Kentucky has dropped two straight after Thursday’s 72-62 loss to Georgia, which has only added to the bubble talk that has centered around this team for much of the season.
Since Nerlens Noel went down with a torn ACL, the Wildcats are 3-3 and head into Saturday’s afternoon showdown with No. 11 Florida. A win against Florida would bluster Kentucky’s resume, but a loss would force the Wildcats to make a run in the SEC Tournament. Head coach John Calipari put it simply to his team at Friday’s practice: “This is a one-game season.”
The stage is set for Big Blue Nation to lift its spirits. It’s at home, on senior day against the top team in the SEC. The same team that smacked them by 17 back on Feb. 12, which was also the game where Noel suffered his season-ending injury. If that’s not enough, maybe Kentucky isn’t deserving.
Coach Cal took all the blame for the team’s lack of chemistry, yet Archie Goodwin stated after the Georgia loss, the players have more than their fair share.
We’ve got one more regular season game left and there is not much you can coach us about. You can’t coach a mentality. You just can’t do it. He’s prepared us thus far, but you just can’t coach a mentality. You’ve got to want to do it.”
If the Wildcats want to be one of the 68 names called on Selection Sunday, they have the chance to prove it on Saturday with a marquee win to wrap up the regular season. Big Blue Nation will have a better sense of security with a win over the eleventh-ranked team in the country, especially with potential bid thieves coming from various conference tournaments.
The damage has been done with especially since Noel has gone done. All three losses have been by double figures, including a 30-point lss to Tennessee. Although Kentucky did beat Missouri, two of the three wins during this stretch have been against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, who combine for a 10-24 conference record.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Nahziah Carter is an unsigned 6-foot-6 wing in the Class of 2017.
He’s also Jay-Z’s nephew, and he just so happened to posterize Marvin Bagley III — the clearcut No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2018 — while Hova was in the stands watching him.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has denied North Carolina State guard Terry Henderson’s request for another year of eligibility.
Henderson announced the decision Friday in a statement issued by the school.
The Raleigh native played two seasons at West Virginia before transferring to N.C. State and redshirting in 2014-15. He played for only 7 minutes of the following season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
As a redshirt senior in 2016-17, he was the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.8 points per game and made a team-best 78 3-pointers.
Henderson called it “an honor and privilege” to play in his hometown.
SMU pulled in a frontcourt player in Georgetown transfer Akoy Agau, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. Agau is immediately eligible for next season as a graduate transfer.
The 6-foot-8 Agau started his career at Louisville before transferring to Georgetown after one season. Spending two seasons with the Hoyas, Agau was limited to 11 minutes in his first season due to injuries. He averaged 4.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
Coming out of high school, Agau was a four-star prospect but he’s never lived up to that billing in-part because of injuries. Now, Agau gets one more chance to make a difference as he’s hoping to help replace some departed pieces like Ben Moore and Semi Ojeleye.
South Carolina big man Sedee Keita will transfer from the program, he announced on Friday.
The 6-foot-9 Keita was once regarded as a top-100 national prospect in the Class of 2016, but he never found consistent minutes with the Gamecocks for last season’s Final Four team.
Keita appeared in 29 games and averaged 1.1 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while shooting 27 percent from the field.
A native of Philadelphia, Keita will have to sit out next season before getting three more seasons of eligibility.
Although Keita failed to make an impact during his only season at South Carolina, he’ll be a coveted transfer thanks to his size and upside.
Mississippi State will lose two players to transfer as freshmen Mario Kegler and Eli Wright are leaving the program.
Both Kegler and Wright were four-star prospects coming out of high school as they were apart of a six-man recruiting class that is supposed to be a major foundation for Ben Howland’s future with the Bulldogs.
The 6-foot-7 Kegler was Mississippi State’s third-leading scorer last season as he averaged 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Kegler should command some quality schools on the transfer market, especially since he’ll still have three more years of eligibility after sitting out next season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Kegler’s loss is also notable for Mississippi State because it is the second consecutive offseason that Howland lost a top-100, in-state product to transfer after only one season after Malik Newman left for Kansas.
Wright, a 6-foot-4 guard, was never able to find consistent minutes as he was already behind underclass perimeter options like Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Tyson Carter last season. With Nick Weatherspoon, Quinndary’s four-star brother, also joining the Bulldogs next season, the writing was likely on the wall that Wright wasn’t going to earn significant playing time.