Coming into the new college basketball season the hype around Kentucky was at an all time high, and it wasn’t just the fans saying ridiculous things like “40-0″ it was even national media, and our kids said they were ready to be ranked #1 in the country, but now we are in December, and we have fell to 19th in the country.
I have heard more negativity this season than I did all of last year, and I honestly don’t get it. We have lost to 3 top 10 teams, and all by less than 14 points combined. The sad things is the same fans that made the T-shirts about 40-0 are now the ones that are saying “Nobody on this team needs to go pro, because they aren’t ready.”
I love the Big Blue Nation, but at times when things are going well nobody turns on the players faster than some of the BBN. This is a very talented freshman group, but they are FRESHMAN without any real leadership on the team. I still believe this team will be fine come March, and will make a deep run in the NCAA tournament, but this isn’t the point of the article. My point is to let these freshman come in, and get better as the year goes on instead of putting all these heavy expectations on them before they ever hit the court.
Kentucky plays Belmont on Saturday, and Belmont went to Chapel Hill to stun UNC on their home floor, but lost to Denver badly earlier this week. Something I have learned as a Kentucky fan is to expect the best from every opponent, so I wouldn’t expect a blow out on Saturday.
Matt Jones said on the radio last night that he has heard Derek Willis will start to get more minutes, and maybe take some of Julius Randle’s 38 minutes a game. I am not sure what Willis will do, but I know he can shoot people out of a zone. Another reason for that could be that Randle is playing too many minutes.
I expect a big bounce back from the Wildcats to head into the Holiday week, and hopefully this team gets some confidence back before they play that other school from the state.