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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Calipari Has Defended All-Americans

Photo: © Dale Zanine | USATSI

Photo: © Dale Zanine | USATSI

Anthony Edwards might be the best player that Kentucky will face this season.  He is a surefire 1st round NBA draft pick and can easily take a game over by himself.  By so far this season Kentucky has done a pretty good job against the other team’s best player.  Jordan Nwora was just the latest in a group of players that have struggled against a stout UK defense.  So what can Edwards expect tonight?

A brief rundown of how John Calipari teams have fared against 1st or 2nd team All-Americans.

2010
(LOSS) Da-Sean Butler (West Virginia): 18 pts, 6 reb.

2011
(LOSS) Kemba Walker (UCONN): 29 pts, 6 ast.
(WIN) Ben Hansbrough (Notre Dame): 21 pts, 2 ast.
(WIN) Jared Sullinger (Ohio St): 21 pts, 16 reb.
(LOSS) Kemba Walker (UCONN): 18 pts, 7 ast.

2012
(WIN) Thomas Robinson (Kansas): 11 pts, 12 reb.
(WIN) Tyler Zeller (North Carolina): 14 pts, 8 reb.
(WIN) Thomas Robinson (Kansas): 18 pts, 17 reb.

2013
(LOSS) Mason Plumlee (Duke): 18 pts, 3 reb.

2014
(WIN) Russ Smith (Louisville): 19 pts, 4 reb.
(WIN) Russ Smith (Louisville): 23 pts, 3 reb.
(WIN) Nik Stauskas (Michigan): 24 pts, 3 ast.
(LOSS) Shabazz Napier (UCONN): 22 pts, 6 reb.

2015
(WIN) Bobby Portis (Arkansas): 15 pts, 8 reb.
(WIN) Bobby Portis (Arkansas): 13 pts, 2 reb.
(WIN) Jerian Grant (Notre Dame): 15 pts, 6 ast.
(LOSS) Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin): 20 pts, 11 reb.

2016
(LOSS) Ben Simmons (LSU): 14 pts, 10 reb.
(WIN) Ben Simmons (LSU): 17 pts, 11 reb.

2017
(LOSS) Lonzo Ball (UCLA): 14 pts, 6 reb, 7 ast
(WIN) Justin Jackson (North Carolina): 34 pts, 5 reb.
(LOSS) Frank Mason (Kansas): 21 pts, 4 ast.
(WIN) Lonzo Ball (UCLA): 10 pts, 3 reb, 10 ast

2018
(LOSS) Devonte Graham (Kansas): 11 pts, 4 ast.
(WIN) Javon Carter (West Virginia): 26 pts, 7 ast.

2019
(LOSS) RJ Barrett (Duke): 33 pts, 6 reb.
(LOSS) Zion Williamson (Duke): 28 pts, 7 reb.
(WIN) Grant Williams (Tennessee): 16 pts, 8 reb.
(LOSS) Grant Williams (Tennessee): 24 pts, 7 reb.
(LOSS) Grant Williams (Tennessee): 20 pts, 7 reb.

UK is just 16-13 under Calipari against teams with a 1st or 2nd team All-American but most of those teams were Top 10 caliber programs.  Georgia is not.  While they have some other talented pieces, Edwards is the centerpiece.  If the Cats are able to limit him tonight then I would expect a UK win.  If not though, UK could be in for a long night and a 1-1 SEC record.

Article written by Bryan the Intern