Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Kentucky Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

The Kentucky non-conference schedule was released today and here it is:

Marist - Nov. 11
Kansas - Nov. 15
Penn State - Nov. 19
Old Dominion - Nov. 20
South Florida - Nov. 20
Radford - Nov. 23
Portland - Nov. 26
St. John's - Dec. 1
North Carolina - Dec. 3
Indiana - Dec. 10
Chattanooga - Dec. 17
Samford - Dec. 20
Loyola (Md.) - Dec. 22
Lamar - Dec. 28
Louisville - Dec. 31
Arkansas-Little Rock - Jan. 3

Kansas- First the Cats face Marist, but who really cares - they won 6 games last year. They'll be focused on a rebuilding Kansas squad that lost their twins twiddle-dee and twiddle-dum to the draft along with 3 more of their top 7 scorers. This one will be in Madison Square Gardens... I just ask for a W and a repeat of Demarcus Cousins vs New York

North Carolina - You'll finally be getting over that Thanksgiving Day turkey massacre and then you'll get stuffed on some of this game. Kentucky will face a preseason #1 North Carolina team in Lexington on December 3rd. The Tar Heels are returning their #1 ranked 2010 player Harrison Barnes and their leading scorer Tyler Zeller, along with the animosity from being put out in the Elite 8 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. So the question is - Experience or Athleticism. I think it replays like last year and the Heels may just get the best of an inexperienced Wildcat squad, but these teams could meet once again come tourney time.

Indiana - I highlighted IU because they are a rivalry but they're going to need more than 6'11 Cody Zeller to rebound from the thumping last year in Lexington. This game is in December, immediately after North Carolina and in Bloomington which could spell a let down game - but maybe I'm just giving false hope to a fan base in desperate need of a post season.

Louisville - While the temperature in Kentucky on New Years Eve is usually blistering cold, when the Cats face Louisville in Lexington, it might as well be Vegas baby. The Cards only lost Preston Knowles, Terrence Jennings and what was left of Rick Pitino's Valtrex prescription from last year but return a nice core of Kyle Kuric, Peyton Siva, and Chris Smith. They're throwing in 5 star recruit Chane Behanan and should field Pitino's first high expectations team in a few years.

Is it basketball season yet??? Only 119 days!

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