Through two games, Kentucky has shown a trend to come out wild and lacking discipline in the first half, and then emerges after half time as an NBA team.
1st Half- 28 points, poor shots, 12 turnovers
2nd Half- 47 points, better passing and ball rotation, 7 turnovers (still a little high)
1st Half Teague- O assists, 5 turnovers and out of control
2nd Half Teague, 4 assists, 1 turnover, much better control
Kansas is down this year but no slouch. They have young talent and some size. Kansas came to play and it was a national TV game. I am telling myself that the 1st half had a lot to do with nerves and playing in the spotlight for the first time. What I saw from the Cats is an athletically far superior team than Kansas that toyed around in the 1st half in a disorganized AAU game. Cal got them under control at the half, and overall, Kentucky shot 52% from the field; 46% from the three point line.
This is not one of Cal's old Memphis team's. They have shooters to complement the NBA studs. Lamb is a bulleye marksman and Miller is a 40% shooter from beyond the arc. Wiltjer can stroke and needs to get a few minutes as a zone buster. Jones will be spotty from outside, Davis can make them, and Kidd-Gilchrist seems to will them in despite a horrible form. I am not concerned about the outside shot. Jones is a beast around the basket, but posting up is not this team's game. The ability of the big men to drive and finish is going to get traditional post players on opposing teams in foul trouble fast. I see a very good offensive balance to this team.
Defensively, this team is special. Teague and Miller are excellent on-the-ball defenders. 11 blocked shots (Davis 6, Jones 4). Probably 12-15 altered shots that don't get marked on the stat sheet. This team will eat weak layups and Davis will have 7-footers nervous. I do want to see the press more because the speed and length will just wear most teams down, but I really can't complain about where they are right now. By March, this team will be scary to challenge on defense.
Really, my two concerns at this point are FT shooting (55%), especially from Teague, and energy level. Your PG has to be a 75% FT shooter in my opinion. This team will get to the line a lot, and they can't leave so many free points on the floor, especially when playing disciplined teams like UNC. My other concern, which Cal will correct, is the team playing the whole 40 minutes. Other than Kidd-Gilchrist, I do not see an all-outer on this team. Last year's team was full of them (Liggins, Harrellson being the prime examples).
This team will win 30+ games easily.