Photo by Chet White | UKAthletics.com
If you weren’t following the baseball action at The Cliff this week, well, you missed a lot. After sweeping a midweek doubleheader series against the Cincinnati Bearcats, Gary Henderson’s No.
Cal says he won’t convince a player who’s projected to go in the second round to come back if they want to go
Per usual, John Calipari was asked about the one-and-done rule during the SEC Coaches’ Teleconference, and said that even though he thinks the rule should be changed to two years, he won’t hold a kid back who’s projected to go in the second round:
Well, it is hard, but again, if you’re about these kids you’ve got to do what’s right for them.
Well, we knew it was probably going to happen, but it’s still not a happy sight. After starting the season ranked #1, Kentucky will end the season unranked in the AP Top 25 poll.
Even with all of the difficulties of the season, one event that I always look forward to is the SEC Tournament. This year the Tourney is in Atlanta once again and I for one can’t wait to get down there.
Congrats to Karl Towns, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles and Tyler Ulis, who were all selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic next month. Lyles and Towns will play on the East team, while Booker and Ulis will play for the West team.
Big Blue Nation has been a sad place to reside in the past couple of weeks. Now don’t get me wrong, the entirety of the season has been a bit of a bummer, with fans hoping for a magic traveling circus of ass-kickings and instead receiving a never-ending helping of tedious corporate training sessions.
Think of it as #BBN’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ or you can just look at J-Law. (Jojo Whilden/Weinstein Company)
The regular season has officially wrapped up, but the #BBN still doesn’t know what to do with their hands. To say this season wasn’t what we expected would be an understatement. With close games against Michigan State, North Carolina and a win against Louisville, everything was normal for the first half of the season (aside from the Baylor loss). Then the Arkansas game ended like a game of ’21′ with a tip-dunk, then the team was man-handled by Johnny O’Bryant and LSU, and before we knew it the Cats lost four of their final seven.
Objectively, that looks pretty bad. However I’m a college student that is taught to debunk stats and think ‘outside of the box.’ The problem with human nature is that we tend to focus on our problems without acknowledging the problems of others. If you look at the Cats compared to the best of the best in the country, Big Blue could be in much worse shape.
UK: 68.4% (t-223)
Florida: 67.3% (t-260)
Arizona: 65.9% (t-297) w/WKU and Virginia
UL: 65.4% (t-319)
Injuries (knock on wood)
UK: Julius Randle’s cramps during the Louisville game and WCS’ hand in the preseason.
Michigan State: Izzo’s three best players, Keith Appling, Adreian Payne and Gary Harris, all missed multiple games.
Arizona: The team’s Achilles’ heel – the inability to score in the half court – became even more exposed when their most dynamic scorer, Brandon Ashley, broke his foot. The injury will keep him out for the season, one that was undefeated until Ashley’s injury against Cal.
Louisville: Even though the Cards have turned things around and it wasn’t an injury, losing Chane Behanan was a BIG deal.
‘Rush the Court’ Incidents
This could have happened…
Instead, this happened…
UK: Arkansas twice, at South Carolina, at LSU(?)
Syracuse: Georgia Tech, Boston College (4 of their final 6)
Duke: at Wake Forest, at Clemson, at Notre Dame
North Carolina: Belmont, UAB, at Wake Forest
Struggling in conference play isn’t unique to Kentucky: the Big 10 Champ (Michigan) has seven losses, the Big 12 Champ (Kansas) has eight losses, and the ACC Champ (Virginia) has six losses. If you want to blame the lack of success on Kentucky’s freshmen, they haven’t really been that bad either. While none of them have been Anthony Davis/MKG-like, outside of Wiggins, Parker and Embiid, Kentucky’s ‘Big 4′ freshmen have statistically performed better than any other freshmen in the country.
It’s difficult to paint a pretty picture of 2013-14 regular season, but it isn’t the finger-painting we witnessed last season.
The Cats may not be inspiring much confidence right now, but the SEC Tournament is only a few days away. So close I can smell the buffalo wings at STATS.
Stat guru Ken Pomeroy combined his ratings with Bill James’ log5 formulas to estimate each team’s chance to win their conference tournament. (What’s a log5 formula? Click here.) According to KenPom, at 18.3%, Kentucky has the third best chance to win the tournament behind Florida and Tennessee:
In fact, KenPom is downright fascinated by the Vols, who he believes should be the most analyzed team in the history of the game (sorry, Cal). After it looked like Cuonzo Martin would certainly get the boot, Tennessee has rallied, and as long as they don’t fall on their face in Atlanta, should make the NCAA Tournament. However, as KenPom points out, many Tennessee fans would welcome a face plant if it meant the administration would fire Martin and bring back Bruce Pearl. Go read more of KenPom’s thought on the Vols here.
After sweeping the SEC opening weekend last weekend on the road, defeating LSU 5-2 in Baton Rouge and No. 66 Arkansas 6-1 in Fayetteville, the Cats started 2-0 in conference play.
I know I’m not alone when I say I’m feeling a little deja vu from last March. While this group will make the NCAA Tournament, you could argue that given the high expectations and talent, it’s been an even more disappointing season than last.