Would you like to know what Bruce Pearl thinks about Kentucky’s struggles this season? No? Eh, I guess I don’t really care, either. But just in case, Pearl wrote a blog for ESPN.com called, “Where does Kentucky go from here?”
The former Tennessee head coach predicts a 2-4 finish for the Wildcats, and he thinks ESPN’s All-Access special deserves some of the blame for the underachieving freshmen:
From my perspective, it is beginning to look like a situation that was set up to fail from the beginning. The one-and-done angle is way past overkill at this point when talking about this team. I’m not going to go there. But I do think this group had its growth stunted early in the season. The ESPN “All Access” shows in the preseason undeniably caught the interest of future recruits, but they also put this group of players in a tough spot.
Guys who had never played a minute of major college basketball were donning the national championship jerseys from the preceding year. They were ranked No. 3 in the AP preseason poll, even receiving some first-place votes. The lights were exceptionally bright for these kids and they had never set foot inside of Rupp Arena for an actual game.
Pearl still believes a reinvented Kentucky can make a run in the SEC Tournament if they focus on improving. He said the overwhelming turnout of UK fans in “Lexington South” (Nashville) will give the Cats a chance to earn the automatic tourney bid.