Blog Entry

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

Posted on: December 31, 2010 3:45 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 3:52 pm
Kentucky doesn't have five first-round picks on this team.

Three, probably.

But definitely not five.

So by that measuring stick this season's Kentucky team isn't nearly as talented as last season's Kentucky team, and yet I won't be surprised if this season's Kentucky team goes farther than last season's Kentucky team, which is to say all the way to the Final Four. They're young, sure, but they play with a unique level of maturity. Also:
  1. They're really athletic.
  2. They can really guard.
  3. They can really shoot.
(I like No. 3 the most.)

John Calipari has had four teams earn No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament.

They were:
  • UMass (1995-96)
  • Memphis (2005-06)
  • Memphis (2007-08)
  • Kentucky (2009-10)
Two of those teams made the Final Four (although both appearances were later vacated) and two did not, and the two that didn't lost in similar fashion, i.e., as favorites who couldn't make a gosh darn jumpshot. The 2005-06 Tigers shot 35 percent from 3-point range on the season and lost 50-45 to UCLA in the Elite Eight because they finished 2-of-17 from beyond the arc. The 2009-10 Wildcats shot 33 percent from 3-point range on the season and lost 73-66 to West Virginia in the Elite Eight because they finished 4-of-32 from beyond the arc. In other words, Calipari's two No. 1 seeds that lost in the Elite Eight lost because they shot just 12 percent on 3-pointers in Elite Eight games, which is both an astounding statistic and something I can't see happening to his latest dynamic team that looked great in Friday's 78-63 win at Louisville.

The Wildcats aren't the nation's best 3-point shooting team.

But they're in the top 20.

Kentucky is shooting 40.9 percent from 3-point range as a team and has two guards -- Doron Lamb (54.9 percent) and Darius Miller (47.4 percent) -- making about 50 percent of their 3-point attempts; Brandon Knight (38.3 percent) and DeAndre Liggins (36.1 percent) provide two more capable shotmakers. So is this the type of team that's going to miss 88 percent of its 3-point attempts in an important game? No, I don't think it is. And that's why it might be wise to call the Wildcats the SEC favorite and add them to the list of serious Final Four candidates.

They won't have five first first-round draft picks like last season's team.

I assure you of that.

But the less-talented Wildcats might be good enough to play for a national title, regardless.

Since: Aug 10, 2009
Posted on: March 27, 2011 7:33 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

Very Phrophetic Parrish! Love ya for it! (You can leave out the re-hashed "vacated" crap though. You don't see quality guys like Dickie V. and Jay bilas bringing that up with each commentary) .

GO BIG BLUE!! Beat the running Kemba's!

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2011 7:08 pm

Just a cotton-picking minute!

The reality check comes up short in supporting this article. Calling out a team as a great-shooting 3-point team by referencing their first 11 games of the year is fraught with peril without reviewing the strength of the competition. In Kentucky's case their schedule has been so loaded with cupcakes on the defensive side that this claim does not stand againstr the light. First, the average rank of 3fg% defenses of these 11 teams is 169th in the country! Of the 11, seven were ranked over 200th in the country and one over 300th! Any good college team should hit a high percentage of their wide open shots because there. Of the four under 200th rank only one, Washington at 12th, is better than 63rd. These are not final four defenses folks. Against Washington, Kentucky shot 3 for 17 (17.6%) 3FG and 25 for 64 (39.1%) total FG. This is the only strong defensive opponent for the 3-point and this performance does not support Gary's claim of a top shooting team.

Since: Jan 1, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2011 6:08 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

Hey, first let me admit what so many of the commenters who I read did not admit to, I am a fan of one of the two teams. I am a UK fan. All the comments I read made me laugh. They were all also from UL fans. One guys says reading Gary Parrish's articles makes him "litterally sick", and I can't help but wonder what kind of pathology controls someone and makes them read an author knowing that it will make them litterally sick. Then there are those who don't want to make excuses, but then go on to talk about injuries etc.... Next let me admit I did not like rick pitino when he was at UK. He had a motivational speaking tour where he was basically making money off the death of his child, by continually talking about it in his presentation. Then this year when he got caught with his "pants down" he askes reporters to show some respect because Ted Kennedy died that week. I used to like UL as well as UK. Last year that pretty much changed. I tried not to assign the dislike I have for rp to the players, but they just grabbed, tackled, kneed etc, the UK players. If you ask me, this game was not close because Swopshire did not play and did not do the "dirty" little plays he normally did against UK and other teams when I watched UL last year. For the record, I have family and friends that live in Louisville and graduated from UL, and that is one of the main reasons I always continued to like UL. Like I said, that changed, but because of rp. Let's not get into his leaving UK, I was glad he left. I wasn't thrilled with all the replacements, but it was time for him to go, and I wished him well with his future endeavors, even though I disliked him. But then he got to his new Camelot, the Celtics. He threw a hissy fit and said if his team would not play harder, he was going to QUIT!!! And he did! He QUIT on his players not after the season, he left the team in the middle of the season. He proved he was a quitter. He still preaches to his players to never give up though.... but doesn't practice what he preaches... somewhere there is a word for people like that. Let's see, what else is there? Oh yeah, he QUIT on his wife. Karen appreciated that for a while, but then after he originally tried to buy her off with the 3 grand and the marriage to an assistant, he QUIT on her too. Then yesterday I saw a UL team do something I've never seen any team do before. Sure the game was over, but UL had the ball, a little over 5 seconds remained, UK was not guarding them, and the UL player just threw the ball to a ref. The UL player QUIT!!! Every game I've ever seen, and I've seen a bunch, the team trailing always took the last shot if it was nothing more than a half court heave to try to reduce the final spread. Not this UL team. Then I see a video today of rp's post game news conference. He QUIT on his team in another way, threw them under the bus. Said that they had a good game plan, just the players FAILED to execute that game plan. HILARIOUS. Also loved watching him chew out his assistant after rp had called his final timeout. Was able to read the assistant's lips, he said I told you that was five. Obviously again, rp refused to take responsibility for his actions.

For the record, being a rivalry game, I thought UL would have a very good chance to defeat the Cats.... but that just did not happen. This year's team does not have as much individual talent as last year's team, but at this point of the season, I do believe they are playing much better than last year's team at this same point. This team is much better than the sum of its individual parts. Will they make a FF? Man, I hope so. I'm not counting any chickens on that though. It takes more than talent in the NCAA tourney. Seeding and matchups are just as important. Kind of like when UK was a number one seed and had to play a Dewayne Wade led Marquette in Wisconsin in the second round, I think it was the second round. That was right after the selection committee said they would give preferential treatment to top seeds.... yet UK had to play a road game essentially. UK got beat. That is the way it is. Matchups and seeding makes all the difference in the world in the Tourney. And, just as an aside, we know the NCAA can rule quickly on issues when it will affect their monetary income. Look how they ruled so quickly that Cam Newton was eligable. Had they not, and Auburn had lost a game, then it would be likely that Oregon and a non-BCS school, TCU would be playing for the national championship. Can't have that now can we???

Anyway, we Kentucky citizens will continue to live along side one another, and until next year, maybe it will be a civil existance. But come on UL fans, if something makes you sick, quit doing it!!! If you are not going to make excuses, don't make excuses!!! If you're going to talk trash before an event, be adults and admit your mistakes and tell us how the Crow tastes!!! I've had my share of crow over making predictions, though I have learned from actually playing sports, I never ever talk trash when the outcome depends on someone else, and not myself.

For UK fans, it was a GREAT game. The next game UL wins will be a GREAT game for the UL fans... that's just the way it is.

Go CATS!!!!!

Since: Dec 5, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2011 6:03 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

Fairminded moron, No self respecting UK or UofL fan would ever use Puke, or the Tardheels, to make their argument about their school or anybody elses. Talk about your team or go enroll at STFU. Cool

Since: Jan 1, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:38 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

Typical u of l fan dont know his a** from a hole in the ground when it comes to sports and especially college basketball

Since: Jan 1, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:34 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

Typical U of L fan but I do give you credit about one thing u of l not good at all and it was so obvious before the game. When you play a high school schedule thats what  happens you think you are good when you are not and then when you finally play somebody you get embarrassed. UK tradition 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80, 90s, and the winningest program of all time with 7 national championships. Louisville can only say the 80s is what they live on so the facts are the facts and it is what it is little brother , you will never be considered one of the elite programs as we are. Alltime programs #1 UK # 2 UCLA # 3 Duke # 4 UNC #5 Michigam st

Since: Jan 1, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:33 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

sorry we missed your powerhouse team yesterday...did they play?  We were busy watching our team, one of the best in the country-that will continue to get better, beat little brother.  Both teams were probably undeservedly...but it was a top 20 showdown worthy of any college bball fans attention.

Since: Jan 1, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:31 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

so now you think UK should be the favorite in the SEC.  When are you all going to learn that UK will always and should always be the favorite to win the SEC.  Even in bad years, my vote would be with Kentucky.  UK has only won more SEC titles than the rest of the conference combined!  That is history.  That is tradition.  And that is something you can always count on.

We in the Big Blue Nation are accustomed to hearing of a new flavor of the month that is our SEC brethren...however, we know that this flavor of the month will be shortlived, only to have a new one try to rise up and challenge the big blue.  It happens every year. 

The come they go...but the big blue stays constant.

Thanks for the nice read. 

Go Cats!

Since: Dec 12, 2009
Posted on: January 1, 2011 4:08 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

The fabulous Big East was 1 and 3 against the  SEC in the SEC/Big East challenge this year and batting .500 over the past 4 seasons.  The Big East has 3 championships over the past 20 years.  That's the reality for those with Big East delusions of grandeur.  And lowly Tennessee?  They've already waxed two top 10 Big East teams this season.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2011 3:19 pm

UK can shoot its way to Final Four

Nice win for the Cats and great to see them continuing to develop.  Long way until March, but they have shown me a lot to date so I'm hopeful.  As for all the ripping on Pitino, I have to agree with some comments here that we UK fans need to acknowledge what he did for the Cats and just get over the fact that he is at UL.  Rather than be angry, I prefer to focus on the obvious complement he paid the Commonwealth by wanting to return.  In the end, it's always better to keep our comments "classy"...

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or