For the next five days, Beyond the Arc will detail what some teams need. Hey, we’re in a giving mood.
What do you get the team that has everything? It will be tough to make a list for the number-three team in the country, but we’ll give it a shot.
Here’s what John Calipari should be hoping to get under his tree on Christmas morning.
What other teams have Christmas wish lists? Click here
Must Have: Terrence Jones healthy, aggressive, and focused
John Calipari said that Terrence Jones looked “shell-shocked” during his four-point, six-turnover performance in a loss to Indiana on Dec. 10.
In the following game against Chattanooga, Jones dislocated a finger, played only 10 minutes, didn’t score a point, and turned the ball over twice. That injured finger kept him out of Kentucky’s 82-50 blowout of Samford on Tuesday night.
So, what’s wrong with this preseason All-American?
At certain points this season, there has been a stark contrast between his performance in one game and the next, going off for 26 points in a dominating performance against St. John’s, then falling flat against Indiana, sitting on the bench during key stretches of the game.
With the youth that Kentucky relies on, Jones needs to regain his swagger, be aggressive, attack the basket, and show he can take over a game, if Kentucky wants to win a national title.
Stocking Stuffer: A commitment from Shabazz Muhammad
Kentucky won’t get Muhammad right away, as he’ll be signing in the spring, but isn’t it funny that a “stocking stuffer” for Kentucky is the number one-overall prospect in the Class of 2012?
The versatile swingman went for 28 points and 15 rebounds on Tuesday at the City of Palms Classic, in a win over Miller Grove (Ga.).
Muhammad would be the fourth recruit for the Wildcats in a stellar 2012 class, to go along with Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress, and Willie Cauley.
Planning to re-gift: Last 5.6 Seconds vs. Indiana
Kentucky had two fouls to give when Christian Watford rose and fired, nailing a three-pointer at the buzzer and handing the Wildcats their first and, to this point, only loss of the season.
You can’t draw too many conclusions, but had Kentucky fouled, things may have turned out differently. Instead, the Wildcats lost their number one ranking, but they did gain some lessons that will help them down the road.
Tough environment, fought from behind late, did it all without Terrence Jones.
Maybe it was a gift in disguise.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_