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Luke Winn: Kentucky Needs to Get In Sync

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Luke Winn loves Kentucky right now. He reportedly told SI’s Seth Davis that the Cats were “hotter than that Hansel.” While that may be going a bit far, Winn definitely expressed his respect for UK in his latest and greatest post, “Making a few New Year’s revisions to my preseason presumptions.

Preseason Presumption No. 2: That North Carolina was on a tier above every other team.

Reality: The elite tier of title contenders consists of four teams: Kentucky, Ohio State, North Carolina and Syracuse. And probably in that order, even though the Orange are No. 1 in the polls, and the only one of the four that’s undefeated.

The fact that Kentucky is on par with these teams — beating the Tar Heels narrowly in Lexington on Dec. 3, and with one, respectable loss to IU — despite having so much growth potential should make the Wildcats a slight favorite. Freshmen forwards Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis, both All-America candidates, have carried the team while fellow frosh Marquis Teague is still figuring out how to be an effective point guard, and the guy who was expected to be their best player in the preseason, Terrence Jones, has been either injured or shell-shocked. Jones should wake up. Teague should get better. Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist have yet to hit their peaks. Once everyone gets in sync, UK could start to pull away from the pack.

I realize that most of you are nursing the headache you received after repeatedly banging your head against the wall last night, but Luke’s right. Kentucky is clearly not in sync. I could make some 98 degrees or Backstreet Boys joke, but that would just subtract from his point.

As Ian Eagle expressed yesterday, it is difficult to carry over any realistic assumptions about Kentucky from year to year. Given their youth and inexperience, both the end result and the means by which they get there is unique to each team. Like Cal seemingly says every year (or three times a year), the young guys don’t listen to him until they see with their own eyes that they will fail without him.  After shooting 29% from the field against Louisville, Kentucky came out against the People’s Republic of Arkansas Little-Rock and shot 39% in the first half. (h/t @johnclayiv). However, after Cal addressed his team during halftime, the Cats improved to 60%. Hopefully last night was a turning point for this team.

Bottom line: this team will be breathtaking when they get on the same page. Maybe the Breakfast Club is lacking its Emilio Estevez. Maybe Teague needs to have a chat with Lil’ Penny. Or maybe they need Chad Sanders back on the bench. Either way, this team will be very good. They just won’t become great until they find a way to reach their potential together.

Article written by Tyler Montell

19 Comments for Luke Winn: Kentucky Needs to Get In Sync



  1. Best Running Watches
    1:24 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Hi,

    Thank you for this valuable post. I really helps me a lot.
    Keep it up thanks.



  2. Jacob
    1:29 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Uk fans are so stupid. The ones that say Teague sucks is really annoying he wil defiantly figure it out eventually…. Name 1 team that you think can beat us right now



  3. Peoplewhowork
    1:35 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Kudos to Eloy though, he seems to have embraced his role and has been adding quality minutes when needed. It is true though, the team has yet to reach their potential. Some players are farther along than others. It was troubling watching the first half, it just seemed like they were half asleep out there. Lazy passes, terrible shots, jogging instead of running. Missing Deandre’s fire from last year and Knight’s leadership. Maybe Eloy can become the banger we are currently lacking, this just seems soft.



  4. Al's IndiCats
    1:36 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Someone posted this morning that when the media got on Terrence’s back for posing after a dunk or making a big play, his production went down. I’d rather for him to pose anyway he wants even after getting a drink to get him back to the Terrence we all know he can be.



  5. Al's IndiCats
    1:38 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Really?



  6. Al's IndiCats
    1:45 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Man….Did I say something to piss someone off from showing my comment?



  7. Al's IndiCats
    1:47 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    ^^^^^Nevermind^^^^^



  8. Mr. Obvious
    1:48 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’m a UK fan but for you to say there’s not a team that could beat us (especially after what we saw the first half last night) is absolutely ridiculous. IU had us beat the entire game until the very end. Ohio State is probably the most capable of beating us. North Carolina very well could on a neutral floor, at Chapel Hill, or possibly at Rupp as they almost did. Duke, however, would NEVER beat us.



  9. Jacob
    1:48 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    O ywah



  10. Jacob
    1:51 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    8 I am saying name 1 team that could beat us of we play like we are supposed to. Sometimes we win on just natural ability



  11. SexnNursinHomes
    1:52 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    4- it’s there. and I was wondering the same thing last night. I think it’s dick vitale’s fault for ruining TJ. I’m joking, but I’m really not.

    Dick Vitale has no problem if j sullinger, duke kids or unc kids flail their arms and act as emotional as a woman on her period, but TJ does it and vitale is acting like TJ is causing world hunger and the destruction of the global economy.



  12. teaguehater
    1:53 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    ANY team that we play has a legit shot to beat us if TEAGUE is out there with his selfish attitude and demeanor. He is clearly highly overrated, as his ability just does not add up to the rest of these guys. I’m not sure Polson would not run this team more efficently. Somebody ask Doron Lamb how he is enjoying getting his looks as Teague breaks down play after play!



  13. Jacob
    1:59 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Haha



  14. catfan24
    2:01 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    The one thing youth will show you at this level (at this point in the season) Is that inconistency is to be expected.

    Teague is trying to do too much. He will learn
    Incosistency on a individual basis will occur because of match ups and simply individual trips down the floor.

    We are a great fast break team, I think we are playing too out of control on the half court and not taking what the dense gives us all time.

    Basketball is a fast game and sometimes it’s when we slow it down it looks more polished. UK on purpose trys to up the tempo (which we all love) but that causes some rash, hurried decisions to occur. That is all we are seeing yall.

    Teague doesn;t need to do more than setup the other guys. He will get points on fast breaks and on mid range drives and layups when the defense doesn;t stop him.

    Outsidde of that. Trust his team mates and play good Defense without fouling.

    We will be better than alright!

    Go Big Blue!



  15. kantucky
    2:16 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Hey, Hey yall! Heard That MKG Song. It was terrible.. Hey MATT!!!!Why don’t you put up a local boys song! It is ten times better and i am a homegrown local artist that knows his Kentucky Basketball
    Check er our http://youtube.com/user/KantuckyUK?feature=mhee Come ON Man



  16. jaws2
    3:01 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    This team will be very good by the end of the season. I think we all forget how young this team is and every young team is different. I’ve always expected us to be good year after year but I believe some folks have gone off the deep end in regards to expectations. Cal has spoiled all of us to some extent. Would I love for us to be undefeated national champs? Sure, what Cat fan wouldn’t? But the odds of that happening any given year are astronomical. I’m not going to be surprised if we lose a couple of conference games; won’t be happy, but I’ll live.

    Teague is a very talented player and will be fine, IF he buys in to what Cal wants. If not, I’ve got to believe Cal will adjust. You can’t really believe Cal would sacrifice a shot at a title to appease Teague do you?

    Jones will get back to where he was, he just needs the right game to gain that momentum back.

    With the players Cal has and the room for their growth, I think we’re going to be in pretty good shape by season end.



  17. Kristen
    3:19 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    The WBA is more N*Sync than the Wildcats.

    Boom!



  18. Jacob
    5:46 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Lola



  19. Mike
    6:34 pm January 4, 2012 Permalink

    Is Cal OVER RECRUITING?? By that I mean is he more consumed with having the #1 recruiting class each year rather than focusing on the heart of the individual and the pride to be at U.K. and put on the uniform? At least he isn’t throwing most of them under the boss, but it is getting stale when he keeps saying each individual is fine and will get better. Coach, we are not seeing an improving product on the floor…last night’s first half performance and lethargy was what you might expect to see at high school level. Teague seems to be lost and regressing, Jones is still in his funk, Darius continues to reject any semblance of wanting to take on the role of a senior leader, and Wiltjer refuses to shoot the hook shot that supposedly he had mastered and is also softer than Charmin. Also wondering why with his athleticism and high basketball I.Q. that he never learned the art of defense or shot blocking.