at South Carolina
at Miss St
ESPN or ESPN2
ESPN or ESPN2
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
PG - Marquis Teague
Marquis Teague is my pick to be the biggest surprise on this team. He's following up two Top 10 draft picks at the point guard position for John Calipari, including #1 overall pick John Wall. However, Marquis Teague will be a better point guard, at the college level, than both he and Brandon Knight.
While Teague doesn't have the pure athletic ability of John Wall, or the pure shooting ability of Brandon Knight, he has a combination of the two. Teague is more comfortable and in control of his body than either of the two point guards before him. He has a much better jump shot than Wall, and superior passing ability to Brandon Knight.
Teague has the ability to get the ball wherever he wants to on the court. And is in control at all times, which is something we saw Wall struggle with at times during his year at Kentucky. Better court vision than Brandon Knight.
For all the talk about Mike Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, and Anthony Davis, look for Marquis Teague to be the one that leads this team deep into the NCAA Tournament. Marquis Teague is going to be the key to this team, and he will prove to be the best Point Guard at Kentucky since John Calipari has been here.
NBA comparison - Steve Francis
Stat predictions - 12 points per game, 5 assists, 2 rebounds.
SG - Doron Lamb
Doron Lamb is coming back for his second season in John Calipari's system. I expect Lamb to become more consistent this season, after showing flashes of excellence in his freshman year.
Last season, we saw Lamb shoot lights out from 3 point range, and fill in nicely at the Point Guard spot at times when Brandon Knight was off the court with foul trouble.
Lambs ability to play the point if needed eases my fear of not having a real back up plan to Marquis Teague. At times last season, I felt more comfortable with the offense starting through Lamb than Knight.
With all the attention that Teague, Gilchrist, and Davis will be getting, expect Lamb to roll off a lot of screens to set up for open jump shots. If Lamb can shoot the three ball at the rate he did last season, Lamb can make himself a lottery pick this season.
NBA Comparison - Poor mans Ray Allen.
I'm not saying Lamb will be one of the best three point shooters to ever play in the NBA, like Allen. But his game is similar.
Stat projections - 13.5 points per game, 1.5 assists, 2 rebounds.
SF - Darius Miller
This position was a tough pick for me, because I believe that Mike Gilchrist should be starting at the 3 spot. And, I believe by the time SEC play rolls around, Gilchrist will be in the starting line-up. However, day one, I expect Calipari to give the nod to the Senior.
We've seen Miller play for three seasons now, two under John Calipari. Each season, he shows flashes of being a great player, but has never been able to build off of those flashes, and become a consistent threat. Consistency will be key for Darius Miller if he wishes to stay in the starting line-up.
Being surrounded with a team full of scorers could really benefit Miller, because he'll often be the "forgotten man" on the court. He'll likely face the weakest perimeter defender that each team has to offer. I expect Miller to have a decent season, and maybe find himself at the back end of the second round in this NBA draft.
NBA Comparison - Anthony Parker
Stat projections - 9 points per game, 1 assist, 4 rebounds.
PF - Terrence Jones
Terrence Jones, I believe will benefit the most from his second season under John Calipari. Jones started off hot last season, and began to fade in conference play. However, now that he will have more of a scoring threat along side of him in Anthony Davis, he will face less double teams, and will often have one-on-one situations with much slower, less athletic defenders.
The key for Jones this season will be to keep his emotions in check, which he struggled with at times last season.
I expect Jones to make major improvements in being able to play with his back to the basket. I'd have to imagine that being a point of emphasis during practice this season. Jones should be a match-up nightmare for every team we will face this season. He's too athletic for many big men, and if he can learn to play with his back to the basket, he is too strong and powerful for perimeter defenders.
NBA Comparison - Lamar Odom.
Stat projections - 15 points per game, 9 rebounds.
C - Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis is far and away the most talented player in college basketball. He's a 6'10 post player who can step outside, and handle the basketball like a guard. Players like Davis do not come around very often.
Davis can score from any point on the floor. Has a nice touch on the jump shot, and can knock down the three ball, and uses his length to get into the paint and score.
Defensively, he's a shot blocking machine. His length makes it a nightmare for opposing post players to get a shot up. At 6'10, Anthony Davis has a 7-4 wing span.
Some say Davis needs to bulk up a bit, and while it might be nice if he did, I disagree with that statement. At 6'10, 220 pounds, he's a similar body type to his NBA comparison.
NBA Comparison - Marcus Camby
Stat projections - 14 points per game, 3 assists, 9 rebounds.
Expected to contribute off the bench
F - Mike Gilchrist
Gilchrist, in my opinion, will be in the starting line up by the time conference play rolls around. However, I see him starting the year as the sixth man.
At 6'7, Mike Gilchrist has a 7'0 wingspan, which makes him a nightmare on the perimeter defensively. A good defensive presence, who is always finding a way to get into the passing lane. I expect Gilchrist to take on the role of DeAndre Liggins at that end of the court, while adding a polished offensive game that Liggins lacked.
Gilchrist is a pure slasher, who can thrive in the dribble drive offense. He's also an unselfish player, who will always make the extra pass. Except to see a lot of back-door cuts fed to Gilchrist, followed up by a lot of extra passes down low to Terrence Jones or Anthony Davis for an easy bucket.
Gilchrist is a decent outside shooter, but lacks the mechanics to be a great outside shooter. Has a low release point, and very little arc. Also needs to improve going to his left.
Overall, Gilchrist is a young player who should step in and immediately be a good player at this level, and who has the potential to be a great player.
NBA comparison - Andre Iguodala
Stat projections - 10.5 points per game, 3 assists, 4 rebounds.
Kyle Wiltjer is a smart basketball player who doesn't make many mistakes. Also, at 6'9, he can shoot lights out from the perimeter.
Wiltjer struggles at times, due to his lack of athleticism, and his lack of ball security in the post. However, he makes up for it with his jump shot and basketball IQ.
I expect Wiltjer to take on the role left by Josh Harrellson, although Wiltjer does have a more polished offensive game.
NBA Comparison - Hedo Turkoglu
Stat projection - 5 points per game, 4 rebounds.
I fully expect a 7 man rotation, with the remainder of the roster being used only in late game situations, with the game out of reach.
28-3 ; 14-2 in the SEC.
I think we lose at Florida in the SEC, and another slip up game somewhere along the lines. I'm going to go with at Vanderbilt.
In the non-conference schedule, I'll predict very close loss to North Carolina.
Early in the season, a young team playing in the biggest regular season college basketball game of the decade, coming off of only one days rest, against a tough St. Johns team, I think will be too much to handle.
I do, however, expect nothing less than a National Championship out of this team.
This is the most talented team in college basketball. And while I have questioned some of the on the court moves that John Calipari has made during his coaching career, he's becoming a better in-game coach by the minute.
I would not call this season a 'failure' if we do not win a National Title, because it takes a lot to win a title. But, this team has all the necessary pieces in place to bring it home.
My bias aside, I see there being a new Championship banner hanging in Rupp at the 2012 Big Blue Madness.
WT Executive Moderator
We are now less than a month away from our beloved Kentucky Wildcats season opening game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. I recently completed a two part series of articles previewing the Wildcats offense, defense, and special teams for the upcoming 2011 season.
The Wildcats held their first official summer scrimmage, behind closed doors unfortunately, but their is nothing but good things coming out of the coaches mouths, inside sources, and fans alike.
Basically, everyone had one thing in common with their assessment of the game; the overall abundance of talent, speed, and depth of the running backs.
One question is particularly intriguing to me though. Could this be one of the best rushing teams in the SEC and even in recent Kentucky memory?
We all know that it takes more than the running backs themselves to make yardage on the ground. Any teams rushing attack relies heavily on the offensive line.
The Wildcats return one of the most experienced and overall talented offensive lines in the SEC. Senior tackles Chandler Burden and Billy Joe Murphy has appeared in a combined 64 games and 23 starts between the two.
Senior guard Stuart Hines is a two-year starter, while playing in every game during his freshman year as a backup. At the other guard position, is the most impressive offensive lineman in recent Kentucky memory, junior Larry Warford. Warford, made ALL-SEC freshman team in 2009, All-SEC second team and Sophomore All-America second team last season.
Snapping the ball is returning junior starter, Matt Smith. He has played in 19 games including 13 starts in his first two season at Kentucky.
The Wildcats have plenty of talent and experience to open holes for the plethora of young running backs that the Wildcats have at their disposal.
The season opening starter in the backfield, barring unforeseen circumstances, is sophomore Raymond Sanders. Last season, in a backup role to the speedy Derrick Locke, Sanders ran for 254 yards and three touchdowns. Also, he played well in the Wildcats high octane passing attack last season catching 16 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Sure, one could say that these aren't particularly impressive numbers, but once you have to realize the limited playing time he possessed behind All- SEC Derrick Locke.
Have I mentioned he has gained an extra 15 pounds of muscle and has been wowing coaches and fans alike in summer camp?
Also fighting for the starting spot is sophomore Johnathan George and heralded freshman Josh Clemons. George, seen the ball very sparingly last season being down the depth chart as a freshman behind Locke and Raymond Sanders, but when he did carry the ball, he showed an abundant amount of potential.
Freshman Josh Clemons, is possibly the most hyped and talked about freshman player on the roster. Clemons was one of the top running backs in the state of Georgia last season, along with top Georgia recruit Isiah Crowell. He has also been amazing coaches and fans with his uncanny ability with the ball. I would not be surprised one bit, if he jumped both Raymond Sanders and Jonathan George to become the starter as a true freshman.
Rounding out the depth chart for the Wildcats is freshman Marcus Caffey, junior walk-on CoShik Williams, and redshirt freshman Brandon Gainer.
As you can see, the Wildcats are not without talent and depth in the backfield. The Wildcats are defiantly not without a top offensive line. The only thing the Wildcats lack in the backfield is experience, but that goes without saying looking at the ages on the running back depth chart.
I have no doubt in my mind that this season's Kentucky football team, can have one of the top rushing attacks in the SEC and one of the best in recent Kentucky memory.
But, one question remains, can the young running backs overcome the lack of experience and take advantage of one of the SEC's top offensive lines?
Not to long from now, we will all find out as the season kicks off.
Friday, August 12, 2011
We received this info via email and was ask to share it here. So those UK fans in and around Lexington be sure to get out and see Nazr Mohammed and Brandon Knight this weekend.
The Lexington Sports Cards will have Nazr Mohammed from 3-4 pm on Saturday, August 13th, 2011 signing autographs for fans, Cost is 15$ per auto.
The Lexington Sports Cards will have Brandon Knight from 3-4 pm on Sunday, August 14th, 2011 signing autographs for fans, Cost is 15$ per auto.
Lexington Sports Cards
169 East Reynolds Road
WT Executive Moderator
Last season, the Kentucky Wildcats had a very talented, but yet mediocre defense at best.
The Wildcats gave up an unacceptable 28.4 points per game, while also allowing 177.1 rushing yardage per game. A bright note of these so far, bad defensive numbers, is that the Wildcats secondary allowed just 177.1 yards through the air.
Kentucky, in an effort to straighten out their defensive woes that have plagued them for the lasy few seasons, hired a new defensive coordinator. Rick Minter, now defensive coordinator, has brought in new packages and completely diffrerent schemes, than what most teams are used to facing.
Despite all of Kentucky's struggles on the defensive side of the football last season, there is plenty of hope as well as hype. The Wildcats return seven defensive starters from last season's bowl team.
Up front and in the trenches, returning juniors Collins Ukue, Taylor Wyndham, and Ridge Wilson are competing for the defensive end spots. This position looks to be fairly strong and deep.
Likewise, in the middle of the line their is a lot of questions. Seniors Mark Crawford and Luke Mcdermott, and sophomore Mister Cobble look to be the rotation at the defensive tackle position. There is a lot of experience issues here, which always raises questions about talent and contributions.
Returning All-SEC weakside linebacker, Danny Trevathan, will be the heart of the linebacking corps as well as the entire defense. Trevathan, is argubably the best linebacker in the entire SEC, and he looks to improve upon his outstanding numbers. Senior Winston Guy, former safety, has converted to the strong side linebacker, and despite his tackling woes last season, is looking very good at his new position. Senior Ronnie Sneed and sophomore Avery Williamson are both locked in a close battle for the starting middle linebacker position.
Without a doubt, if the Wildcats wnt to improve upon last seasons 177 rushing yards per game woes, both the inexperienced defensive line and the experienced linebacker corps must improve.
The steength of last seasons defense was the secondary. Allowing only 177 passing yards per game, the Wildcats look to be in pretty good shape. Seniors Anthony Mosley and Randall Burden, both won the cornerback positions in spring.
With the loss of Guy at safety, moving to linebacker, their is quite a battle ensuing for the starting nod. Five players will be battling for the two safety spots. Seniors Taiedo Smith and Mychal Bailey, junior Martavius Neloms, and freshman Glenn Faulkner and Miles Simpson. All five players are more than capable of contributing to the defense.
With all of the talent and experience the Wildcats have returning for them, on top of Coach Minters new agressive style of defense, their is hope in Lexington.
But, in order for that hope to come true, the Wildcats must do a few things unlike last season. They must embrace tackling, stop the run, and know their assignments. These are a few of the things that plagued Kentucky's defense and put it near the bottom of the league last season.
But, there is cause for hope and good expectations in Lexington. The talent is there, the experience is there, the agressive style of coaching is there... Let's just hope that the defense are there when the whistle blows.
Friday, August 05, 2011
We received this info via email and was ask to share it here. So those UK fans in and around Lexington be sure to get out and see Wayne Turner.
The Lexington Sports Cards will be hosting Wayne Turner for a autograph session on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 from 4-6 PM.
Everyone can either get a 8x10 at the shop or bring their own item, the cost is $10 for the first item and $5 for each additional Item.
FYI, the cost is to offest the cost of having the player in the shop to pay the players who comes and does these autograph sessions.
Lexington Sports Cards
169 East Reynolds Road