Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament fate will be decided by an unheralded recruit. A four-star talent that was ranked second-to-last in UK’s 2017 recruiting class, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander now controls Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament destiny.
“Kentucky is Gilgeous-Alexander’s team now,” wrote The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks. “One of the most inconsistent teams in the country now has an identity: Clear out for Gilgeous-Alexander and let him go to work. The Wildcats have a tough road to the Final Four, but he’s good enough to carry them there. If he plays poorly, on the other hand, they could lose in the first round.”
It took longer than normal for John Calipari to find the right recipe for this team. Kevin Knox was an unreliable primary option and Jarred Vanderbilt threw him for a loop before it became the Shai show. Now the SEC Tournament MVP is playing his best basketball at the perfect time.
“No player in the country has more to gain with a strong showing in the NCAA tournament. He’s already come far this season. He could reach another level in the next few weeks.”