Please Stop Comparing this Year’s Kentucky Team to 2010-11

Two years ago, John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats were supposedly in shambles.

They had already lost 2 conference games, one at Georgia, and one at Alabama.

They had already lost at North Carolina and to UCONN in the finals of the Maui Invitational.

Everyone was worried about John Calipari’s team.

That team would go on to lose 4 more games in the SEC, all on the road, which included Ole Miss, Florida, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas.

But, that team pulled it all together, played as a team, had a veteran leader, a defensive stopper, and bought in to John Calipari’s coaching.

That team finished with a loss in the Final 4 to Connecticut. They also stayed ranked the entire season and finished #3 in the coaches poll.

Will this year’s team turn it around much like 2010-11?

This year’s team has lost 4 games to date, with two of those losses in Rupp Arena and have been unranked since dropping out of the poll with the loss to Baylor. The 2010-11 team went 15-0 at home.

Kentucky 2010-11 had veterans DeAndre Liggins, Josh Harrellson, and Darius Miller to right the ship, make big plays, and will their team to victory.

The year’s Kentucky team has one sophomore that played last season, Kyle Wiltjer, but has been a work in progress much like his freshman teammates.

The current Wildcats are shooting better than 2010-11, 48%-45%, and have even forced a lower field goal percentage by their opponents 38%-39%. The former Wildcats did shoot the three better, 39%-36%, but this year’s squad has kept opponents at a lower percentage 30%-36%.

Brandon Knight led the Wildcats in scoring in their Final Four year with 17.3 ppg. Archie Goodwin is currently averaging 14.3 points per game.

This year’s team is currently averaging 75.9 points per game and the team that went to Houston scored 74.9.

This year’s team is averaging 39.2 rebounds per game. Josh Harrellson’s team grabbed 37.4 per game.

I can see how people can compare the 2010-11 team to this year’s current team by looking at the numbers, but there are a ton of intangibles this year’s squad doesn’t have.

Basketball just isn’t about the numbers.

Can anyone on this current team show that they:

have the heart and leadership of Darius Miller.

have the toughness and love for defense like DeAndre Liggins.

have the clutch “I want to shoot it” attitude of Brandon Knight.

have the roughness and blue collar work ethic of Josh Harrellson.

have the 3 goggles shooting of Doron Lamb.

have the capability of a Terrence Jones learning to not be a selfish mother……

Does this year’s Kentucky team have the pieces of the puzzle to be like the team that made a run to the Final Four?

I sure haven’t seen it yet and from what John Calipari has been saying, they still aren’t buying in, and it is Jan. 23rd.

Until this team starts providing more than just better numbers than the team that went to Houston, stop comparing the two.

That team was fun to watch and had fun playing the game of basketball with each other.

It sure isn’t fair to the hard working TEAM that got Kentucky back to where it belongs.

About Scott Anderson

I love covering the Kentucky Wildcats and even though I can't cheer on the outside when I go to games now, I am definitely cheering on the inside. You can follow me at @SAndersonNOB on twitter.
  • http://www.facebook.com/christian.p.beck Christian Beck

    Man, this page is run by the most fairweather fans Kentucky has to offer.Lose a game and the next day it is nothing but negatives. I thought this post was going to be a positive, showing support for this team, and telling people that you can’t judge any teams against each other because there will always be a different dynamic. Instead, it’s the entire article about how even though this team has done almost everything better that they still suck, because they aren’t the 2010-2011 team. So your article that is supposed to be about NOT comparing the two teams, is ENTIRELY about comparing the two teams. It blows my mind that UK pages can be so damn negative so frequently. Last night UK Wildcats Basketball posts on facebook, “Wow…. that’s all I can say. Tough season.” Not, “Kyle Wiltjer has another great game.” Not, “Nerlens Noel puts up another astounding defensive performance.” It’s all just negativity all the time. This team is incredibly talented, but makes mistakes. At the end of the day, we can’t compare them to past teams, look at them for what they are. Almost an entire team made up of Freshman. I don’t care how amazing you are playing high school ball, playing in the NCAA is the real deal. It’s just like an amazing college player expecting to immediately be a superstar in the NBA. They are all completely different. These Cats have talent for days, but they are still learning the college game, and still learning to play together. This team only has Wiltjer, Polson, and Hood coming back that are actually seeing time this year and Kyle is the only one that saw any real playing time last year. Things are different, and all of this negativity is the sorriest excuse for real fans that I’ve ever seen. People weren’t this outspoken about how poor the team is even when Gillespie was trying his hardest to run this program into the ground.

    • donna stokes

      Thank you! I completely agree with your entire comment!!

    • Joy Harris

      Absolutely the truth as it should be said…Go Big Blue..Some of us have not given up on you!!!!!!!

  • Chuckie Bowman

    Thank you for this! I have friends who are quick to call me a traitor anytime I voice a hint of doubt about this team, and their major argument is to point to the 2010-11 team. I love my Cats, and would love to see this team do a serious about face, but I am a realist and do not believe this team has what it takes to accomplish a similar comeback. As for their numbers–I think people need to bear in mind where those big numbers came from. This is a team that blows out the tiny, insignificant schools by massive margins, but then crumbles at the first sign of resistance. Where were those big numbers in last night’s Alabama game? Their only big numbers were FG’s missed, free throws missed, turnovers, and the incredible fifteen minutes they went without a single point from the floor, managing only to pick up a couple of points from the line (while still missing over half of their foul shots.) And that was not an isolated event–its pretty much the story of every game they have played against any team with a modicum of ability. And, even more telling, they cannot even get it done in Rupp.

  • Chuckie Bowman

    I do agree with that we should acknowledge the positives, though. Noel has continued to be the lone, consistent bright spot, and Wiltjer seems to have gotten back on track in the past few games. But those things aside, adjusting one’s expectations to a more realistic level for this team does not make one a fairweather fan. And this team has not done anything “better” that the 10-11 team where it really counts. The former team was a much better team in the clutch, and their losses were much harder fought. This team crumbles when it faces real opposition, and the inflated numbers on paper are largely the result of blowing out so many small schools. More telling would be to look at their statistics in individual games against tougher schools. They do not measure up to the 10-11 class in that regard at all.

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  • YouFailAtLife

    Lord have mercy, what a load of revisionist history! That 2010-11 team sure looks stellar with limited hindsight, so long as we focus on the “intangibles.”

    That limited hindsight allows us to remember Darius Miller as a leader with heart…and forget that we often called him “Disappearius” during much of the regular season.

    It allows us to remember the lovable “Jorts” as a hard-working, blue-collar asset…and forget that we (including Nation of Blue) blamed him and his fellow upperclassmen for our road game woes.

    What we remember is that incredible, unlikely run through the post-season. We forget the frustration of watching UConn embarrass us at Maui, or watching Georgia thump us in the SEC opener, or having to recover from a 20-pt deficit at Alabama just in time to lose by 2. And we definitely forget losing to Ole Miss (didn’t make it out of the NIT first round) and Arkansas (18 wins…no post-season) in February.

    Make no mistake, there are definitely differences between our current crop and the 2010-11 squad. But they aren’t so different that it isn’t fair to draw general comparisons, particularly when the comparison is as simple as pointing out that we were a mediocre in 2010-11, and things came together VERY late in the season and allowed us to make noise.

  • Stacy Humble Sr.

    I love kentucky basketball and im glad that there losin some games.Its not the end or the world you fly by night Kentucky fans!True blue means love them threw the goodtimes and the badtimes.I THOUGHT????

  • http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.banks.754 Cheryl Banks

    I am a very big fan of the Wildcats. I live in Florida and sometimes I am not able to see the games. If they have a bad game I still stand by them. This team is young and they have got to work together. Not every team can be Number 1 but true fans will love them and support them no matter what. they have a fantastic coach and if he seems gruff it is for the players benefit. I will stand by this team thru thick and thin. If you are a true fan then you should also


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