UK is one player short. They have been all season, but it's never more obvious than now. Fatigue is just killing them. Fouling players on three point shots is a sure sign.
This mid February stretch is probably going to wear UK out. We'll have to be hopeful they can regain their legs for a March run. Its highly doubtful however to expect much as UK's frosh really struggle on the road. Especially shooting the ball from the perimeter. In addition their seed positioning falls by the week.
It's really frustrating watching Knight and Jones make crucial mistakes in the crunch. Both are really talented guys but their inexperience shows and usually costs UK at the end.
Today it was Knight's lack of ability to contain Jenkins. After Liggin's got in foul trouble, Jenkins took over the game and basically did whatever he wanted when he wanted. Jenkins is a tremendous player and he is to be commended. He's probably the best player in Vanderbilt history.
Knight is really soft on defense and his lack of upper body strength puts him at a serious disadvantage against stronger SEC guards. He is lethally quick, however, and his penchant for making the big shot is uncanny.
UK is 5-5 in the SEC with four remaining home games and two road trips (at Arkansas and Tennessee). In my opinion, the best they can hope for is to win their four remaining home games. It won't be easy but doing so puts them at 9-7 in the SEC overall.
They have absolutely no shot to win the SEC tournament as they don't have enough depth.
So the question becomes, where does UK stand from an NCAA seeding standpoint?
My take is they are a 6 seed with an outside shot at a #5. Unfortunately this puts them in a 2nd round game (if they win their first one) against a team who will likely be favored.
At least we know this team will not be blown out and for that reason alone every game is exciting and worth watching.
Jones does things on the court that make people marvel (at least for those who have ever actually played a game anywhere). That dribble between his legs while closely guarded and finish with right hand and one was RETARDED! I rewound the play 4x. Sadly Raftery and the other Plan Z stiff with him didn't understand the complexity of the move and made little mention of it.
I will go on record right now and say "if he avoids injury" and improves his three point shooting stroke, he'll be one of the best UK players ever. He is being totally miscast in UK's offense, forced to play the four when he's a natural 3/wing. If you ever want to see a thing of beauty, slow your DVR's down when he rebounds and accelerates with the ball in his hand. He is literally 3-4 steps faster than any post player in the country. He is playing with a harness and Cal has no other option. If UK had Enes, it would already be over.
Can you imagine how good Jones would be running the break catching outlet passes from Kanter? YIKES.
Liggins is a great player who is also being miscast due to the psychological turmoil of his frosh season. Everybody and their mother said he can't "handle the ball" and isn't a point guard because he was out of control and turning the ball over trying to do the impossible. It's clear to anybody with two eyes now, he is UK's best passer and much more in control of the UK offense than Knight. I blame Calipari for not taking Liggins to the side and saying "DeAndre....this is your team now. This team needs you to be everything you can be." You can see he is still timid and reluctant to "be the guy" at times. He has the talent and it flashes for stretches, but then he will disappear.
I really wonder what Calipari is doing at times having Knight initiate the offense. It's truly baffling. He is a shooting guard capable of dribbling with his right hand only. He never gets to the rack to find open teammates. He can finish going to the rim for sure, but that's not the primary goal of a great point guard. I know he was recruited as a point guard but why not at this point in the season give Liggins the chance to play the point guard position? What is the risk? He sees the floor better and he definitely thinks pass before shot (often to a fault). And btw...having Lamb initiate the offense is a bigger joke. Guy has no business handling the ball up top. A great player for what he brings to the team but he is less of a point guard than Knight.
Harrellson is a Viking Warrior under the glass. He is so wide and presents a huge body to get around. We should be thankful to have him. This UK team wouldn't even make the tournament without him.
Miller is a ghost in the machine. It's just not going to happen. And no way no how do the kids coming in next year not steal many of his minutes. Michaael Gilchrist is a creature and he will command 30 minutes a game from the wing. Still, Darius has a ton of talent and potential. But he has no killer instinct and will routinely do things on defense that make you scratch your head.go back