We are just 46 hours or so from another UK Basketball Game and a little under 2 weeks from getting ready for National Signing Day. With that in mind, some notes to get your afternoon going:
— The Cats now face a Georgia team that may be better than we previously thought, starting SEC play at 4-1. This is yet another team that plays an ugly, nasty style of basketball, but at times this season has broken out and had big wins. Georgia will have a hard time matching up with Kentucky on the defensive end (they are 138 in Defensive efficiency), and if the Cats are playing anywhere close to their best game, they should run completely over the Bulldogs. The key to the game will be Julius Randle (as it often is) as he should be able to control the paint, much the same as he did during parts of the Texas A&M game. There are very few “easy” wins in the SEC, but this Georgia team should be one, even though they now sit at 4-1.
— The biggest conversation amongst UK fans over the past few days has been the question of what is going on with Wille Cauley-Stein. Everyone’s favorite center has now had three straight games of almost no production, averaging only one point a game and showcasing none of his defensive presence that was so effective earlier this year. Theories have abounded from girlfriend problems to loss of blonde hair to his new tattoo (below, which seems to have replaced his Hakuna matata look).
Regardless of why he is struggling, the reality is that Kentucky cannot get to where it wants to be without Willie playing near his potential. He is the only real rim protector that UK has (especially off the ball on help, due to his quickness) and he has shown an ability to finish around the rim in improving fashion this season. I have thought all season that he was playing a bit above his level on offense and I expected his production to come back to the median (although not back to the ground), but the problems on defense are surprising. Cauley-Stein is too good a defender and shot-blocker to be beaten as thoroughly as he has in these last three games. Georgia gives him one more chance to play against a thin front line before he finds LSU and Johnny O’Bryant next week. It is time for him to get back to his lottery pick level which can give the Cats the best front line in America
— Here is yet another Duke sorority video recruitment video, not quite as lame as the previous one (but still yet lame), and once again, proof that recruits need to see this before making their college decisions
— Another big week of football visits is upon us as Kentucky tries to find their final three commitments to round out the Class of 28. There is a lot of talk about one or two possible surprises coming in around Signing Day, but regardless of who ends up being part of the final class, this much is clear. This will be the best recruiting class in the history of Kentucky football. It is truly amazing to think about the fact that coming off back to back 2-10 seasons, Mark Stoops has been able to assemble a group like this in 2014. This statistic has been said before, but it bears repeating. When it comes to 4 star recruits at Kentucky, here are the numbers.
2013-2014 (2 classes): 13 combined commitments
2002-2012 (11 classes): 14 combined commitments.
Unbelievable. To read about one of those stars, check out this discussion on Catspause.com about Denzel Ware…an absolute stud who will make a big impact early on in Lexington.
— Finally, Kyle Wiltjer sent out this picture of his Sophomore year at Kentucky today. #TeamRobes…quite a look: