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2014-15 Season Analytical Writings
Last night, the Cats took apart another opponent in posting their 6 th win of this season against no losses. Since the Baron of the Bluegrass arrived in Lexington to lead the program for the 1930-31 basketball season, the Cats have managed to start a season with at least 6 wins without a loss 28 times in those 85 seasons. It is not 86 seasons because the UK program did not play a schedule for the 1952-53 college basketball season due to a death penalty imposed by the NCAA.
Of those 28 “fast starts” 16 occurred during Coach Rupp's 42 seasons, and 6 more during Coach Hall's 13 year tenure. That leaves 6 seasons over the last 30, including the current season with 6 straight wins and still counting. The fast starts by Rupp teams included such noteworthy teams as his first 4 teams, and 9 of 14 teams between 1945 and 1959, 1964 with Cotton Nash, 1966 with Rupp's Runts, and 1970 with Mike Pratt and Dan Issel. Coach Hall's fast starters included 1977, 1978, and four consecutive teams between 1981 and 1984.
In the so called “modern” era of college basketball, the Cats have only managed a fast start like this 6 times in the 30 seasons, including this season. Sutton, Pitino, and Smith each claim one, and Calipari now has his third such start in his 6 years at the helm. Five of the 6-0 teams lost in game 7. The other 22 teams that continued to win past 6 straight won are shown in the table.
Consecutive Wins To Start Season and Number of UK Teams To Do It
Of the 5 teams that started with 15 or more wins without a loss, four were coached by the Baron, and the fifth by Coach Calipari. Of the 10 additional teams that started a season with 10 or more consecutive wins, 8 occurred when Coaches Rupp (6) or Hall (2) occupied the bench. Coaches Sutton (1) and Pitino (1) are the only other coaches to have 10 or more wins to start a season since Coach Hall retired. Coach Calipari is in position to accomplish that feat twice in his first 6 years as games 7 through 10 occur against Providence, Texas, EKU, and Columbia.
The 6-0 start to the 2014-15 basketball season has already distinguished this team by placing it in rare company. AND, the 2014-15 team is not finished adding to their consecutive win total. How far down this list of UK distinction will the 2014-15 team move? No one can say with certainty, but hopefully after Sunday's encounter with Providence the number left ahead of this team will drop from 22 to 17. To reach into the Rupp/Calipari honor roll range, this team will need to finish the non-conference schedule without a loss, and win at least 1 SEC game.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks
The 1953-54 team completed its regular season schedule without a loss in 25 games. Coach Rupp declines an invitation to the NCAA tournament because the NCAA held that its “graduate student” players would not be eligible.
Submitted by Richard Cheeks