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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Quest for #9 Edition

Could it be that Kentucky's 9th NCAA Tournament title will just be 12 months later than expected?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, and welcome to the Tuesday quickies. Up first for today is this article by Mike Rutherford writing for SB Nation in which he wonders if Kentucky’s 9th NCAA Tournament championship might just take 12 months longer than anticipated:

Timing isn’t everything in college basketball, but it’s more important than it is in any other major American sport. Overwhelmingly positive or negative work that took four months to comprise can be completely wiped away by one or two good or bad weeks in March. In keeping with that theme, improved timing might be more important than an improved team when it comes to Kentucky’s quest for championship No. 9.

I think he has a point. I love this team so far, and I think the guard play is vastly improved from last year, much as I liked the Harrison twins. UK is more talented at the guard position and has significantly more shooting and almost as much size, not to mention greater overall athleticism.

The front court is not as stacked, but honestly, college basketball is a guards game. You have to have a good front court, but great guards are the best ticket to an NCAA Tournament title.

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Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
  • Mark Stoops has re-oened the quarterback competition after a series of ineffective (to say the least) games by Patrick Towles.

    This is usually not a good thing because it often points to a problem, not somebody bucking for playing time, and that’s what we have here. Towles lacked confidence in the last game, and it showed. One thing a QB can never have is a crisis of confidence.

  • Mark Stoops says there is no "divide" in the UK locker room. Normally, that would concern me, but because that was a response to a question, not so much. What does concern me is how terrible the Kentucky offense is, and it just seems to be getting worse.

  • Amen.

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  • At the University of Missouri, it seems the students have taken over the university in a bloodless coup. I haven’t followed this story that closely, but this seems to spell out the issues of concern:

    The protests at the campus began after the student government president, who is black, said in September that people in a passing pickup truck shouted racial slurs at him. Days before the homecoming parade, members of a black student organization said slurs were hurled at them by an apparently drunken white student.

    Also, a swastika drawn in feces was found recently in a dormitory bathroom.

    The problem with this is that racial slurs are generally protected speech by the First Amendment depending, of course, on the circumstances in which they are uttered. No university that takes federal money can generally prohibit them, and punishing people for racial slurs, while not always prohibited (circumstances matter), is a very dicey proposition. Naturally, the defacement of property is a straight-up crime no matter what the message or the medium, not to mention unsanitary when the medium is feces.

    Also, consider this:

    Having lived a life of white male privilege, I’d be stupid to dismiss the complaints as hypersensitivity. But is this the campus that’s so racist it elected a black man student body president and homecoming king?

    Is it the same one that so thoroughly embraced gay defensive lineman Michael Sam that he wrote a letter of thanks in the local newspaper?

    Now it’s fraught with intolerance and systemic racism?

    It does seem passing strange. This may be the beginning of a major confrontation between free (but horrible) speech and indignation over its content will be worth watching closely. The Mizzou tudents involved in the protest are predictably going about destroying whatever moral authority they may have had (in typical fashion for the young), but this is unlikely to be the last we hear of this. Let’s all hope for it to be non-violent, however loud and vitriolic it becomes.

  • Alabama surges into second pace in the NCAA football Power Rankings by CBS.

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