Well, following yesterday's let down, the one thing that comes to mind is THANK GOD we'll have a distraction from next year's football season!
Next year's hoops will be the most anticipated Cougar sports season since the 2002 football team was predicted to win the Pac-10 and DID. This Cougar hoops team will face similar expectations.
Of course, it will be interesting to see how it all develops. Certainly, Baynes and Cowgill will improve which will make us that more dangerous...but the loss of Clark will make us considerably less athletic...we'll see how that all unfolds.
Finally, we have to see what happens with young Mr. Bennett. My sense is that it would be much more of a surprise for him to leave than the other way around. Dad Bennett didn't come out of retirement to build a program so that his son could leave. Dad Bennett came to build a program so that his son could stay. And when you think about it, when you've built a program into a major conference conteder why do you leave? Especially when that conference is improving and has 3 teams in the Sweet 16! It just doesn't make sense to leave.
The only caveat is what happens if Tubby Smith leaves Kentucky and takes the Michigan job. What happens if Kentucky comes open and calls Bennett?
That my friends is the ONLY type of job that makes sense: leave for one of the top 7 or 8 best jobs out there...
We will see.
In meantime, we can watch next week with dissapointment. An Ivory Clark led Cougar team would have been real dangerous next week.
But, next year with an improved Lowe, Weaver, Rochestie, Baynes, and Cowgill proves formidable. Ditto another year of Harmeling, Mathews, and we'll see about the two reported new comers--all of which can shoot...
Bottom line: it was a GREAT year. And Kudos to Bennett and the Kids for a magical and memorable ride.