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.