The Kentucky men’s basketball team has been known for being in the spotlight due to the outstanding play by freshmen players since the Calipari era began.
Yet, this season the young team seems to be lacking the usual respect that they demand. This team is led by a complete starting lineup of freshmen, and even with their inexperience they have reached a solid record of (8-1).
In the Cats most recent matchup, they dominated a Monmouth team 93-76 in the Citi Hoops Classic on one of the biggest stages of their young careers at Madison Square Garden.
Multiple freshmen hit career highs in points: Hamidou Diallo (23 points), P.J. Washington (20 points), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (15 points). Kentucky’s offensive efficiency was solid at 1.19 PP
P (points per possession), and their defensive efficiency was just as good at 0.98 PPP. This team has been trending in the right direction all season, but the young cats still haven’t made an impact on the standings.
Coach Cal has brought this problem up multiple times with media sources and he is fed up.
"I'm a little disappointed that the kids aren't getting the respect I think they deserve as players," Calipari said. "I've done this for 30-something years. I know one player from another. I don’t know if it's people's opinion or their hope that this guy is not that good."
Kentucky has done everything needed of them to prove that they deserve to be a top-5 team. Despite reaching a record of (8-1) with their only loss coming in a close game to a solid Kansas team, they have dropped in NCAA standings.
Kentucky fans should be pumped up for the scheduled games late in this month. They’ll be playing four teams in the AP top-50 over the span of the next two weeks with a possibility of coming out undefeated.
UK can build a much more impressive resume if they beat Virginia Tech, Georgia, UofL, & UCLA. Although Louisville hasn’t been very impressive this season, this game will be a huge morale booster the team needs.
No one will be able to deny this young groups talent if they make their mark this month.