The Gospel according to Geek

September has been a trying month for University of Kentucky fans. The Wildcats were shut out at Louisville in the season opener and nearly went scoreless three weeks later at Florida. Those games were sandwiched around a 51-point outburst against Indiana, which continues to be served up to the Cats on an annual basis as a mild dose of just what the doctor ordered.

September has been a trying month for University of Kentucky fans. The Wildcats were shut out at Louisville in the season opener and nearly went scoreless three weeks later at Florida. Those games were sandwiched around a 51-point outburst against Indiana, which continues to be served up to the Cats on an annual basis as a mild dose of just what the doctor ordered.

Relief is on the way. I look forward to the next few weeks more than any other time of the year. Midnight madness is less than three weeks away. I can hardly contain myself, folks. I haven't been this excited about an upcoming basketball season since 1996. Why? Because this team shares some basic similarities with the 1996 group. As many as six players on this year's team have the potential to be NBA first-round draft picks. Remember, I said "potential."

Like the 1996 team, this year's team has players who can shoot from outside, players with speed, players with play-making skills and players who can play defense. What it doesn't have that the '96 championship team had is experience. This team will have to be humbled a few times before it gets better. That means fans must show patience if and when the Cats don't win every game, because they won't win them all. But by March, they will be one of the favorites to win the NCAA championship.

At the end of the last Geek's peaks, I provided a glimpse into recruiting for the 2006 season. There was one marquee player I didn't mention, and was immediately asked what had happened. That player is Stanley Robinson. UK is recruiting him, and he is interested. How it plays out will depend on who leaves and who stays. It's going to depend on how quickly Joe Crawford develops and what he does after his sophomore season. Just because I don't mention every single possible recruit, doesn't mean UK isn't recruiting him.

On the subject of recruiting, Tubby Smith and recruiting coordinator Scott Rigot are getting the best players to fit UK's system. Some players are incredibly talented, but aren't a fit for UK's system. Tubby knows this, we don't. That's his job. Our job is to second guess. And aren't we good at it?

Korvortney Barber will be a perfect fit for the UK system. He could be a McDonald's All-American if he continues to improve as some experts expect him to. He wouldn't start immediately at UK, but he would be a good player fo four years.

This will be a good season for us cigar afficionados to indulge in a post-victory smoke. Sit back, have fun, enjoy the football season and get ready for November and the ride to March.


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