After all of the defections to the NBA by last year's Kentucky players (and lone graduation), the new depth chart looks something like this:
C- Anthony Davis
PF- Terrance Jones
SF- Mike Gilchrist
SG- Doron Lamb
PG- Marquis Teague
C- Elroy Vargas
PF- Kyle Wiltjer
SF- Darius Miller
SG- Jon Hood
PG- Jarrod Polson
SG- Stacey Poole
-Realistically I think we're looking at an 8-9 man rotation. Anthony Davis may not have the bulk to play the 5 right now but I don't see a Calapari recruit as highly touted as Davis coming off the bench.
-Darius Miller could also start over Gilchrist at the 3, but once again Gilchrist is to highly touted to come off the bench. (Maybe shift Jones down to the 3 and put Vargas in as the starting 5 with Gilchrist coming off the bench?)
-Polson is also listed as the backup PG for window dressing only......we all know he will never play and that Doron Lamb will shift over to the point when Teague needs a rest.
Best roster Capalari has had yet? 2nd best IMO to the Wall/Counsins team.
**On a side note......can you imagine if Bismack Biyombo was on this team?!? He would lead them to NCAA glory ala FSU's Chris Weinke style.**
Oh wow...I thought Woods was goin to Louisville. Now he is considering UK? WTF? You cant stop Cali!
he can play center in college...easily.....he is a 4 in the NBA but in college positions are very flexible especially when you can jump over houses.....
am i missing something? hes a senior next year right?
liggins declared for the draft
this team was already gonna be loaded then tj goes back might we be seeing another 5 uk first round picks with a possible no 6 in darius miller as i think davis jones mike g lamb and teague are all sure fire first round picks if they come out
7 of these guys have the potential to be 1st rouders next year. Lol Calipari keep doing what youre doing...
If Davis does play C then it will be interesting to see how he goes, like most posters on here I still see him as a long term NBA PF but he could be a C option on a smallball NBA team perhaps down the line. The line up for next year at UK is perhaps even stronger than 2009/10, if all the egos can play together and shots shared out then they will be a huge force next season.
Teague will be the biggest key for this team, he may have to tweak his game a little to get everyone involve with the talent around him. Brandon Knight failed to do that against UConn in the finals, which is one of the reason they lost. Teague is somewhat of a scoring PG much like Knight, so he may have to change his game a little to utilize everyone around him.
"he can play center in college...easily.....he is a 4 in the NBA but in college positions are very flexible especially when you can jump over houses....."
That idea worked out well for Perry Jones, right? Or the John Henson at small forward experiment?
But lengthy, athletic bigs do have a much better time playing in the post in college, rather than playing on the wing. I think Davis should do quite well as their guy in the middle, he is a good low post defender and he is aggressive. Also, he does not get thrown around, despite his slightness. I think Davis is a different case from both of those guys, who still do fairly well playing post positions in college. Would be quite surprised if Davis is not better than both of them were as freshman. Kentucky is going to be an incredibly dangerous team, and on paper have the most talent in the nation. Here is hoping we get to see a UNC and Kentucky battle next year, I think it is safe to say they will each be starting 5 future NBA players.
I fully expect Kentucky to start someone at center who weighs more than their shooting guard. Positions matter. Calipari is not a great coach, but he does right by his players in that he doesn't try to play his future NBA guys at their non-NBA position. Davis is 6'9 1/2" and 210 lbs. so he is going to project as a small forward, and I would expect that once Kentucky gets everyone in to practice that he will be competing for forward minutes with Jones, Gilchrist, Wiltjer, and whoever else they might be working in. That probably means not all their highly touted freshmen will play 30 minutes per, which, of course, is not atypical. I don't know who is going to be the guy left on the outside, but they aren't running an AAU program. They aren't going to line Davis up at the center spot and have him try to lean on Renardo Sidney, JaMychal Green, Festus Ezeli, and the rest of the SEC centers. It would do Kentucky no good and Davis no good. It doesn't take much to see that.
So, he will always have someone their to help out. Not to mention, do you really expect him to start the season at 210? Yes, John Henson has had a b of a time gaining weight, but this guy will be fine. Really believe in his abilities, and regardless of whether he plays 30 mpg, he is going to be the guy in the middle of the zone with two super athletic and long guys next to him, with Jones (who may have defensive issues, but is around 240), and Mike Gilchrist, who is a monster. Harralson was a big body, and played solid D, but Davis has length and athleticism that guy never will. They played fantastic defense last year, and I fully expect the same thing. Henson's defense was fantastic last season, and if he weighed more than Davis, I would be incredibly surprised. Their zone will be hard to get at man, I do not think defense will be a problem even with Davis' slight build. It says nothing about where he will play on offense, but on defense, many guys play out of position to do what is best for the team. Remember Kevin Durant at Texas? He was in the middle of the zone that whole season, did him little harm.
I think Terrance Jones might be starting, then Gilchrest off the bench.
Playing a zone doesn't change the fact that there are going to be 250-315 lbs. men on the other team that need to be bodied. Baylor played a zone and had three extremely long and athletic players with Perry Jones, Quincy Acy, and Anthony Jones. It didn't work because they were still soft in the middle. I don't seem to recall Durant being the big man. It is possible he did, but that was a team with Connor Atchley, Dexter Pittman, and Matt Hill. They had size.
But that is why you can run a zone with success in college. Every time a skilled big guy gets the ball in the post, he is being doubled, either with Jones or Gilchrist. Jones is not exactly a pip squeak, and Gilchrist is a total pest. Than, they are going to be incredibly difficult to cover on the offensive end, in so many ways.
As for Durant, none of those guys played more than 20 minutes per game, Atchley actually being the highest at 17.9 per game (Matt Hill played 12, Pittman 5). He also had a h-whopping 3.9 rpg, to Durant's 11.1. Michael Beasley proceeded to lead the nation in rebounding the next year. You get my point. It certainly can be done where players do indeed play out of position and do moderately successfully.
You as well as I know that positions are not as black and white as people make them out to be, and that Anthony Davis may indeed not be going toe to toe with a Renardo Sidney on the post, but he will lead the team in blocked shots and probably rebounds as well. I expect him to be jumping at Center for their team. Eloy Vargas will get more minutes, and Terrence Jones may get thrown around in the post a bit, but UK will be even longer and more athletic next year. They do not have a Josh Harrellson in the middle, but they are going to be much more stacked on the other side of the court.
Last year, Kentucky played 3 freshman over 28 minutes per game, this year will be at least close to the same thing. Teague and Davis should get over 30 per game, and Mike Gilchrist should be darn close. Wiltjer should get some minutes as well, though I am guessing similar to what Atchley got when Durant was on the team. Yes, Kentucky will have issues in the middle, but they will give other teams issues as well. You work with the talent you have, and Calipari has been doing pretty well with that for the most part. Their front court will be Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, Mike Gilchrist and Darius Miller, and three of the four will start. They more than likely will play someone out of position, as most teams usually do in college basketball.
My Oregon Ducks played all year with a 6'8 wing man at Center and a cherubic 6'6 PF, with no depth in our front court, and we won the CBI. I have seen much worse front court situations in college basketball than having to "settle" with a 6'10, 210 pound Anthony Davis playing Center. Kevin Durant's body was a near mirror image of this kids, and he had Damion James at PF and more often than not a three guard line-up. He and DJ Augustin played 35 minutes per game, and their team was really not great, but they still made it to the second round. This Kentucky team has talent, and while their will be weaknesses, they will have strengths could indeed make up for them, much like this past years team, that did not have the talent of some of these incoming players.
Kentucky is supposed to compete for the national championship, and I do not see them being able to compete for a title trotting out an AAU lineup. Calipari knows that the offense cannot carry them because of the roster turnover, so the defense has to be elite. To beat the teams with size (and there are going to be plenty of those), they are going to need a real center of the floor. Maybe the go have fun beating the tar out of the garbage non-conference opponents on their schedule that way and even the likes of Auburn, but they are going to need that big man for the real games. I'm sure that is why Tony Woods is garnering interest from Kentucky.
Woods is sort of terrible. Watched enough of him in the ACC to tell that he's essentially just a tall guy who can block shots. Not in complimentary way.
And it had very little to do with Wake. Not like Woods was a frosh last season. He's had a lot of opportunity to prove his high ranking out of high school.
Josh Harrellson and Brian Zoubek were terrible too. If it isn't Woods or some other transfer, they 2012 Brian Zoubek role will be played by Eloy Vargas. They aren't going to be able to win a title with absolutely no muscle inside. In the SEC, they have to beat above all others Florida, Vandy, Mississippi State, and Alabama. All of them have size, though Florida's is the least proven. In the tournament, they'll have to beat UNC (Zeller -not bulky but very skilled in the paint), Ohio State (Sullinger), possibly Kansas (Robinson and Withey will have their chance to take those reigns), and possibly UCLA (Smith, Nelson, and the Wear twins - the team also might be better off with Lee no longer there and getting a real point to run the show).
Personally, I think teams have to worry about Kentucky as much as Kentucky has to worry about any of them. College has been without true big men for quite a while, and while you have named a few there, teams are winning on speed and match-up problems as much as posting the ball inside. Calling them an AAU team is pretty much writing off the real skill that this team possesses, which is much greater than some of these teams with garbage bigs.
I am sure Kentucky would like to find a true post guy, but at the same time, Davis is a freak man. I think you are giving him the short end of the stick here. This is going to be the fastest team in the nation 1-5, they will draw a lot of fouls and while Sullinger, Josh Smith or Renardo Sidney will be tough covers, they will need help. Yes, Kentucky will need some more inside more than likely, and I am sure Tony Woods would help, but they will work with what they have.
You saw the team that won the NCAA tournament this year, right? That team that had Alex Oriakhi at Center, that guy who is 6'9 and 240 pounds? The guy who averaged fewer rebounds and blocks per game than Terrence Jones did last year, and is the exact same height and weight? Yes, I know that Alex Oriakhi is a better rebounder and post defender than Terrence Jones, but the point I am making is, he and Anthony Davis are not as bad as you are making them out to be as a front court. UCONN started a fairly small line-up, and they were not too bad, and they had nothing close to the talent this Kentucky team has. If anything, Vargas might play slightly more of a Charles Okwandu role of 15-20 minutes of bulk.
Yes, size really helps, it is something that every team that wins has to have for defense and rebounding to usually be effective, and to therefore win championships. Kentucky was a team that lacked size in 2010-11, but eventually they were considered good in that area due to their length and speed on defense. Kentucky may not have a Josh Harrellson to body up the other teams opposing big man, but I think they will find ways to make life hell for other teams. They are not going to be an AAU team, and they will not go undefeated, but I fully expect that to be their starting line-up, or at least the team members who get the most minutes. I think their is little way in hell that Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones and Mike Gilchrist do not get close to 30 mpg next year, and I think with that front court, they will be one of the favorites to win the NCAA championship.
BTPH how can you say that Harrellson is terrible? You watch the tourney?
“Calling them an AAU team is pretty much writing off the real skill that this team possesses, which is much greater than some of these teams with garbage bigs.”
No calling them an AAU team is pointing out that what would be the case should Kentucky throw five players on the court with no structure or scheme, and the idea of playing with no bulk and thinking a zone will make up for it doesn’t compute with me when discussing an NCAA contender. Not after Baylor brought in Prep Basketball Jesus and supposed one-and-done-franchise player Perry Jones last year and just got worked over inside despite being the more athletic team just about every time out.
Also, thinking that the all the talent that was showcased against 14-18 year olds will seamlessly transition to dominate 18-24 competition goes against history. There have been Melo, Durant, Rose, and Wall, but every year, all the top 10, 20, 50, 100 guys get the savior treatment. Fab Melo, Will Barton, Perry Jones, C.J. Leslie, Patric Young, Josh Selby, Ryan Harrow, Cory Joseph, etc. Did they show off their “real skill” and dominate more seasoned teams and players in their freshmen year? Nope. How about Avery Bradley, Derrick Favors, Xavier Henry, John Henson, Renardo Sidney, Kenny Boynton, Mason Plumlee, Michael Snaer, Mouphtaou Yarou, Tiny Gallon, etc? They didn’t dominate. Someone is going to be the Stacey Poole of the Kentucky freshman class this year too. I don’t claim to know who, but I’m willing the guess it is one of the forwards. I need something more than you thinking I’m selling Anthony Davis short to change my sense that positions matter. I can see the regard he and the other Kentucky freshmen are held, but he is not going to be the new Basketball Jesus in my eyes just because he is getting the hype that used to be thrown at John Riek. Last year was supposed to be "the year of the freshmen" and now this year it the same storyline. His high school team went 8-15 his junior year and 6-19 as a senior. I’m not taking a cheap shot on him, but he isn’t a magician. They are going to need a center to compete for a national title.
The stylistic argument of being fast and skilled would be more intriguing if Duke had not tried to roll out the ball and chuck up threes when they had Singler, sometimes Lance Thomas, and a bunch of guards in 2008 and 2009. There were games where they looked unbeatable playing that way, and then inevitably they got smoked when teams could challenge them in the post and attack the offensive glass. Brian Zoubek was a garbage big man, but his presence out there mattered.
Man, I am usually impressed with your arguments and your knowledge of the game, but I think you are off on this one. I feel you are not just generalizing the freshman Kentucky is bringing in, but also generalizing that I would feel that every freshman is a savior. Anthony Davis is not every freshman, not to mention that while Terrence Jones had his short comings during his freshman year, he was pretty damn good. Mike Gilchrist and Marquis Teague also are not every freshman. Their is a reason they are ranked as highly as they are amongst their peers.
Kentucky was a team that had nice length, but the only bulk they had was Josh Harrellson, and they won mainly on their length, athleticism and the play of their freshman was a huge part of this. Brandon Knight, during the tournament, was awesome. Marquis Teague is not Brandon Knight, but in my honest opinion, Anthony Davis is the real deal, really like his game and feel he will be awesome in the NCAA.
Comparing Lance Thomas and Kyle Singler to Anthony Davis and Michael Gilchrist makes little to no sense. Their is no parallel there, Kyle was always out of position their and they did not have near the talent Kentucky is bringing in. Believe me, Anthony Davis will have his problems as a 5, but he will be a presence on D. Not to mention, you mentioned nothing about the UCONN ditty I brought up.
Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb had incredibly strong freshman seasons last year, and I think their is a chance that Mike Gilchrist and Anthony Davis will be even better. If I wanted to make a generalization, I would say that Marquis Teague will be a top 5 pick after one year at PG, but I do not feel he is necessarily in the class of Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, John Wall and Brandon Knight. But, I think they brought in some real talent, and I do not think they are saviors, but they could play roles that could possibly get a team to the title. Jeremy Lamb did not do a bad job last year, did he?
Perry Jones did exactly what I expected him to do, actually I believe he did even better than I expected. But, Perry Jones has always had problems finding consistency in his game, he is not as active on the glass or as aggressive as a guy like Anthony Davis or Gilchrist. Jones shows flashes of brilliance, but he played on a team with no chemistry, no identity and with another guy in Anthony Jones who has the same issues he did. I have little doubt in my mind that every one playing in Kentucky's front court will be a more willing and aggressive defender than anyone on Baylor. Those Duke team you mentioned had NOTHING near the length and talent of this Kentucky team, and Brian Zoubek was still on those teams.
When it comes to tournament time, it is all about who you draw, but Kentucky will be a very tough out. I have to think that they or North Carolina will be the favorites, and I honestly feel like Kentucky might be alright if they played NC with Davis on Zeller. If you recall, Tyler Zeller went 9-12 against Kentucky in the tournament, but Kentucky played great defense on the rest of his teammates and they eliminated them from the NCAA tournament. I like this team better, regardless of whether they are starting a guy who will likely be playing PF and at Center. He could be Fab Melo or CJ Leslie, but I will take the odds that he is not.
I'm not complicated. I like any player's odds of having a smooth transition to college when they aren't being asked to play a style and position they have never had to before.
I also have seen plenty of much hyped incoming freshmen struggle for any number of reasons that simply cannot be predicted that it is safer to assume it is going to happen for someone in the class. Who? I cannot predict.
any number of off-the-court reasons
Remember the Center for VCU? That delightful toothpick Andrew Smith on Butler? Name me a top NCAA team other than UNC with a deep front court. Jared Sullinger will be a tough guy to stop, but he will need help which I am not sure he will get in the front court. Do you think the Plumlee's will be much of a challenge for Kentucky? I do not know, but this team is going to be tough. Know how many minutes Brian Zoubek played per game? 18.7. Barely more than that throughout the tournament. If Eloy Vargas gets that many, I would be very surprised, because they will be a flat out better team with Davis, Jones, Gilchrist, Lamb and Teague.
Yes, Davis has only played Center for around a year, he was doing it fairly well during the post season and during the summer last year, and he showed he could rebound and use his length to alter shots. He is aggressive, and he has the same type of wiry strength that KG seems to have, though of course still at a very early level of development. The NCAA Center has changed a great deal, teams are winning more on speed than half court sets. The only team I think could give Kentucky problems with their front court play in the SEC would be Miss St with Sidney and Moultrie, but good luck keeping up with Kentucky's wing players. You make due with what you have, and Kentucky may not win it all, but they will compete and be one of the favorites. I think even you can admit that, even with Davis at Center. He is not a savior, but they do not need a savior, just some guys to come in and play well right away, which I think they will get in their three freshman starters.
Who was the best non-Big Ten (Sullinger, Johnson, Leuer) big man this past season? Have to be 6'10" or taller or be a guy who could never be a SF (Derreck Williams, Morrii, Tristan Thompson, etc.)
Look at the schedule, silly. January 3rd
Jordan Williams or Tyler Zeller. Williams could still not really get his team past mediocrity, while Zeller's stellar performance was still not enough to get past last years Kentucky team. I think UNC will be awesome by the way, but they will rely on some freshman to play some nice roles as well, maybe even PJ Hairston more so than James McAdoo. It will be hard to say whom is better between UNC and Kentucky, but I think Kentucky will be much more athletic, and just as lengthy. But, I think you are pointing out, their are not many big guys you need to be too fearful of in the NCAA anymore.
I am a person that thinks size is incredibly important, and I definitely would want to start as true a big man as possible on my team. But, if I had Calipari's team for next year, I am starting Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis at 4 and 5. I am an Oregon fan, I have been dying to get a big man for years, but meanwhile, we had a team that started Maarty Leunen at 5 and Malik Hairston at 4 make the Elite 8, with no size off of the bench. The team that beat us was Florida, who had a front court that has not been duplicated in college, and I do not think UNC's matches that.
Kentucky should probably be more worried about perimeter shooting than the guys inside. In my mind, this team will outboard most teams they play, and their defense will actually be the least of their worries. Doron Lamb and Darius Miller are great outside shooters, but besides them they could struggle at that aspect. I do not think Teague will set the world on fire with his jumper, and I think that Kyle Wiltjer might be brought along slowly a la Ryan Kelly with Duke. Still, I do not think John Calipari's teams have ever suffered defensively. Remember when Coach Cal coached a skinny dude who lead an A-10 team to the Final Four? How much did Marcus Camby weigh when they did that? Davis is not Marcus Camby, but they are not incredibly different in body type.
I say Kenneth Faried or Keith Benson
Is not 6'10. You broke the rules Gramps!
He would never be considered a SF, so hes good.
Woods is raw offensively, but he is a very talented player with a nose for the ball. His lack of success had EVERYTHING to do with Wake. Ty Walker was rated as an even better prospect than Woods and he is still struggling at Wake. Wake was terrible, had Prosser been there it would be a different story. Gaudia was not very good and Bzdelic is even worse. Woods is a spectacular athelete who is a great offensive rebounder and good defender. Did you see that game against Texas in last years tourney??? When Aminu disappeared, it was Woods who saved them, he had like 4 putback dunks. What are the chances of two 5-star recruits going to the same team and both be bad??? It is Wake, and Ari Stewart realized this before it was too late and hence the reason why he is headed to USC. Woods will develop into an NBA prospect whether it is at UK or Louisville, or anywhere else besides Wake.
Woods and Walker for two highly touted prospects seem to have disappeared off the radar. Aminu who the Clippers drafted in the top 10 last year was not much more hyped than they were. Woods might be a nice pick up for Coach Cal, he could be their defensive anchor when required in certain match ups and the stars could play the major minutes around him. He'd almost be there to be a big body and a physical presence and you could imagine the stars giving him a few dunks/put backs just to keep him interested.
They disappeared off the radar because Gaudio and Bzdelic are not very good at utilizing the talent they have. 2 years ago, this very site had Woods rated as a better NBA prospect than Aminu. A 6-11 athletic shot blocker and rebounder can always find work in the league. He is kinda like a Tyrus Thomas type. Wake was a serious threat to UNC and Duke when Prosser was around....and look at all the players Prosser had that went to the NBA like Paul, Howard, Posey, West...etc... He also recruited Teague and Johnson who were not top prospects coming out of high school but both were top 20 draft picks after 2 years. Woods has some potential and even though I think Louisville would be great for him...UK may be the best place for him to get the exposure he needs to get to the next level.