You guys are making me crazy!!!
This is going to be a bit strange. This is not a critique. It is not a backhanded slap in the face of our beloved Wildcats. It is simply a look at what we do have, and what we do not have. Because there is something missing from mad scientist John Calipari's formula. And to be honest, I do not know what it is. Maybe some of you do. So let's see what we do have, and maybe we can figure out what is missing. First off, we take a look up and down the roster and examine what is there.
This team has 4 Forwards. Three are 6-10 or bigger, with Willie Cauley Stein being a hybrid center/forward. At 7'0" he truly has most of the skills that a big man needs, although some of those skills are not yet totally developed. So, in actuality, this team has a center, and 2 "power forwards", one of which, is more of a small forward in Kyle Wiltjer, as he is more of a perimeter player than an inside force. Alex Poythress, while built for the power forward position, has not yet played inside enough to judge if he has the skills for the spot. At 6'7"and 239 lbs, he has the build. He has shown flashes of the shot, but he does not play a true inside game. Nerlens Noel, our beloved N2, has become our true power forward. While he has the skills and the game for the post, he plays better coming in from the sides and baseline. He does not yet have the body tone for being really beefy inside. Time will surely change that. So at this point, when we have WCS, Noel, Wiltjer, and Poythress all in the game together, we have a huge lineup that plays more outside in than inside out.
This team has 9 guards. That's right, 9. Point Guard U may become all guard U if we are not careful. However, of the 9, only 4 are anything more than last minute subs. They ride the pine and are willing to step in at a moment's notice, but let's pray we do not get to the point where they have to provide meaningful minutes. So let's talk about the other 4. Archie Goodwin and Ryan Harrow are your starters. They are light years ahead of the rest of the guards on the team. So when they are on the floor together, we are a better team. The only drawback to that is that Harrow is the better square up shooter, and Goodwin is the better slasher. Usually it's your true point guard that is the slasher, but Archie is more comfortable at the 2, based on his play. But he can handle the point when needed, and his control over his game is improving daily. Harrow is a prototypical PG. And his shot is coming along nicely. Whatever his illness at the beginning of the year, he has finally shaken it off and gotten himself where he needs to be. That leaves Jarrod Polson, our 3rd backup PG, and Julius Mays our true 2 guard.
We have a NCAA Championship Head Coach, we have the best facilities in the country, and we have University and fan support like none other. The infrastructure is in place for anything we need to do. Our strength and conditioning coach is the best in the business, a major coup for a basketball program in that we share Rock with the Football program.
So what is it that we lack? Where is the missing link? What ingredient is missing from the formula? Or is it multiple things missing? Do we have attitudes, or a lack thereof? Someone suggested that the team lacked the heart. Is it desire we seek? Has Coach Cal lost his magic touch? Or have we simply been the victim of the law of averages? Is it simply the year that Cal and his freshman oriented system has to play catch up? Lots of questions to be answered, and I do not have the answers we need, or at least not all the time. I see things on the court that seem to be simple fixes at first, that turn out to be team-wide problems. Nothing seems to be simple with this group. So what say you BBN? Do you have the answers?