Are Kentucky fans experiencing one and done fatigue?
The 2008-09 Kentucky basketball roaster was littered with NBA talent containing the likes of Patrick Patterson, Darius Miller, Josh Harrellson, DeAndre Liggins and Jody Meeks, yet the season ended in a dismal 22-14 record and a trip to the NIT. Out went Billy and along came Coach Cal, with his brash style, over the top hype and his remarkable new freshman class including Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall. The one and done era had begun and this new UK format produced immediate results with a 35-3 record and a trip to the Elite Eight. Wildcat fans bought in, hook, line and sinker. Kentucky was once again trust to the forefront of college basketball with each new year bringing in the next crop of remarkable NBA ready talent. This new style of college ball was capped off with a 2012 NCAA championship thanks to Anthony Davis and crew. It was official, the one and done system works! Or does it?
Fast forward to 2017 and we now have 8 full seasons to analyze the one and done philosophy. Thus far, the 8 seasons have produced 4 final fours including one runner up and one national champion. By any programs standards this would be considered successful. The question remains; do the fans still feel the same way? Sure you have the fans that say we could have done more, we should have at least one more title, we shouldn’t have lost to Wisconsin, but that’s basketball and that’s the way the NCAA tournament works. The true question is not the results or the performance on the court but rather, are the core UK fans tired of constant roster change, tired of every player that comes to Kentucky thinking they are the next Anthony Davis, that they are ready simply because that were selected by Kentucky. I believe the answer is yes. We are beginning to enter a time in which new players coming in grew up watching players come to Kentucky and leave for the NBA the following year. The 17-year-old kids visiting campus believe they are on a one-way path to the pros and Kentucky is their springboard. The truth is, this is the case for one or two players per year but not all incoming freshman. The system has created a depletion of good college talent running off chasing a dream that may or may not happen. Meanwhile, Kentucky fans are left wondering “what could have been if”, a little too often. Maybe, just maybe its time for a tweak in the system.
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