‘Cats Need to Shake Off Irish, Get Ready for Baylor
In November, the polls mean nothing. When I saw Kentucky at #3 in the pre-season AP poll, I thought the writers who contribute to that poll had lost their minds.
A team made up of players who had either never started a game or never played a college basketball game in their lives is the third-best team in the country? I didn't think so.
And I don't believe they are #8 either. That's where they are now. That's where they won't be come Monday. And that is perfectly alright.
I was intrigued by the Friday morning Tad Poll regarding the game and whether or not UK's 14-point loss to Notre Dame was unexpected. Great poll. Great response.
I wasn't at all surprised...well, maybe a little by the margin. But the Irish are loaded with experience, were playing on their home floor, and their beloved Heisman Trophy candidate Manti Te'o was in attendance. These fans were on a sugar rush times one million.
Yes I was kidding when I said the Irish fans could be in a football fog for this game. The only fog in the Joyce Center last night was experienced by the Wildcats facing a rugged, workmanlike defense on a basketball court not of their making. It's extraordinarily difficult for a young team like this to win a true road game against a solid bunch like Notre Dame.
So, now it's time to take this game and use it as an incredible learning tool. Baylor, another good team, is heading toward Lexington for a rematch of last spring's Elite Eight game in Atlanta.
Baylor has been struggling and did lose some pieces from last year's team. But if their terrific point guard, Brady Heslip, has returned to the team, they'll be ready to give the 'Cats all they can handle.
However, this is a Rupp game. So UK's young 'uns will be back in their comfort zone. As the season progresses, they will learn how to play well when they are OUT of their comfort zone. I have all the faith in the world in John Calipari that he will make sure that happens.
Coverage of Kentucky vs. Baylor begins at 11:30AM Saturday, December 1st on WBKR.