The Big Blue Lowdown

Insight, Analysis and Expertise on All Things Kentucky Basketball


Thoughts & Impressions as We Enter March

It is obvious that Marcus Lee is just too weak to be big contributor this year. He is an incredible athlete but he gets shoved around on the block and has no outside jumper. Don’t let the incredible dunks fool you as he will likely get exposed defensively during a game this year despite being a hustler who actually works hard in practice. I think, most recruiting analysts predicted a 3 year stay for Lee. He was rated so high because he is an athletic freak (40 plus vertical) with huge upside, but fans need to realize that he has to really bulk up his frame to be effective as key contributor, in addition, to he needs to refine his low post game and hopefully develop a jumper.

Though we hate starting rumors, they are out there, and the question keeps coming up about whether the TWINS are gone no matter what at the end of the season. There appears to be some tension between Calipari and the Twins. Listen to the Post-game press conferences, the Twins just don’t listen and Cal looks exasperated. The body language exhibits that of spoiled prima donnas who give up after a bad play. They have been billed as lottery picks for years but it does seem that they lack the 100% desire to dominant their opponent, a trait that has made prior UK players top pick in the recent past. Rumors continue to persist that if their Draft stock falls more, a transfer may be on the horizon back to Texas. Has the Cal’s Sensei/Pupil mastery on the PG position failed two years in a row? Maybe the rumors are false, but just watch the facial expression on the TV during the games; things are clicking between the Coach and players.

Regardless, underappreciated PG recruit Tyler Ulis will possibly steal the PG job next year if Andrew Harrison sticks around another year. Ulis is not a traditional Calipari recruit, but that may be a good thing as there will be a lot of scorers that need a good distributor. Ulis is small but lighting fast and is a true PG in every sense of the position. Ulis is very underrated because of his size (5’9), but this guy is a bolt with a great handle who ENJOYS passing the ball to open teammates. Probably the most traditional PG that Cal has recruited since he went all Dribble Drive, not counting Teague.

James Young continues to demonstrate selfish play time after time. He offensive game is overrated because of his streaky jumper and refusal to drive the rim at times. Hedoes appear all about building an NBA resume. He chucks many bad shots, refuses to pass when he should, jobs back in transition D, and is ho hum on defense in general. Young has been a little bit more consistent Archie Goodwin, but not by much.

And we do have to ask what is the deal with Poythress? Calipari has turned him into a dunker. He plays with much more energy this year but his entire game is trying to dunk the ball. He shot close to 40% from 3 last year and he is afraid to take open shots this year. Total package in athletic build and potential skill set, and a total disappointment in performance. He will be a 4 year player and a Cal failure at this point if this decline continues. What is odd, is how Poythress has been handled by Cal in a manner completely opposite on how he handle P. Patterson a few years ago (moved PP outside more to expand his game).

What is the Deal with this Dribble Drive Offense? I have seen more organized play by weekend warriors at the Y. The offense against Arkansas consisted of the Twins or Young driving into a crowded lane and then trying to throw the ball at the basket. Absolutely forcing 90% of the shots and hoping to get rebound. Total playground scheme. These players were selfish but it appeared that Cal was yelling at them to keep attacking as well. They refuse to kick it out to the wing and instead try to create a highlight for ESPN by forcing the lane when it is not open. When they miss, they hang their head or look at Cal and shrug.

The Dribble Drive, which I like, is all about spacing, crisp passing, and movement, until a crease opens an the player drives at the rim through the crease. The fact it is March andif Cal can’t get his players to understand the concept by now, it means the team is not likely going to live past the first weekend.

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Kentucky freshman Charles Matthews is transferring, the school announced. Former ESPN 100 prospect. - via @ESPN App…
1. This loss means nothing. UK lost a game on the road in bizarre circumstances vs a very good team. If anything,...
Time to put Texas A&M to bed and get tuned up for a high seed in the big dance.
Epic collapse by UK tonight. Still something not right with this team.
Tough loss over the weekend, but the Cats showed heart...they'll be back.

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