Home » Blog » NCAAB: Kentucky Freshmen Need Time to Gel

NCAAB: Kentucky Freshmen Need Time to Gel

The NCAA basketball season has just started and the University of Kentucky Wildcats the defending NCAA champions have already lost a game. On Tuesday night, the Wildcats were beaten by the Duke Blue Devils 75-68 in the first game played between the two teams since 2001.

As Duke players were leaving the court in the Georgia Dome following the game, they were greeted by Kentucky fans that were not very polite after watching their team lose, except for one Kentucky fan who simply said, “You will not want to face us come March.”

That statement made sense to everyone that heard it. After two games, the new Wildcats are just 1-1. Not to good, thus far considering their only win was against a Maryland team that is unranked and their loss was against a mediocre team by Duke standards.

Many could easily call the new group of Wildcats mediocre as well, and say they will not be back in that same Georgia Dome come April for the Final Four. However, those people would be premature in their thoughts. Take into consideration for one minute that three of the top Kentucky players, Alex Poythress, Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel were only playing in their second game as collegians.

Everyone admits this group cannot matchup to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and much less, Anthony Davis and group that ripped through almost every team it faced last season in winning another national championship for the basketball program.

Goodwin had to play point guard during crunch time and was facing a Duke team on the floor with one fifth-year senior and two other true seniors. Goodwin is not a point guard however, Ryan Harrow is but he had to stay in Lexington due to the flu.

John Calipari the Head Coach for Kentucky said his team was trying to figure one another out still. Poythress in his second game did not disappoint with 20 points along with 8 rebounds. Once Harrow returns from the flu, he will be the one to change the team’s complexion. He can be the court general and get the ball to Poythress, Goodwin and Noel.

One thing in Kentucky’s favor this year as they defend their national title is there is not any one team that is a powerhouse in the country, as the Wildcats were last season. The Kentucky unit needs time to get their game legs, their collegiate legs and experience. They played against a point guard who has played the equivalent of 75 more games than the three Kentucky freshmen combined.

Kentucky will not intimidate anyone at this juncture of the season especially compared to last year’s team who did not even lose until December and lost just two all season. Over the past three seasons, the Wildcats have won more than 100 games and are the defending national champions, how can they not make a good run this season.

Kentucky showed poise late in the game as they cut a 14-point deficit to three with under two minutes remaining on the game clock. However, the experience of Duke then took over and they stretched the lead again.

Calipari said if his team looks like they did last night in January and February, then they will not turn into the team most feel they will, but for him and other diehard Kentucky fans, the calendar says it’s just mid November and March Madness is still months away.

  • 100%