It’s no secret, Kentucky basketball is in the middle of the worst basketball season in school history, and quite honestly, it’s terrible and only getting worst. Tuesday night in Oxford was self-evident of that as Kentucky traveled to Ole Miss and got dominated in every aspect of the game, as the Wildcats dropped their 15th game of the season. The score was a lot closer than the game was. To be frank, this is was the worst performance in a long time under John Calipari.
So what went wrong? Everything. Everything that could wrong for Kentucky on Tuesday night went wrong. Three things, in particular, stood out.
First, where in the world is Lance Ware, Dontaie Allen, and Cam Fletcher? It’s my understanding that the Big Blue Nation has been asking this question of Coach Cal all season long and have yet to get an explanation as to why these guys aren’t seeing the floor? When you watch this Kentucky team, you’ll notice that some of the starters don’t seem to play with the ump that’s needed to play in the Southeastern Conference.
So why hasn’t Cal played the combination of Allen, Fletcher, and Lance Ware? Honestly, I think it’s a mixture of being set in this lineup and being loyal to the five-star guys. I also believe that Coach Cal and his Wildcats are just ready to cross that finish line and put this season in the rearview mirror. Both are fair and understandable, but Kentucky is paying a lot of money to win ballgames, and not putting the best lineup on the floor because you’re ready for it to be over isn’t fair to the Kentucky program.
Second, Kentucky seemed soft on Tuesday night. When you get outrebounded 42-28, there’s a problem. I don’t care who you play. When you get outrebounded by 14 boards, there’s a major issue. It’s that simple. When you go back and watch the tapes, Ole Miss punched Kentucky in the mouth and, the Wildcats didn’t have an answer. If Kentucky wants any shot at winning the SEC Tournament they have got to play more physically.
Lastly, there was a massive body language issue going on last night on the Kentucky sidelines. From pregame to in-game stuff, Kentucky looked defeated. You could sense something was wrong with this team from the opening tip. It didn’t feel like a Kentucky team. Tuesday night felt like I was watching a program that didn’t care they had a game that night. It wasn’t everybody, but by the end of the game, guys were depressed.
So, where does Kentucky go from here? Honestly, this team still has the potential to make a run in Nashville and win the SEC. After all, this Kentucky team has shown at times they can play with anybody in the country and can beat anybody in the country. I truly believe if these guys buy into what Cal is preaching, they could easily shock the world and win the SEC. Coach Cal says it all the time, ” Be Your Brother’s Keeper,” and these Wildcats are so close to figuring out and shocking the college basketball world. The potential is there, it’s now a matter of Kentucky zeroing in on that potential and making a run.