Dodgeball, new pre-game open, give Kentucky Wildcats Basketball needed fight


If you are a citizen of corporate America, you are no doubt familiar to the “team building getaways”. It’s meant as a way to shake up the office and give the employees some semblance of fun and a break from the mundane job all while instilling a sense of camaraderie and preaching the corporate bottom line. Sometimes, these events go horribly wrong:

And then somethings things seem to work and the team gets the message and get back on track.

That seems to be the case after Kentucky’s win over Vanderbilt on Wednesday night. No, it wasn’t by any means perfect. And it was not pretty at times.  But if Kentucky is to going to recover from losing Nerlens Noel and make a run at a SEC Title, it all can be traced back to a game of dodgeball.    Yes, in an effort to shake things up and to put the fun back into an extremely unfun week, John Calipari and his staff played dodgeball against his team.

And the fun carried over into the game Wednesday night as Kentucky showed signs of life that had been dormant in quite a while.  Yes, it was against Vanderbilt, and yes it was a game that Kentucky should have beaten handily, but the Commodores have a knack of fighting till the end and now have five SEC losses by a combined 12 points.  And as the calendar moved to March, you worry less about style points and surviving and advancing.

And that is what Kentucky did.

Perhaps Kentucky was spurred on by the creation of a new pregame video that was meant to get the crowd into the game and the team into a fighting mood.

Regardless of which method it was, it worked as Ryan Harrow and Willie Cauley-Stein stepped up their games to lead Kentucky to the win. Cauley-Stein showed his defensive prowess in this exchange that helped to seal the deal and watch the video. The whole team played tough, grind it out defense when the game was on the line.

You can say “It was just Vanderbilt”, but Rome was not built in a day. And the recovery of this team from the Nerlens Noel injury will not be an instant fix either. I am sure that this team will continue to drive us crazy at times and may make us say George Carlins seven infamous words in one sentence. But as long as this team shows fight and plays with heart and hustle, anything is possible.

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