Before I embark down the trivial path of sports, I want to recognize and offer my prayers to those in the Western part of Kentucky and all those in the South and Midwest that were impacted by last night’s weather events. The devastation that was wrought by the tornadoes and storms affected the lives of thousands. The people in this Commonwealth are good people and I’m sure there will be relief and aid efforts throughout Kentucky. Please keep everyone that was affected in your thoughts and prayers if you’re so inclined.
The seven game stretch that the Kentucky Wildcats just finished was, for lack of a better word, forgettable. They amassed a bunch of Quad IV wins (Ohio was a nice victory) since taking on Duke to open the season.
The good news is that the team won every single one of those games by double digits and never really looked like they struggled too much in any of them. But I’m not really sure what Kentucky got out of playing that schedule. The players, for the most part, looked disinterested at times and you could tell the energy wasn’t always there when facing some of these teams.
Kentucky was able to kind of mess around and a bit and then flip the intensity switch whenever they wanted to pull away and finish off their opponent.
Today they will play their first true road game of the season in South Bend, Indiana against a Notre Dame Fighting Irish team that has seen better days. They’re 3-4 on the season with losses to Illinois, St. Mary’s, Texas A&M, and Boston College.
This isn’t the team that battled Kentucky in that awesome Sweet 16 game. It’s more like the team that beat Kentucky in Rupp last season that scored 16 points in the second half but somehow still won.
I don’t think there is much of a danger of losing here, but Kenpom has this game as a two point win. This certainly can be the case if the Cats come out lacking energy and focus the way they have in their previous contests.
This is the start of a difficult three game stretch. Starting with a win would be great.
Tweets of the Day
The atmosphere is usually pretty rowdy. It’s important that the Cats take the energy out of there as early as possible.
The Blue Demons beat Louisville in the Yum! Center. Peevy brought the culture of beating the Cards with him to Chicago.
Massive recruiting weekend in Lexington | Cats Illustrated *subscription- I rarely link subscription articles but this is a biggy. Mark Stoops and his staff are hosting major high school talent and immediate impact SEC caliber transfers. The 2022 class is going to be historic.
Calipari: Having a winning mindset is a process | Cats Pause- This speaks to the slow starts and sometime erratic play.
Kellan Grady needs to rebound | Vaught’s Views- Calipari quipped that Grady at least does block out. But compared to some of the other guards on the team- TyTy Washington, Davion Mintz, Dontaie Allen- he’s way behind in that category.
Bowl game prep is underway | UK Athletics- The Kentucky football team is back at it. They started practice on Friday and Stoops was glad to get back after a two week break to get healthy.
What John Calipari needs from each player as tune up games are exhausted | KSR- Keion Brooks is the key in my mind. His mid-range game and rebounding is the piece that Kentucky needs in order to be the special team that we think they can be. Brooks was averaging close to 20 points and about 8 rebounds in s stretch before he came down with an illness. Getting him back to that is imperative.
Louisville women’s basketball hopes to keep winning against Cats | Courier-Journal- This will be a top 25 matchup but the Cats are coming off of a tough loss against DePaul and it’s been a while since we’ve seen a win against Jeff Walz’s team.
Speaking of DePaul...
Memphis loses fourth straight game to...Murray State | Memphis Commercial Appeal- It’s time to say it: Penny Hardaway is a complete bust and is in over his head. It’s tough to jump from the AAU ranks right into a head coaching job at the D-I level but Penny did it to much fanfare. Safe to say that’s over. Congrats to the 8-1 Racers!
Top college basketball picks | CBS- All the folks like Kentucky to win and all but one expect them to cover. It’s a massive day for college basketball highlighted by Ohio State vs. Wisconsin and Alabama vs. Houston.
Broncos to honor the late Demaryius Thomas | ESPN- The former wide receiver was set to turn 34 on Christmas Day. He was found dead in his home due to a medical issue.