LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As we wind down the final days of 2020, UK fans are staring at having to wait until 2021 to see another Cats win.
#1 - UK has lost six in a row and is 1-6 for the first time since 1926-27. They struggle to score. They have not reached 65 points in a game since the season opening 81-45 over Morehead State.
#2 - Cam’Ron Fletcher is back. Fletcher’s public suspension last week raised eyebrows. One week later he’s back. “Instead of angry, he has a smile on his face,” John Calipari said on Monday.
#3 - With their SEC opener against a struggling South Carolina postponed, the Cats are now scheduled to tip off SEC play on Saturday at Mississippi State (5-3). There was a talk of a potential matchup with Bellarmine sometime this week, but it never materialized. It would have made sense. The Knights, as the new kids on the block, have a bye in week one of the ASUN schedule. Calipari said on Monday that they did consider games against Detroit and Hartford, two teams who were originally scheduled to play in UK’s Multi Team Event in November, but had COVID issues then. Bellarmine is back in Freedom Hall on Friday and Saturday. The Knights host Transylvania on Friday at 7 pm and Mount St Joseph on Saturday at 5 pm.
#4 - UofL got a much needed over the Cats. The Cards had lost seven of the last eight in series and Chris Mack was 0-2 against UK. It matters. That’s why he slammed the floor with both hands after a turnover late in the second half. Despite those turnovers, David Johnson and Carlik Jones made enough plays down the stretch to win. They were the difference, combining for 37 points.
#5 - Charles Minlend warmed up in uniform on Saturday, a sign that he’s getting closer to his UofL debut. He’ll give Mack another experienced wing who can shoot the three and get to the basket.
#6 - Josh Nickelberry has been back for two games, and has hit a three in each. He has the potential to be a defensive stopper as well.
#7 - Bowl season is here, and of course, like most things this year, it feels strange. The Cats take on NC State on Saturday in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl. The UK players and coaches seem invested in the trip, and it could be a good way to kick off 2021, but the Wolfpack are 8-3 and won’t be a pushover.
#8 - IU was slighted by the College Football Playoff committee. The Hoosiers should be playing in a higher profile bowl game, but Tom Allen is taking the high road and his excitement figures to filter down to his team as they battle 4-5 Ole Miss in the Outback Bowl on Saturday. Lane Kiffin’s team can score in bunches and gave #1 Alabama a tough test earlier this season. I think the Hoosiers will win big. I’ll take Alabama and Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
#9 - The NBA season is back. What a start for former Card Terry Rozier, the highlight reel dunk over Kevin Durant on Sunday on the heels of his 42 point effort in the Hornets opener. As a Nuggets fans, watching back-to-back losses to start the season wasn’t exactly the way I planned to cap off Christmas.
#10 - The Chiefs and Packers are the favorites as the NFL season winds down, but don’t forget about Buffalo. As a Bengals and Broncos fan who endured five Super Bowl losses as a fan before a win, I always enjoy seeing loyal fan bases like the Bills get their moment. You never forget that first one. Like the Chiefs last year, at least for a few generations of KC fans. You never believe it’s real until the final buzzer, but it’s a great feeling, even for a fan.