There's something about children when they anticipate their mother's good cooking, preparing the family's favorite dish. They've eaten it many times, they know it's going to be tasty, but they just can't leave her alone as she gathers fine ingredients and goes through the ritual of preparation. "When is it going to be ready, Mom?" We UK fans are like that. Those of us who watched the All Access episodes remember Cal fielding the question in the Circle Of Wisdom at Wheeler's Pharmacy: "Hey Cal. We're not gonna be as good this year, huh?" Part of me wonders if Cal wanted to borrow a wooden spoon from behind the counter and tap a few heads that morning. "Siddown and shuddup! It'll be ready when it's ready!"
Cal is making this year's team largely from scratch. There is little saved stock in the freezer to speed the process, although he does have a savory dollop or two in Jarrod Polson and Jon Hood to guide the recipe in the proper direction. And by that I mean these two Kentuckians' institutional knowledge are providing examples of the desire to win for the sake of the name on the front of their jerseys and the fans -- marrow of the bone, so to speak. There is also Kyle Wiltjer, whose extra season should go some distance in guiding the garden-fresh through the process. But this is a process which can't be rushed. It takes time for these ingredients to balance and begin propagating the wonderful aroma of quality basketball.
From the recliner in my living room, the olfactory recognized that familiar blend which I have longed for beginning to simmer during the LIU game. As the cloves release their essence, the onions sweeten, and the romas break down and distribute throughout, the house will fill with that molecular floating goodness we UK fans have all come to expect and enjoy. Cal's recipe is working once again. I'm sitting down shutting up.