Kentucky basketball: All-time win lead safe for now but for how long

Kentucky Wildcats verses Kansas (Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky Wildcats verses Kansas (Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Kentucky basketball
Kentucky guard Johnny Juzang /

The style has to change and players have to stay

The biggest factor that must change is the concept of voiding the roster yearly of supposed one-and-done players who don’t always pan out such as this year with Brandon Boston Jr. and Terrence Clarke.

Also needing reflection on is why players chose to bolt to other programs. Sure its playing time or some other undisclosed reason, but if you are talented enough to come to Kentucky you should be talented enough and love it enough to stay.

What if Kentucky still had Johnny Juzang instead of him heading back home to UCLA?

Last year in Lexington he started two games, averaged 12 minutes on the floor, and 2.9 points per game. He packed his bags for some reason of supposedly homesick.

Fast forward and we find him in the Sweet 16 for the Bruins and lighting it up. He has started all but one game and is on the floor 31 minutes averaging 15 points and has been deadly from 3 point range while clearly having fun. He leads all scorers in the tournament so far with 67 points.

Something Kentucky could have sure used.

Then there is Jermarl Baker Jr. who is nearly identical in stats. He never started at UK and played just 9 minutes a game and averaged 2.3 points. He also left after his freshman year and in two seasons later at Arizona has started every game before getting hurt seeing 29 minutes of floor time and 15 points a game.

If this year’s March Madness has taught players, fans, and hopefully coaches like Calipari anything is that a roster rich with talent from freshman to upperclassmen is what wins games. They know the offense, know what they need to run both on offense and defense, and know-how to fight and stay in games to the final horn.

This Wildcat team had none of that but was rich with the usual freshman-loaded roster that imploded in the closing four minutes of games and Calipari making the excuses of how young they are.

Whose fault is that?

The upperclassmen of late have come via the transfer portal in Reid Travis, Nate Sestina, Olivier Sarr, Davion Mintz to name a few. Now we have Oscar Tschiebwe already in the fold and on-campus practicing but no current Wildcat making the natural progression to upperclassman.

The fate of Keion Brooks is still undisclosed but would help and possibly the return of Mintz. The transfer portal is the latest tool to utilize as evidenced but the teams still dancing and can be successful if used wisely.

Go forth Cal and find us some shooters and playmakers.