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With only about four weeks left in the regular season, the Spencer County Bears are about to embark on the stretch of their season that may signal whether they are really contenders, or just pretenders.
As of Monday, they shared the top spot in the 8th region with Collins, with both the Bears and Titans sporting 13-4 records. Those two teams were to play Tuesday night in Shelbyville with the winner likely to get the top seed in the 30th district tournament next month.
While a win would make it clear that this Spencer County team is among the favorites to challenge for the 8th region crown, a loss won’t be devastating. The Bears will have plenty more opportunities in the next couple of weeks to gain more confidence heading down the stretch. After Tuesday’s game with Collins, the Bears are scheduled to meet a very strong Bullitt East team in Mt. Washington on Thursday and they travel to Ft. Knox on Friday. Next week, they’ll square off against Anderson County and Bullitt Central and they’ll face each of these games on the road.
The Bears need to finish this five-game stretch at least 3-2, if not 4-1. If so, they’ll reinforce the expectations put on them all year.
Kudos goes out to Trey Wyatt. Just last week, Trey joined fellow senior Logan Dunbar as a member of the 1,000 point club. Dunbar reached the milestone towards the end of last season and Wyatt hit the mark in a recent game.
In recent years, I can only recall Craig Edwards reaching that mark for the boys, and Kenisha Marshall being so honored for the Lady Bears. It would be nice for the school to develop some sort of plaque so these accomplishments won’t just fade into history, but rather help establish a tradition at the school that future teams and players can build on.
There has been talk in recent years about the need to replace or renovate Rupp Arena. The 24,000 plus seat arena has been home to the University of Kentucky Wildcats since 1977 and within it, UK has consistently topped the nation in home basketball attendance.
Why the cry for something new? For some, it’s the fact that Louisville now has a new hoops palace in the downtown KFC YUM Center. No doubt, that’s a state-of-the-art facility that the city can be very proud of. Others suggest that Rupp has become outdated, citing the lack of luxury suites and all the bells and whistles of some of the nicer, newer arenas in the country.
But why are those needed. If Kentucky fans love the game as much as we say we do, why do we need all the frills and luxuries that others need to draw fans?
As nice as the YUM Center is, I’ve noticed a troubling trend while watching U of L games on TV. There are a lot of empty seats in the stands at the beginning of the second half, apparently because so many fans are up in the concourse enjoying a number of bars and other attractions. This looks bad on television, especially for programs known for devoted fans.
Kentucky doesn’t need gimmicks. Its got the most rabid fan base in America and sometimes simpler is better. Think Duke is in a rush to demolish Cameron Indoor Stadium? Think Kansas is ready to put Allen Fieldhouse out of commission? Hardly.
Rupp Arena is a great college basketball venue and can remain so for many years to come.
We don’t need to waste money trying to improve on something that doesn’t need improvement.
Enes Kanter lost his appeal to play for UK and with that decision the NCAA is left looking like a body that has no real guidelines or integrity. My beef is not with the Kanter decision, because according to the rules, Kanter was indeed ineligible.
UK Coach John Calipari took a big risk on signing the big man, and he lost. My heart doesn’t bleed for UK or Coach Cal.
However, in light of recent rulings involving players such as Auburn’s star quarterback Cam Newton and the five Ohio State players who took inappropriate benefits and were suspended for five games NEXT season but not for this year’s bowl game, the NCAA appears to apply arbitrarily.
The adults within the NCAA are obsessed with money, and that naturally has filtered down to the kids these days.
It’s not healthy for college athletics and more abuse and scandals will follow until the NCAA takes a hard look in the mirror and realizes that until it puts an emphasis back on the word “student,” the downward spiral will continue.
Meanwhile, for those of us who love college sports, the most pure examples these days might be to visit a game on the campus of Bellarmine, Georgetown, Campbellsville, or a host of other small colleges in the area.