I normally don’t do this but I’m starting these headlines with a tweet:
This isn’t OK. This isn’t normal. This isn’t Kentucky Wildcats basketball and it’s time for some of us to stop acting like any of this is acceptable. Because it isn’t. Because Kentucky basketball is bigger and better than this. Or at least it should be.
BBN once again descended on the SEC tournament ready for a long weekend of fun and winning. Once again fans were left unsatisfied with an early exit. All of those weekend plans to party in the midst of Kentucky basketball were once again dashed as they have been for the last three seasons.
Credit to Jerry Stackhouse and the Vanderbilt Commodores. They had the better gameplan, the better coach and, ultimately, the better team. Kentucky couldn’t stay in front of Vanderbilt’s quick and athletic guards. Stackhouse used the exact game plan he used to beat Kentucky in Rupp and John Calipari failed to adjust.
While the players didn’t execute, shooting just 55% from the foul line and a putrid 24% from beyond the arch, John Calipari isn’t absolved. While the Cats were rolling 14-4 early in the game, Cal inexplicably took out Jacob Toppin and put Lance Ware in the game, continuing to insist on playing Ware along with Oscar Tshiebwe. Ware immediately committed two fouls, bogged down the offensive flow and Vandy was able to respond, cut the lead and take the lead going into half. The Dores never looked back after that.
And yes, I know Cason Wallace isn’t 100% but Liam Robbins is Vanderbilt’s best player and didn’t play in either of Vandy’s win over the Cats. I don’t want to hear those excuses.
This is the most frustrating team of the Cal era. They win games they aren’t supposed to and they lose games they aren’t supposed to. They aren’t primed for any run in March. It appears as if this season of futility will once again end with a thud in March. Over promising and under delivering once again.
We will do the same offseason dance we’ve been doing over the last three seasons. Wait til next year. The next class is a Cal class. These portal guys will fix the issues.
Rinse. Repeat. Cal futility marches towards mediocrity.
Duke won last night. Alabama won last night. Kansas, without Bill Self, won last night. UCLA won last night. Indiana won last night. Arizona won last night. While all these big time, high seeded programs continue their quest for a conference title, Kentucky is back in Lexington waiting for the Selection Show.
Maybe I’m being too negative and I’m not reading the room accurately What do you think this team will do in the NCAA Tournament?
How far will UK go in the tournament?
This poll is closed
First round exit
Round of 32
Elite 8 or better
Tweets of the Day
Like, watch Oscar on these (only from the first 30 minutes of the game). Yeah, the ball-screen defense is bad. But watch Milora-Brown just seal him off in help. Or watch how ineffectual he is in even when he does rotate toward the rim. Vandy just attacked him relentlessly. pic.twitter.com/PBKFqrXhlE— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) March 11, 2023
As good as Oscar is he is the team’s biggest issue on defense.
Calipari: "Every time we've taken a spill and the whole country jumps on us, it seems like they come back with a vengeance. That is the plan."— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 11, 2023
They come back with a vengeance for a game or two and then end up right where they started.
Kentucky should be playing with a nothing to lose mindset | Cats Pause- Mindset is a big part of this but so is game planning and execution. I don’t think mindset change is a fix-all here.
Kentucky to use extra time at home to heal | KSR- Having a team that struggles with health has been a trademark of the latter part of the Calipari years. It’s not his fault but it’s tiresome.
Believe in this team at your own peril | The Athletic- I think many of us were willing to look at the first Vandy loss as an anomaly after the Arkansas road win. But maybe beating an Arkansas team that ended up 8-11 in the SEC was fool’s gold.
Cal blames ‘stinking thinking’ | Vaught’s Views- Yeah there’s been a lot of stinking this year, that’s for sure.
Kentucky beats Southern Illinois by one in extras | UK Athletics- That’s eight in a row for the 12-2 baseball team. The series resumes today.
UK softball opens SEC with win over Missouri | UK Athletics- Stephanie Schoonover fans 15 on the road as the #16 ranked Cats down the #23 ranked Tigers.
13 automatic bids on the line today | CBS- It’s going to be an awesome day of conference tournament basketball. Too bad we don’t have anything invested in it.
Eric Musselman throws tantrum after loss | ESPN- Arkansas, like Kentucky, was a preseason darling that failed to live up to expectations. Head coach Eric Mussleman left the floor cursing after giving up a big halftime lead over Texas A&M in a loss. Muss’ assistant coach grabbed a fan’s phone and threw it on the ground as the fan was filming Muss walking off the court.
St. John’s set sights on Rick Pitino after firing Mike Anderson | New York Post- St. John’s will be a top 15 team in a very short amount of time once Pitino is on their sidelines.