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Should Dakari Johnson Start?

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After the recent sub par play of Willie Cauley-Stein, some fans believe that with the improved play of Dakari Johnson, he should start. There are pros and cons to this line of thinking.

Why He Should Start:

Dakari has been playing very well lately. Against LSU, he had 15 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. Willie’s lack of play is having some fans question his mental approach to games.  Dakari has made the hustle plays that Willie simply hasn’t made lately. Fans can deal with a loss;  it happens to everyone. What fans can’t deal with is a lack of effort. Many fans think that moving Dakari into the starting lineup will force Willie to pick up his play.

Why He Should Not Start:

Kentucky’s goal is always to win the national championship and many believe their best chance to win a title is with Willie on the floor. His shot blocking ability is something Dakari does not possess and Willie has the ability to defend smaller guards on the perimeter. If you bench Willie now, you are throwing out the game plan you have developed up to this point in the season and adding to his lack of confidence. One of Kentucky’s biggest issues is a lack of defense and Willie is one of our best defenders. If he is on the bench, Kentucky gets that much slower on defense and they cannot afford to get beat off the dribble because he would not be there to defend the basket.

Should he start or shouldn’t he? What do you think?. Go CATS!

Article written by Aaron Perkins

6 Comments for Should Dakari Johnson Start?

  1. Grandpablue
    4:59 pm January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Cal might be better served if he believed in his process by not in contiung to TRY to develop attitudes. Case in point – if the staff chooses to start Polsen, Hawkins, Hood, Willis, and Johnson you will see what dedication to “the team” means in live game action. It may not be super stardom but that appears to me to be the problem. Many on the team play as though they are super stars. It’s been quite a long time to be stay comfortable with the premise and continued comments that these players are still trying to break bad habits. These guys are not dumb. We all saw John Hood coach up James Young the other day after a time out. Maybe its time for the experienced and energetic team members to show the others, in extended game action, what is expected of them. I remember hearing a wise Italian scholar say a few months ago, the bench is a great coach. I have even seen that with other teams where coaches “send a message”. Maybe it’s time for the writing of the message to end and have it delivered.
    Go Cats!!

  2. WildcatNation68
    8:07 pm January 30, 2014 Permalink

    More importantly, WCS doesn’t deserve to start. He can’t even win jumpball over a guy 5 inches shorter. Pathetic.

  3. bigblue091812
    8:15 pm January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Blocking a few shots every 5th or 6th game isn’t helping us much his year. For the effort they give I’d rather use Johnson and Lee in the low post right now, at least we’d get some points and rebounds out of the 5 position, if they averaged 12 pts and 10 rebounds between them every game that’s more than we’re getting out of WCS right now. I would rather have a line-up of Alex, Polson, Hawkins, Johnson and Willis and lose by 25 to Missouri but they play hard and give 100% effort than to paly half ass all game only to lose by 5-6 pts at the end with 50% effort. I only got to see 5-6 mins of the LSU as I was out of town for work but chose to visit with co-workers/friends in Orlando at our National Sales Meetings instead of watching a team that got out played, out hustled with piss poor shooting, rebounding and passing by a group I’m tired of making excuses for and damn tired of hearing excuses that their young, have bad habits and don’t know why they do what they do til I’m sick of it. I would rather watch Alex, Polson, Hawkins, Johnson, Hood, Willis and Lee play the bulk of the minutes from here out and wouldn’t care if they lost everygame but gave it all they have which I know they would, I really that group of 7 may have won the games against Arkansas, Baylor, UNC, LSU and even Michigan State with the effort we would’ve have gotten from them. Even if we was to go into the NCAA’s with 7 losses and a 3-6 seed it’d be worth losing a couple more, maybe even losing to Missour and Miss St over the next couple games if we didn’t play any of the starters if it’d wake them up to know no matter the outcome the players who give 100% is gonna get the minutes even if you get beat by 25+. We keep hearing how the bench is a great coaching tool to have then lets use it to make the point, I’m sure a couple games sitting on their asses would make them listen to the coach and give it all they have for the remainder of the season. I still think the most we lose this year with the way they’re playing now is 3-4 more games and we still would get in with 8-9 losses but will not make it pass the 2nd round unless there is a fire set under their asses and soon. One and done my ass, Randle and Young will go early for no other reason than their potential but this team should be loaded next year with the bulk of this group coming back and then you have WCS, Andrew, Aaron and Lee competing for playing time against Lyles, Townes, Ulis, Booker, Willis and Alex next year. This group brought talent to Lexington for sure but left their effort at home. I would love to see Alex, Johnson, Polson, Willis and Hawkins start against Missouri and see the cameras keep showing the bench to see the reactions on faces wondering if they would get clean up minutes with 2 minutes. Last but not least, someone please tell me how Willis would hurt this team more with his shooting, defense or rebounding then WCS and at times Young, Andrew and Aaron. I love Coach Cal and he’s not to blame for the one and done rule and I want a coach who goes after the best players each and every year, but for the first time since I started watching games with my dad in 1966 going back to 10 games into last season I don’t care to watch them.

  4. B
    10:01 pm January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Young & WCS 100% should not start next game. Randel should start but not touch the ball the first 5 mins(that would save KY 3 turnovers: that is when he turns the ball over the most). If he wants to score points the first 5 mins then he better go get some offensive rebounds. I’m on the fence on benching the twins. I think a REAL short leash might be better. Also longer bench punishment for poor effort. I believe Willis & Lee don’t have enough weight & muscle to get playing time against big and strong teams. I know there is some good arguments for putting them in when everyone else is laying eggs. I would have to give Cal the benefit of a doubt since he sees those kids in practice.
    Bottom line is Dakari HAS to start next. That young man deserves to start. He is doing everything right.
    I believe the direction of this team hangs on who Cal starts next game and who he rewards for good play.

  5. CatsRus
    11:23 pm January 30, 2014 Permalink

    Who deserves to start the doctrine is supposed to be according to the 5 that have had the best practices. Of Course, Cal knows that. Just for the heck of it my list:
    Willie CS
    Alex P
    James Y
    Abe Lincoln was told to fire Grant and he said ” a gun may misfire once but you don’t throw it away”.
    The sad truth is probably that in order to recruit Andrew, also starting Aaron was a package deal or no deal. I was watching CIncy beat the Cards tonight and I saw how great it was to have older players. Kilpatrick is 24. Harrisons can be great players if they give themselves time.

  6. ==== PIX2CLICK ====
    6:00 pm January 31, 2014 Permalink

    ==== I cannot think of one reason that Willyee Callhim Frank-n-Stank-n-Stein SHOULD have EVER started !

    He needs to sit on the bench with his best friend ……… a full length mirror !