If you are like me you are still struggling with the loss on Saturday, UK lost to a team it is much better than, on a neutral floor, and looked terrible doing it. Kentucky never could muster the fight to dig out of their hole until late in the game. Even then, they had opportunities in their grasp to erase the first 30 minutes of frustration but could not.
This only exacerbated Big Blue Nation's frustrations with watching a team seem to struggle to put it together. After the game I saw, shockingly, A LOT of tweets from fans talking about UK as an NIT team. Can we please pump the brakes on this one.
While the NIT mentions are about 98% knee jerk hyperbole, their were more serious comparisons to some of Cal's past teams. If we are going to go down that route, I will say that this team is NOT another 2013. That 2013 team was doomed with no point guard, the least amount of depth of any Calipari team and a very weak freshman NCAA class.
Not to mention the injury to the heart and soul of our team in Nerlens Noel. This team is a mix between the 2011 and 2014 team. The pieces are there for us to be a contender, it is just a matter of chemistry, identity, and some old fashioned confidence.
If this team just starts hitting shots at an average clip and Skal progresses, we are going to be scary. The good news is we may be seeing the Jamal Murray we all wanted, Skal hit rock bottom and will get better, and about 80% of our problems are mental; something Camp Cal could actually fix.
If we are still having this conversation 30 days from, then I will worry.
Recent UK starts through 11 games: 2011: 9-2 / Result: Final 4 2014: 8-3 / Result: Final 4 2016: 9-2 / Result: ???— Chris Fisher (@ChrisFisher247) December 20, 2015
TWEET(S) OF THE NIGHT
How bout those Lady Cats? Eating up the ACC in women's bball.— Jack Klompus (@btmac11) December 21, 2015
Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points & 10 rebs. But nothing to see here. The media was too busy covering what Kristaps Porzingis had for lunch.— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) December 21, 2015
YOUR WILDCATS RANDOMS
- The #8 UK Hoops team took down the #13 Duke Lady Devils last night 71-61. Evelyn Akhator scored 18 for the 'Cats and Janee Thompson scored 17 to lead the ladies of the hardwood.
Another great game from senior Janee Thompson! 17 points, two assists and a steal in a big victory over Duke. pic.twitter.com/mmoB7QCLwC— UK Hoops (@UKHoopCats) December 21, 2015
- Reid Forgrave of Fox Sports feels a lot like I do about this year's men's team. Conversely, Kerry Miller of Bleacher Report thinks the Wildcats' struggles will be season long.
- Kentucky Football Commit Gunnar Hoak will be enrolling next month as a Freshman for next season, with the transfer of Patrick Towles, Hoak immediately has a chance to be the backup QB as a true freshman for the 'Cats, if he does not redshirt. Check out his Senior year highlights below.
- Gary Parrish dropped UK to #20 in his top 25 and 1 he does every week.
- Kentucky commit Kash Daniel is one of nine finalists for Kentucky Mr. Football.
- Derek Willis did not play Saturday with an injury, this season's 'Cats have been decimated by the injury bug it seems. Lee, Ulis, Hawkins, Willis, Briscoe, and Humphries have all missed games with injury.
- With the likely hiring of an offensive coordinator fairly soon and all signs pointing to a likely candidate in Eddie Gran, the question now is who replaces WR coach Tommy Mainord. There is a lot of discussion around former UK Legend Craig Yeast. I would also like to throw a few names out there as possibilities.
YOUR NON-UK RANDOMS
- A random fan decided to make a hype video for the upcoming College Football Playoff using the four teams involved. The cool part is he used Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve/Sarejevo 12/24 to set it, very nice.
- Rant Sports picked their Five most surprising teams of the College Basketball Season so far. Oklahoma, Miami, George Washington, Providence, and Xavier top the list.
- Could the Broncos be in for a controversy with Peyton Manning? Sporting News has a report claiming Manning has no intentions of being a backup to Brock Osweiler when he is ready to return.
- Byron Jones of the Dallas Cowboys seems to have popped his knee back into place after an awkward fall and did not miss a snap. Think he would wanna play for Calipari?
- Jim Harbaugh has hired Boston College's Don Brown to take over as the Defensive Coordinator in the Big House. This is a fantastic hire by Harbaugh and I think we may be a year away from him dominating the Big 10.
- The Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones has set a franchise record for single season receptions. Julio Jones may have been one of the biggest locks for success coming out of college and he has not disappointed.
- St. Johns Chris Mullen has certainly not started off his career with a great start. The Johnnies just lost to New Jersey Institute of Technology, and losses to Fordham, Incarnate Word (really), and a 32 point loss to a Division II team have Mullen feeling the pain. I wonder if Slice regrets leaving Lexington.
- Jacksonville's Marquise Lee made possibly the catch of the year yesterday in a loss to Atlanta.
- Anthony Bennett, the former UNLV Runnin' Rebel, the former #1 overall draft pick has been relegated to the D-League. He asked for the assignment so he could get more playing time.
- Rant Sports.com decided to put together a list of the greatest Father-Son Duos of all-time. My head immediately went to Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. Rant put them at #2, just below Bobby and Barry Bonds.
- There is a tragic story of a high school football player shot protecting students that is getting national attention and it should. Unfortunately it happened in my back yard (not literally) of Knoxville TN. Police are working it as a random gang related shooting. There were three overnight shootings, but one took place in a seemingly random place when three people shot into a crowded area. Fulton High School's Zaevion Dobson was killed when he jumped on top of three girls to shield them from the bullets.
- a 4-star player named Troy Baxter, absolutely posterizes a guy in the Chick-Fil-A classic. Going off two hands, cocks it back and crams it, one of my absolute favorite looking dunks.
YOUR RANDOM QUICKIES
- We all knew that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would kill at the box office, I am not sure we saw this coming though. The first day of release, the movie grossed 120.5 Million Dollars, a record. The previous record was Harry Potter 2, grossing 43.5 Million Dollars. Good Grief this is going to be some absurd money.
- You are inevitably going to run across the movie 'A Christmas Story' this week, if it is not appointment viewing for you. If you are wondering what ever happened to Ralphie, well he grew up and became a successful film producer.
- Which brings me to the following question, what is your Christmas movie go-to? I also want to clear one weird thing up, apparently people believe Die Hard is a Christmas movie??? GET OUT OF HERE with that, it was not a 'Christmas' movie, lol. My top 3 in no order would be 'Christmas Vacation', 'Elf', 'A Christmas Story'.
- Will Smith, the actor, Will Smith was only half joking about running for President one day. I LOVE Will Smith, one of my favorite actors, but celebrities really need to stay in their lanes.
- Gas has fallen below $2 per gallon for the first time in 6 years.
- Sylvester Stallone has decided to auction items off from 'Rocky' for charity. This is one of those times I made A LOT more money because I would get it all. Also FYI, GO SEE CREED, fantastic flick and even got me choked up at the end.
- Would you let your kid win at Monopoly? My first instinct is hell no, and apparently the Wall Street Journal agrees!
- If you are like me and looking forward to the movie "the Big Short", here are 5 things you should know about the real-life person that Christian Bale is playing.
- Miss Universe 2015 has been crowned, she is Pia Wurtzbach from the Philippines.
#PhRoadToMissUniverse2015 Photography by Ronnie Cruz (@artpersonas) Dress by @gakuyabykimgan Styling by @gakuyabykimgan Creative Direction by @arviedizon Makeup by: @gerypenaso Hair by: Chino Maniquiz Shoot coordinator: @bessiebesana Location: Art Personas Office #MissUniversePhilippines2015 #MissUniverse2015 #BinibiningPilipinas
- There was also some controversy and a TON of awkwardness in the competition. When host Steve Harvey was announcing the winner, he was supposed to announce the first runner up, Miss Columbia. She got her flowers, crown and was waiving to the crowd for minutes before they came back and corrected the error.