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Jay Bilas thinks UK has two top 20 teams



For the second straight game, UK utilized platoon style substitutions, with the Harrison Twins, Devin Booker, Alex Poythress, and Dakari Johnson on one team, and Tyler Ulis, Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Marcus Lee, and Karl Towns on the other. Both teams looked great, to the point that Jay Bilas said on the broadcast “you could split this UK team in half and have two Top 20 teams.” Wow.

What was your favorite team today: Team 1 (Harrisons, Booker, Poythress, Dakari) or Team 1A (Ulis, Hawkins, Willis, Lee, Towns)? I think I liked the latter the most this afternoon.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

24 Comments for Jay Bilas thinks UK has two top 20 teams

  1. Adam from Awesome Trot
    4:12 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Team 1A was more fun to watch.

  2. Oogie
    4:24 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    What’s even more ridiculous is that both teams are missing a guy that could be a starter – Willie on Team 1 and Lyles on Team 1A.

  3. Stu_Padaso
    4:24 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    I didn’t get to watch the 2nd half, but the second squad loooked better in my opinion.

  4. Chad
    4:24 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Stoops on Finebaum right now.

  5. Venom is in the Denim
    4:27 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    This is 1996 all over again… the number 1 & 2 team in the nation.

  6. Big Blue Coming At You
    4:33 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    I agree with others here that team 1A looked better, more cohesive, played harder and defended better. I think the biggest reason for that is Ulis. He’s a pure point guard that runs the offense better. The way they were passing today was something i haven’t seen in a while for a Kentucky team. Cal’s past teams did a lot of one on one. This team seems to look for the pass to get the easier shot. When Lyles can play, i’d substitute him in for Willis and that team will alone could probably win the championship.

    Either way, i just hope Cal sticks with the two teams. It’s been a long time since Kentucky has had this kind of depth and he would be wise to use it.

    • bigbluetruth
      4:56 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

      What’s amazing is Willis has played pretty good ball for two straiight games but you’d replace him with a player you’ve never seen play against anyone not in high school. I guess it’s because he’s white?

    • Jus Sayin
      7:34 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

      Derek Willis did play pretty good and he’s a pretty good player. Trey Lyles is by all accounts a great one. So he would possibly play better. That’s all he was saying. He is after all the highest rated recruit in our class and look at how good the other recruits are… Why bring race into it? If it were reversed would you say the same?

  7. the fuzz
    4:36 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    ESPN just had a map of the SEC which did not include Kentucky.

    • Chris "C-Note" Tipton
      10:36 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

      That’s because they know this team is in a league of their own 😉

  8. Jacob
    4:50 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    WOW is all I can say!

  9. CrackingUP
    4:54 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    JOnes said they may have some problems with being tired and playing all these games……….. they are only playing 20 ninutes in each game with rests every 5 minutes they better not be fatigued

    • rockatao
      5:11 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

      It’s obvious the opposition is not in game shape. They can only play one half of basketball. This team today is in the off-season and only had four days of practice to get ready.

    • Han
      5:15 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

      Playing in a real game requires a level of intensity that is difficult to replicate in practice. Most of them haven’t playing anything other than pickup in a few months. They’ll get in better game shape as the season goes on, and we’ll also look a lot better than most years by the time the season starts because they’ll be more prepared and will keep the intensity going in pickup.

      Between next week and BBM, the freshmen will be playing harder in pickup games and player-organized workouts than every freshman not named MKG has in previous years. They will know what it takes to play Division 1 ball, and what it’ll take to earn time on the floor with a team this deep. (Our previous summer trip team had a couple guys not playing, including Kanter, and the depth was much weaker with only Miller and Liggins having much playing experience at UK.)

      I fully expect a lot of the guys to be winded tomorrow and in the games at the end of the week. Expect the vets to handle it better, but if the frosh do adjust well, that’ll be even better news moving forward.

      We’ve still got the Dominican team ahead of us twice. I’m not sure which players will be on that squad, and it’ll still be exhibition game defense, but that’ll be a game where our depth and conditioning gets tested a little more.

    • Chris "C-Note" Tipton
      10:40 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t think any of the freshman will be winded. They were all on top level AAU teams that regularly played two games the same day where they were one of the focal points. Going 12 deep will keep everyone fresh and going all out on the floor.

  10. Han
    5:06 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Team 1a is getting more attention because Towns and Ullis are new and exciting, and Lee is getting a chance to show his stuff. But the Harrisons, Poythress and Dakari are all improved, and Booker is showing some good defense plus some nice shooting when he takes the right shots.

    I personally want to see them play a bit more with the lineups to see how some other guys fit together. It may be Cal doesn’t do that at all, preferring to just use what works until they can put in more defensive schemes and plays in the fall.

  11. coach crean
    5:12 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    I prefer to build a team the “right way”…….like maybe over three decades or so

  12. Hendo Blue
    5:34 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    The combinations this team can play will be mind boggling. Towns is going to be our best player. Really am pleasantly surprised at how good Booker is. Especially defensively. Ulis will be hard to keep off the floor.

  13. Patrick Quinn
    6:25 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    I’ve got an idea….let’s try to divide the team…sure…make them become more like individuals and play “look at me” ball….there is ONE team…UK Wildcats….and, as a TEAM, they look awesome….Well done, coaches!

  14. Dwayne
    6:28 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Maybe we will have a top 10 team this year! lol

    • Just maybe
      9:25 am August 12, 2014 Permalink

      or two!!!

  15. kentuck1
    9:14 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    Dakari is much improved and he is very strong and physical. Now he is out front running the floor also. Poythress has much more confidence and can jump out of the arena. His teammates know what he can do and look for him to finish. The Harrisons have benefited greatly with a year’s experience behind them. Their decision-making has improved and they pass the ball more. Hawkins and Willis have become very effective offensive players.

    Booker is the marksman of this team. We have not seen him at his best yet. Tyler Ulis is Mr Excitement. And KAT is the CAT. He is already being talked about as maybe the number one draft pick. We still do not know how WCS is going to fit in with this bunch but we know he can flat out block shots on the defensive end. And how do you keep Mr Indiana on the bench. Trey Lyles may be the most talented of the bunch? How do you not platoon these guys?

    So far, in two games, this team has 20 and 17 assists. Did they ever reach those numbers all of last year? This is going to be a great passing team, a lot of them leading to slams. Except for a couple of lapses, they have played great defense. It’s easy to forget how young this team is. They play like a very experienced team. I suspect this is going to be a very exciting year.

  16. Chris "C-Note" Tipton
    10:32 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    1) Towns gets most of the press for the freshman but Tyler Ulis is amazing!! Yesterday he showed he could drive by anyone, today he was ripping three pointers. Wow!!

    2) MKG must have snuck into Lexington and given Alex a transfusion of hustle. I really hope Poythress keeps this up all season

    3) How terrified do other teams have to be knowing that we got two more 5-star players {WCS and Trey Lyles} that aren’t even playing yet!! This team may go 12 deep

  17. Tinsley
    10:35 pm August 11, 2014 Permalink

    1A because they moved the ball more and that is why we blew them out in the second half. 1 just took the ball up the floor and maybe passed once or twice. The Harrison Twins need to learn how to move the ball.