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Have some turkey with your whine

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Like much of Big Blue Nation, I'm a little stunned, a little burnt out and a little ready for a break from the roller coaster that is now -- consistently, officially -- Kentucky hoops.

Instead of trying to pick apart all the things that did not go as hoped for on Kentucky's trip to Hawaii, I'll chalk it up to learning experience and eat and drink and visit with family.

Tubby Smith seems fully aware of what happened out on the court, and all we can really do as fans (those of us who stop and think before posting, complaining and flailing to the Gods) is trust in him, however much that seems useless at this stage. Because he's not getting fired, he's not giving up and there's a lot of season left to play.

I did not expect a 3-2 start to the season (as evidenced by my confidence before Maui), and still think thattwo or three possessions against a more experienced, deeper UCLA, and the whole tenor of the trip is changed. But that's neither here nor there.

A few bright spots:

  • Derrick Jasper may have played his way into the starting lineup. He certainly showed that, on this team, he is the player best suited to play point guard.
  • Kentucky needs center Randolph Morris to play big, not just score, and he did that for the most part in Maui. His 16 points and 7 rebounds a game were absolutely vital. He still disappears for long stretches, and his defense in the paint is as bad as any good UK center I can remember. But he's getting there, and his shooting touch is second to none in the country, in my opinion.
  • The talent level this season is higher than it was last year, plain and simple. Freshmen take time, especially in Tubby's system. But trading last year's departures for this year's arrivals will pay dividends, it's just extremely hard to keep that in mind in the interim.
I will be taking today and maybe tomorrow off, to clear my head and stuff my gut. Thanks to all of you who have and will continue to visit. Happy Thanksgiving to Big Blue Nation.

This, too, shall pass. And once the hard work is done, who knows, maybe all the tribulations will seem worth it. Heck, it's all we got.