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Kentucky Basketball: Seven days till the Madness begins!

Big Blue Madness is only a week and a few hours away, so it's time to begin talking about the hardwood Cats.  This week, I will have many more articles than I have lately about the basketball team.  We have to get ourselves ready, because after Big Blue Madness, Kentucky fans will be forced to split our attention between our successful football team and our newly-minted version of almost every UK fans' favorite sports team.

We have had a lot of news this spring and summer regarding recruiting, and we still have recruiting going on.  The biggest outstanding need for our basketball team is at center or big power forward, and Terrance Jennings is obviously a priority for us since he decommitted from Maryland.  News comes today that Traitor Rick's staff is hard after Jennings, and who can blame him?  This is one we certainly don't want to concede to the Cards given our needs, and I don't think Gillispie will let that happen.

Also, I want to let everyone know that I have been asked to participate in a basketball version of the Blogpoll, which is being run by March To Madness.  We have just completed our pre-season round of voting, and after some deliberation, I present to you our top 25:

2007 - 08 Pre-Season Blogpoll

Rank School (1st place votes) 2006-07 W-L Conf. 2006-07 Conf. W-L
1   Memphis (3)  30-3   Cusa 19-0 
2   UCLA (1)  25-5   Pac10 15-4 
3   North Carolina (1)  28-6   Acc 14-5 
4   Kansas (1)  30-4   Big12 17-2 
5   Georgetown  26-6   Bige 16-3 
6   Tennessee (1)  22-10   Sec 10-7 
7   Louisville  22-9   Bige 13-5 
8   Michigan St.  22-11   Big10 9-9 
9   Washington St.  25-7   Pac10 14-6 
10   Marquette  23-9   Bige 11-7 
11   Oregon  26-7   Pac10 14-7 
12   Indiana  20-10   Big10 10-7 
13   Texas  24-9   Big12 14-5 
14   Duke  22-10   Acc 8-9 
15   Kentucky  21-11   Sec 10-8 
16   Gonzaga  23-10   Wcc 13-3 
17   Arkansas  21-13   Sec 10-10 
18   Stanford  18-12   Pac10 10-9 
19   Texas A&M  25-6   Big12 13-4 
20   Arizona  20-10   Pac10 11-8 
21   Butler  25-6   Horiz 14-4 
22   Davidson  27-4   South 20-1 
23   Mississippi St.  18-13   Sec 9-9 
24   VA Commonwealth  27-6   Coln 19-2 
25   USC  23-11   Pac10 13-8 

If you want to see how everyone voted, you can follow this link for a copy of the spreadsheet.  Keep in mind that this is pre-season, and really doesn't mean a lot.  I'm sure the debates will become much more heated as the season progresses.  By the way, those participating (at the moment, at least -- we are asking for more participants) besides A Sea of Blue are SEC Hoops: The Good. The Bad. The Dirty, March Madness All Season, Rush The Court, NCAA Hoops Today, College Hoops Heaven: The Big 5 & More.  Stop by their respective blogs if you have time and check them out.

SEC Hoops: The Good. The Bad. The Dirty, here and forever after known on this blog as as SEC Hoops GBD (to differentiate it between several other blogs of similar names), has a story about UK Wildcat fans.  He opens with this:

Kentucky basketball fans are, bar none, the most dedicated group of fans that has ever existed. In all of history. Period

This should surprise nobody around here, but I love his conclusion:

Insanity, yes. But every fan of any other program should both respect and strive for this level of dedication - even if it borders on the edge of ridiculous.

Well, I'm not sure I like being "ridiculous", but he is right, it is a bit ridiculous.  However, nobody can deny that we are passionate to a fault about our program, and if we sometimes go overboard, well, so be it.  SEC Hoops GDB also compares us with Alabama football fans, and I think this is very apt -- I have long believed that Tide football fans are the only fanbase in America that we can truly relate to on a passion level, and vice versa.

Jody Demling also as a bit of a roundball update, including such names as Hopson and Jennings among others.  Mike at the Card Chronicle is also ready for roundball.

That's all for now.  More to follow.