It’s impossible to replace players like John Wall. In his lone season at Kentucky, the lightning-quick point guard led the Wildcats to 35 wins, was a consensus first-team All-American and the SEC player of the year.
But Brandon Knight seems up to the challenge.
Sure, his UK debut was an exhibition Sunday against the University of Windsor, but Knight was rock solid. He scored 31 points on 11 of 19 shots, grabbed seven boards, dished four assist and had zero turnovers in 28 minutes. Not bad.
“Let me say this guys, he was nervous before the game. He wanted to go throw up,” said coach John Calipari. “I said, ‘If you don’t have butterflies and aren’t nervous before the game you probably shouldn’t play for me.'”
A Sea of Blue notes that Knight pushes the ball like Wall, but that’s where the comparisons stop: “He isn’t really a one-man fast break like Wall was. But he shoots the ball much better, and I think he handles it better than Wall, particularly in traffic. Knight got beat too often after trying to swipe the ball.”
As for the rest of Calipari’s group – which was without freshman big men Enes Kanter and Eloy Vargas – check out A Sea of Blue for an excellent rundown.
The most interesting observation? The group was all business. No showboating, little high-fiving, etc. Maybe they’re not comfortable with each other yet or maybe they wanted to impress their coach.
Or maybe they’re just following Knight’s lead.