Guarded Optimism is the best way to characterize the mood of the Big Blue Nation about the 2017 football team as we all move into the summer of 2017. Using the 2016 season ending Sagarin values, the forecast supports a repeat of last season's 7-5 regular season. However, based on the gains shown during the last 10 games of 2016, the ANE method indicates 8-4 is very likely, and if the 2017 team makes substantive gains over the 2016 efficiency, 9 or 10 wins are clearly in play for the 2017 football Cats, and under one scenario, an SEC East Championship, and an appearance in the SEC Championship game remains possible. Here Is Your Link To the GATEWAY To the 2017 Football Season.
When BigBlueFans4UK.com debuted in June 2006, I simulaneously announced that a group of Concerned Fans would use this website as its internet platform to advocate a change in the head coaching position for the Basketball Program. Concerned Fans expressed their clear vision that the program would not return to national prominence so long as Tubby Smith remained at the helm of the UK program, and expressed confidence that the right man in that chair would return UK to prominence.
On March 22, 2007, a mere 9 months later, Concerned Fans For UK Basketball achieved its only goal as Tubby Smith resigned and ran to a waiting plane headed for Minnesota.
At that time,
Concerned Fans Closed Its Membership Roles while it monitored how the program responded. The rest is history, with two final four appearances and the program's 8th National Championship in 2012. Entering the 2013-14 season, UK will again be the favorite to win its 9th Championship. Yes, Concerned Fans were right. UK is the premier program in all of the land once again.
UK fans must remember the past, good and bad, and remain vigilant that the mistakes known today as the Tubby Smith Era must not be allowed to ever repeat. This is why this site will always preserve the documentation of the activities of the Concerned Fans movement. Concerned Fans members have a quiet confidence about the important role they played in rescuing the UK Basketball program from the mediocrity that Tubby Smith embraced.
Please maintain your vigilance. The program must NEVER repeat this set of mistakes. One way to remain vigilant is to know this part of UK basketball history, which the Concerned Fans Activities document. Use the "Concerned Fans" Navigation Button in the Left Frame to access this section of our cyber-museum.
Here are the Top 40 UK players
Between the 1996 and 2017 seasons, inclusively
This is consistent with the generally accepted view that Anthony Davis has been a once in a lifetime type of player.
Chuck Hayes has the best numbers of all players who played 4 full seasons at UK, and Willie Cauley Stein is the best overall 3 year player.
The highest ranked Pitino players are Epps and McCarty (No data for any season prior to the 1995-96 season included) Thus Mashburn and other worthy players are not included, and for players like Epps, their performance at UK prior to 1996 is not included, only the 1996 and subsequent seasons.
Hayes and Rondo are the highest ranked players from the Tubby Smith Era
Patterson is the best player to have played for Gillispie.
Joe Crawford was last player to make this cut.
James Young was the 41 st player, and some others that missed the cut include Marcus Lee, Dakari Johnson, Nerlens Noel, and Derek Anderson.
The number to the left of the name is the overall ranking, unfiltered, among all 134 players.
Calipari coached 7 of the top 10 players, and 12 of the top 20, and 23 of the top 40 players in 8 of the 21 covered seasons.
The Earliest Sneak Peak
At An Upcoming Basketball Season (Posted in Summer of 2016 for the 2016-17 Season)
UK Basketball has released its nonconference schedule for the 2015-16 season. Three years ago, when the SEC presented its scheduling process for the 14 team field, the SEC said the scheduling pattern was established to repeat every 3 seasons. Therefore, the 2015-16 SEC schedule should be the same as the 2012-13 season, at least in terms of the teams which the Cats will play on the road and the teams the Cats will play twice. For that reason, we can take the earliest glimpse ever toward the next season.
The projections are based on the following starting point assumptions:
1. UK's performance level will be equal to the weighted average UK performance level of the 6 season Calipari Era.
2. The projected performance levels for each UK opponent will be equal to that team's 2015 season ending levels
Of course, the reality will vary from these starting point assumptions. UK's actual performance may by better or worse than this assumed level of performance. Over the last 6 seasons, 3 teams (2011, 2013, and 2014) have performed below this average, 2 (2012 and 2015) have exceeded this performance level, and one (2010) was essentially equal to the average. We will not have an realistic feel for how the 2015-16 Cats will compare until after they play their first 5 to 8 games.
With respect to the slate of opponents, some will be stronger than they were last year, and some will be weaker. It is not possible to know which teams will rise and which will slip until about Thanksgiving, but regardless of the winners and the losers in these individual program battle to sustain their success, the composite overall schedule strength will end up very similar to that defined by the composite 2015 ending values.
Calipari is not backing down one bit from his promise to take on all comers. UCLA and Kansas, both on the road after the embarrassing beat downs last year will be major games for each of them. Ohio State and Duke at neutral sites are great matchups for a great program. Louisville (arghhhh!!!! I hate those guys, and hate the fact that UK still includes them on the schedule) is always a war with nothing to gain and everything to lose.
Strictly by the numbers, 29-2; 18-0. However, using probabilities, 24-7; 14-4. My best thoughts 5 months before the first exhibition game (LOL!!) 27-4; 16-2.
Rick Pitino said after the 1993 final four disappointment that if you fish in the final four pond often enough, you will claim the trophy. You win some that you shouldn't and you fail to win some you should. The 2014 team went much further than they had any right to expect and the 2015 team fell a little short. The 2011 team went further than they had played and 2010 fell short. 1997 fell short, and 1998 won it against high odds contrary to that outcome.
This UK team should compete for the championship again. It should have a legitimate chance to win it.
I'll remember him as the proud old warrior who, at age 69, explained to me why he was displeased by Kentucky's requirement that he retire the next year. "I'd just as soon die on the bench," he said. "Retire? Why, what would I do? Time would hang heavy on my hands. It's the competitiveness I like -- taking a bunch of boys and seeing what I can do with them. These young squirts come in as coaches at other places and they say they're going to put an end to Rupp and Kentucky. Well, we'll see about that."
"If it doesn't matter whether you win or lose,
why do they keep score?
I'm not engaged in a popularity contest,
I want to win!" Adolph Rupp
Since Adolph Rupp arrived in Lexington in 1930, University of Kentucky Basketball established standards of excellence that bred success on a national scale for many decades. Coach Rupp demonstrated that superior talent will prevail when that talent can utilize its superior athleticism and training in an up-tempo, fast break style of play. When Coach Rupp retired, he passed the baton on to Joe B. Hall. In his farewell address, Coach Rupp said,
I have a worthy successor, and I told him that after 42 years, if the basketball program fails at the University of Kentucky, then I have built it on a sand foundation
Joe B. provided the oversight and care for the program for 13 seasons. His successor guided this great program to probabion, but Rick Pitino established for all to see that Coach Rupp had indeed build the program upon a solid foundation.Pitino's successor has overseen a steady, gradual decline in the program, and the program must put that strong foundation to the test again. This site is dedicated to the preservation of the excitement, traditions, history, and style of play that has become synonomous with Kentucky Basketball. Our goal is to provide a single source for fans of the past, present, and future to learn about that history, these traditions, and the true essence of Kentucky BasketballPlease browse around the site. If you want to support this project, we invite you to register as an affiliate member and we will provide periodic updates to you by email about additions to the site. We also welcome your suggestions because we want the site to be the fans' site, a fan's first choice to introduce our next generation of Big Blue fans to the excitement, history, and traditions that are UK Basketball.
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