By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer
When I tuned in on November 6 to watch what should have been a classic college basketball war between the Duke Blue Devils and the Kentucky Wildcats, I checked my channel several times. Like Tweetybird, I thought I saw a “Puddy Cat” and there was nary a Wildcat anywhere within sight.
In the aftermath of two lackadaisical exhibition performances against Transy and IUP, my disgust and disappointment were palpable. I refused to analyze the next game against Southern Illinois, and did not participate in tracking that game in the manner I have used for nearly three decades.
The negative emotions that the last four games evoke cannot be overstated. While I will do everything within my power to withhold season forecasts until this team has finished its first five regular season games, suffice it to say that if Coach Calipari does not right this ship very soon, this season will go into the annuls of UK record books as the worst season of my lifetime.
To put the 118-84 beat down that Duke handed this Kentucky team into perspective, Duke returned home to confront #167 Army, beating them by 22 points, 94-72. Kentucky’s second opponent, SIU, returned Carbondale to lose to Buffalo by 9 points after falling by 13 to the Cats at Rupp.
This start has produced an ANE of 0.034 points per possessions for the Cats, and the Fighting Hawks of North Dakota will bring a single game ANE of 0.008 ppp into Rupp on Wednesday night to face these struggling Cats. The ANE analysis indicates a Kentucky win by 7 points, 80-73 in a game played at a pace of 78 possessions. Pomeroy, still strongly influenced by its pre-season values, projected a 24 point Kentucky win over North Dakota, 89-65 at a pace of about 75 possessions.
See how other UK fans handicap this game at 247Sports, The Cats Pause message board at:
You can participate in the score prediction contest at 247Sports at the following link: