Well, the Hoops schedules are out now, and I wanted to give a quick analysis of what we should be able to expect this season. This won't be in-depth, but honestly this schedule should pretty much tell the tale itself, so let's get to it.
OK the first two games of the season are just what they should be. Slam dunks. November 5th, Bellarmine comes to town for a shellacking, and then on the 10th, Delaware State gets their turn in the barrel. So much for the easy part. Then reality sinks in. On November 13th, Matthew Mitchell and Co. are going to find out how good they really are in Waco, Tx. against Baylor. Brittney Griner and the rest of the Lady Bears are going to be defending that National title with a whole lot of grit and sand, in spite of Griner's recovery from a broken wrist. They like to run, much like UK and they don't miss a lot of shots. I really wanted to see what UK's much vaunted defensive prowess could do with Griner, and I guess I will get my wish. This could very well be a preview of the NCAA Title game early on. Dont miss this one.
Four more November games should be good hard practice sessions for the hoops Squad before Louisville welcomes them in on Dec. 2nd. These games are always hard fought and nasty, but the ladies should pull this one out. the rest of December features a rematch of the women's only non-conf loss from last season, Middle Temmessee State. Look for Coach Mitchell to make a statement there, because that one still stings from last season. The women also squeeze in a trip to California for a pair of games against Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara. Two games that DeNesha Stallworth has circled on her calendar I guarantee.
The conference games include the two new members of the SEC in Texas A&M and Missouri, and UK travels to the Mizzou game early on, then to College station later in the year.. The Tennessee games which have annually provided grudge match continuation back and forth will be whittled down to one this season as the Vols come to town for the last game of the SEC schedule. Since there is no payback later on in the year, look for that one to be a Battle Royale in Memorial.
My conservative estimate is that UK faces 1 possible non-conf loss as well as one conference loss somewhere along the way (although I kind of think they will run the table on the SEC again). That should put UK somewhere between a perfect 30-0 and 28-2 come SEC Tournament time. With a little luck, a whole lot of hustle, and unbelievable defense again this season, UK is looking at the sincere possibility of a perfect season. the personnel have never been better, the schedule lays right (with the exception of that nightmare Baylor game so early on), and the coaching staff has never been stronger. If the pieces fall in the right way, this team has NCAA Championship written all over it.