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Thursday Quickies: Early Adversity Edition

The Kentucky Basketball program hasn’t had the greatest few days

NCAA Basketball: SEC Basketball Tipoff Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

This week has not been kind to the Kentucky Basketball program.

On Tuesday night, Kentucky was throttled on a national stage in the Champions Classic by the Duke Blue Devils in a game where Duke couldn’t seem to do anything wrong and Kentucky struggled to get anything right.

The performance brought some valid questions about this team to the forefront, while fans have to sit back and watch Duke become the darlings of the sports world as they have shown just how good they can be when things are clicking on all cylinders.

And then last night, news broke that two Kentucky Wildcats were linked in the FBI’s probe into college basketball through documents released by the FBI. One of them is former Wildcats forward Jarred Vanderbilt. The other is current point guard Ashton Hagans. The two were targeted by Christian Dawkins, a runner for ASM Sports.

The full article we posted last night can be found here.

In my opinion. I don’t think either is anything to sound the alarms on just yet. With the Duke loss, I don’t think it means that Kentucky is horrible and will have a terrible season. Are there legitimate question marks with this team? Yes. Do they have major holes that could prevent them from making a run at a title? Yes. Is it anything to freak out about before Thanksgiving? Absolutely not.

There’s no denying that Duke is the better team right now. They have three of the best players in the entire country, and three guys that could be top 5 draft picks. The question with them was never the talent, but instead the fit. Well, we’ve seen that they can all play well together, and that’s why Duke should probably be considered the early favorite to win the title.

But crazy things happen, and IT IS NOVEMBER. Kentucky should continue to grow throughout the season and get better and by February or March, be in a position to contend. As for Duke, nothing is guaranteed. They may be very good, but they aren’t unbeatable. In a one-game scenario, what happens if two of Williamson/Reddish/Barrett get into foul trouble or something? Nothing in college basketball is a foregone conclusion.

As for the FBI probe, we’ll have to wait and see what happens when more information comes out. Right now, it appears that Dawkins was targeting these guys, but we don’t know if anything was actually exchanged and there is no report of them meeting or anything like that.

That isn’t to say those things didn’t happen, but it seems that worrying about it and speculating are premature right now. We’ll have a clearer idea of the situation if more information comes out. Then again, nothing else regarding Vanderbilt or Hagans may come out. You just never know.

Now on to your regular Thursday morning programming...

I like this thought from former Wildcat Anthony Epps.

On the plus side, the women’s team took care of business in their season opener last night.


Wildcats will have to do some soul-searching after blowout loss - Herald Leader

Kentucky can’t let that loss linger into the rest of the season.

Why its ok to be frustrated but not give up on the season - Kentucky Sports Radio

We were all frustrated, but it is a long season remaining ahead of us.

Kentucky 10th in new CBB Power Rankings - ESPN

The Wildcats took a drop after the loss.

Keldon Johnson, PJ Washington projected in first round of B/R Mock Draft - Bleacher Report

Johnson is projected 8th, Washington 23rd

Matt House nominated for Broyles Award - UK Athletics

He’s one of 53 nominees for the best assistant coach in college football.

Kentucky Football still projected to New Year’s Six Bowl - Courier Journal

The Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and Citrus Bowl all seem to be on the table right now.

Kinnard preparing to return to former home - Herald Leader

Darian Kinnard used to live outside of Knoxville, but was never a fan of the Vols.

Josh Allen and Mike Edwards planning to bring back Blitz Bros? - Kentucky Sports Radio

Boogie Watson continues to be a strong candidate with his play this year.

Kentucky Women blast Alabama State in opener - UK Athletics

The team recorded 23 steals en route to a decisive victory.

REPORT: As many as 20 UofL football players have requested transfer paperwork - Saturday Down South

If this is true, it goes to show how amazingly quick the fall of Bobby Petrino at Louisville has transpired this year.

Someone started a GoFundMe to get Bills QB Nathan Peterman to retire - Yahoo


NBA reportedly planning to televise All-Star Draft - Yahoo

I’ll never understand why they thought not broadcasting it was a good idea.

Devin Booker isn’t happy with Phoenix’s early struggles - The Ringer

The Suns were booed off the court... at home Tuesday night.

The Chiefs haven’t lost a coin toss all season - Arrowhead Pride

In today’s unusual news story... I wonder if this will jinx it.

Moonshine a staple at West Virginia tailgates - ESPN

Take an in-depth look at the importance of moonshine for the WVU tailgating scene.