Despair has flooded the city of Lexington. Tears have fallen and couches have been burnt. Basketball season for Kentucky has officially ended, sooner than most people wished for.
For me, this team was unlike any other. Since I can remember, UK has always had a plethora of incredible players come through and leave their mark on the school and the city, but this year's team was different from the rest.
To start out with, a lot of the times the starting players are consisted of mostly freshman. This year, the diversity in age for the team was unusual, to say the least.
First, take a look at Reid Travis. He was a transfer graduate student from Stanford and this was his last year playing college ball. Players that are recruited to play at UK are usually seniors in high school, so having Reid being a senior in college and transfer here from another school is rare for Kentucky basketball.
Then we have PJ Washington. Washington is a sophomore and played for Kentucky his freshman year as well. Since he did not go into the NBA draft after his freshmen season, he continued playing for Kentucky and improved greatly over the course of this season.
This goes for Nick Richards as well. With not going into the NBA, he continued playing for Kentucky his sophomore year. What made Richards an overall better basketball player this season was the competition and fight he had to bring, not only for games but for practice as well.
Richards had to fight harder than usual for playing time this season with Reid Travis being on the team now. But even though Travis may have taken some of those minutes away from Richards, that is what made him into such a better player this year.
The brotherhood on this team is indescribable. A lot of the credit must go to the Kentucky Basketball program and the coaches who teach these young men not only about basketball but about being a good person. The bond these players have made with one another just this year is incredible and it is something that will never be broken.
From social media posts, interviews and how they interacted on and off the court people can easily see how much love these men have for each other and the sport. You don't have to be a fan of Kentucky basketball to love the spirit of this team.