UK Wildcats – Get the forks out these Cats are done …. or are they??

Can you believe it? The UK Wildcats have 5 losses and are not ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 2014. It is clearly time to throw in the towel and look towards next season ……… or is it?

Here is a break down of this years roster:
8 Freshman, 4 Sophomores, 2 Juniors, and no seniors. How does this compare to the rest of Coach Cal’s other Wildcat teams? Much to do has been done over the youth of this team but remarkably, this is not the most Freshman’s on a Kentucky Wildcat team under Coach Cal.In the 2013/14 season UK had 9 Freshman and finished a dismal 29-11, yet was Runner-up in the NCAA Tournament. that’s right folks 29-11 and NCAA RUP. Let’s look at the Roster’s for all UK Teams under Coach Cal and how they fared each season.

Year — Fr. — Soph. — Jr. — Sr. — Record — Finish
17/18 – 8 —— 4 ——- 2 —- 0 —– 14-5 —-
16/17 – 8 —— 4 ——- 0 —- 3 —– 32-6 —- Elite 8
15/16 – 7 —— 2 ——- 5 —- 1 —– 27-9 —- 2nd RD
14/15 – 4 —— 6 ——- 2 —- 3 —– 38-1 —- Final Four
13/14 – 9 —— 2 ——- 3 —- 2 —– 29-11 — RUP
12/13 – 4 —— 5 ——- 2 —- 2 —– 21-12 — NIT
11/12 – 7 —— 3 ——- 1 —- 2 —– 38-2 —- Champs
10/11 – 6 —— 1 ——- 3 —- 1 —– 29-9 —- Final Four
09/10 – 5 —— 3 ——- 2 —- 3 —– 35-3 —- Elite 8

What does all this mean? Very simply UK fans, do not get too excited just yet. Coming in to this season under Coach Cal, only 3 teams have finished with under 6 losses, and 2 of them made the Final Four.  of the other 5 that lost 6 or more games in a season, 3 made at least the Elite 8.

Let’s take a look at the so called “YOUNG” teams under Coach Cal. 4 of Coach Cal’s teams had at least 7 Freshman, and of those teams,  there were 1 Champion, and 1 Runner up. By contrast, UK has had 4 teams with 6 or fewer Freshman. Of those teams, 1 never made the NCAA and was beat in first round of NIT while the other 3 made 2 Final Fours and an Elite 8, so experience does make a difference.

What about upper Class man? UK has never had more than 3 Seniors under Coach Cal and only once had more than 3 Juniors. So basically, this perceived issue with being too young is just a number. UK has averaged 31.1 wins under Cal while averaging 6.6 losses. Kentucky has made the NCAA Tournament 7 of the 8 years Cal has been at UK. 5 losses right now doesn’t mean much if the Wildcats can put it together by Tournament time. My Guess is they will and there won’t be a team in the country who will “Want” to take the court against them.

Keep in mind in the 7 years the Wildcats have made the NCAA Tournament under Coach Cal,  6 times they have won at least 3 games in the Tournament. Kentucky is an impressive 26-6 in Cal’s 7 years in the NCAA Tournament, so let’s not stick the fork in them just yet.