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Stacked up against the entire Calipari Era, this 2017-18 group doesn’t look too shabby

After Kentucky’s loss on Saturday afternoon to Missouri, fans were ready to bring out their torches and pitchforks. The Cats managed to take two steps forward against West Virginia, then found a way to grind out a victory in overtime against Vanderbilt, but reverted right back to their old poor habits on the road against the Tigers.

Kentucky is still ranked in the top-25 and the entire college basketball field is down, but for some, this doesn’t feel like a team capable of making a deep run in March. The team’s lack of a consistent go-to scorer, trouble in the passing department, and poor shooting from beyond the arc are all reasonable areas of concern.

When you stack up the season as a whole compared to past Calipari-coached Kentucky teams, however, the numbers may surprise you.

UK media relations contact Deb Moore posted this graphic on Twitter with the caption “#perspective,” with all major statistical categories from each year Coach Cal has been in Lexington.

Three teams had a record of 17-6 through 23 games, and five had at least five losses. Two of those teams made it to the Final Four, and three of them made it to at least the Elite Eight. The only teams to not reach the second weekend dealt with a freak injury (Nerlens Noel) and a freak NCAA tournament matchup (Indiana in the Round of 32).

Kentucky is currently tied for 182nd in the nation in total assists, yet the 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2013-14 teams all had fewer assists through 23 games. Each of those teams made it to the Final Four, two went to the title game, and one took home the trophy,

We worry about UK’s struggle in from beyond the arc, but they have shot it better from three than the 2013-14 and 2015-16 squads, and a higher overall field goal percentage than the 2010-11 team.

In fact, the current Wildcat roster has managed a higher field goal percentage, more rebounds, and higher total points per game than the 2014-15 (near) perfect Final Four team.

The assist-to-turnover margin is a bit worrisome, as no other Kentucky team has been negative in this category, and only the 2009-10 team managed more total turnovers than this team has with just nine games remaining in the season.

Still though, it may be frustrating to watch at times, but the sky is not falling, and there’s time for Calipari to right the ship.

Let’s start by destroying Tennessee tomorrow night.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

26 Comments for Stacked up against the entire Calipari Era, this 2017-18 group doesn’t look too shabby

  1. rockatao
    7:31 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    You can believe hand-picked statistics … or you can believe your eyes.

    • The Professor
      8:03 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

      I was just about to mention the “eye test” when I saw your post had beaten me to it. This team has much more in common with the NIT bound team with their selfish play and lack of basketball IQ. Cal’s other teams showed improvement as the year progressed and by tourney time you felt they had a chance against anybody.This team…not so much.

    • StevieGotLoose
      8:48 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

      Watching those other teams, I never thought to myself that they sucked. Watching this team and feel that way. I see nothing positive in how they play or in their body language. The Louisville game was a fluke and the WV game was against a team in a nose dive. Follow that up with a gift from Vanderbilt, which should have been the worst loss in the Cal era. I see this team going no where but down, if it is even possible to sink any lower. Actually I can’t see (watch) this team do anything, it makes me sick to watch such lousy basketball.

    • henderblue
      7:24 am February 6, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t watch then. Not a lot of difference in the league top to bottom. Everyone gets up for UK. It was a win Vandy wanted badly and we were coming off a big road win.

    • StevieGotLoose
      9:11 am February 6, 2018 Permalink

      I won’t be watching or listening

    • Han
      10:26 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

      You guys evidently weren’t on this site in the year of the “Hell of a story” because comments shredded the team, especially the Harrisons and Dakari. It was yet another “how did they lose this game?” moment that prompted that now famous Harrison quote.

    • 4everUKblue
      8:17 am February 6, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed Henderblue. If you don’t like watching them, then don’t! If you can’t support this team and Cal maybe you need to find another team.

  2. terwilliger
    7:54 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics. I hope they turn it around and I have to choke on crow, but right now this group is putrid. And I think it’s about 50% on them, and 50% on Cal for recruiting a team that doesn’t fit together at all.

  3. BigBlueNationDude
    7:56 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    Final four bound….final four to make the tournament

    • Luether
      10:09 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

      This team couldn’t make the NIT Final 4 the way they’re playing now…

    • 4everUKblue
      8:17 am February 6, 2018 Permalink

      And Luether the idiot returns.

    • FACTS
      12:49 pm February 6, 2018 Permalink

      The thing is we could lose or win to anyone that’s why we all get so disappointed

  4. BlueDew
    8:10 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    I have to admire the way KSR drinks the Kool-aid. I hope this team can turn it around, but I don’t own a pair of rose colored glass. They can’t shot on a consistent bases to go on a run of wins. Late in the year for things to turn around. Furthermore, what evidence is there that they will turn it around. I can tell you why they won’t. No perimeter defense, can’t stop dribble penetration, no defense at the rim, players standing around and not playing every play. Just listen to coach and he will tell you these things. He has told us these things all year. I don’t think things have changed very much since Christmas. One big blow out of UL and beat a WVU that has lost 5 of their last six games. This is our resume so far.

    • BigBlueNationDude
      8:49 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

      Its called ratings. If they are negative about things it will turn people away.

    • syrin23
      10:07 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

      We also have a center who can’t dunk

    • henderblue
      7:45 am February 6, 2018 Permalink

      They need you guys for coaches

  5. UKinIN
    8:10 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    Matt said it a few weeks ago: when you’re explaining, you’re losing.

  6. ukkatzfan
    8:17 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    I say elite 8 at very minimum with 4-6 going pro. Final 4 is more like it. But I will go with number 9 based on the 20 yr title run. 58,78,98 and 18

    • kjd
      7:44 am February 6, 2018 Permalink

      Elite 8 at minimum? Please explain what you see with this team to predict this.

  7. BlueDew
    8:20 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    Agree with that. Here is a break down. Twenty-two days until SEC tournament. Seven games left with three on the road. That leaves fifteen days to practice. That is if you can have something more than a shoot around on the away games. If not that will reduce practice days to 12. With all the issues we have, I’m seeing it.

  8. Lip Man 1
    8:29 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    “There’s time for Calipari to right the ship.”

    You are exactly correct…but that’s part of the problem isn’t it? We keep hearing “there’s time” but nothing really changes does it?

    Same “one step forward,” “two steps back…” You don’t move forward going about it that way.These guys collectively right now just don’t seem to have a very high basketball I.Q. and in fact, they are running out of the time they do have.

  9. Han
    10:24 pm February 5, 2018 Permalink

    The team obviously has potential. When they turn the defense on and pass well, suddenly we can come back from any deficit. The problem comes when we then make a bad foul and revert to hero ball and suddenly give up 8-10 pt runs to the other team to destroy our comeback. Happened in the most recent loss.

    If we play good defense, rebound, and pass, we win. Usually it’s the first two that Cal has to push us to do. For whatever reason (have to look to the guards), this team has yet to gel and look for each other at the right time on the floor. Just watching Vanderbilt play, you have to believe we’d be a better overall passing team if we’d had him all season. The team just works harder and crisper when he’s in. But regrettably he’s as foul prone as the others (though he has the excuse of only being a handful of games into his college career, coming off injury).

    Cal needs to find a way to get them to pass at the right time, and he needs to get us to cut out the bad fouls, especially the offensive ones. A lot aren’t fair, but we should know by now the officials are going to screw us, so give them fewer opportunities.

    And teach Richards to finish dunks, please. He seems to clank one every game when 1-2 per season is the usual for a big guy.

  10. TWhite
    12:38 pm February 6, 2018 Permalink

    This is team is just as good as the 2011, 2013, 2016, and the 2017 teams. The difference we are seeing is how much better the SEC is this year. Not nearly as many cakewalks this year, but still essentially the same record. Too many negative fans on here.

  11. tmcclan16
    2:44 pm February 6, 2018 Permalink

    the reason it is so hard to write off and so very easy to write this team off is that Im not sure the last team that I can remember saying wow they way they looked tonight this team could make a run and then for the rest of the season i look at them and say wow they are in trouble may not make it through the first game. just a frustrating team to watch. Cal seems to be running out of answers with this team by a lot of his recent comments But Go Cats lets just go one game at a time because thats all we can do with this team.