They said that this crop of Kentucky Wildcats freshmen were the most talented class of freshmen since the Fab Five led Michigan to the Final Four over twenty years ago.
So what happened? Outside of Julius Randle, I don’t see a single freshman on this team in which I could say that I would draft them if the NBA Draft were held today.
It’s not to take away anything from their talent but it says something when the team is ranked in the preseason at the top and, at times, looks like they don’t belong in the Top 25 at all. Outside of returning sophomores Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress, where is the veteran leadership on this team? Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson are veterans but they won’t have a career in the NBA.
I’m not a fan of the One and Dones system. It does absolutely nothing in the long run. What Carmelo Anthony did with Syracuse in 2002-2003 and Anthony Davis in 2011-2012 were anomalies for college basketball. It is very rare for freshmen to lead their squad to a National Championship. They also had veteran leadership that could step up off the bench, too.
This is a team that has several McDonald’s All-Americans but Marcus Lee has struggled to see much, if any, playing time this season. True, he started four games when Cal shook things up but he hasn’t even played in twenty games this season.
As great as James Young has been from outside the arc this season with a team high of 56 made three point field goals, I can’t help but wonder what a Kyle Wiltjer would mean for this team right now in terms of not just veteran leadership but a leader on the floor.
This team only has four guys averaging points in double figures. For this team to make a deep run in March, that has to increase by a few more players.