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Serious Question: Could Kentucky Hypothetically Field Two Top 25 Teams Next Year?


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Yes, it’s that time of the summer.  We all know the 2011-12 edition of the Kentucky Wildcats is going to be good.  Perhaps even scary good.  They will have experience (Miller, Jones, Lamb,) to blend with talent (Gilchrist, Davis, Teague, Wiltjer,) to make up one of the likely two best teams taking the court next year.  Anyone who isn’t an idiot has Kentucky penciled in as 1 or 2 headed into next season – with the rest of the top 25 a guessing game.  But could Kentucky take up two spots in the top 25?  I know they can’t technically, since they’re just one team, but split the team in half.  Are those teams good enough to both take a spot in the top 25? Let’s take a look at two possible divisions.

If you picked two team captains (let’s say Miller and Jones,) it would yield a more even split, and the starting fives might looks something like this:

Team A

PG: Teague

SG: Hood/Poole

SF: Miller

PF: Wiltjer

C: Davis

Team B

PG: Polson/Beckham

SG: Lamb

SF: Gilchrist

PF: Jones

C: Vargas

In that scenario – I think both teams do end up in the top 25 at some point. Team A’s biggest weakness would be at the Shooting Guard with Hood, but their talent at every other position would exceed what you would see from most top 25 teams, so while they might not be a perennial top ten team, they would be in there.  Team B would obviously need some help at the point guard position – which is where Ryan Harrow would really help – but Polson proved himself to be a hard worker when he got in games last year, and with Lamb able to handle the offense at times, this would likely resemble some of the Michael Porter run teams.  There’s plenty of talent, you just have to make sure they get the ball.

If you went with a straight up first team and second team, it really wouldn’t look much different, but let’s take a look anyways.

Team A

PG: Teague

SG: Lamb

SF: Miller

PF: Jones

C: Davis

Team B

PG: Polson/Beckham

SG: Hood/Poole

SF: Gilchrist

PF: Wiltjer

C: Vargas

Of course, you could switch Gilchrist to the first team, swap around Miller or Lamb, but for this hypothetical discussion let’s go with those teams.  It’s less likely in this scenario that the second team makes its way into the Top 25, but stranger things have happened.  Put them in a minor conference and that team challenges for a league title – if not solely on the back of Gilchrist.  And let’s face it, no matter what the combination, those teams would both still beat Louisville.

Article written by Will Lentz

33 responses to “Serious Question: Could Kentucky Hypothetically Field Two Top 25 Teams Next Year?”

  1. mocha

    Good thoughts, never looked at it that way.
    But since it doesn’t matter that probably explains my actions.

  2. Josh Hopkins

    I’m not trying to be a homer but they are both are top ten. Seriously

  3. Pick Ratino

    Throw in Siva, Preston’s hairbrush, and some clam sauce from Porcini’s and you would have something with team B. But probably for only :15 or so, then the team would spontaneously abort.

  4. tbc

    ok, ive said it several times on here. jarrod P. is as good as ANY back up pnt at uk. he is as good as harrow. the dunk you posted on here. jarrod can do that. uk is lucky to have him. beckham is not a true pnt. you have to understand recruiting to understand why jarrod is where he is. he’s is very similar to goran dragic. and yes he is a legit 6’2″. when he has been on the floor at uk, he is holding back and playing a role.

  5. Roland

    Does anyone really care about top 25 teams? We might even have the next Greatest Moment In UK BB history again with 6 1st round choices next year (Is there really a NBA). You care about that? Going undefeated? I like that idea. Unlikely, cause we may lose to UNC early. Then there those talented motivated teams UK runs into during the season. But Tournament time excites me.

  6. Roland

    my bad, you guys need something to talk about. My comment, opposing coaches will be worrying about how playing UK affects their contracts.

  7. FattyMcButterpants

    How about we win #8 with any combination of players we have, not worry about rankings and BS media coverage, convince the world that Lexington isn’t the laziest city in America, and then celebrate by eating the sh*t out of some pizza and wings and doing keg stands on Calipari’s porch while tipping over cars and setting virgins on fire? Sound good?

  8. Roland

    7: the virgins on fire was figuratively right? Couches in streets maybe if the witness factor is down.

  9. Roland

    If ya do set the virgins on fire, beware or the roman candle effect and ya both go off and that commitment things raises it head.

  10. PatPattersonISWalkingThruThatDoor

    Been saying this exact thing since TJ announced he was coming back. This team isn’t just one of the rare “Could field two Top 25 teams” versions of Kentucky. This is, from top to bottom, the most talented Kentucky roster in history. 96 was more mature and well-oiled, but this one has more talent.

  11. bluesunglassesatnight

    10.) are you kidding me?? 96 Cats had the #1 and #2 in the country! Never duplicated! Ever!

  12. Mike

    Please.

  13. BA

    Nobody knows shit until they practice and play; shoulda learned that last year!

  14. tdogg4033011

    FREAKISHLY NASTY is what they are …… #1 team in the country hands down !!!

  15. TT

    undefeated season coming up in 11-12!! remember you heard it here first;)!!

  16. bluesunglassesatnight

    TT, I hope so! Go Cats!

  17. Dennis Weaver

    I’d personally rather play with four players instead of using Hood. Just sayin’.

  18. Dennis Weaver

    Of course I’m dead so my opinion is relatively worthess. Except to debase the living.

  19. captain kirk

    #10 thinking the came thing about the 96 team but what is dif between next year and the 96 team is you could have split the 96 team up and they would have met in the ncaa championship that team have something like 9 first rounders or something crazy like that

  20. Mad Hatter

    The cats will lose three or four. We will lose to North Carolina, and a couple road games early but will really come together and beat North Carolina and that silly Roy Willams suit for the title.

  21. Beetle bum

    No.

  22. MikeD.

    #20 id take the cats in rupp over carolina anyday. With that being said if everything holds true to form, which it wont, we will see carolina in the final four. its very hard to beat a very good team twice in a year. just like they split games this year. im sure im not alone in saying i would rather loose to them during the regular season ending the home winning streak, and then beating them for the title. #8 happens this year

  23. Allday33

    4. Gotta disagree that he’s legit 6’2. I’m 5’10 and he had no more than 2 inches on me. And he’s not as good as harrow. Harrow is the starter for the 12′-13′ team and apparently he’s tearing up the pick up games lately. I do agree that he’s good tho. Better than most people think. He’s better than most walkons. And I agree he could do more but he’s just filling his role doing what cal says when he’s in there.

  24. reedwizard

    1996 National Champions
    Turner
    Delk
    Mercer
    Walker
    Nazr Mohammed
    Bench: Cameron Mills, Oliver Simmons

    Epps
    Anderson
    Sheppard
    McCarty
    Pope
    Bench: Jared Prickett, Allen Edwards

    Holy Shizz, Batman. The ’96 team was sick and still barely beat UMass and only beat Syracuse by 8. We have a decent shot at the title this year, but honestly, I’m tired of hearing about how great the team is this year. Come on guys, give this team a chance to get it together and let’s see where they’re at in February.

    Also, Brandon Knight is not the greatest player ever and he wasn’t the best player on the team last year. Yes, he handled the ball the most and had the most opportunity to make plays and score. If you re-watch the tournament games, you will see that he shot us out of several games and was hurting us by forcing shots because he couldn’t drive around “inferiorly” talented opponents. He shot us out of the UConn game for sure, and Aaron Craft, the slower, smaller, whiter and less talented freshman for Ohio State shut him down in that game, and was guarded by Liggins after he blew by Knight several times in each half. I’m glad he was with us and loved having him at UK, but no one seems to remember how poorly he played in most of the tourney games because he hit two game winners.

  25. ummm

    24. Thats what I been saying all along. No one wants to hear the truth.

  26. Han

    Our biggest weakness is another freshman at the point. We lost several games last year because of careless mistakes at the end of the game by Knight and Lamb, when Miller and Harrelson weren’t yet providing real leadership. But we should be so long and athletic at the 3, 4 and 5 at all times that that won’t be a problem most of the time this year. Not to mention more experience all around (important with foul problems) and extra bodies next to last year.

    If Teague shows he can play with all that talent around him and not turn it over or get into foul trouble, we truly could go undefeated. We return the leadership and drive to avenge the Final Four loss in Miller, Jones and Lamb, add insane talent — potentially unstoppable offense — in Davis, Gilchrist and Wiltjer. If Hood, Poole or Vargas improves at all, and no one backslides a bunch, we will be wicked. UNC will be a big test because of their returning talent and experience, as will the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. And then that first couple road games in the SEC. After that, 2 players will killer instinct out of Miller, Lamb, Jones, Teague, Davis and Gilchrist will make us untouchable. Assuming no injuries or major chemistry problems.

    1) Teague, Lamb, Polson, Miller, (Beckham 2nd semester)
    2) Lamb, Miller, Gilchrist, Hood
    3) Miller, Gilchrist, Jones, Poole, Hood
    4) Jones, Davis, Wiltjer, Vargas, Miller, Gilchrist,
    5) Davis, Wiltjer, Vargas, Jones

    The potential lineups are ridiculous.

  27. Han

    Also, I am preemptively coining the nickname for this team:
    “12 Angry Men in 2012″
    Dispensing justice in a court of ball.
    The charge? 8 counts of national supremacy.
    The punishment? Immortality.

  28. Jalockehop

    Team A would be a top 5 team, your crazy if you think Team B would ever sniff Top 25. Sure they have Gilchrist. Wiltjer could develop well.. But Polson could never runn a top 25 team. Beckham should surprise allot of people but he may not develop quick enough… Fact is Team b has no Pg and they would never get in the rankings..

  29. REALITY

    Subs?

  30. tom

    I applaud Will’s enthusiasm but…I think two teams in the top 25 is a bit optimistic. Now if the NBA changes their age limit and these guys are forced to stay another year, losing just Darius and bringing in a stable of young studs to add to the lot…then two top 20 teams NEXT year would not be a stretch. Keep believing Will!

  31. Lex07

    Are both of these teams supposed to be in the Top 25 playing 5-man rotations?

    .

  32. tbc

    #23, you are obviously young and incorrect. accept for the last two lines. since i coached him…………..

  33. Catmandoo

    This team is going to be flying up and down the court being able to sub and run