During last night’s telecast of the Syracuse/Michigan game, our old pal Dan Dakich said he believes Kentucky will go 40-0. Yes, that Dan Dakich. Matt invited him on the show this morning to explain why he thinks the Cats will win out, and Dakich said it all comes down to toughness and talent.
“They have great talent, obviously and a terrific front court, but I think the Harrisons and the entire operation got so tough during that run,” Dakich said, describing how the Twins and the entire team matured from when he watched them lose to LSU to the postseason. “This is a really tough group, and when you watched them down the stretch in the NCAA tournament, they didn’t beat teams because they out-talented them, they beat them because they out-toughed them in the end.”
Dakich also brought up a point his colleague Mike Tirico made last night: two platoons have to have bad nights for UK to lose. Sure, anything can happen on any given night, but Kentucky’s depth, talent, and toughness have made even the trolliest of trolls a believer. “I think the toughness that they showed–and that carries over, it just does–and you combine it with the talent, and John obviously knows how to win games…I just don’t see anybody with the same firepower they have.”
Like most of us, Dakich thinks Calipari will abandon the platoon system at some point down the road. “Again, when you have 10, 8 and you’re not playing well–I don’t know how Kentucky fans feel, but I think that platoon system if it gets real sexy, it’s going out the window,” Dakich said. “I guarantee you John knows that this team can do undefeated. I guarantee John wants that so freaking bad that he can taste it. I don’t care what he says, I don’t care how he acts, so if it comes down to it in some game, and it probably, will, he’s going to play the best guys.”
Dakich said that a lot of Kentucky’s toughness stems from the Harrison Twins. “Tyler Ulis is a good player, but there isn’t a chance in hell I’m starting him–I don’t care platoon system or anything–over those two guys,” Dakich said. “You can give me the Harrisons any freaking time to win big ball games.”
“There’s always going to be close teams, but again, there you go into the toughness that they grew into last year. I saw it for myself,” Dakich said. “That’s a hell of a thing to have, that’s a hell of a thing to develop into, and that’s what I think will carry Kentucky, as much as the talent.”