Ranking the 10 best players in the South Region that Kentucky could face on the way to the Final Four

John Calipari and the Wildcats will have a tough road to the Final Four out of the South Region in the NCAA Tournament, and these are the players in the way of the Wildcats and Final Four No. 19.

Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1)
Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1) / William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
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player. K.J. Simpson, PG. K.J. Simpson, PG. . 19.6 ppg 4.9 ast. 6. 514. KJ Simpson. . Junior 6'2" 189 lbs

KJ Simpson is one of those prototypical scoring guards that has given Calipari fits all season. He scores nearly 20 points a game and shoots over 45% from three, but his game is more of as a penetrator than a shooter. 

Though a bit undersized, Simpson is crafty enough to keep defenders away from his body around the rim and Colorado’s offense allows him to run through a series of off-ball screens so he can get separation and a head of steam. Even when Ugonna Onyenso or any of Kentucky’s bigs are ready for him in the lane, he’ll just stop short and flip a floater in from six feet. 

Kentucky doesn’t have any perimeter defender who will be able to keep Simpson out of the lane, and from there he can either score or distribute. He averages nearly five assists a game and as a team, Colorado shoots 39.5% from three, fifth best in the country. 

Luckily, for Kentucky, the only way that Kentucky will see Simpson is if the Buffaloes get through Boise State in the First Four, knock off Florida in the Round of 64, and then take care of either Marquette or Western Kentucky on the weekend, assuming the Wildcats hold up their end of the bargain.