Taking place now...support our Cats in a win against the Cardinals!
Every business person knows the 80/20 rule...eighty percent of your business comes from 20% of your customers. This concept doesn’t mean that Kentucky or any team needs to only win 20% of their ball games. It simply means, they need to develop a winning mentality. Push all the negativity aside and play to win.
The young Kentucky team is 1-5. They aren’t getting the business of winning ball games done. The question is...how will they do it?
When looking at the 20-21’ team, the one veteran player in the starting line-up is Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr. Currently, Sarr is the third leading scorer on the team. The top scorer is BJ Boston averaging 14.5 points per game with Terrance Clarke not far behind. The team as a whole is averaging just 65.8 points per game.
Offensively, the team is suffering. In the game against the Tar Heels, the Cats sunk three shots out of 13 from the three-point range and 12 of 30 points from the free throw line. We all know you need to have a three-point shooter and hitting your free throw shots should come second nature.
And yes, the pandemic has taken its toll on all of the teams, especially the younger teams. There’s new evidence of that after Coach Cal asked Cam’Ron Fletcher to take a break. There’s no time for emotion during these ballgames...from Coach Cal or the team.
The emotional outburst from Fletcher during the North Carolina game bought him a ticket back to St. Louis and not necessarily one-way. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Fletcher’s mom said he’ll be back to play for UK. However, there’s no confirmed date as to when he’ll return.
The Louisville Cardinals are having a winning 5-1 season. They seem to understand the 80/20 rule that you’ve got to produce. That being said, Louisville’s win against the Pittsburgh Panthers saw four shots made from the three-point line and 17 turnovers. In Kentucky’s game against North Carolina, there were 16 turnovers.
The lead player for Louisville is sophomore David Johnson. He scored 17 points against the Panthers in Tuesday night's game. The team is averaging 70 points per game this season.
The rivalry against the two Kentucky teams is legendary. Both the Wildcats and the Cardinals play hard when it's one-on-one and I’m sure this year’s game won’t be any different. The Wildcats lead the rivalry record 29-14 and have won the last three contests.
The first SEC ballgame for UK is Tuesday, December 29 against South Carolina at Rupp Arena. Back to back SEC games will dominate the remainder of the season with all non-conference games taking a backseat in ‘21.
If the Louisville Cardinal game doesn’t set a fire to the Kentucky Wildcats, will a fire be set this season? It’s all happening today at 1 pm EST. The expected starting line-up for the UK Wildcats is as follows: BJ Boston, Terrance Clarke, Olivier Sarr, Damion Mintz, and Isaiah Johnson. The game will be played at the KFC Yum! Center on ESPN. GO CATS!
In a newly released statement, Johnson is said to be in 'critical but stable condition and following simple commands.'
This young star player Keyontae Johnson was in a medically-induced coma after collapsing on the court Saturday after a brief timeout. Before his collapse, Johnson had made a beautiful slam dunk. After the collapse, he was rushed to the hospital.
In the video from Saturday's game against Florida State, you'll see his head drop to his chest, a stumble, and then the full collapse. His teammates started to panic while calling for help. Johnson was taken from the court and received initial treatment at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He was later transported to Gainesville, Florida where the University of Florida is located.
Over the summer break, Johnson and other team members had tested positive for COVID-19. It's not clear whether his collapse was COVID-19 related. The virus has been linked to myocarditis which is a viral infection of the heart.
Johnson was voted preseason SEC player of the Year.
Coach John Calipari leads the press conference today discussing tomorrow's game against Notre Dame, practices, and his player's mental health.
The Kentucky Wildcats are preparing for a mental game with fewer turnovers and better offensive play against Notre Dame tomorrow at 12 pm EST. Both teams are struggling with losing records this season. At a press conference held on Friday, Kentucky Coach John Calipari along with a couple of player's Olivier Sarr and BJ Boston spoke about strategy, mental health, and moving forward.
Turnovers and three point shooting have ruled much of the conversation about the young Kentucky team. Calipari stated, “If it’s important to me, it will be important to them.” Kentucky has been averaging over 19 turnovers per game this season. Coach said, “We’ve been doing some things in practice. After ‘x’ amount of turnovers, we all run after that.” BJ Boston spoke about the turnovers and said, “Coach said don’t try to be the guy to make the easy play. Just slow it down.”
Transfer and forward Olivier Sarr said, “The team has been playing with great energy the last few practices. We’re learning from our mistakes. The last game was disappointing to us all.” Sarr is referring to the game against Texas Tech. According to Calipari, the Yellow Jackets played a smaller bench and Kentucky didn’t know how to handle it. Sarr was asked by one reporter, ‘How are you doing?’ He responded, “I’m doing great. It’s basketball. I’m here to get better. Sometimes things don’t go your way but you have to fight every time.”
There’s been some concern regarding the mental health of all the college players. In fact, Coach K. cancelled all Dukes non-conference games and is sending his team home for Christmas. He said they aren’t going to play the games or try to reschedule. This has caused some controversy about whether or not he’s doing it for the kids or because Duke is losing.
Coach Cal said, “All coaches have to make their own decisions.” Calipari said the safest place for his players is on campus. “It’s the best place to be if they get sick.”
“Fifty parents and their families came to Thanksgiving but couldn’t be with their sons. They couldn’t eat with their sons. They wore masks and saw each other outside. Meals were sent back with the parents.” said Calipari. “It’s my job to keep the kids safe. To keep an eye on their mental health.”
Christmas break will be handled differently for the players this year. “Every year, I give kids four or five days off for Christmas. Why do I do it? Because I need a break and the staff needs a break. I want to be with my family too,” Calipari continued, "The team will do Christmas by themselves with their team this year. I’m their family too," he continued, "I mean, what happens after they return...they have to quarantine for 10 days?" He also said that his children won't be coming home for Christmas either.
Coach Cal said, “My team isn’t playing well and they want to play. I worry about my 12 guys and my staff.” Calipari said that it’s a struggle, doing the best thing for the team. Their mental health is very important. It has to be taken care of. They’re doing things together as a family...the players and Coach Cal. The players get tested every three days. It’s important to look out for the league and stay on top of this.
The game against Detroit was cancelled due to safety and logistics. Calipari said he would like to have a chance to reschedule and be with his son. He said it’s really about the league. “After the 15th, everything changes. If anyone tests positive, we have to wonder why? We have to be diligent about why we can’t play that game.”
Sarr was asked a few additional questions during the press conference. As a transfer and someone that’s been playing ball at the college level, many expect a lot out of Sarr as a leader and a player. He said, “I can’t have a game like I did against Texas Tech.” He said the biggest lesson he’s learned so far is, ‘we’re in this together and we have to compete each and every game.” One reporter asked, “Who’s the junkyard dog?” Sarr said, “BJ, Terrance, Cam, Isaiah...everybody has the potential to do it. We just have to show it.”
BJ Boston took a few questions during Friday’s conference. He was asked about preparation for the Notre Dame game on Saturday. Boston said, “I started a 6 am shoot-out. I lock my mind on how to approach the game. I’m getting up at 5:30 am and have extended invites. I call it the breakfast club. We finish up at 7:30 am. We’re getting better everyday.”
The game tomorrow starts at 12 pm EST on CBS. It will be played at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Wildcats take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 5 pm EST on ESPN
Kentucky fans are ready for the team to be one. They need to find their groove. It's a familiar dance played on the court by our beloved Wildcats. Today could be the breakout day. The day it all comes together. The day shots are made and a team is born. Let's do a quick recap.
As Kentucky takes on Georgia Tech, both have two losses this season. Kentucky is 1-2 and Georgia Tech is 0-2. The Wildcats played better offensive ball against the Kansas Jayhawks compared to their lackluster shooting game against the Richmond Spiders. It wasn't until the second half that the Jayhawks showed the maturity to close the deal. With a mostly freshman starting line-up, with the exception of senior transfer Olivier Sarr, the players will need to 'grow into' a more cohesive team (which is not uncommon for Kentucky season openers).
As mentioned, Georgia Tech has played two games this season and have lost both games. One of the team's top players is senior forward Moses Wright who is averaging 25.5 points a game. Kentucky top scorers after three games include guard BJ Boston. averaging 15.7 points, forward Olivier Sarr averaging 11 points, and guard Terrance Clarke averaging 11 points. All three players have minutes in each of the three games.
The Yellow Jackets are playing an offensive game and have been putting a lot of points on the board without yielding results. If Kentucky can shoot the ball, defensively they are sound resulting in a win today for the Wildcats.
Predictions for the starting line-up for Kentucky include Devin Askew, Terrance Clarke, BJ Boston, Olivier Sarr, and Isaiah Jackson.
Remaining schedule for December