Kentucky has fared pretty well in terms of frontcourt play in the team's first two games. The combination of Josh Harrelson (9.5 rpg), Terrence Jones (8.5) and Darius Miller (8.0) is cleaning the glass pretty well, which probably gives fans some comfort in the wake of the news that Enes Kanter will not play for the team.
Those early results came against East Tennessee State and Portland, however. As the 'Cats travel to Hawai'i, they'll start off with Big 12 also-ran Oklahoma. The Sooners are trying to recover from a terrible 2009-10 campaign with this year's far less star-filled roster, but they still boast five players who stand 6-8 or above. Odds are that UK's athleticism will trump pure height, but we'll get a glimpse of what the SEC campaign might hold for them when Calipari leads his youthful team into the land of floral-print shirts.
I have been very impressed with the patience and the passing of this UK team so far. I am still concerned with height but I really like the defense UK has had so far, especially against the guards stopping dribble penetration and making it difficult for teams to exploit the inside.
We should win this game by 20+. This team does nothing well.
I see this, though, like the game against Stanford last year in the Puerto Rico thing. Stanford did have an NBA player, and Oklahoma doesn't; but they were basically a bunch of nondescript tough guys who ran their offense. Oklahoma's big and strong, and they've got a guy named Steven Pledger who can shoot a little from outside.
Still: I'd be surprised if this one is ever in doubt. Oklahoma's a dog.
I think you are right Will but a bad shooting night could expose UK's youth. I don't think it will happen as this team looks more mature than last years team so far. I really like the quickness of this team and I believe too many analysts are harping on UK without Kanter. It would be one thing if this team had played for several weeks with Enes and he was then deemed inelgible.
I agree. I think it is much harder to play a partial season with a key player, and then lose him to injury or whatever and have to change your offensive and defensive schemes. This team has played several games already, if you count the Canada tour and the exhibition games as well as the first two "real" games of the year. This is certainly more vintage DD offense than last year, and plays to the team's strengths. Our biggest question mark will be how we react when we experience an off-shooting night. It was really nice to be able to pound it down to Cousins last year.
Originally Posted by Rockober
This will be the true test for this year's team: an off shooting night.
Originally Posted by Rockober
How they respond and what type of will and determination they show will somewhat lay to rest a lot of concerns. The defense looks good...especially for it being so early in the season....and they are athletic and appear to be fairly fundamental. Still, this is a concern that I'm sure we'll encounter and get to see how it plays out as the season goes along....
Last edited by Blue_N_White; 11-20-2010 at 06:00 PM.
7 - Time NCAA National Champion: 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998
All-Time Winningest Program in Men's D-1 College Basketball History
I think some of you guys are selling our two-headed monster short.
Through two games the Harrelson-Vargas duo in the middle is averaging 6 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. Those are respectable numbers IMHO.
Sure, it would be nice to get a few more points from them, but with our abundance of scorers on the perimeter I don't know that we need too much more from the 5 spot to be successful.
I've seen some good things out of both of them. Harrellson played maybe his most complete game ever against Portland.
Originally Posted by Buck_Naked
Still want to see what they can do against solid competition. The only big with athleticism we've faced on the frontline is the guy for ETSU, and he went for about 25 and 10.
As others in this thread have pointed out, Oklahoma is not a very good basketball team. This should be a trouncing from the opening tip.
However, at this point in the season, you really never know. Despite the fact that we've played considerably well in the first two games, we really can't say how we'll look in Maui. We've been shooting at a VERY hot clip. Will this continue? Will our big guys stay out of foul trouble? Will the freshman keep playing at this high level?
That's the thing about this time of the year: there's really not any teams that truly know a lot about themselves. Anybody is subject to defeat. And with a team powered by so much youth, it just puts the outcome in doubt that much more.