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UK plays a lot of big-time games out of conference. This year, it had Kansas (Champions Classic) and St. John’s (SEC/Big East Challenge), and the traditional games with North Carolina, Indiana and Louisville.
But with the SEC possibly adding two games to the conference schedule, Calipari is rethinking how many premier out-of-conference games his young teams can play. That many games, he said, puts the program at risk. From his website:
What I mean by that is this program is too important to over-schedule based on the roster turnover that I believe will continue to happen. You cannot put this program at risk, not with our turnover and roster. You CANNOT over-schedule and put yourself in that position.
With that being said, here is where I want the help of the Big Blue Nation. If we had to – and this doesn’t mean we have to at this point because we still have 16 league games – but if we had to drop one series and there were no other options, who would it be? Would it be North Carolina, Indiana or Louisville?
What’s best for our program? What helps up maintain the gold standard?!?!
This will be an interesting dialogue. I know who I would vote for.
Interesting dialogue indeed. Calipari has been a proponent of having a strong schedule. But with two additional conference games a possibility (although he has said he hopes the SEC doesn’t add games), it appears he’s starting to think it may be too much. Especially when he doesn’t perceive the payoff as being worth it.
“Last year we played a ridiculous schedule and they gave us a four seed,” Calipari said last week, “so none of it really matters.”
So who should it be? My vote, without knowing the logistics of any contracts UK might have with any of the teams, is Indiana. I don’t think anyone would vote to get rid of Louisville. That game’s too vital, for a multitude of reasons. And the UK-North Carolina game is too enjoyable year in and year out.
Which leaves Indiana, a team that has been lackluster for the past few years. Although Calipari said Indiana would likely be back among the elite within the next few years, he’s also good friends with Indiana head coach Tom Crean. My views may be colored by me being 21 years old. I don’t really remember Indiana’s prime years. I do know those games haven’t been among those UK fans look forward to the most.
So if one of those teams has to be cut, let the Hoosiers go.
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