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Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Who Is Going To Be This Years Leader?


In the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of a leader is “A person that leads by example, talents or qualities of leadership plays a directing role, wields commanding influence, or has a following in any sphere of activity of thought.” In the wake of Yahoo Sports article on Terrence Jones (click here for article) and being a leader, I will discuss who might be a leader this year.

So, with that definition, who on UK’s basketball team will “lead by example”, has “talents or qualities of leadership” and expresses a “commanding force.” there are a lot of people to chose from, but who fits most of if not all of these?

The case for Darius Miller:

*Can Darius Miller lead by example?          -When you look back to the South Carolina at Rupp, sure he can. He went off for over 20 points and lead UK in the good ole fashioned whoopin of the Gamecocks. Even when he doesn’t score a lot of points he does the nitty gritty work that speaks volumes.

*Does Darius Miller posses the talents for leadership?
-Without a doubt, Darius has so much potential that it’s not even funny. At 6’7 with excellent ball handling skills, a  low post game and a better than average outside shot he certainly has the skills to lead, but will he show that at any point this year? That will be the question 

*Can Darius Miller express a commanding force?
-As you well may know Miller really doesn’t have that commanding voice to get his teammates pumped, he isn’t the talking type. This was evident in most games where he seemed to disappear in games, mostly in the UConn game in the Final Four.

The case for Terrence Jones:

*Can Terrence Jones lead by example?
-The Terrence Jones of the early season from last year is the better “lead by example” Terrence Jones to look at. He was absolutely outstanding in the beginning of last year. As you remember the dunk against the 2 UConn players down in Maui, certainly would be a lead by example action. So yes he can.

*Does Terrence Jones posses talents for leadership?
-Much like Miller, Terrence Jones is 6’9 with exceptional ball handling skills for his size and has a better low post game than Darius Miller and has not a better than average outside shot but better than a lot of people his size. Jones definitely has what it takes skill wise.

*Does Terrence Jones have a commanding voice?
-At times last year you could really see he was active in the yelling department, especially after that dunk against the 2 Notre Dame players and smacked Cooley and said “Get over here!” that however was again in the beginning of the season. He didn’t get expressive much towards the end. After a year under his belt and Brandon Knight in the NBA he might feel that urge to be expressive.

The case for Doron Lamb:

*Can Doron Lamb lead by example?
-The question really goes beyond face value. Will Doron Lamb see enough minutes to lead by example? This has yet to be seen, because season hasn’t started. Lamb had his spurts where he would come off the bench and pick the team up offensively, but those were short lived except the game where he broke the single game record for most points scored by a freshman.

*Does Doron Lamb posses the talents for leadership?
-He is one of the best three point shooting players in all of college basketball. As a freshman Calipari called him “Buckets” because he would just go out and score, not only in games but practice. His defensive talents wouldn’t be up to par for being a leader.

*Does Doron Lamb have a commanding voice? 
-When last year did you see Doron get on his teammates and tell them to play better and be expressive? Cant think of any examples, me neither. Much like Miller he just keeps to himself and just breaks his opponent down and doesn’t say much afterward.

The case against the Freshman: 

Other than the skills aspect there is not much you can go by when evaluating them for leadership because they have not played one game with the name KENTUCKY across their chest. There is no denying Gilchrist’s, Davis’s, Teague’s or Wiltjer’s skills because they are the most talented and skilled freshman class in all of college. This is not to say that none guys can be the leader, it’s just they haven’t proven anything yet at Kentucky.

I think Terrence Jones will be and have to be the leader of this club. There will be games where he will not be the only maybe no even the ONE to lead, but for the most part Terrence Jones is the clear cut choice this season, whether he likes it or not.

Vote on the poll at top right hand corner for your choice of who the leader will be.

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