We all know what the main complaint against this Kentucky team is: a lack of depth. We’ve heard it all season, even with the success of the freshman and the recent emergence of Josh Harrellson. I have made it clear that UK can go as far as it wants playing just 6 players (barring injury), but I will admit that it’s always a bonus to go 7 or 8 deep. I am not positive that Eloy Vargas will give the Cats much this season, but he will consistently be the 7th man off the bench as the only other big man on the roster.
But, we currently have 2 fairly highly rated recruits who are sitting on the bench most games, one of which has been in the program 2 years. Jon Hood and Stacey Poole have not had any impact this season, but it just one of them could contribute 10 solid minutes a game, they could provide that Ramon Harris role from last season. Hood has actually seen the court in every game this season, but is only playing 6 minutes a game, mostly in garbage time. Poole has played in 9 games, but is averaging just 0.4 ppg.
Despite their lack of production, you can see the potential in both players. Poole showed in Canada that he is a very athletic player, but is raw on the offensive end of the floor and needed work on his defensive fundamentals. Hood has shown a little ability to shoot the basketball, but he struggles on the defensive end of the floor and doesn’t finish around the basket very well. So while both guys have the liabilities, the basic skills are there to someday be contributors in this program. The question is, will it be this year?
Personally, I think Poole should get some look. He has the athleticism to be competitive in a weak SEC. He will not be an offensive threat this season, but he doesn’t need to be. Neither was Ramon Harris last year. But the main difference between Poole and Hood was that in Canada, it seemed to me that Poole struggled with pick and roll and who to block out. While Hood was getting beat off the dribble. Maybe Poole is just not improving in this area, hence why he isn’t playing. I honestly don’t know. But, the room for improvement seemed greater for Poole than Hood.
I honestly hope that both guys get a chance to become a consistent player for this team in more than garbage time. While it isn’t absolutely necessary, it sure would be quite a bonus for the Cats on their quest for another SEC title. But, what do you all think: Can either Poole or Hood become players on this team? Or both? Do you see the potential that I do?