FanPost

View from the Catbird Seat

What's wrong with these Cats?

 

I've read a lot from a number of fans, sites, supposed experts, and coach's about this year's Wildcats.  Usually I have my own, sometimes overly harsh theory of why they aren't playing the way I want them to, but this year is different.  From the beginning I've liked this team better than most teams of the past.

 

The first crack I saw was in Maui like many of us. But, as the great Leonard Cohen says, "Everything has a crack in it, that's how the light gets in."  The team I saw playing was not the same team I had been watching several nights in a row before that game.  They were slow to react defensively and didn't seem to want to make the extra pass on offense.  UConn toyed with them and there was no obvious response.  And there went the light ... that they were just plain tired.

 

It seems to me from then on is when the short rotation began to have it's ups and downs.  And being loaded with freshman, the mental aspect of a long season with a thin bench has been more costly and affected this team's mental toughness to a larger degree.  Yet, while the naysayers complain, and despite the close road losses, the team has relentlessly remained in the kenpom.com top ten all season.  It seems to me that this is the most underrated Kentucky team by the fans and media I have ever witnessed in the last 45 years.

 

This team could win it all.

 

Calipari has once again been playing with the chemistry and the psychology of his team through the media, but this team has seemed to teeter on the edge of collapse instead of responding in the ways he has wanted.  But I don't believe that will happen, and in the end this may his most masterful job yet.

 

Think about it.  Five of the top six players were in the top 10 of their high school recruiting class.  All six players can shoot the basketball, so if someone isn't shooting well another can step in.  Their defense is arguably one of the best in the nation.  There are two or three first rounders on this team, but likely four or five NBA roster players in the end (I think Miller and Liggins have a place in the NBA).

 

When they are rested and pumped to play, they demolish teams instead of squeak by them.

 

This team can win it all because the competition is razor thin at the top, evidenced by the way the top teams struggle to stay there each week.  All it will take is a playing their game and avoiding a cold streak, and some luck staying out of foul trouble.  Here's who else I think has a chance to go far despite the fact that no one is talking about them as final four candidates:

 

West Virginia, Illinois, Purdue, Georgetown, Louisville, North Carolina ... and my best sleeper pick along with the Kentucky's Wildcats: Wisconsin.  So,what do you think?

 

What's wrong with these Cats?

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