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Calipari on how this team is different than the 2014 team


Given their unprecedented youth and recent struggles, a common comparison for this Kentucky team is the 2013-14 squad, which feels especially appropriate considering the Cats dropped out of the AP Top 25 for the first time since March 2014 earlier today; however, John Calipari pointed out some key differences between this year’s team and that team, which made a surprise run to the National Championship game.

“Julius [Randle], physically gave you something that maybe this team doesn’t have. He could just bulldoze you. But PJ [Washington], at times, does the same, gives you some of that. The [Harrison] twins had come in and didn’t get it until late February; when they got it, they were pretty good. We’ll see how this plays out. James Young and Dakari [Johnson] and Willie [Cauley-Stein], but we had some veteran guys too. Alex [Poythress]. They’re all different.”

BTI touched on this earlier, but one thing this team also doesn’t have is a consistent outside threat ala James Young. Young and Aaron Harrison kept teams honest from the outside, and while Quade Green, Wenyen Gabriel, Hamidou Diallo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Kevin Knox are all capable of hitting threes, none are hitting them with the consistency that Young did. Young’s three-point percentage (34.9%) is lower than Shai’s (47.8%), Wenyen’s (39.6%), and Quade’s (36.7%), but that’s only because he attempted more shots. During his year at Kentucky, Young averaged 2.05 threes per game on 6.3 attempts; right now, Kentucky’s most frequent three-point shooter is Kevin Knox, who is making only 1.3 of his 4.4 attempts per game. Calipari’s said it all season, but those numbers must go up.

Basically, for this Kentucky team to have a chance of replicating the 2014 team’s success, PJ Washington must be more consistent inside and somebody must be more consistent outside. Then, we’ll see if this can be another great story.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

11 responses to “Calipari on how this team is different than the 2014 team”

  1. Han

    If he wants the guys to take more 3s, then he needs to draw up more picks and such. He also needs to get it into Hami’s head to pass the ball out when people collapse in front of him.

    A lot of people have apparently forgotten, but last year Monk would drive and commit charges a lot early on. He was always trying to murder someone with a dunk. But he learned to pull up or pass. Hami needs to do that, too, or he’s going to continue to be a non-factor.

    Aside from our offensive troubles, the biggest problem we seem to have lately is foul trouble. Having multiple guys sitting in the first half and playing tentatively in the 2nd half because of fear of fouling out does not help our intensity. Gabriel in particular has hurt us in a couple games by fouling out when we really, really need his intensity. He, PJ and now Vando are the most consistent effort guys we have. Yeah, a lot of bad calls have hurt us, for sure, but as long as that’s happening, we need to adjust. Foul trouble from bad calls ended our season last year, so I’d hope Cal can adjust to it this year.

  2. az1006

    Nobody has been a consistent outside threat for this team, but the last two games have particularly been bad, even by this team’s standards. If the Cats have an average shooting game from the perimeter in both games, we win. Cal alluded to this already, but we showed an outstanding defensive effort against Florida, and much of the game against South Carolina. If you had said before the game we’d hold Florida to 66 points and 20% shooting from 3, we all would have expected a win. But too many turnovers and too few trips to the line were our undoing. That being said, I don’t think things are as bad as they seem. This team has shown a lot of growth, and we’ve sort of taken a couple of steps back this week. But, finally getting healthy should help that, it’s just not going to happen overnight.

    1. unbridled

      What about our wood shopping buddy Wynyard? When is he going to be healthy? I think he could prove very valuable when fouls become an issue, not to mention the kid is just huge. I really like Wynyard in certain game situations.

  3. DelrayCat

    Take a good look at that 2014 team. You have 2 current NBA starters on that team (Randle, WCS), 2 near starters (Andrew Harrison, Johnson), and 2-3 guys who get solid NBA minutes in D-league (Young, Poythress, Willis)…plus Hood and Hawkins…two KY boys with “heart”.
    I’d go out on a limb and say, overall, the talent was much better in 2014 than on this team.

    1. A_Blue_Wildcat

      People forget just how bad that 2013-2014 team looked, seriously go back and watch their loss to SC that year, the only player who looked like an NBA player for most of that season was Randle and even he was terrible defensively.

    2. unbridled

      I completely agree blue wildacat. The 2014 season was extremely hard to watch.

  4. the ghost of Bill Hicks

    I am waiting for this team to lose on a put back dunk, just like the 2014 team did against Arkansas.

  5. dballrb

    Apples & Oranges….IPHONE vs. Andriod…Ford vs.Chevy….Ebay vs. Amazon..????

  6. Luether

    I’m just not seeing this Team go very far – tweak or not…

  7. Catuary

    I’m more concerned about them replicating the success of the 2013 team.

  8. SuperTroy18

    Man…even the picture of the rosters isn’t even as bright as it was in ‘14. :/