, if you could please see your way into giving Darius some more consistency in his play? Well, that would be awesome.
Next up is our All-American, Patrick Patterson. He is certainly a fan favorite and I have a feeling that he will remain that way long after he has left the confines of the University of Kentucky. He holds so many great qualities and it has truly been a blessing and an honor for him to wear the blue and white. His work ethic is second to none; he is a poster child for not only what you want in a player, but a poster child for what you want in a human. I'm struggling to find anything that Patrick might need as he really does seem to "have it all", already, but if I had to pick something, I guess I would say my one request for Patrick would be that he could embrace more of public leadership role for our team. We do have several youngsters that can only benefit from being around and absorbing the kind of wisdom not to mention the outstanding work ethic that Patrick has. In short, please give Patrick the ability and the know-how to share his wisdom with our youngsters and maintain his extremely high level of on-the-court intensity.
The member of the team who provides us all with plenty of topics for debate due to his incredibly spirited nature, DeMarcus Cousins, is next. Cousins already possesses a really solid foundation to be an excellent player. He has good size, soft hands, and a ridiculous wing span, but I think he is still in need of a few things. For DeMarcus, I would ask that you give him a greater degree of focus, more explosiveness around the basket and the strength to own his shots on offense. Additionally, and probably most importantly, I would request the ability to shoot a decent free throw percentage for DeMarcus. I'm not asking for anything spectacular here, but since he does seem to get fouled an awful lot, a decent, respectable percentage from the charity stripe would really come in handy.
In closing, (and I certainly saved the easiest member for last), I have one teeny-tiny request for John Wall, as well. I'm positive that John really isn't in need of many basketball-related things this year, but I would just ask that he have access to lots and lots of Gatorade, PowerAde, or whatever kind of sports drink he prefers that contain electrolytes so that he can stay properly hydrated.
Now, I realize that I don't have a request for every single player on the team and I know that Darnell, Josh, Jon, Mark and DeAndre are all very deserving of gifts from Santa, as well. I'm also fairly certain that there are quite a lot of things missing from the above letter, but that's where all of you, my fellow fans, come in. My list was just to get things started, and your ideas are now most welcome and certainly encouraged.
Go ‘Cats! : )