This year’s Kentucky team will be John Calipari’s youngest yet, but according to Seth Greenberg, they could also be his biggest. The ESPN analyst took over hosting duties for today’s show, and shared his thoughts on Kentucky’s upcoming squad, which he believes has all the pieces it needs to make a big run…after some growing pains, of course.
“The success of this team, in terms of big picture, might be the returning players. How good will Wenyen Gabriel be this year? Will he be that lockdown defender? Will he be that guy that can run and score? Will he be that guy who is that positionless player to lead because you need a guy that can lead a talented group of players. You need a guy who can explain to the freshmen Coach Cal’s intensity.”
“How much better will Sacha Killeya-Jones be? We know he can score it, can he maintain the intensity? That’s going to be the challenge: how hard will he play consistently? Tai Wynyard, a guy with international experience this year. How important will that be?”
“The freshman class is no joke. It’s always no joke, but this group is really interesting. Diallo is a John Calipari type of player. He plays hard, he defends, he’s electric, he’s competitive; those guys always do well for Cal.”
“I look at PJ Washington. PJ Washington reminds me of the guys Cal had at UMass. Without position, physically tough, draws a line in the sand every play. I saw him at the adidas Nations camp a year ago. He was the hardest playing player at the camp. It wasn’t even close. Every 50/50 ball, every time the ball was shot, he ran the court, he drove it, he was skilled and more importantly, he knew exactly who he was and how he wins.”
“Kevin Knox will be the most skilled player. Kevin Knox is a guy that can knock down shots. He’s got a very smooth, easy game to him. At 6’9″, he can play anywhere on the floor. This could be the biggest Kentucky team I can remember. They can legitimately play a point guard and everyone else 6’9″ or bigger. Knox is just going to be fun to watch because he’s a guy that can be up to get buckets. He’s going to be a guy to knock down shots. You put him and Jarred Vanderbilt on the wings and you’ve got two wings that can absolutely put so much pressure on the defense with their athleticism, their length, their speed, their quickness. It will be interesting to see how John puts this team together.”
“And then a pure point guard Quade Green is a guy who can really set the table. He’s going to have to compete defensively and he’s going to have to learn to compete defensively, but a guy that has an understanding, a feel for the game. The ability to get the ball to guys when they’re open. Green has a chance to be really special.”
“This is a team that, to me, the pieces fit. But, like all John Calipari teams, it’s a process.”
Yes, it is. For more of Seth’s thoughts, listen to today’s podcast, which also features interviews with Dino Gaudio, Slice Rohrssen, Dan Dakich, and Kyle Tucker.
Here’s the rest of this week’s schedule, which now includes UK Baseball coach Nick Mingione on Wednesday:
July 25: Ramel “Smooth” Bradley
July 26: UK Baseball coach Nick Mingione
July 27: Guest Hosts
July 28: KSR Crew