Mar 8, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Willie Cauley-Stein (15) dunks against the Florida Gators during the first half at Stephen C. O

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball- Do we expect too much?

 

Do we expect too much?

            Overall, it’s a known fact that the University of Kentucky has devoted fans of the basketball program. Typically, it’s not hard to see that in situations like games, or in the lines for Big Blue Madness tickets. Although the players and coaching staff thoroughly enjoy the support, are we, as fans, expecting too much of these freshman athletes? Given that teams in the past have been so great, it’s natural for Kentucky fans to expect similar gameplay, if not better, because of the high-class recruits that come in every year. Ranked 25th in the AP poll at this point in the season, it’s a let down for most fans, as well as, for the players, but their overall record is 22-9. Until their loss by 19 points to the Florida Gators on Saturday, their biggest loss had been by only 10 points. Other games have been pretty close and their two biggest losses were both to Florida. With only 9 losses and both major losses being against the #1 ranked team in the AP poll, we aren’t having that poor of a season, other than the fact that we are the University of Kentucky and the fan base expects national championships. Maybe we just expect too much.

“It wasn’t our best day. That’s a great team. You can’t spot a team like that 20 points. They’re too good for that,” Leading scorer, Julius Randle, said Saturday in an interview with the Lexington Herald Leader

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement – USA Today Sports

Looking at the up side…

            There is a silver lining in every situation and a light at the end of every tunnel; you just have to look hard enough to find it. Our light at the end of the tunnel is talent. Regardless of the gameplay this season, it’s hard to deny the shear talent and athleticism contained in this basketball program. Most of these players are 4 and 5 star athletes straight out of high school. With teamwork and execution of plays, this team has potential in years to come.

“Didn’t have enough to finish the game, especially against a team that good. You can’t spot a team 24 points, in their building, No. 1 team on senior night, and think you’re going to win.” Coach John Calipari said in an interview Saturday with the Lexington Herald Leader

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Where do we go from here?

            As a team, where we go from here is a huge aspect when looking forward to next season. With hopes that many of these guys will be returning to the University and the basketball program, in the offseason there will be plenty of time to work on themselves as a team and as individuals, outside of the gym. A major component of a winning team seems to be that they’re actually a team. They work together and feed off of each other’s strengths to cover up each other’s weaknesses. By doing that, I think this team could help lead each other to greatness once again, just like in previous years.

Team leaders, keep on leading

 

According to the stats, the leading scorer in the game Saturday was Julius Randle (which isn’t a big surprise to me) with 16 points. Randle is also the leading scorer for the season with 15.4 points. The leading rebounder was also Randle, with 10 rebounds. Andrew Harrison is leading in both assists and steals with 5 and 3. Lastly, Willie Cauley-Stein led the team in blocks with 1. One thing that may help this team in continuation with the 2013-14 season and seasons following is if these leaders keep on leading the team.

Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

My opinion, what needs serious assistance…

            One thing that definitely needs to be improved going forward is their assists. Being ranked 266th overall in assists per game should say a lot about team dynamics. As has been made evident this season, running straight up to the basket through defenders is not working. You have 4 other people on the court for a reason and although taking it to the basket may work in some situations, we may see great improvement if we moved the ball a little more. Other teams are expecting our guys to drive in and try to dunk it or seal a layup, but when everyone is ready for it, the shots just aren’t falling. We need to make strong passes and give the other teams exactly what they aren’t expecting. Be unordinary.

 

 

 

 

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