Tag Archives: Kentucky Basketball

Kentucky Wildcats: Making and Vanquishing History

By Brandon Busuttil

March 26, 2015

This years Kentucky men’s basketball team has been nothing short of a spectacle. The last time a team went undefeated (winning the NCAA tournament) wasn’t since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers team. It seemed back then, having an undefeated team was a lot more common with UCLA doing it in the 1963-64 season, 1966-67 season, 1971-72 season and UCLA’s undefeated streak lasted all the way through the 1972-73 season and didn’t end until January 19, 1974, when Notre Dame beat them to break their 88 game winning streak. Since that time only one team in the past 10 years has managed to have just a perfect season (undefeated regular season). We witnessed that last year when Wichita State had a perfect season, and lost to Kentucky in the NCAA tournament.

The big question is, can Kentucky go all the way? Can they be undefeated? A lot of individuals’ brackets would say: YES. But remember, this is the NCAA tournament and we all know that in the NCAA tournament anything can happen. This was already displayed in the 2nd round of play when Georgia State took down a #3 Baylor, and UAB also took down a #3 seed, Iowa State. With Kentucky getting set to play West Virginia in the Sweet Sixteen it made me take a look back in time. In 2010, Kentucky and West Virginia met in the Elite Eight. Kentucky seeded #1 and West Virginia seeded #2. This was the year when Kentucky had John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson, and Demarcus Cousins. West Virginia beat them with players no one can even remember. Proving that anything can happen. Could this years West Virginia team repeat history? Personally, I don’t think so. But again, this is March Madness.

If Kentucky are to get past West Virginia they could face Wichita State. A team that has proven time and time again, they can hang with the big boys. Last year Kentucky beat Wichita State ending WSU’s undefeated season. If these two teams were to meet, I would highly expect Wichita State to try to do the same to Kentucky as Kentucky did to them. After Wichita State put a beating on a Kansas team, that has been avoiding playing them for a few years now, Wichita State is a scary team to play.

For this Kentucky team, it is not only about making history, but they will have to overcome history to have a chance at winning the NCAA championship and becoming the first undefeated team since 1976.

Why Fear Perfection?

By Kaleb Page

March 16, 2015

In the world of sports the chase for a perfect season is something few have the actual chance to achieve. While the realistic goal is to reach and win a championship in whatever sport it might be; there seems to be the notion that undefeated is nearly impossible.

However, when the stars align in the sports world and a team does have the chance to go undefeated a new dilemma takes hold.

This dilemma being should we lose at least once to get it out-of-the-way, should we even bring up the fact that we are undefeated or can we be careful enough to hold on to the record we have.

This dilemma was shown with teams like the Patriots, Uconn women’s basketball, Wichita St. men’s basketball, etc. by many different media outlets. Now rises a new member to this club, the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team.

This edition of the Wildcats basketball team has the familiar feel of years past. A roster full of lottery picks and a fiery head coach that leads this team to become a fine tuned machine. This team currently sits at 31-0 going into its conference tournament after a season that saw many nail bitter moments for this talented squad.

An article on Fox Sports asked what if after this weekend Kentucky came away 31-1. The reporter (Reid Forgrave) said popular opinion across the country would be that a loss now is what Kentucky needs in order to win it all in the end.

Forgrave however, had the gut feeling to think it was ‘hogwash’ for a team with that much talent to suddenly feel any different with a loss than it did undefeated. I agree with this statement completely.

I know as humans we all feel pressure one way or another. Another thing, as all of us know, is that we know what we are in and what the implications are. Which for this team they know of all the hype and the implications of this historic run they are on. This team, that could run the table for the first time since 1976 (Indiana), definitely knows what is out there to be had.

While head coach John Calipari wants to make the team focus on the task at hand, there is always the knowledge of what can be accomplished in the back of their minds. If I’m on Kentucky I am embracing this record and embracing the chance to make history. ‘Why not us’ should be the mantra for this team going forward.

If you truly want to be the dominant team that will be remembered for decades to come; you have to go and take down this task.

Don’t shy away, don’t back down and don’t you dare think about taking that loss to get the prize at the end.

When it’s all said and done, why fear perfection?

Kentucky Hosts NBA Style Combine for Scouts

By Nicholas Muhl

This past Friday, Kentucky Wildcats Men’s Basketball coach John Calipari hosted an NBA-style combine for his players to show off their skills prior to the start of next spring’s draft. The combine was attended by over 90 NBA scouts and general managers, and each team had at least one representative present.

This coming year, the Wildcats squad is home to six McDonald’s All-Americans and is coming off a runner-up performance in last year’s NCAA Tournament. The two-hour combine, which was televised live on ESPNU, included both individual and team drills , which are included in the NBA scouting combine each year.

The move by Calipari to host such an event is not surprising, considering a record six Kentucky players were taken in the 2014 NBA Draft. The Wildcats head coach has produced many high level NBA players including Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Eric Bledsoe and the list goes on. More recently, former Wildcat players Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Nerlens Noel were all selected in the top 10 picks in recent drafts.

Unlike many of his peers, Calipari embraces the one-and-done college basketball player. With his padded resume he continues to send 18 and 19-year-old young adults into the NBA, where the average player age is around 27 years old. Calipari was quoted this past weekend acknowledging that many of his players are already considering the NBA, long before they even attend their first class on campus.

“Someone said, ‘You’ll make them think about the NBA.’ Excuse me? They all do. Even the walk-ons. It creates a base for me to build with each individual kid and what I need to do.”

This brings to light a serious issue in sports culture today. 18-21 year old young adults are still maturing as they gain new responsibilities with age. In today’s sports society, these young student-athletes are exposed to fame, fortune, massive media coverage and many other things a typical young adult does not experience at such an age.

Through social media networks like Twitter, major TV networks like ESPN, and other media outlets, student athletes who achieve even most smallest amount of success are household names by the end of the week.

It isn’t just college basketball, as this goes for football and all other major college sports. One can argue that the added attention, such as Kentucky’s combine, can only bring upon more success for the student-athlete. At the very least, they receive recognition for the great achievements and talents they posses.

However, there is an opposite side to the coin. As much as fans love their young talent and phenoms, is the media and college sports as whole bringing too much added attention to student-athletes at such an age? Young superstars like Wildcats Derrick Rose and Anthony Davis are great examples of how successful a student-athlete can be from the additional attention they received at a young age. 

Examples of Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston, both who have been surrounded by media coverage since the start of their college careers, can be given as to why student-athletes at such a young age are exposed to too much early on in their bright careers.