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Burning Questions: Who is the best team in Kentuckiana?

Nov 7, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

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Real, live college basketball games start on Friday, and with all of our glorious preseason content finally finished, this week we will be providing you with water cooler fodder as we roll through a series of Burning Question. You can read them all right here.

Who is the best team in Kentuckiana?


  • (Daniel Martin): Louisville is coming off of a Final Four run and Kentucky plays the role of the villain on the national scene, but Indiana is the best in this trio. Take perhaps the best player in the nation in Cody Zeller, add that to a stellar freshman class, including point guard Yogi Ferrell, and you’ve got legitimate reason to be No. 1 in the nation. The special thing about Indiana being so nationally renowned is that when the Hoosiers are good, it raises the quality of college basketball itself. It’s one of those historic programs like Kansas or Kentucky or UCLA that draws the casual fan because of its connection to the very roots of the game.
  • (David Harten): As a lifelong resident of the area, these three teams have consumed my life since birth. Since I moved away, there’s still no way I can escape them, and I don’t want to. Not with this year being the greatest year for basketball in the Bluegrass and the Heartland. Indiana brings back a the National Player of the Year Candidate in Cody Zeller and a cast of role players. Louisville’s defense is some of the best in the nation and they rode it to the Final Four last season. Kentucky, well, Kentucky has John Calipari, who is the nation’s best recruiter and has developed into a solid X’s and O’s coach. This year should put all three in the Final Four.


  • (Raphielle Johnson): As much as I like Indiana and agree with the picking of them as the top team in both preseason polls, when it’s all said and done I’ll take the Cardinals due to their interior depth. Gorgui Dieng, Chane Behanan, Montrezl Harrell and more. On the perimeter while it remains to be seen how much Peyton Siva’s improved his jump shot, the addition of Luke Hancock should not be overlooked. He’ll be another facilitator that Rick Pitino can call on, and will help counteract the occasional craziness that comes with Russ Smith. Add in a healthy Kevin Ware and Wayne Blackshear and Louisville has an embarrassment of riches at every position.
  • (Eric Angevine): Because, really, who wants to read five identical paragraphs about Indiana? When comparing three top-5 teams, the margins are razor-thin, so I’m going back to first principles to make my selection. College basketball is a guard’s game, and an experienced, quality point guard is crucial to season-long success. Therefore, I’m giving Louisville and Peyton Siva the nod. The fact that they’re loaded at every other position and have Gorgui Dieng as a mistake-eraser seals the deal.


  • (Rob Dauster): Since no one else here wanted to pick the Wildcats, I guess I’ll be tasked with making the argument in their favor. Neither Louisville nor Indiana are complete teams. The Cardinals were downright bad on the offensive end of the floor for much of last season and lost their two most efficient scorers to graduation. Indiana struggled on the defensive end of the floor, and many of those same issues look like they could end up arising for the Hoosiers again this season. Kentucky certainly isn’t a complete team right now, either, but they are more of a clean slate. John Calipari will have a ton of talent to mold and blend and turn into a title contender. If Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin can develop into 15 ppg scorers and the trio of Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer can find a way to effectively rotate through in the front court, Kentucky has as much raw talent as any team in Kentuckiana.
  1. hoosiercolts - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Hoo, Hoo, Hoo, HOOSIERS!!!!

  2. stlouis1baseball - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Hoo, Hoo, Hoo, HOOSIERS!!!

  3. imforbigblue - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I’ll go on record now that says IU is over rated and won’t even sniff a FF. Your a one man band with zeller once he goes so does your team. UK is young but once they get it together they will be better than born IU and UL. Next year you won’t even stand a chance lol

    • dexterismyhero - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      @imforbigblueandiblowcoachcal………………………..I’ll go on record and say that UK is overrated. Notice that it is one word idiot……

  4. thejjtrain - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    What about Butler?
    Yes they are coming off a down year for them, but they are getting two great
    shooters and return all but their starting point guard. Last year they had one of
    the worst 3 pt shooting percentages in all college basketball, and this year they
    should have one of the best. And don’t forget the fact that Brad Stevens is still
    the head coach who took them to back-to-back Championship Games.

    • metalhead65 - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:15 PM

      hope you have your copy of those games on dvd because that is the only way you will see them in the final 4 again. now that IU has risen from the sampson mess they have resumed their place at the top of the basketball chain in the state of Indiana followed by purdue dame evansville then maybe butler.I am sure it was fun while it lasted for you guys but that is what you get for trashing IU while they were down, the game against duke you had the whole state behind you untill your fans thought it would be a good idea to post on the IU message boards and talk trash.

      • Alex K - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        All I have to say to this is…GO ACES!!

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        I would put Purdue last. Right behind Ball State.
        Evansville has a kid (Colt Ryan) from Batesville that could play for any Big Ten team right now.
        Indiana, Notre Dame, Butler, Evansville, Ball State, Purdue.
        Come to think of it…the Sycamores of Indiana State would give Purdue a run for their monies.

  5. wildcatvikingsguy - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I think Louisville will start out of the gate the best, but come tourney time I think it’ll be Indiana, Louisville, then us. “Down” year for the cats, but a great year for college bball over all. And imforbigblue, you don’t have to like the other teams but at least be realistic.

  6. tomgreg2008 - Nov 7, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Ya, IU is overrated. I’m not convinced they’ll even win the Big10…

  7. isthereanyusernamesleft - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    I’m for big blue. Uk is a joke. It is a mockery of college basketball. Get some white kids and play as a team for a few years. Graduate some people for god sakes. Remember????? That’s what college is for!!!

  8. imforbigblue - Nov 7, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Are you freaking kidding me you think IU is back on top of college basketball? Just because your preseason #1 does not put you on top moron. I guess you forgot that beat down UK gave you in the turny last year when they won the title huh. People say this is a down year for UK but were ranked #3 give me a freaking break. After zeller leaves you next year you won’t be shit again as UK is already loaded for 2013. Try winning some games and making a FF before you say your on top because as of now UK is on top of college basketball

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      You can’t really believe this shit you are spewing Blue.
      Wow. If I knew half of what you THINK you now…I would be a freaking genius.

      • imforbigblue - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:25 PM

        Me?? You can sit there and say UK is no good after coming off winning its 8th NC? Whens the last time IU has seen a FF let alone a NC? Your a one man team once you lose Zeller you’ll go back to being the same old IU again

  9. ukcatsfan - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    IU is a great team………UL is a great team………..UK is an unproven but talented team. This should make for a fun season of basketball. I think it makes more fun when all three teams are good. I don’t think UK is a joke, yes there is a lot of one and dones but these guys would be one and done no matter where they go, so why not have them play their one year together and make it a fun season with a shot at a title.

  10. nickmiller63 - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    There’s no bigger turnoff than reading some commenter on a blog tell us that he’ll “go on the record” as saying this or that. The “record” is for people that readers give a hoot about. Where’s the rest of record, so that I can figure out what I think of your “on the record” prediction. Right up there with “I said it first.”

    Go Hoosiers.

    There, I’m on the record.

  11. imforbigblue - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Tell IU and crean grow a set of balls and play some good teams this year and not start off the season playing high school teams. UK started off with a good Maryland then the 2nd game vs dUKe whos IU’s 2nd game Saint Marys of the blind? Once IU plays and beats a REAL team then come talk trash

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      “Tell IU and crean grow a set of balls and play some good teams this year”

      Said the guy who’s Mafia Don of a Coach cowardly refused to continue to play IU.
      The Mafia Don of a coach who was scared to play in that buzz saw in Bloomington no less.
      Let’s see…
      “neutral site” = okay
      “home and home” = woah! Nope. Not going to Bloomington. Hahaha! Hilarious!

      Failing to do your homework clearly illustrates your ignorance for all to see.
      Take a look at IU’s non-conference schedule and get back to us.

  12. mostdiggity - Nov 12, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    ONly 4 teams in the past 10 Final Fours (40 teams) have been able to improve a weak defensive efficiency ranking (ala:IU at 64th) the following year to make the Final Four. Those teams arguably added extreme NBA talent to accomplish this feat (UCLA added Russell Westbrook, Florida added Noah, Green, Brewer, and Horford and Illinois used the same starting five which included 1 first team All-American and 2 Second team All-Americans- but they only improved 20 spots). It is unlikely IU can improve their defense enough with these same players to improve 44 spots in defensive efficiency. Louisville has trouble offensively but the addition of Hancock, Ware, Blackshear, and Hazell should improve offensive efficiency numbers drastically. Kentucky is anybody’s guess, but will likely improve throughout the season and might be dangerous by Madness time. So… I say its Louisville, then Kentucky, then IU next and its likely IU and one of the others won’t see the FF this season.

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