The tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions has always appealed to me. Starting fresh, finding ways to improve yourself with the flip of a calendar page- it’s very optimistic, and I’m one of the most optimistic people you’ll ever read (I truly believe that Kim and Kanye’s baby will be super humble and down to earth, guys).
I have my resolutions set- run a half marathon, learn PhotoShop, and get tweeted at by Jose Canseco- but since they’re unranked and sitting at 8-4, it’s safe to say the Cats could stand to improve some in 2013 as well. Here’s a few friendly suggestions for the team:
Kyle Wiltjer- Exhibit “toughness” via one of the following manifestations: a nasty dunk that is worthy of a spot on SportsCenter’s Top Ten, taking a charge from whoever this season’s SEC equivalent of Renardo Sidney is, or endure a Sean Woods tirade for fifteen seconds without flinching OR crying. The WBA lip-synching videos and “Elf Yourself!” videos are cute, but cute only counts on Buzzfeed hits and baby shower invitations. At this point in the season, Wiltjer’s three point shot isn’t enough to get the Cats a W against a top team- or even warrant him getting that much playing time. Wiltjer needs to round out his game by developing an edge that would make Dennis Rodman shudder.
Willie Cauley-Stein- Free throws. I shouldn’t have to explain this one, but I will. Willie went 0-4/0-6 from the line against Louisville (depending on if you’re a glass-half-empty or glass-three-quarters-empty type of person)- possibly costing the Cats the game. Now, Willie has had a few games that have me thinking he’s on the edge of glory; with this year’s notoriously weak draft, he’s only a few double-doubles away from being a lottery pick. That’s great for him individually. HOWEVER, for the Wildcats to succeed as a team, the best thing Willie can do right now is hit his free throws. The good news? After the 0-4 effort on Saturday, there’s nowhere to go but up!
Alex Poythress: Unleash the beast. Currently, Poythress is evoking memories of Tubby Smith’s famous evaluation of Kelenna Azubuike: “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane.” Now, it seems that Alex has already started working on his KSR-appointed resolution by having extra workouts post-practice with Calipari; Calipari told reporters yesterday that Alex has already shown improvement over just a couple of sessions. Keep it up, Alex- we need you to start roaring some here in 2013.
Archie Goodwin: Smile on the court. Yeah, I know- you guys probably expect me to say something like “ball control” or “look first, shoot second”- and those are legitimate suggestions. But in my opinion, Archie’s stoic demeanor during games speaks volumes about his mindset and play. Right now, Archie’s issues are typical freshman mistakes that I have faith will be easily corrected over the month of January. So instead, I want to see Archie have fun on the court- “rediscover the joy,” as Calipari is so fond of saying about DeMarcus Cousins. Let’s see an All Access-like wink to the crowd after an acrobatic driving layup, or even just a slight hint of a smile. If Archie’s grinning, the Wildcats are probably dominating the other team- so let’s have more of that in 2013.
Julius Mays: Get back to being Julius Treys. As I said earlier, Kyle Wiltjer’s long range shot is great- when it’s hitting. When it’s not, we need a guy for supplementary three pointers. Julius Mays is the best candidate for that position. For Wright State last year, Mays was 42.4% from three point range; at Kentucky, he’s only 29.3%. I think it’s more of a confidence issue rather than skills; after all, against Marshall, Mays had more in-and-out three point baskets (0-5) than Kimye baby parody Twitter accounts. If he can just get out of his slump, the Cats become a lot more dangerous in the new year.
John Calipari: Go to a Train concert. Because sometimes you just have to make a “treat yo’self” resolution.