John Calipari's "one and done" teams need players like Julius Mays

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Feb 23, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Julius Mays (34) celebrates after hitting a shot against the Missouri Tigers in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Missouri 90-83. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone likes to point to last years National Title Kentucky Wildcat basketball team and notice the players that were “one and done”. But no one will argue the impact that Darius Miller made. And in these “one and done” era, it has become more obvious that to win with all the one year talent, you also have to have a Darius Miller on the team. Or a Julius Mays. Mays has emerged as Kentucky’s best clutch player this season and you can not underestimate the effect that experience has:

 

Two seasons ago, a team that featured freshman stars Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb did not jell into a Final Four squad until senior Josh Harrellson (12 ppg, 8.1 rpg in eight post-season contests) and juniors DeAndre Liggins (game-clinching three-pointer in round of eight victory over North Carolina) and Miller (SEC Tournament MVP) stepped forward in a major way.

Going forward, at a school selling the quickest possible path to the pay-for-play, how do you develop and/or add experienced players who are good enough to help?

In a sense, Calipari’s recruiting success makes attracting players likely to be three- or four-year contributors difficult. The No. 85-ranked player in a given recruiting class would be at risk of being “recruited over” at Kentucky.

One avenue to eventually create a veteran nucleus could be in-state talent. Wearing a Kentucky jersey might mean enough to a Derek Willis (UK signee from Bullitt East) or, maybe, a Dominique Hawkins (Madison Central star) that they are willing to come to UK regardless of how many top-10 recruits they will be asked to compete against for playing time.

Another path to experience would be attracting more transfers.

Traditional transfers, who have to sit out a season after leaving their old schools, would likely have the same concerns about being recruited over that non-elite high school recruits from outside Kentucky might have.

 

OK Louisville fans. If you REALLY want to see a Rick Pitino team get their National Title ring, show up at Rupp Arena on Wednesday night.  That is when the 1996 National Title Wildcats will be honored at halftime of the Mississippi State game and will receive their rings.  And whether it is sheer coincidence or fate, the top high school p-layer in America, Andrew Wiggins will be making a visit:

 

Say what you want about John Calipari. 

The guy’s a recruiting genius.

On Wednesday, the same day that Andrew Wiggins will take his official visit to Kentucky, the school will present the 1996 team with championship rings during halftime of the Mississippi State game, as reported by Jerry Tipton on Twitter.

The 6-foot-8 Wiggins is the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2013 and will visit Kentucky, followed by Kansas (March 4) and North Carolina (March 9). He has already visited Florida State, his other option.

 

February 12, 2013; Gainesville, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari reacts and smiles against the Florida Gators during the second half at the Stephen C. O

Getting tired of all the “bracketology” talk? Me too. But unfortunately, it has been a “Catch 22″ situation. Sites like CBS and ESPN know what a hits machine the bracketology talk is and like addicts, basketball fans flock en masse. But talking about the NCAA seedings on February 26, is like dancing about architecture. It’s pointless. Yet, we do it. And as of now, Seth Davis does not think Kentucky is in the tourney yet:

 

“Kentucky has a game remaining on the schedule, at Arkansas and then home against Florida. If they can get one of those two wins I think they will be in,” Davis said. “But right now I don’t think that Kentucky has done enough.”

On Saturday, Kentucky had a statement 90-83 win against top-50 team Missouri but without big man Nerlens Noel, the Wildcats might not receive the tournament nod they desire.

Both Arkansas and No. 8 Florida, who are in the top 10 in the SEC standings, have won three of their last four games. Kentucky will also face Mississippi State (Feb. 27) and Georgia (March 7).

 

So basically Seth says that Kentucky is not in yet …. but still need to win three games.  And that the remaining schedule will determine their fate.

Duh.  It’s so obvious.  But yet we read it ….

 

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