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Where is Skal?

wheresSkal- (5)

Everyone has the same question, but nobody can answer it. Even national recruiting analysts are amazed by the lack of production they’ve seen out of the big man projected earlier in the season to go #2 in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Since the Arizona State game six games ago, Skal has averaged only 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds a game. He has only played an average of 13 minutes since then. He can’t stay on the floor long enough to contribute before he picks up two fouls or proves to be inefficient somewhere on the floor. It’s just surprising more than anything how someone could be so highly rated with so many blatant deficiencies, especially playing defense.

Recruiting analyst Evan Daniels shared his thoughts and here is a video breakdown of what he said is actually going on with Skal right now. The Cats need him to be the man we expected him to be and as an older freshman, he turns 20 in March, it is even more surprising that he has struggled this hard so early.

He’s always been able to rely on his natural ability, and this is the first time it’s not coming easy to him. Part of the problem right now is he’s not playing in the game; he’s thinking the game. He’s not just playing basketball … He’s going to have to get tougher, and he’s going to have to get stronger.

Article written by Kaan Solagan

Senior at the University of Kentucky. Atherton High School Alumnus. "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." - The Greatest

25 Comments for Where is Skal?

  1. Long Dong Silver
    11:13 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

    I’m going to guess Lexington?

  2. rainman
    11:24 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

    For me, a better question is, where is Humphries?
    Not doubt in my mind he could help this team, allbeit on
    a limited basis!
    We need all the post presence we can get, and it’s obvious
    Skal can’t give us that, but Humphries…..?

    Great game against Bama, GO CATS, GO BIG BLUE!

    • 2thepoint
      11:54 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

      rainman, did you see where Humphries positions himself on the floor on defense. They box him out and he just stands there waiting for the ball to bounce long to him. Cal won’t play you (much) unless you play defense and rebound at the 5. As to where Skal is he needs to face the basket on offense so his shooting touch can be utilized. Play him where he can have some success rather than trying to make him something he is not and never will be a 5.

    • rainman
      12:17 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

      I don’t disagree with your points, and I’m not advocating that Humphries start, or even play lots of minutes! All I’m saying is, we need a post presence, and he has the size and strength to help! And as far as being blocked out, up until last night, that has been happening to all our bigs, we simply DO NOT block out!

    • Nashville Cat
      5:58 am January 11, 2016 Permalink

      Maybe if he used exclamation points at the end of every sentence, Cal would play him more! Maybe that would work! I coildhave see that happening!

  3. Megan
    11:54 am January 10, 2016 Permalink

    I think we’ve beat up on Skal enough. Do we really have to run this story twice a week? Here’s something else people were unbelievably wrong about: Kentucky. The number two team in the country the first four weeks of the season. The number one team in the country the next four weeks. And just this week favored to beat LSU in Baton Rouge. How can the AP (and Vegas) be so mistaken about a team, much less a player?

    Ease up on the kid and accept that “it’s a process.”

    • rainman
      12:19 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

      I agree Megan, he may have been built up too high to succeed! But he seems to be a great kid, and I for one, am rooting for him!

    • Nashville Cat
      6:00 am January 11, 2016 Permalink


  4. jonthes
    12:15 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    It’s actually a great process for Skal – he didn’t have the normal high school experience and he plays against future NBA prospects in practice every day. He will have to bulk up to play center, I think he’s really a Tayshawn Prince and wish Cal would use him that way.

    • jonthes
      12:17 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

      And Tayshawn never got off the bench his freshman year.

    • rainman
      12:31 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Tayshun played in every game his freshman year, and tallied 5th most minutes played!
      But I get your point! And I agree, in the long run Skal will be fine!

    • Nashville Cat
      6:00 am January 11, 2016 Permalink


  5. binarysolo
    12:16 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Skal does need to toughen up, but he’s got to learn the difference between playing tough versus playing angry. We saw him give a cheap shot to Simmons at LSU (the shot that made Simmons retaliate later on, and pick up a foul in the process) and now getting a T against Bama. Playing tough doesn’t mean trying to intimidate your opponent by mugging and jawing, it’s about playing through contact and playing the game aggressively.

  6. jonthes
    12:16 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    So it looks like we’ll at a minimum have Skal, Winyard and Humphries back next year – with the new talent coming it, that will be quite a team.

    • @BallBlog_Chad
      12:41 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Yeah and this time last year I thought there was a good chance we’d have Booker, Lyles and maybe Dakari back

  7. snl1960
    12:44 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Skal needs to concentrate on ball and not retaliation and jawing every time he gets bumped. Fowls are not helping this team

    • Long Dong Silver
      12:58 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Maybe the Aflac fowl could help, with all of the injuries we’ve had.

  8. snl1960
    12:50 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    i made the retaliation slap on Simmons and got crucified.. He did it. Then the clapping and celebrating when Simmons got called, lack of class

  9. Long Dong Silver
    12:59 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    I’ve got a good missing persons for you: where are the good writers for this site?

  10. kjd
    1:30 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Definitely not liking the new “tough” Skal. Cheap shots and trash talking, and now a technical because of his mouth. I hope this is not what the coaches are promoting.
    For me, as a Cat fan, it’s embarrassing to see one of ours mouthing when he is not showing any game. Shut your your mouth and continue to learn the game of basketball.
    I thinkmote effort should be invested in Wynard and developing him. He has the body that is needed at the 5. Skal is a long term project.

  11. mobile2
    2:06 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    All of this begs the question: if Skal didn’t play real high school ball the past two years and against clearly inferior competition how in the hell did he become so highly ranked in the recruiting circles?

    How in the wide, wide world of sports does a kid that obviously can’t play college ball yet get so much hype and end up in the top 5 NBA pick projections?

    I have no problem with a kid needing several years to develop, and indeed I hope he does develop, but to have this #1 pick hype shoved down our throats all preseason then to have him tank as poorly as he has and them telling us to “chill out” is disingenuous.

    Can’t have it both ways folks. Unreasonable hype + terrible performance = grumbling. Expect it. If he can’t handle it the he should have gone to Wyoming State or some such.

    • Denim King
      3:00 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

      Skal is long and athletic and has skills that are unique for his height. HE HAS POTENTIAL. That’s why he was highly rated.

      But sometimes it doesn’t translate immediately. I am fine with Skal playing limited minutes at this point, learning, getting stronger. I remember back in the old days really being down on freshman that turned into some of my favorite cats of all time. Wayne Turner was HORRIBLE as a freshman. I remember Tony Delk struggling too. Now, these guys were not #1 prospects, but they had rough rookie years but ended up being pretty okay in y book when it was all said and done.

    • KatsKlaws
      3:19 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

      DK, the issue is though that Skal will not be at UK next year….everyone that keeps thinking that is delusional. I’m pissed because as was mentioned above, he is not what was advertised. He had 1 season here to produce and it isn’t going to happen.

      Look at what is coming in next year….plus what we already have returning ….who does he beat out for a spot?

  12. scottg74
    9:51 pm January 10, 2016 Permalink

    Skal has the body Camby had when he got to UMass. If Skal is willing to be patient, get bigger and learn, he maybe a beast. Next year of course.

    Does Dakari help his stock if he had stayed? Sure

  13. Biglaw Dawgin'
    10:47 am January 11, 2016 Permalink

    Skal needed some more minutes on Saturday. Lee didn’t come out for the first 12 minutes and he was playing like doo-doo. Derek Willis was in there for almost 20 minutes and has zeros all across his stat line. For this team to be good, Skal has to be good. And Skal can’t get going unless he plays. Maybe we don’t need him to play 30 minutes a game just yet, but 4 minutes? That’s just crazy.