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Basketball Cats’ Biggest 2014 Concern: Chemistry?


And straightening out those 3-Goggles.

It’s hard to talk about football all day after a miserable loss, so what better alternative than to talk about the problems our basketball team might have this year?

Wait, that doesn’t sound very soothing at all.  But actually, it turns out to be just veiled good news.

Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News picked apart all the biggest concerns for next year’s top ten teams, and of course Kentucky was first on the list.  Kentucky’s biggest concern?

Too much talent, basically.

Okay, so he didn’t say as much, but we can read between the (blurred) lines.  Kentucky’s biggest problem isn’t playing well, or competing at a high level, or replacing starters: it’s getting all the talent that’s there to play together.  Pretty typical Calipari-era stuff, though.  Specifically:

It’s not merely a question of building chemistry, which certainly is significant, but at the foundation is the importance of finding a way that this particular group of Wildcats fits together in a winning way. Coach John Calipari lately has not been averse to making substantial changes to his offensive structure in order to maximize the talent on hand–not only from year to year, but after a given season has begun.

DeCourcy cited possible chemistry issues with the Harrison twins (which seem overblown, but we’ll see), but he also highlighted Cal’s handling of DeMarcus Cousins in 2010.  And if Cal can meld a talented team like 2012 into an unselfish, ball-sharing machine, there’s no reason he couldn’t do it again this year.

Lastly, when you’re trying to build team chemistry, the most important part is the leader.  There’s no Patrick Patterson, John Wall, Brandon Knight, Anthony Davis, or MKG on this team, but there is a Julius Randle.  And an Alex Poythress.  And an Andrew Harrison.  While we don’t know who the leader will be yet, there are plenty of good options available.

So Kentucky’s biggest basketball concern is getting all of its hyper-talented players to play well together?

Challenge accepted.

Article written by Corey Nichols

18 Comments for Basketball Cats’ Biggest 2014 Concern: Chemistry?

  1. schwing
    8:40 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    poythress is no leader. he will be a better player than last year but not a leader.

  2. Beatle Bum
    9:30 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Is this a “best of” post?

  3. bmt22033
    10:04 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    I honestly don’t think the Harrison twins are going to be the problem that a lot of people would like them to be. And I’m picking Randle as the “leader” of this team (although I can also see Andrew Harrison playing that role, as well). It is basketball season yet?!?!?

  4. Willie's Headband
    10:06 pm September 1, 2013 Permalink

    Willie’s always been fairly outspoken, what would be wrong with him being a candidate for possible leader?

  5. Ben
    12:46 am September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah, I say Willie is the best candidate. Followed closely by Julius and Andrew.

  6. Jeffrey
    8:56 am September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Julius Randle will be the leader by his actions, while someone like WCS, Hawkins, or Andrew Harrison may be the the vocal leader.

  7. Some Guy in Kentucky
    9:49 am September 2, 2013 Permalink

    It seems that the new players on UK’s team are a competitive group. I think that should help with developing chemistry. They can bond in a common goal of winning. As for team leaders, I do not see anyone that was on the team last year that showed the mental toughness to do it.

  8. Mike
    10:47 am September 2, 2013 Permalink

    My brother Bobby and his dog Randy got stung by a bunch of yellow jackets yesterday. They both run fast and have nice hair. 58 people like this 🙂

  9. bobbu
    11:21 am September 2, 2013 Permalink

    I wish that it would’ve happened to you. Golden corral has all u can eat shrimp u wanna go?

  10. Dave / New Mexico
    2:16 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    WCS will emerge as the overall team leader, IMO.

  11. Lee Linker
    3:46 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    This team of one and dones will be hard to manage and the leadership my never come and if not the whole program will be one and done

  12. observation from nNC
    3:51 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    This team is the best of most of the best with talent but not maturity and this is the reason there will be no net cutting this year. Remember these players have been told so many times they are the best in HSbecause they played with no others super stars. Ego will keep them out of final four

  13. observation from nNC
    3:57 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Part Two comment. Why do all star teams mostly do not do well Why? Look at KY in past. 3 years and you see the answer. Chemistry is built when there is team work and the KY team this year is built on me work. Ego my friends brought down Roman Empire and Germany plus Japan Why see for your self this year and come back next tear and see what coach in US is on bubble

  14. observation from nNC
    3:58 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    Back to FB

  15. Kyia
    4:59 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    @ nNC what made you a know it all of Kentucky basketball team chemistry, that has only been together less than one week ? Cal is the best at getting freshman to play for each other as he did in 2012 with all of that talent . The media and Ky haters always try to make up things like the Harrisons and Randle not being friends but Randle straightened that out real quick .Young, Lee and Poythress is very laid back and doesn’t seem to care who the leader is and the twins and Randle are good friends that wanted to play with each other ,that just leaves Dakari or WCS and they have both been hanging out and practicing together all summer. So as far as I can see there is no issue with EGOS, just the MEDIA and pessimists trying to fabricate a issue because they are too lazy to get out and do some real journalism or haters afraid of what will happen if the talent and team play as a well oiled machine !!!

  16. wtf?
    5:23 pm September 2, 2013 Permalink

    poythress a leader? write the article BEFORE you light the pipe kid.

  17. Don Boss
    12:45 pm September 3, 2013 Permalink

    If @nNC has anything to do with North Carolina, then you should worry about the problems your basketball program has. DUI’S, thugs, rental cars, traffic tickets, NCAA investigation………… UK has issues (questionable) you wish you had!!!

  18. 1ukfaninwv
    1:18 pm September 3, 2013 Permalink

    It may be that KY will have more than one leader on this team. I can see where it might be a couple of players, and that would be great for the team. And NO ONE from NC should be even remotely concerned about our Cats cohesiveness….they should be ashamed to even post a comment, unless they take responsibility for what has been an embarrassment to that school.