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Dribble handoff: Kentucky struggles up to now, how will Wildcats end common season?

Dribble handoff: Kentucky struggles up to now, how will Wildcats end common season?

Dribble handoff: Kentucky struggles up to now, how will Wildcats end common season?

Ranked No. 4 within the AP High 25 after beginning the season, kentucky Did not get a single vote on this week’s ballot amid a 1-3 begin in SEC play, marked by an embarrassing 78-52 loss. Alabama Saturday adopted by a 71-68 loss to South Carolina on Tuesday that snapped a 28-game successful streak at Rupp Area for the Wildcats. No. 46 within the NET with an 0-4 file in Quad 1 video games, the Wildcats are a deep disappointment after returning nationwide participant of the yr. Oscar Shivway As with different key gamers Sahvir Wheeler And Jacob Toppin From a 26-8 group.

On the heels of a surprising upset loss to No. 15 seed St. Peter’s in final yr’s first spherical. NCAA Tournament, frustration with 14th-year coach John Calipari is at an all-time excessive among the many UK fanbase. This system’s final win within the Massive Dance got here in 2019, and it immediately seems to be like there is not any assure that 2023 will carry one.

However Election Sunday is 2 months away and Kentucky nonetheless has time to show issues round. 5 star freshman Cason Wallace And Chris Livingston Every has proven encouraging flashes and may solely enhance because the season progresses. Sharpshooting guard CJ Frederick He also needs to come again from a finger damage throughout league play.

The vary of outcomes for the Wildcats is wide-ranging, and the story of Calipari’s tenure has reached an vital juncture to seize the collective consideration of the game for the following a number of weeks. For this week’s version of Dribble Handoff, our writers provide their predictions for a way the remainder of Kentucky’s season will play out.

Cats are a bubble group, however make large dances

  • Predicted convention file: 10-8
  • Predicted NCAA Event Seeding: No. 9

Kentucky has been unstoppable all season and does not appear on the verge of turning issues round. The Wildcats simply blew out Alabama by 26 factors. They’re 3-3 of their final six video games, nonetheless maintain zero Quadrant 1 wins and drop to forty fifth place. NETOn the 56th BartTorvik.com and 62nd in KPI.

UK seems to be like a possible bubble group.

At this level, I am skeptical that the Wildcats will ever stay as much as the preseason expectations that had them ranked No. 1. KenPom.com, mainly prime 5 in every single place and labeled as SEC favorites — however I nonetheless suppose they will land on the fitting aspect of the bubble and make the NCAA event. After which… who is aware of? A yr in the past, UK had a fantastic common season adopted by a horrible NCAA Event. This yr may conceivably be the other — a disappointing common season and a very good NCAA event. The Wildcats nonetheless have the reigning CBS Sports activities Nationwide Participant of the Yr (Oscar Shibway) and a projected lottery decide (Cason Wallace). It is not John Calipari’s most gifted roster, however it’s nonetheless a extra gifted roster than most coaches. Now it is only a matter of figuring issues out, doing sufficient to make a subject of 68, after which seeing if issues can break proper when the single-elimination event begins. — Gary Parrish

UK’s season is bumpy however large wins will come

  • Predicted convention file: 11-7
  • Predicted NCAA Event Seeding: No. 9

Although UK sits at 1-2 within the SEC — I count on it to be 2-2 after the win South Carolina Tuesday night time at residence — it’ll be very troublesome to fairly count on the Wildcats to drag off greater than a four-game successful streak between now and the postseason. There are seven street assessments, plus a house recreation in opposition to No. 2 on January 28 Kansas Within the last version of the SEC/Massive 12 Problem. Therefore, the losses shall be stacked periodically. Nevertheless, I count on Kentucky to seek out some resolve and tighten up its protection.

I count on it to select up just a few essential Quad 1 victories and guarantee it dodges bubble discuss by the second week of March. That is going to be just like the 2014 8/9 recreation group. As a result of with 5 losses already and doubtless not less than 5 extra coming between now and Election Sunday, Kentucky is hoping to earn a single-digit seed. I would say it does briefly order, although, due to displaying within the SEC Event. And: Kentucky goes to beat Kansas later this month. –Matt Norlander

By February feral cats are rampant

  • Predicted convention file: 13-5
  • Predicted NCAA Event Seeding: No. 6

There is no doubt that Kentucky underperformed preseason expectations and even relaxed in-season expectations after struggling early on to immediate a tough reset. Even in case you have severe points, Kentucky’s 10-5 begin to the season is flat out low. There are causes for cautious optimism, nonetheless. That is quietly among the finest 3-point capturing groups that Calipari has fielded at UK, and Oscar Shivway, for all his struggles, continues to nail the offensive glass and create second-chance alternatives.

Just a few minor tweaks to the function participant and an elevated concentrate on doing what he does greatest — capturing the 3-pointer, permitting Kason Wallace to set the desk and shifting Tshiebwe to the vantage level — may very well be sufficient to show issues round. There are nonetheless some issues on the margin that want important enchancment — this group is horrible at capturing free throws and it persistently runs late-clock hero ball offense — however I see sufficient positives that this can be a No. 6 or possibly No. 7 seed within the NCAA Event and a daily. Work their manner again into the top-15 tier group by the tip of the season. — Kyle Boone

UK within the prime 4, one of many final groups within the Massive Dance

  • Predicted convention file: 9-9
  • Predicted NCAA Event Seeding: No. 12 (First 4)

Kentucky performs a traditional offensive fashion outlined by a methodical tempo and restricted flooring spacing. With out an elite protection that may persistently create alternatives in transition, UK is caught in half-court units and struggles to discover a rhythm or create momentum. Schematically talking, Calipari does not have the strings wanted to unlock this roster’s potential at this level in his profession.

The SEC’s backside feeders will make sure the Wildcats have a good variety of league wins. However UK does not get a regular-season rematch with No. 4 Alabama, which places an excessive amount of emphasis on two video games in opposition to No. 5. Tennessee and two video games in opposition to 15 no Arkansas. Out of this competitors, a single recreation with 21 numbers Auburn And a Massive 12/SEC Problem recreation with No. 2 Kansas represents Kentucky’s solely probability so as to add substance to its resume.

It is onerous to see the Wildcats going higher than 2-4 or 3-3 in opposition to Arkansas (two video games), Tennessee (two video games), Auburn and Kansas. Kentucky appears destined for the NCAA Event bubble, and I would just like the Wildcats to land a spot within the prime 4, as do the opposite blue bloods. Indiana, State of Michigan And UCLA Lately there have been. — David Cobb





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