Man, I feel beat down. I just finished watching the University of Kentucky Wildcats lose in overtime to the Mississippi State Bulldogs. UK is bad and I am not sure what is to be done. I just kills me to know that every time UK plays a top 25 team, I know they won't win. It just kills me to know that every time that UK is in a close game with 2 minutes left, I know they won't win. It just kills me to know that every time UK has a last shot to win a game, I know they will somehow screw it up. It just kills me to know, that just 3 or 4 years ago, UK was in the top 10 and had a legit chance at an NCAA title. I don't see that in the future for at least two or three years.
I know some of you are saying, "Quit your crying, you won 20 games and are in the NCAA tournament." Sorry, that is not how it works at UK. I am not one of the hardcore fans who expect to win it all every year. I am not one of those who expect to win 30 or 35 games a year and run roughshod over the SEC. I do however expect a Final Four every 4 or 5 years. I do expect to at least have a shot at a title if the breaks fall the right way in March.
This year will be the 9th year since UK was last in a Final Four. UK has not gone longer than 8 years in between Final Fours. I think something needs to be done and if Tubby Smith has to go then cut him loose. I like Tubby and I think he is a great coach, but something is going wrong in Lexington. The players this year are all mentally retarded when it comes to basketball IQ. I am convinced that UK would only have 4 or 5 losses if it weren't for stupid mistakes committed for no other reason than it is a team of morons. Besides being morons, UK has a few players that get significant minutes who would not be starters on a good mid major college team. Bobby Perry, Sheray Thomas, and Lukasz Orbzut would not even start for Western Kentucky University. Hell, they may not be able to start for DII Kentucky Wesleyan.
I am not sure what can be done, but getting rid of this year's seniors can only help. After that the main problem I see is UK hasn't got the steady stream of talent that the UNCs, the Dukes, the Kansases or even the OSUs have year after year. Beyond that, the players that UK does have do not seem to mature basketball wise, meaning the juniors still make freshman mistakes. I see no development of the players from year to year.
I think the best thing Tubby could do is fire his assistants and start fresh. A change might do him some good. New blood may be the key. Unfortunately it appears Tubby heard that suggestion last year from the UK AD and decided to stand pat, basically saying that this season wouldn't be as bad as last year's and to trust him. How has that worked out for UK?
I am not a basketball genius, I am not a coach of any sort, I am not privy to details that may be known by more informed people. I am a hardcore UK fan who is becoming apathetic. I am a UK fan that is not confident UK can even win their first game of the NCAA tournament. I am a UK fan that needs to see some progress and changes brought about over the off season. I am a UK fan that just wants his team back.
If I wanted to be a Georgia fan I wouldn't root for Kentucky. If I was satisfied with 20 to 25 wins a season and 2 and out in the NCAA Tournament I would become a fan of a Big Ten team. I am a UK fan and there are certain things that are expected from a UK basketball team and I hope they are brought back before our expectations are lowered and we are able to settle with what has happened in the last two years.