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AP talks about the Blue-White Game

As many of us were celebrating Blue’s most recent victory over White in the annual intra-scrimmage, the Associated Press was taking notes and compiling a short recap for those across the country who missed it.  What did they come up with?  Only that the team full of freshmen did work to justify their lofty preseason ranking:

There were many moments during Wednesday night’s Blue-White scrimmage where Kentucky’s freshmen justified the lofty expectations placed upon them.

Archie Goodwin showed some flash while scoring a game-high 32 points. Willie Cauley-Stein was a formidable post presence with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Swingman Alex Poythress added 25 points with quickness and athleticism.

A sore back slowed highly touted forward Nerlens Noel, but the point was seeing how this foursome played together and with others in their first competitive appearance before the Wildcats faithful. Early returns were encouraging, as they contributed to both teams in a game won by the Blue 89-88.

They also took note of some of the more interesting, and less touted, pairings that this team has to offer.  Everybody knew that Archie and Alex would be dynamite together, but did you expect to see such teamwork from Julius Mays and Willie Cauley-Stein?  

At the same time, some nice combinations emerged thanks to newcomers such as transfer Julius Mays, a graduate student who played last season for Wright State.

He seemed to find chemistry with Cauley-Stein, who fed him for one shot before Mays returned the favor by lobbing a pass to the 7-footer for a dunk to help the Blue team lead 29-17.

What we learned about this team is that maybe the star power isn’t as strong at the top; we probably won’t have the #1 and #2 pick again this year.  But, unlike last year’s team, which went about six to seven deep, there are several guys on this team that can come off the bench and make significant contributions, fill roles, and create offense when the starters are stalling.  None is proof of that more than WCS, who probably won’t even be a 6th man at this point, with the way he’s playing.  A guy tabbed as a reserve for Noel has stepped up and demanded playing time with the way he’s playing, and there are several guys on this team who could do the same thing.

As the article notes, though, the group as a whole has some ground to make up:

However, the bottom line is meeting John Calipari’s high standards, and the Wildcats coach quickly noted that this is a work in progress.

“We have a way to go,” Calipari said afterward. “We don’t rebound, we don’t scramble. Other than that, we’re a pretty good team.”

Pretty good?  Sure.  Deep and balanced, with room for exceptional improvement?  Absolutely.

Article written by Corey Nichols

17 Comments for AP talks about the Blue-White Game

  1. lipsey87
    9:07 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    If willie and nerlins can both play together its gonna be scary for other teams.

  2. Andy
    9:17 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see how this team is considered “deep”. You have the starting 5, then Mays (transfer from a MAC school), Wiltjer (liability defensively) and WCS (just starting to really learn the game). Then Hood, Polson, & Beckham. Can we rely on the last 3?? College hoops is down this year, which helps, but I see a 7-9 loss team, that hopefully clicks tourney time like the team from 2 years ago.

  3. Donald
    9:36 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    I’m with you 2. I’ll probably get bashed for this but this years team seems to resemble a billy G team more so then a traditional calipari team.

    9:42 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    2,3….seriously?? It’s October!! This team will improve and be a fun team to watch. Just sit back and enjoy the show…..this team is a GIFT!!!

  5. barn
    9:43 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    i didn’t know nerlens had a sore back. maybe from the fall at the bbm campout?

  6. wilDCat
    9:56 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    2 & 3) Not sure how you guys see a 7-9 loss team? Were you not watching the same team that everyone else was? I’m sure it won’t be a perfect season especially with the schedule being as tought as it is, as early as it is, but we’re still talking about some of the best talent in the league playing together under a coach that specializes in getting fresh talent to work together.

  7. UK Snuggie
    10:12 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    I kinda see where #2 & #3 are coming from, but I’m not seeing it from a doom and gloom stand point. I think that this team will be more like the Brandon Knight Final Four team. I think that we’ll lose some games here and there, probably dropping two in non-conference and then losing some on the road and then finally tasting a Rupp Arena loss for the first time since Cal got to Lexington. We’ll either win or be runner-up in the SEC tourny and then depending on who we’re matched up with in March we could be an Elite Eight or Final Four team. I don’t expect another title this year, but depending on who stays and who goes after the season will determine what we’ll do in 2013-2014. If we can keep a couple bigs and have someone like Lamb or Miller coming off the bench in 2013-2014, Cal may get his 40-0 earlier than anyone thought.

  8. UK Snuggie
    10:13 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    In conference play, we’ll lose a couple on the road and maybe one in SEC play. I left that thought out.

  9. I Say
    10:15 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, how are you guys not working for ESPN yet with all of your insight.

  10. Old School
    10:20 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    Where is the integrity! I saw no integrity out there. Calipari must have benched him. Our coach is the devil!

  11. Andy
    10:32 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    I’m not saying it’s going to be doom & gloom, but the Final 4 team from 2 years ago lost 9 games also. I’m not expecting a Billy G team, I just think the expectations should be tempered until we can see this team play together. They will be a lot of fun to watch, I’m just concerned that we don’t have a consistent scorer to rely on especially if the game is close in the last 3 minutes.

  12. drew
    10:49 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    U people amaze me

  13. Jason
    11:02 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    2- Mays came from Wright State which is a Horizon League team not the MAC.

  14. Rodney G
    11:07 am October 25, 2012 Permalink

    We will be just fine. It was the same last year and the year before. Can you not see the glimpses? What are you watching for? I saw a Mashburn-esque Poythress. Only ? will be getting that motor running 90-95% of the time. Trust in Cal. I saw a wily vet in Mays who can knock down shots and just score the ball. Nerlens and Cauley-Stein are shot-blockers who are gonna make things difficult for ALL opposing teams. Both will catch a silly amount of lobs and jam bck put backs. I saw a Archie Goodwin who is just a freak. Archie will average 16-18 a game and be our leading scorer. I saw a MUCH MUCH improved Wiltjer who is showing off more moves and more quickness and we alreay know he can knock down the 3 ball. Harrow in my mind will be the biggest wildcard but again speed, quickness, and handles are there. Trust in Cal. No way Cauley and Noel start together though. Wiltjer at the 3? Not gonna happen. Whenever Wiltjer or Noel come out then Willie will come in. It’ll be a 3 man constant rotation with one replacing the other. The bottom line is there are ELITE PIECES all over the floor for us. Talent wise who’s better? No one! I’ll also take Cal over any other coach. Everybody relax and get ready bc this team will be special. Not last years team but special enough to win it all. Go Big Blue

  15. paulschris
    12:55 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    anyone who thinks this team will lose 9 this year are fuggin stupid. We obviously don’t look like a “team” right now because we are so young, but from what I saw, this could be Cals most athletic team yet

  16. paulschris
    12:55 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    we lose 5 or 6 at most

  17. Al B. Frank
    1:14 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens wasn’t the one with the sore back, it was Twaney.