For the first time during his tenure at Kentucky, Coach Calipari and his band of diaper dandies find themselves in unknown territory. unranked and exposed. For the first time his band of freshman are not playing future lottery picks in next year’s draft. Despite their exceptional size in the front court with supposed defensive ace Nerlens Noel and the 7-footer Willie-Cauley Stein. Although each of these ballyhooed freshman have yet to live up to the hype of their predecessors the poor play of the guards has been hard to stomach.
Entering into the season point guard Ryan Harrow was expected to take the reins left by first round pick Marquis Teague. In addition to making questionable decisions on the court his current undisclosed illness has forced Calipari to lean heavily on freshman scorer Archie Goodwin to play out of position and run the point and former walk-on Jarrod Polson also being a surprise contributor off the bench.
Although titles were never won or lost in December the inconsistent play of Calipari’s future one-and-doners may pose a huge problem if his diaper dandies fail to live up to expectations. The draft stock of Nerlens Noel and his freshman counterparts continue to plummet and if things do not change Coach Calipari will be facing a significant number crunch next season. Next year the Wildcats already have another number one recruiting class waiting in the wings, the Harrison twins and two premiere forwards. Since coming to Lexington a minimum of three underclassmen have left each year which left room for his next collection of 5 stars.
At this rate Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin are the only two wildcats projected to go in the first round, and the more Nerlens gets exposed the further his stock continues to plummet. For the past four years big blue nation has grown accustomed to elite guard play and trips to the Final Four. The point guards who led those Wildcats were truly exceptional and all of them have made major contributions at the NBA level (Brandon Knight, John Wall, Marquis Teague, and Eric Bledsoe). Despite have another number one recruiting class the lack of elite pg in this current class is the true source of the Wildcats problems.
As the season progresses the Wildcats will improve because getting worst is far from possible. However, a few realities must be accepted: Nerlens Noel will not ever be Anthony Davis and the Wildcats will only go as far as Archie Goodwin takes them. Talent alone has never won a title, how Coach Calipari and his Wildcats respond to adversity will determine how far they go in the NCAA tournament. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark