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Kentucky out of Top 25 for first time under Calipari

Dec 3, 2012, 7:45 PM EDT

John Calipari, Ryan Harrow AP

Yes, Big Blue Nation, it finally happened. A Calipari-coached Kentucky team will play their next game without a ranking next to their name.

For the first time since Cal took over prior to the 2009-10 season, the Wildcats aren’t ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. It’s a product of back-to-back losses to Notre Dame on the road and Baylor at home, a loss that was also Cal’s first at home since taking over at Kentucky.

Now breathe. It’s going to be ok.

This team is not anywhere near the caliber of last season’s national champions that steam-rolled essentially everyone (sans Indiana and Vanderbilt) on it’s way to one of the greatest seasons in college basketball history. You probably knew that already.

But first of all, polls are dumb. They are meaningless, really. Especially this early. They factor a little bit into opinions for at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament. The end.

But mainly, this team has a huge deficiency in leadership and that’s due to the fact that for the first season under Cal, the team lacks the senior leader that has been through the pre-Calipari Domination years. There’s no Patrick Patterson, Perry Stevenson or Ramon Harris. No Jorts, DeAndre Liggins or Darius Miller. No big brother figure that can lead the team mentally and emotionally when they’re tired of hearing it from Calipari. No, Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson don’t count.

It’s a newsworthy item because of Kentucky’s recent dominance. But nothing that should send Wildcats fans into a panic. There’s still four months to play until Selection Sunday.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

  1. ukraiders - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I can’t believe you said Ramon Harris and didn’t mention Patrick Patterson. At first I thought you just mentioned seniors but you brought up Liggins. Nothing really wrong just found it odd.

    • David Harten - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      No, you’re right. Can’t believe it slipped mind. Gotta change that.

  2. imforbigblue - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    I look at it this way if these over rated freshman don’t step up no NBA and UK will have one hell of a team next year

    • Alex K - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      With what scholarships?

  3. tomtravis76 - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    Cal won his NCAA title, he has proven he is an elite college coach by getting it done at every step in college. Now if Ted Leonsis is smart he will throw a ton of money at Calipari and allow him to run his franchise along with a new GM. Calipari has no reason to stay in college sports anymore.

  4. coach1959 - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Calipari is just waiting and anxious to try his coaching skills in the pros………..oh wait……he has already tried that.

  5. florida727 - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    I might be in the minority, but I wouldn’t quite write UK’s eulogy just yet. I still think they’re going to be a dangerous team by the time March rolls around. Maybe not Final Four material, maybe they will be. Just too much talent not to be in the hunt. Remember, by the time March rolls around you’re essentially not a freshman anymore. You’ve played a “full” season. I still think they’ll come around and be a factor if not a force.

  6. fearthabird52 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:58 AM


  7. brianjoates - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Sometimes it just doesn’t work out in the league, but Calipari is ready this time. He dipped his toes back in by coaching the DR team. The NCAA is dying to make up some stuff to tarnish what he has done for the game and these kids, he needs to get out soon and cash in with the NBA.

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