The Colonels on Day 36

  • By Wally Christensen, Day 37, 2026

LOUISVILLE - We’re 10-6, 4th in the Central Division, and 7th in the Eastern Conference, barely over the playoff cutoff. We’re much improved on offense - currently ranked 3rd in Off Rating, up from 26th last year. At the same time, we’re close to the bottom in Def Rating (23rd, compared with 26 last year) and still can’t rebound worth a damn (28th this year, 30th last year). Only 4 of our wins have been against teams with a winning record, and none of those teams are better than 10-7. We’ve been handily beaten by the top teams. None of those games have been close: the Warriors, Huskies and Jailbirds each have beaten us by 14 points. So while we definitely are much improved from the past two seasons, we have a long way yet to go.

So, how have the new folks done? Kelvin Hawes has been all we’ve hoped he would be - averaging 27.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.44 blocks per game, with highlight performances against the Tritons (54 points), the Jacks (40) and the Barons (37). He’s meshed quickly with the team and our system. Even so, he’s not been able to inspire his teammates to play better defense. SF Xavier Turner has done very well off the bench, averaging 10.6 points in with a 62% eFG in 13 minutes per game. SG Kendall Nash, subbing at both SG and PG, has had some good games - 18 points against the Renegades, 20 against the Dragons - mixed with some really bad ones (0-5 from the field against the Barons, 1-6 against the Renegades. The latter two were after his return from a foot injury, so hopefully that explains things. CJ Williams has played only limited minutes so far, and deservedly so. But the bench has improved significantly over last season’s admittedly low bar - we’re getting 30 points off the bench per game, right in the middle of the pack, but much better than our 26 ranking last season.

Given where we are, I think we’ll do some selective shopping as Day 42 approaches, mostly looking to improve our D on the perimeter and overall.