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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Needing A Win Vs. LSU Edition

Kentucky needs a win badly, and LSU at home would seem to be a good bet. Let's hope so.

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies. Today, the Kentucky Wildcats will face off against the LSU Tigers in Rupp Arena. The ‘Cats find themselves in an unfamiliar place in this game — badly needing to win, after dropping three of their last four contests and falling all the way to #15 in the AP poll.

Justin Rowland writes that Kentucky has a chance to get back on track versus LSU. I am not sanguine about this. Kentucky is broken right now, and it has been a stress fracture we have seen happening since, really, the Vanderbilt game.

You don’t suddenly go from yielding 100+ points per possession to sub-90 in one game, although that may be possible at home against a terrible LSU team who can neither score nor defend. Fixing what’s broken right now is going to take time, at least four or five games to get a good start.

So don’t be surprised to see UK drop two, maybe three more games before the SEC Tournament. They thought they could strut through the SEC, but even though they know now they can’t, you cannot just turn it off and on. Getting back on track will take a while, not one game. Embrace the process, and hope for the best.

The Wildcats certainly have enough talent to win it all, but it remains to be seen if they can develop the mental toughness and genuine refuse-to-lose desire to get it done. Suffice it to say that doubts have been raised by their recent performance, and those doubts will not dissipate quickly without significant improvement which is unlikely to come overnight.

Tweet of the Morning

I feel you.

Apropos to Kentucky right now.

Your Quickies:

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  • LSU is tragically awful, and Kentucky truly needs to win a game. Sounds like what the doctor ordered. The trouble is, awful teams seem to find ways to look good against UK.

  • Laughter on the bench is the least of Kentucky’s worries. Well, in all honesty I think it is emblematic of this team’s lack of focus on winning. Nothing could’ve made me (or most of us) laugh if we were on the bench getting our butts kicked. Honestly, I’d have been happy to see a little bit of Grayson Allen come out of our bench rather than this.

    Having said that, I think we all know, and have seen in the eight years of Coach Cal, teams more focused on the future than the present. No matter what comes out of these young men’s mouths, I’m pretty sure that’s what makes this possible.

    Which brings us back around full circle to the debate we’ve been having through all our success — is recruiting such prodigies, who know their time at UK will be less than a full calendar year, the best way to win? We know it is a way, because Calipari has proven that if nothing else. But incidents like this, minor and silly as they are, can cause a few laments for past team-building methods.

    And lest you think I’m being critical of Coach Cal, I’m not, at least, not in this sense. He’s been completely honest about his intentions and methods from day one. But when they sometimes don’t work out quite as well as we hope, we revert to wondering about one-and-dones, or in some cases, come back out of the woodwork with I-told-you-so’s. Just part of the bargain, I suppose.

  • More smiling Malik Monk. Yes, this is overblown, but I think it’s a fine lesson for him and other UK players. Let’s give the young man a break and move on.

  • Zone no longer a four-letter word to Coach Cal? Well, I don’t like it much except as a change.

  • Kentucky and Duke "struggling, but lurking." How do you like being kindred to the Blue Devils in more ways than just pedigree, ‘Cats fans?

  • Last time, it was a "tweak." This time, it’s a "reboot." I don’t care what he calls it as long as it works.

  • I’m not sure about the selection of pictures for the UK Athletics website for the basketball team. It has a haunting similarity to the "Kentucky’s shame" SI cover — not in composition, but more in feel. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t care for it and find it a poor editorial choice.

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