You know that the Kentucky Wildcat basketball game is going to be really good when you see the national pundits worrying more about the actual chemistry of John Calipari’s team rather than the talent assembled. And it is fair. Last season will be a stain on John Calipari’s resume that will not be erased until he hangs another championship banner.
So expect a lot of stories like this from USA Today where they give Kentucky’s talent a compliment and then question the chemistry and makeup of the team. For example, In running down the college basketball lineups, USA Today lists Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison as one of the best “one-two punches” in college basketball.
Fair enough. And I agree. But wait, there is more …
Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle, Kentucky: Now that the returners are out of the way, it’s time to turn the focus to two highly-anticipated freshmen. John Calipari’s recruiting class — hyped as one of the getting hyped as the best since the early 1990s — is best known for its depth (8 McDonald’s All-Americans), the two freshmen that stand out as potential All-Americans are Harrison and Randle. Outside of Andrew Wiggins, Randle has the best ability to dominate thanks to a 6-9, 240-pound frame. Randle has been criticized for having a lazy gene, but Calipari will put an end to that real quick, as will a stacked big man lineup to compete against behind returnee Willie Cauley-Stein and freshman big man Dakari Johnson. Harrison was rated as the top point guard in his class for good reason, as his control and decision making should bode well in the college game. But he also could have the most challenging job in the country: Making everyone on the Wildcats’ roster happy. It might not be by early season or mid-season, but these two players figure to be a scary mix for opponents come March.
To be honest, if Julius Randle has a lazy gene, I really have not heard of it. And from everything I’ve heard/read/seen about him, if he sees an article like this, he will use it as motivation.
Thanks to the Robert Morris loss and the silly (in my opinion) decision to bring them back to Rupp for a rematch, the pundits are going to be be after John Calipari this year. And it’s fine. He’s a big boy. He can take it.
But I will say this.
Anyone that expects this years Kentucky team to not come out 100% focused and hungry is going to be sorely disappointed this year. John Calipari has learned his lesson this year and the fact that Louisville won the title is just going to serve as additional ammo to fuel this team. To be fair, the author points out that Calipari will take care of the “lazy gene” if Randle has one.
But I think this is going to be a theme for this season. This season will be more about redemption for Calipari after last season more than anything else. And that is due to the media hate. Any other coach in the nation can have a bad season and it is written off to a “bad season”. With Cal, it is about questioning the methods and ability of a Hall of Fame level coach.
Just wait. Redemption is near.