The game started extremely well for the Cats. They jumped out to an early double digit lead and it looked to be a smooth sailing win. The KSR Live Blog was excited, until someone made an excellent point. This team struggles at keeping double digit leads, he didn’t trust it. Of course, we all know what happened next, and for our sanity we won’t go into specifics. What were the main reasons why the Cats started to fall behind though?
1. Free Throws
Free Throws have been the Kentucky killer. If Nazr Mohammed, wouldn’t have gone 0-6 from the free throw line in the 1997 Championship, the Cats would have won, if the Cats wouldn’t have missed 11 free throws in the 2014 Championship, the Cats could have won. Simple enough, free throws win championships. Yesterday, Kentucky shot 45% from the charity stripe in the first half, while only improving to 59% in the second half. This team cannot go shooting less than 60% from the free throw line.
Remember when everyone said that this would be Cal’s best defensive team? Yeah, me too. This team is not good defensively. The reason why could come from a multitude of things. I could sit here and list them all, but we all know them. Our main question now needs to be, how do we fix it? Drew brought up the idea of a zone defense. Would that work? At this rate, Calipari should be willing to try anything. This team’s athleticism could suit it well to play zone. This team needs to try something new, because what they are doing now, obviously isn’t working.
I have brought this up in the Live Blog multiple times over the past few weeks. This team does not have a true leader. Yes, Isaiah Briscoe is leader, but he is not what this team needs. If you look back at the successful teams in the Calipari era, each had a strong leader. Names like: John Wall, Brandon Knight, Karl Towns and Tyler Ulis. Ulis would be a perfect fit for this team. He was never afraid to get into a teammate’s face and let them know what he thought was wrong. He was the coach on the floor. The Cats just don’t have that this year and it shows in games that they have lost.
Which needs the most improvement for Kentucky to have a shot at a run in March?
– Sam Gormley (@GormleyKSR) January 29, 2017