The last time Kentucky basketball was this bad, 25-year-old Adolph Rupp was a wrestling coach in Iowa and these slugs were repping the Cats.
Most of them were local boys from so-called Big Blue Nation. That counts for a lot around these parts.
University of Kentucky basketball fans are reeling from a six game losing streak, with the latest burn by arch-rival Louisville. Some UK zealots are calling for Coach John Calipari to step down. Others question whether his one-and-done methodology is now outdated.
Most UK fans agree that Calipari needs to give more playing time to Dontaie Allen.
Why? Because he’s a homegrown basketball player who was named Mr. Basketball! He’s a Kentuckian, and in the minds of the majority, that makes Allen a SUPERIOR basketball player. If he’s from Kentucky, then he KNOWS HE CANNOT LOSE TO LOUISVILLE!
Um…OK. It’s the old Richie Farmer syndrome. “PLAY REETCHIE!” they’d cry. Because Richie is ONE OF US.
What the fans don’t have are Calipari’s 40 years of coaching knowledge, nor do they know what happens in recent practices to help a coach shape a game plan.
To be fair, one of the University of Louisville’s most beloved players is local phenom David Johnson, who placed second to Dontaie Allen in the Mr. Basketball voting a few years ago.
The difference today is that David Johnson has repeatedly delivered big results for UofL, including a stellar performance versus Kentucky.
Cat fans are always quick to dismiss “Little Brother” Louisville, but David Johnson was a big miss for the “Calipari gets any player he wants” crowd.
After the loss to Louisville, the first media question directed at Calipari came from Allen’s hometown reporter. Why didn’t you play our local hero? Why? Why? Why?
Calipari opted to play Terrence Clark in spite of his ankle sprain. Why? Because, even with a limp, Clark is rated as a better player than Allen. Clark = 5-star. Allen = 4-star.
From the Herald Leader: Calipari said after Saturday’s loss that those minutes could have gone to Allen instead.
“I told Dontaie today, ‘Be ready for your chance. If Terrence — if I don’t think he can go — then I’m going with you. And it’s going to be your opportunity.’”
I will say, if Tubby had ever started 1-6 at the tail end of a five or six year final four drought, the conversation would be very different (understandably in some respects, but he never started 1-6 and he never once missed the NCAAT) https://t.co/eLPGRYbFsM
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) December 27, 2020
UK fans are squealing on Twitter and other social media about Calipari’s salary, his aversion to playing Allen, and his tendency to keep setting up plays for players in a shooting slump.
“I don’t play favorites. You guys know me here. If you’re going to help us win, I’m gonna play you,” Calipari said. “If somebody else is better than you, they get the first opportunity. If they’re not playing well and you get an opportunity and you don’t play well … the top seven, they get more room to miss shots, make mistakes. That’s just how it is. Since the game was invented, that’s been what it is. You’re one of those top five, six — you get more room. You’re eight, nine, ten — you’re gonna get chances. But not as much space as those others, because they’ve earned it in practice. They’ve earned it on the court. And that’s what we do. But, again, stuff changes.”
One thing is for certain. The Kentucky fan base has quickly ghosted a one-and-done strategy that has produced a one-and-six record, the worst in 93 years.
Naturally, UofL fans are enjoying a rare basketball victory over another top-ranked recruit class at Kentucky.
My favorite part of today: Beating Kentucky.
My 2nd favorite part of today: In bathroom at Yum! Center UK fan leaves water running and starts to leave restroom. Louisville fan, ‘I realize this is your 1st experience with running water, but here is how you turn it off!’
— Mark Blankenbaker (@UofLSheriff50) December 27, 2020
DONTAIE ALLEN HIGH SCHOOL MIX TAPE (amateurish video collected by family and friends for recruiting attention)