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UK vs Baylor: Experience a Key for Cats?

One of the common criticisms of John Calipari’s teams at Kentucky has been their youth. It’s been something that many of the naysayers have said will prevent them from winning a National Championship. The Cats will face a Baylor team this afternoon which may match up with the Cats athletically about as good as any team they will face this season. However, for probably the first time all year, Kentucky might just be the more experienced team.

Both teams have one senior as a major contributor. Big man Quincy Acy fills the senior leadership role for Baylor and Darius Miller for Kentucky. Both teams have super sophomores as well.  Perry Jones III, a suspected one-and-done when he arrived in Waco last season, has returned for the Bears as Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb have for Kentucky. Quincy Miller is Baylor’s diaper dandy, and we all know the Cats have plenty of those.

Both teams have an abundance of young players with length and athleticism, which will present one-on-one match-ups that I’m sure NBA scouts are drooling over. Also, look for Baylor to use that length in a zone defense at times to force UK to make outside shots. If Davis (and Jones) can stay on the court and his presence is simply there inside defensively to contain Acy and Jones III, UK should be in position to win the game provided they can match their season shooting averages. The bottom line: the Cats just have to be their usual selves.

 UK’s season shooting averages are 49% from the field, 73% from the free throw line, and 38% from 3-point range. If they shoot even close to those percentages, Davis stays out of foul trouble, and Terrence Jones plays as physical as he did Friday night, we win.  It’s that simple. Although both teams are very talented, Kentucky has clearly executed all season long at a much higher level than Baylor. The Bears are 1-5 against the top 5 seeds in this tournament on the season, while the Cats are 6-2. Kentucky is better coached, more polished, poised, and maybe even slightly more experienced when you factor in that three key players played in a Final Four a year ago for the Cats. The Bears should provide a challenge, but the biggest thing that can stop Kentucky is themselves.

Thanks for having me around this weekend, it’s been fun. Visit us at and follow me on Twitter @wilmhoffKSR.

Article written by John Wilmhoff

Former beer vendor, college mascot and ESPN editor. This spring, you can also find me blogging about the Reds on Follow me on Twitter: @JohnWilmhoff

44 responses to “UK vs Baylor: Experience a Key for Cats?”

  1. Blue Jesus

    What year is Heslip?

  2. Chokecal

    Can only imagine what would happen in the BBN if the cats loss this game! Big brother would have to sit back and watch little brother represent the state, lol So much pressure, so much pressure..even the biggest fan would have to admit that they are mire than a little worried, you know Cal has a problem coaching in tight situations and winning the big games…just something to think about…

  3. PsychOfMSE

    All year we have poo-poo’d the idea of experience being a key factor for any team against Kentucky. We have always said talent trumps experience. Now that we finally go up against a team that has less experience and now we’re crying “Experience is a key factor for the cats!”.

    Cmon, you can’t have it both ways!!!


    Chokecal….dig a hole, lay down it and die!

  5. Chokecal

    Mmm, I love the taste of Pitino so much it should be an ice cream flavor. I would eat it every 15 seconds in honor of how long he lasts in bed!

  6. Ville Cat

    True UK fans, stop feeding in the these trolls and letting them get u going.

  7. Mike

    5) gross

  8. UK's Freshmen

    **cough**cough**cough**. Choke.

  9. Rae

    2. If Cal can’t win big games, how did UK beat Ohio State last year? And UNC?

  10. Blueballn

    I mean honestly think about it , how hard would it b to prepare your team to defend UK!! We come in waves relentlessly!!! Our first 6 could score 25 anytime they wanted!! Balls to the wall today fellas if we come out on a big run in the first 5 min Baylor will fold like a shotgun!

  11. milescat

    I think the key to Baylor is Jackson. Teague and him will be an intersting matchup. I say at times Cal will put MKG on him. Jackson is the head of Baylor, while Acey is the heart. Should be an entertaining game. Cats by 6!

  12. Smoke

    Someone please calm my nerves!

  13. bbnfan#1

    how can i stream the game

  14. BamaCat55

    Coach Cal will always get some of the one and done players as the rules allow. Over time I expect the teams will begin to get older and experienced. When he came to Kentucky he didn’t have a lot to work with and had to get the best available talent and they had to play right away.

  15. Chokecal

    Can u imagine what it would feel like to lose..all the hype 3 number one classes and three failed attempts to get#8. On top of that seeing little brother play while u lick ur wounds at home!!!! Priceless!!!!!

  16. Your Comment is Awaiting Moderation

    cats cruise

  17. Big Blue 66

    11. jackson is 5’10 maybe….MKG will not guard him, the trick I think is for Teague not to foul if he get by him, because we have lots of time to have help come over and swat the ball.

  18. Big Blue 66

    15. i appreciate what youre trying to say, but none of us on here play today, so you are kinda wasting your breathe…i feel your words are filled with “ppplllleeeeeaaaassssseeeeee Baylor,get lucky and take the cats out, cause they will bash our little no talent team to death again. I think you are the one worried, not us.

  19. Brad Gaines

    I can’t believe they wrote this about Cal? Car salesman?

    This was a respected magazine in my household but it seems as if somwone from Syracuse paid Forbes too much money to write it.

  20. #WWMKGD

    15. We beat OSU AND UNC to reach the final four last year, you beat a team we beat three times. oh, and where were you last year? losing in the first round? yup.

  21. Brad Gaines
  22. Best coach is 60 miles west

    The ‘VILLE IS IN THE FINAL FOUR . . Here kitty, kitty,kitty . . .

  23. Chokecal

    Should Cal be fired if he loses? That would mean hehad failed to win anything with 3 teams of nba talent..

  24. Rixter

    I’m still having trouble believing had the gall to mention UK and BBN yesterday. How inappropriate can a supposedly educated man get? UK is not on Pitino’s schedule until December, why would he even mention them? And to put down their fan base, regardless…is….well, the most unprofessional thing I’ve ever heard of! But keep giving ammunition to whomever you play next, you big dummy!

  25. Rixter

    I’m not sure if Louisville fans are too stupid to know what a beatdown awaits them, or they just feel ike they need to put up a false bravado. There isn’t a Card fan around that truly wants another taste of what UK will give them. Not even the dumbest of the dumb!

  26. Al's IndiCats

    This weekend we feasted on Hoosiers and Bears, Next week we’ll feed on Tardnals, and Gay-hawks.
    My guess is that all the Trolls that are in here were the same Tards that just a few short months ago were screaming for quick Ricks head. No worry little “sister”, we’ll meet again Saturday, and after that you can return to your morbid little sister lives in your grandparents basement and asking that question many….many Looserville grads has asked for decades……Would you like to “Biggie Size those fries”?

  27. John Wilmhoff

    #3, I agree…give me talent over experience, BUT when talent is equal or close to equal, experience can’t be a bad thing. I think we’ll be much more composed than Baylor bc we have guys that have won at this stage.

  28. Beavis

    With the problems U of L has on offense,,,,,they do not want to play UK again. But in case we beat Baylor today here is a tip for the Louisville faithful when we meet again,,,,,don’t pack much,,,,you won’t need it.

  29. don

    key to the game will be officiating. tight game we lose, let them play we win. hope we dont see that crew from friday night

  30. Chokecal

    Just curious, wld u consider this season a failure if you dont advance past baylor or beat the cards?

  31. CATS

    Nah. Elite 8, Final 4, elite 8. I’ll take it. Plus we already beat your asses

  32. Smoke

    I believe we play much better “TEAM” ball than Baylor, should be a very competetive game. Either way lets toss it up!

  33. QuickyRicky

    As I sit here scratching my nuts,

    I wonder why anyone (Troll) would crawl out of their mom’s
    basement, grab a pack of GPC CIGARETTES, sipping from last nights Mad Dog 20/20, wondering
    how many days until the welfare check rolls in and figuring out if you can make it to Blu Orleans in your oil burning Caprice Classic, only to watch their TARDS lose to big brother. Who would ever think that is a good idea?


  34. Chokecal

    31- I would think falling short with all that talent, u wld question cals coaching ability

  35. CATS

    Nope. The best team hardly ever wins it all. And if we dont this year, we RELOAD and have another run next year… #getonourlevel

  36. Smoke

    Chokecal sounds like he’s been chockin his own chicken(Cardinals)to much. Little penis syndrome maybe IDK.

  37. Rae

    34. I would only blame Cal if it were a clear coaching decision, like not calling a timeout or putting Polson in. Cal can’t make the shots fall.

  38. QuickyRicky

    Be careful what you wish for TARDS. Your dreams may very well come true. Save your bus tokens maybe TARC will have a travel plan to Blu Orleans, the trip will not include hotel stay.

  39. milescat

    17. MKG has been put on small guards before (Siva). When lineups are favorable, he will be guarding him. Plus, we switch a lot of ball screens so it may not be an issue. Teague will have a hard time guarding Jackson IMO.

  40. Paratrooper

    The matchup that is the most troublesome is point guard. Teague missed 5 layups against IU and 5 wide open uncontested shots from 10-12 feet. He has to do better than that or put the ball in the hands of Lamb or Miller. They can score inside or outside. Teague can not and that has been the story for most of this season. If he plays well, we win by 10 or more. If he plays like he did against LSU in the SEC tourney, we lose today. And I hope I’m wrong because I want that 8th banner as much(or more)than anyone in BBN.

  41. ChokeCalShowsHisIntelligence

    Dude. It is time to move out of you parents basement and get a life. You have posted like three of four times on a UK message board! Not worried about Chickens today as the focus in on Baylor! The season is a success! If we do not win it all it will be a disappointment but 90% of Cats fans will be fine. There are 10% that will have trouble with it and they will be vocal about it.

  42. Chokecal

    For all the Uk fans looking past tge ville…If I remember correctly, all of cals tourney exits at uk have come at the hands of a big east opponent

  43. Al's IndiCats

    I know this sounds really strange 42, but I know the Big (L)east is now all over the U.S.of A. starting next year but since when is Baylor part of the big Least? Next week is Next Week. Today is Today. If anyone is worried about playing Looserville next week, well it has to be the Tardnals that are. Beat the Bears, GO CATS!!!!!!!!

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