Only a few months removed from the program’s eighth national title, Kentucky finds themselves with a roster filled with many unfamiliar faces. While this is nothing new for John Calipari, his newest team must be able to find their identity in order to be successful on the floor. An important thing about this year’s squad finding their own identity is not getting caught up on the past successes of teams who have come before. Sports Illustrated wrote an interesting piece on Kentucky’s newest batch of players and the path’s that they will all individually have to take in order to come together as a team. There were multiple interviews conducted with players and they responded on what it will take for them to become the best they could possibly be.
Nerlens Noel on finding his identity and making a comparison to last year’s team.
We know who we are as individuals and that’s what we focus on. We know what we’re going to do this year, and we know what they did last year. We’re just looking forward to doing the best we can to get another championship.”
Freshman, Archie Goodwin, on his conversations with past players and expectations going into the season.
“But they also said not to live up to the expectations of last year’s team. We’re two different teams. They were a great team and we’re trying to do things just like they did, but at the same time we’re our own team and we don’t even know how good we are yet.”
A big part of winning in sport is unifying with teammates to accomplish a common goal. And judging from the comments and humble nature of Kentucky’s players and coaches it’s easy to see that last year’s glory is old news. Will humility and raw talent translate to on the court performance? Hard to tell for sure. But, if talent merges with work ethic like it has in years past it could be another special year in Lexington.