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Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament Hopes Fall on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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.”

Read more of Tjarks’ analysis here and catch up on all of The Ringer’s excellent “Kentucky Basketball Association” coverage.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

15 Comments for Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament Hopes Fall on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

  1. Smyrna_Cat
    10:39 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

    I don’t agree with that. Just because a blogger on Ringer said it doesn’t make it so. Of course we will be better off if he plays well, but what has made the Cats play so well of late is of how the are fitting their roles, how they are sharing the basketball, how the are doing more for team, and how they aren’t trying to do things on their own.

    You did correctly say “right recipe” … and that recipe means we don’t need an individual trying to be a star. We need all players to be part of the team. And we have been clearing out for G-A for quite a while now. G-A needs to play his role just like everyone else does.

    • Realme
      11:32 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

      Completely agree.

  2. unbridled
    10:43 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

    I agree about SGA being the most impactful player….but Washington, knox, and quade are almost as important. Obviously everyone needs to be playing their best but we NEED those 4 to score and defend on an extremely high level. I love my team. Let’s ball.

  3. BluemanGreen
    11:10 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Agree with unbridled. You cant put everything on Shai or any one player. We learned as children that basketball is a team sport lol….You guys can do better than this!

  4. RackEmWillie
    11:21 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

    The Cats season either ends in the first weekend or the last day.

  5. KentuckyVSEveryone
    11:32 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Obviously SGA playing well is extremely important, but not anymore so than Knox being aggressive, Quade and Wenyen hitting open shots, PJ contributing and staying out of foul trouble, etc. They past 3-4 weeks this team has come a LONG WAY. No hero ball but rather moving the ball extremely well on offense, and FINALLY playing consistent defense as a unit! SGA is the straw that stirs the Kool-Aid but it is not all on his shoulders!

    • unbridled
      12:20 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

      I think you perfectly and more accurately said what I was trying to convey. Thank you friend.

    • KentuckyVSEveryone
      12:15 am March 16, 2018 Permalink

      Anytime bro. BBN STAND UP! Time to get ready for a SOLID Buffalo team. They just embarrassed Arizona. Fun fact, Arizona is now 5-10 in the first round when seeded 4 or lower! Wow

  6. Oaks
    11:45 am March 15, 2018 Permalink

    DeAndre Ayton is Hakeem in David Robisons’s body. Scary as heck.

  7. Catcasey1
    1:54 pm March 15, 2018 Permalink

    Oaks!!!!! U have to win the first game to move to the next one