I wrote two columns off of Kentucky’s loss to North Carolina, so I don’t think there is really anything else for me to say on the subject.
Others had plenty to say, however, and one of the most common responses I got from the good folks of twitter on the subject had to do with Coach Cal and his job status.
In other words, there are some Kentucky fans that think the last year and change should mean that Coach Cal should be fired.
That doesn’t necessarily surprise me, but it did spur Coach Cal to post a statement on CoachCal.com that included the following passage:
[D]on’t expect things to change overnight. This is going to be a yearlong process. Yes, I want to win every game I coach, but our ultimate goal is to be in that conversation at the end of the year. I know we have to be more organized, our mission has to be clearer to the players, and I have to be less emotional during the game because we’ve got a bunch of young kids. I can’t put winning before their growth.
This is about getting these players to think a different way, to think about serving each other. […] What they accomplish as a group supersedes everything. As our team succeeds, individuals benefit. Just look what that approach did for Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. That’s what I’m trying to get these guys to understand, but the fact of the matter is not everyone is on the same timetable.
That 2012 team was special.
That doesn’t mean this group can’t contend, but Cal’s job isn’t going to be as easy this year.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.