No need to rehash the game, we all know what happened. This is about the state of Kentucky basketball. This is about where do we go from here, suffering the most embarrassing loss I can ever remember - arguably the most embarrassing in school history. Note, this is not the worst loss. The loss to West Virginia in the 2010 Elite Eight and Kansas State in the 2018 Sweet 16 were way worse, just nowhere near as embarrassing. This is how I felt the moment the game ended:
You simply can't lose to Evansville. You simply can't lose to a team named the Purple Aces, which sounds like they compete on Legends of the Hidden Temple. I don't care that it's just one game and anything can happen. That can't happen if you're Kentucky. That's not a hot take, just simple facts. Kentucky doesn't lose this type of game.
That being said, it's not all doom and gloom yet for Kentucky. The beauty of college hoops is you're not eliminated because of a loss in the regular season. Hell, even Lunardi is saying this
That's because it's still Kentucky. That's because we still have a win over Michigan State on a neutral court. That's because we still are likely going to win the SEC and get wins over Louisville and Ohio State. One loss doesn't mean much in a 30-game schedule even if it's to fucking Evansville. Here's what needs to happen though:
- Ashton Hagans needs to learn how to make fucking layups. The dude can be so good but somehow he shoots like 30% at the rim. It makes no sense.
-Ashton Hagans needs to get healthy. Cal said last night that he has a leg injury and might need to be shut down. Well, shut him down now and get him healthy for the Ohio State and Louisville games. They play games they shouldn't lose leading into that.
-Khalil Whitney and Keion Brooks need to stop being soft as shit. These are guys that are made to be college fours and should have that late Wenyen Gabriel type game. Instead they look like baby deer out there and have no idea how to compete. Wake the fuck up, now.
- What the hell happened to that defense against Michigan State? There were no rotations. Nate Sestina looked like any fat dude in America could blow by him. Against Michigan State he was rotating correctly and switching on ball screens. That can't happen.
- Stop giving the ball to Nick Richards in the post when you need a bucket. That's pretty simple.
Those are all the negatives. Fix a couple of those things and it's fine. It's just a bad loss, something other teams will have. So now the state of the program. Here's what I have to say.
We're still Kentucky. We're still a national title contender. We're still the gold standard of college hoops. You don't think Cal will have this team ready by March? Get the fuck off the bandwagon then. This is a team that's going to be there come March. This is going to be a team that gets healthy and gets better as the year goes on - something that Cal teams do every year. There's a reason no program in the country has more tournament wins since Cal took over.
We have every right to be pissed off and embarrassed about what happened last night. But it's game 3. It's college basketball. There's a long way to go. I have all the trust and faith in the world in John Calipari. He's dealt with embarrassing losses before - Indiana, South Carolina a couple times, a really bad Auburn team. All those teams were ready for the NCAA Tournament.
So yeah I'm pissed off about last night. I'm flat out embarrassed as a Kentucky fan and alum about what happened. But you're out of your goddamn mind if you don't think I'm ready to win a title. I trust Calipari more than my own mother. Not going anywhere.