Nov 01, 2012; Lexington , KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Caliparni talks with forward Nerlens Noel (3) during a time in the game against the Northwood Seahawks at Rupp Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-US PRESSWIRE

The Kentucky Wildcats have one more tune up before the November Gauntlet

Last night’s victory left no doubt that there is work to be done, but time is not on the side of the Wildcats. Monday night is the last tune up game before it starts getting real for the Wildcats, and it gets real in a hurry.

Transylvania will come into Rupp for their annual butt kicking, and this team may prove less than a challenge than Northwood. But remember, Transy did go up 21-18 in front of last year’s team and everyone was freaking out about guarding the three point line. Remember how that turned out?

Kentucky will start their real schedule after Transylvania and it is a distinct possibility that the Wildcats start off 0-2 amd end up 3-3 in the month of November. Maryland isn’t the ACC powerhouse they used to be but they still have talent and they are a Division I school. The fact that it is on a neutral court should benefit the Wildcats as our fans will travel in large numbers to the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

But after Maryland comes Duke in Atlanta. And then comes Notre Dame in South Bend, three games after Duke. This team doesn’t have time for growing pains and that is why John Calipari is constantly talking about headaches and exhaustion. He’s trying to get a team ready for major competition with just two practice games under it’s belt.

But this is what Kentucky’s identity is and this is what we’ve grown accustomed to. Last year we were spoiled by a mixture of youth, talent and a team that was wise beyond it’s years for the most part. This current group lacks the savvy but has all of the talent and, depending on your point of view, just as much talent.

But, November isn’t the finish line. November gets the Wildcats ready for challenges in December, challenges in December gets them ready for challenges in the SEC, and challenges in the SEC gets them ready for challenges in March. As long as they stick together, learn, grow and develop, then November won’t matter as much if we are playing in April.


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