“Bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint.”
If there was a word that I wish I could get the members of the Big Blue Nation to understand, to comprehend or grasp it would be the word “patient.” If patience is a virtue, then we are not a virtuous lot. I bring this up because the college basketball season is getting ready to kick off and the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Team will start play this Friday against Maryland and the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. I understand that expectations for this team is high, but are they unreasonably high? Should we all, collectively, be patient?
As I’ve pointed out before, this team is missing one ingredient that Coach Calipari’s previous three teams all had: an upperclassman that had played under the bright spotlights in a Kentucky uniform and could rally the troops when needed. From Patrick Patterson to Josh Harrellson to Darius Miller, the team has been fortunate to have that coach on the floor that could steady the ship. The question is, who’s that person going to be this year? After the Blue/White scrimmage and the exhibition games, it’s still unclear who that vocal leader is going to be. If I had to bet money, I would say Julius Mays, but that’s a tall order as this is his first season in Lexington as well.
The Big Blue Nation needs to get used to, if it hasn’t already, to the turnover of the roster. While we can’t argue with the results of Coach Cal’s recruiting strategy, the fact is that it takes time for teams to come together. Young players, especially, tend to play up or down to their competition and have a harder time of fitting into a system versus older, veteran players. There are going to be some bumps in the road early in the season with Cal’s teams. And with those bumps, a lot of lessons will be learned that will pay huge dividends come March. But what about last year’s team. They came together quickly, right?
If we’re going to enjoy these young and immensely talented teams, we have to understand that some years it’s going to take longer for them to come together than other years. And just because the 2012 team came together quickly doesn’t mean all future teams will. All we can do is show some restraint in our harsh criticism and just enjoy watching these young kids play.
Remember, patience is a virtue.