Which Is Harder, Getting To The Top, Or Staying ?When John Calipari took the UK coaching job, he promised a return to excellence. A renewal of the glory days of UK Basketball. He made no bones about what he intended to do, and how he intended to do it. He has reinforced this at every turn. He has once again made Lexington, Kentucky the capital of the world of college basketball. For the second time since his coming to Lexington, the Kentucky Wildcats are on top of the polls and nationallt accepted as the best team in college, for the moment. But can they sustain this rise to the top by maintaining that ranking?
Some will say that rankings mean nothing when it comes tournament time, because you have to beat all comers when they hit the floor. But Kentucky has had to deal with the "cards they have been dealt" when it comes to the seeding in recent years, and that can be helped by maintaining that #1 ranking. Kentucky has not only the talent this year to win it all, they have the intricate pieces they need to be exactly what they need to when it comes to playing different styles against different teams as they face them in tournament-style play. Running and gunning one night, slugging through the trenches the next, and lobbing grenades from three point land the next are all possible with this squad. They play defense like they were born to it, and there is not a selfish bone in even one of their bodies. If there is a weakness it is at the point, but that gets better every time they hit the floor. Marquis Teague is a big time point guard with an upside which is phenomenal, and with Doron Lamb and Darius Miller backing him up he has nothing to worry about. But after the Christmas break he will get even more help as Twany Beckham becomes eligible to play.Beckham has size and bulk to fight through screens and loves to make plays, and understands his role, as do all of the others.
Of course, what really scares most coaches is the versatility of this squad. Anthony Davis can bring the ball up the floor as easily as he can dunk it from the foul line. The pieces are virtually interchangeable up to the 5 through the first 10 guys on the bench. There is power, finesse, speed, amazing one on one defense as well as team defense.And they are going to get better every time they take the court.
Kentucky has gotten through the toughest part of their early schedule by overcoming UNC. Now they face Indiana and make the next step towards taking it all. Standing in their way are those same Hoosiers, the Louisville Cardinals, and a host of SEC foes who all want a piece of the action. But it will be to no avail. This team has that special difference making quality that will let them overcome the obstacles they face. No matter who they may be. This season is not about who the Cats play, it is about who they are.