Update: Tough losses at South Carolina and Tennessee. But, UK is still ranked #3 overall and appears headed for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. So, the best is yet to come for Kentucky basketball in 2010. By the way, this year was the first time UK has been the top ranked team in college basketball since 2003. Go Cats!!
The University of Kentucky fan base has been waiting a long time for the Wildcat basketball program to return to its rightful place at the top of the SEC basketball pecking order. While there have been some sporadic periods of success in recent years, it is fairly obvious that the conference has been dominated more recently by the friendly neighbor to the southeast, the University of Florida. And UK has decided that enough is enough, and has brought in one of the more successful national coaches to take over the reins.
John Calipari's successes are unquestionable. He has a tremendous career winning percentage of nearly .750, and has won at every stop of his coaching career to date, and has made deep runs into the NCAA Tournament at both the University of Massachusetts as well as at Memphis, neither school particularly prominent as basketball hotbeds prior to his arrival. However, Calipari is somewhat of a lightning rod, and with his successes do come some baggage. And while he has had success in the past, his successes have never come at an institution with the expectations of the University of Kentucky. Billy Gillespie was one of the hottest coaches in the nation when he arrived, and he could not handle the pressure. Here's our NEW John Calipari Biography.
One thing is for certain. John Calipari is coming into a program and a situation in which the program is not exactly in bad shape talent-wise. In fact, the team is projected by many to make a deep tournament run this season. However, Calipari is going to have to orchestrate some magic this year for the simple reason that there is an awful lot of talent gone from last year's team, and an awful lot of talent coming in. On a pure comparison basis, the talent is not much different. However, it is younger, and will have to develop.
Jodie Meeks was a tremendous offensive player last season, and it is going to be a challenge to replace his scoring output. In fact, more than likely, no single player will be able to step in and immediately replace that output.
The incoming freshman class that Coach Calipari is toting out this year is tremendously impressive. John Wall is pretty clearly the top ranked incoming freshman in the nation. This five star point guard is able to do everything, and is a potential one year player at the collegiate level, particularly if he can refine his shot. Big man DeMarcus Cousins has some of the finesse of a player 6 inches smaller, and may be one of the most versatile inside players in the nation when he is through. Daniel Orton fits a similar mold to that of Cousins, with somewhat lesser of an offensive game.
In term of returning talent, Patrick Patterson is the cream of the crop on this roster. He will be the player to whom Wall is dishing primarily, and he will probably average close to if not over 20 points per game. Perry Stevenson will contribute as well, and should show some leadership inside to the younger biog men coming in this season. One of the more interesting returning players is Darius Miller, a small forward with a unique skillset. He could start for many other teams within the SEC.
All told, Kentucky has loads of talent. The question is, is the talent mature enough to make an impact from day one? The feeling here is that the team is going to be a deep NCAA Tournament threat come March, although probably will not go deeper than the Sweet Sixteen.
- 2010 UK B-ball Preview
- Best All-Time College Basketball Coach
- Best All-Time College Basketball Program
- Best All-Time College Basketball Team
- 2008 - 2009 Kentucky Wildcats Basketball
- 2007 - 2008 Kentucky Wildcats Basketball (Great Kentucky Basketball Pictures)
- Billy Gillispie Biography -- Former UK coach
- John Calipari Biography -- Current UK coach
- Kentucky Basketball History
- Best All-Time SEC Basketball Team
- Biggest SEC Basketball Rivalry
- Top All-Time SEC Basketball Coach
- Top All-Time SEC Basketball Player
- Top All-Time SEC Basketball Program
- Top SEC Basketball Fan Attendance School
- University of Kentucky Lexington Trip
If you are looking for our 2008-2009 Kentucky Wildcats Basketball page, check out 2008-2009 Kentucky Wildcats Basketball.
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