Across Kentucky: Basketball Previews from Local Sports Reporters


Karli Bell is a Chicago native. She has been in Kentucky and with WYMT for about 15 months. She is the first person of the interview series we are doing. We spoke to her about the upcoming basketball season and got her opinions on the team. Her opinions come from an unbiased perspective as she isn’t a Kentucky native or Kentucky born fan. We hope you enjoy this new series, look for more interviews to come.

“I am not a Kentucky fan but I have a great amount of respect for Cal & what he does with young talent.”

Q: Did you grow up a fan of a specific basketball program?

A: I played ball my whole life. I grew up an Illinois & Northwestern fan but I also love me some MSU

Q: Have you gotten to see the wrath of the BBN fandom so to speak?

A: Haha yes I have. I play devil’s advocate when it comes to talking about UK & some fans don’t appreciate it let’s say.

Q: Haha, that’s too funny. How is it different from the teams you grew up watching in your opinion?

A: Kentucky is just a solid program. It’s very hard for them to have a “bad” year so to speak. It is different to just see one & dones mostly. The schools I watched were mostly local kids who would stay until their junior year and then move on to the NBA or stay the full 4 years.

Q: Okay, lets jump right into questions about the team: What do you think is the key for this team to be successful?

A: Maturity seems to be the common theme when it comes to UK. They have talent but it’s hard to ask 18 year olds to mature very quickly in a season. Fans witnessed it last season at the start. They matured too late which is why they didn’t win the title. I think it’ll take them a few weeks to grow in that department.

Q: Who do you think will step up and be a leader so to speak?

A: Diallo for sure. I truly think it was a smart move for him to not pursue the NBA. He’s already there so to speak compared to the new faces. He’s worked with Cal for over a year now. He’ll be what Fox was last year for sure.

Q: Who do you think the leading scorer will be?

A: That’s an interesting one….I want to say Diallo again but I think Quade will be the guy. HOWEVER, I think Wenyen could shock some people this year.

Q: Is there any games you’re really excited about covering, and why?

A: I am actually going to the Champions classic which I’m excited about mostly so I can say I was on the same court as some legendary coaches in Cal, Izzo & Self. But also because that tournament is always a boatload of fun.

Q: How much longer do you think Cal will be at Kentucky?

A: I’m going to say 5 years. I think he’s getting to the age where he’ll want to retire. I think the day he leaves Kentucky will be the day he retires.

Q: Last few questions, how many wins/losses do you think the team has this year?

A: Regular season? I think they’ll only drop 2 this season.

Q: What about overall? Championship, runner up or out early?

A: They’ll win the SEC tournament again for sure. If they mature quickly, I think they’ll make it to the elite eight. If not, they’ll fall in the sweet sixteen

Q: Do you have in mind who the two losses are?

A: Kansas & South Carolina at South Carolina

Q: One last question, Do you have a favorite memory/moment of a Kentucky game in the 15 months you’ve been here?

A: I have to say their final game. I was in studio watching and when that shot fell…oh man the energy in studio changed drastically. Every game I physically went to were blowouts so I wasn’t able to witness how serious Kentucky takes their basketball until the tournament. It was eye opening for sure.

I want to thank Karli for allowing me to interview her as a part of this series, it was an absolute pleasure.

Follow us at @ukfansallday on Twitter and Facebook. Check out our site here. Follow me for more news (@lori_mills) on Twitter.

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