We’ve given you our thoughts on Kentucky’s run in the Bahamas; now, the national media is weighing in. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster shared his five takeaways on the Cats, who he ranked third in his preseason poll behind Kansas and Gonzaga back in June. After watching Kentucky roll in four exhibition games, Dauster said any of those three teams could be number one, along with Duke.
“And after watching 160 minutes of Wildcat basketball this weekend, that ranking is more than justified. Kentucky has it all. They have size. They have depth. They have perimeter scoring. They have guards that can really, really pressure the ball. They are going to be able to get on the glass. Their sophomores look terrific. Their freshmen look ready, and have the luxury of not being asked to carry the load from the get go.
Perhaps most importantly, there is lineup versatility. They can play big; or small; or roll out a lineup that can press and force turnovers; or play a team that is going to be able to put up points in a hurry.”
All that being said, Dauster voiced some familiar concerns, specifically whether or not all those stars will accept their roles and be cool sharing minutes. That’s never been a problem in the Calipari era, but he does make a good point: if Quade Green continues to buy into his new role off the ball, he could be a huge piece of the puzzle, ala Quinn Cook for Duke back in 2015. Like all of us, he was also floored by Sophomore Nick Richards and Tyler Herro.
“For a team that has questions about where they are going to get offense in the halfcourt and whether or not they can space the floor, Herro is a guy that is going to force Cal to play him a lot of minutes,” Dauster wrote.
For more, head on over to NBC Sports. I have a hard time agreeing with Dauster that Kansas and Gonzaga are as good or better than Kentucky, but the rest of his takes are spot on.