What a weird season it has been for the 2019-20 Kentucky Wildcats.
On one hand you have some major highs: wins over Louisville, Michigan State, Auburn; the sweep of Florida capped off with an improbable victory; and the emergence of Nick Richards and Immanuel Quickley.
But one cannot look past some major lows: losses to Evansville, Utah, South Carolina and a bad Tennessee team; the untimely exit of Kahlil Whitney; and the Ashton Hagans saga.
Taking all of this into consideration, I’m wondering what the confidence level of the Big Blue Nation is right now. Either argument could be made as to whether or not one feels good about the post season or if one feels apprehensive.
I’m going to make the case for positivity. The loss to the Tennessee Volunteers was a major clunker. It could have been excused away as such without all of the drama that surrounded Ashton Hagans and John Calipari. Once those stories started to surface it was apparent that the loss was more than just “The Cats played a bad second half.” There was dissension among the ranks and it all stemmed from one player.
The Cats were up against the wall heading to Gainesville. Matters were made worse when an hour before the game it was announced Hagans had not made the trip to Florida. he was taking some “personal time” according to John Calipari.
The Cats were without their starting point guard on the road against a Florida team with talent. A Florida team that had underachieved all season. A Florida team desperate for a win against a top 10 opponent.
The Cats looked inferior to the Gators. Vastly. Matters weren’t improved when Immanuel Quickley fouled out with nine minutes to go in the second half. But this team dug deep. Nick Richards was outstanding. Tyrese Maxey ran the team with poise. Nate Sestina, Johnny Juzang, and Keion Brooks all stepped up exactly when they had to in order for their team to win.
And that defense in the last ten minutes... One of the best efforts I’ve seen from this team all season long.
This is why I’m so positive about this team heading into March: they were faced with major adversity and they overcame it as a team. It wasn’t just one guy making all the plays on Saturday; they all pitched in for the win.
My guess is that Hagans has learned a valuable lesson and will play up to his potential the rest of the way. He saw that his team can win without him and that should motivate him to be the player to put them over the edge for March.
With a newly motivated Hagans back with a team that has to be bursting with confidence and a coach that has pushed all of the right buttons this late in the season; I argue that Kentucky fans should be as confident as any fan base heading towards Selection Sunday.
What is your level of confidence on the confidence meter?
What is your confidence level with this team?
This poll is closed