It’s been a crazy few weeks in sports. We are being inundated with one scandal after another or we’re watching other programs implode for various reasons. There’s plenty to talk about, but I’d prefer to talk about those things people seem to be overlooking.
I don’t need to speculate on who the FBI is going to drop the hammer on next. I’d much rather talk about Kentucky Volleyball. Maybe you haven’t noticed they are sitting at a very impressive 16-2, currently riding an 11-game winning streak as they prepare to face Tennessee this Sunday at Memorial Coliseum. It’s possible you weren’t aware they are now ranked #6 in the nation (including 1 first place vote), their highest ranking in 24 years. Currently undefeated in the SEC, they made program history this past Sunday by defeating the then-#1 Florida Gators on the road, their first win ever over a #1 team.
Maybe you’d prefer to discuss the dumpster fire that is Tennessee Football. While Butch Jones rolls out one ridiculous quote after another, his Vols are currently 0-3 in SEC play. Sure, that’s entertaining to an extent, but wouldn’t you take much more joy talking about our Kentucky Wildcats? While the dissenters can try to minimize the Cats’ 5-1 record for the first half of the season, you should be excited about the future of our football program and the incredible job Mark Stoops has done building this program into one that can compete in the SEC.
Yes, the SEC East is not a powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination, but your Wildcats are currently in sole possession of 2nd place, only 1 game behind Georgia. Even more exciting is the Cats have an excellent chance to win at least 4 more games this season. Should they pull off a road win versus Mississippi State this weekend, then a 10-win season is very possible. That makes me downright giddy.
We could rant about the NCAA’s “non-ruling” against UNC last week. The whole world knows 19 years of academic fraud took place and yet the NCAA couldn’t seem to determine that athletes taking fake classes to remain eligible should have been a violation. Yes, plenty of reasons to rant, but why not talk about something a lot more positive, like Coach Matthew Mitchell’s 2017-18 lady Wildcats? At last week’s Media Day, we heard Coach Mitchell talk at length about the speed, size, and depth of his team, a huge turnaround from 2016 when there weren’t enough players to scrimmage against one another.
With an outstanding freshman class to support some very talented upperclassmen, the 2017-18 season looks very bright. While the Cats have to fill the void left by Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator, Maci Morris, Taylor Murray, and Alyssa Rice are more than capable to lead this team to a very successful year. The team has great chemistry and a very upbeat attitude. It’s almost enough to make you dance (at least it made Coach Mitchell dance at Big Blue Madness).
I suppose we could talk about the University of Louisville and the recent firings of Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich. There is seemingly some new development every day coming out of the Ville, and none of those developments have been of the positive variety. It’s much like a train wreck: you don’t want to see the carnage but you can’t help taking a peek at it anyway. But instead of celebrating our rival’s woes, I’d much rather talk about the exciting new crop of freshmen that Coach John Calipari has assembled.
We have an unbelievably talented bunch of Wildcats that will take to the court this season. While UK is short on experience, they more than make up for that with a load of talent and versatility. Depending on the final decision about Jarred Vanderbilt’s status for the year, these Cats will be an excellent team should Jarred be unable to play. If he does return, however, Cal’s team will be scary good. Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are already turning heads while returnees Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones are getting rave reviews about their improvement. Sure, we could debate whether or not Rick Pitino knew about any of the scandals rocking his former program, but I’d much rather look forward to Friday’s Blue-White scrimmage so we can get a solid look at our Wildcats.
Yes, there is no shortage of things to talk about. As for me, however, I think I’ll talk about what takes me to my happy place: my Kentucky Wildcats!
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