Expectations will be high for Kentucky as we near the start of the 2013-14 season. Probably ridiculously high, actually. But when you add six McDonald’s All-Americans to a roster that returns former McDonald’s All-Americans like Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein, people tend to demand championships.
And in Lexington, championships are all that really matter.
Now that five of the eight incoming freshmen for Kentucky are on campus and working out with the team, head coach John Calipari has a better idea of where this team full of elite talent stacks up to his previous teams at Kentucky.
Calipari already noted that Poythress and Cauley-Stein have had to raise their level of play by now squaring off against newcomers Julius Randle and Dakari Johnson — each of whom are the No. 1 player at their position according to some recruiting analysts.
But while many will want to compare this group to the 2012 national championship team, Calipari told Kyle Tucker of USA Today Sports
that it’s more like another team he previously coached at Kentucky.
“I compare this team more to our team my first year (2010) than I compare them to the 2012 team,” Calipari said. “This will be probably a team that won’t be a great, great execution team, because there’s so many new guys like our first team, yet a team that physically can do things – athletically, physically, skill-wise – to beat teams even though they’re not the greatest execution team.”
This Kentucky team in 2013-14 will certainly have the talent — and unlike last season, the depth — to compete for a national championship but it will likely all depend on how all of that talent co-exists and plays as a team.
It will take time for so much talent to learn to play together, but Kentucky is one of a number of riveting subplots to monitor as we get closer to next season.
It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for me to be joined by a guest on the podcast and today, it was Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports.
Jeff is a west coast guy, so we spent some time talking about Pac-12 hoops and USC vs. Oregon. We also got into Kansas-West Virginia, Purdue’s win over Michigan State and Denzel Valentine vs. Buddy Hield.
And like me, Jeff is a bit of a beer snob, so we did have a chance to chat about some of our favorites early on. At this point, I should be sponsored by Bell’s.
Anyway, you can listen to the podcast by clicking “play” on the Soundcloud player embedded below. Or you can do so through either iTunes or Stitcher if you so choose. Thanks for listening!
Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has turned into a fan favorite at Rupp Arena.
Every home game, during one of the TV timeouts in the second half, ‘Mony Mony’ will come on, Dancing Guy will hop into the aisle and he’ll break it down like only a middle-aged white guy from Kentucky can.
As you can see, it didn’t quite go all that well for Dancing Guy on Tuesday night, as he tried to do a rail slide while holding a young, female fan and completely ate it.
Here’s another angle of the fall:
It looks much scarier that it actually was, as all reports indicate that everyone made it through the fall healthy.