March 16, 2013

Kentucky Crushed by Vandy, Didn't Respond to Challenge

After watching this Kentucky Wildcat team throughout the year, it appears they were destined for frustration and underachievement from the time the players were recruited. That has been evident throughout the year, and the loss of Nerlens Noel isn't what made the season the disaster is is; it was that before Noel was injured.

Through the year Kentucky couldn't or wouldn't respond when they needed to, and that was evident again in the crushing defeat they suffered to Vanderbilt in the SEC quarterfinals, losing by a big margin of 64-48.

For a team with everything on the line, it simply reinforced what has been wrong with them all year long.

Knowing the quality of the coaching of the team, it definitely has to be traced back to recruiting specifically, as this team wasn't ever really a team because some of the players never bought into what Calipari gave them.

The result is one of the worst seasons for Kentucky in recent memory, which will almost assuredly land the team in the NIT, rather than even given a chance to defend its title.

If they are miraculously handed a birth in the big tournament, it would only be because of its past success and the national title it brought home last year.

As in many games during the season, the Wildcats didn't match the intensity of their opponent, which resulted in the lopsided defeat. The 48 points of the cold-shooting Wildcats was the lowest in the season, and the performance of the guards was terrible, to say the least.

It shows that talent alone can't produce a winner, as players must be coachable and be hungry to give it their best to produce the type of winning teams usually enjoyed at Kentucky.

There can be no doubt different metrics need to be used in the Kentucky recruiting program going forward, as this was one of the rare misses of Calipari, and is unlikely to be reproduced any time soon.

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