The Kentucky Wildcats are just five games into conference play, yet it already feels like the season is on the brink.
With Kentucky sitting at 4-8 and still struggling mightily to put up 60 points, it sounds like John Calipari is finally ready for a major shakeup in hopes of lighting a fire under his team.
During his Monday call-in show, Calipari revealed that we could see as many as four new starters Wednesday when Kentucky faces the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens.
Cal: Opened up practice today. "If you want a spot, battle!"— Jerry Tipton (@JerryTipton) January 18, 2021
He says UK may have 4 new starters in next game. (who?) Cal declined to say which two have elevated themselves into starting roles. But they must validate the decision in Tuesday's practice, he said.
Unfortunately, Terrence Clarke won’t be involved in the shakeup, as the freshman guard will be out at least another week as he recovers from an ankle injury. Calipari guessed that Clarke will be out another 7-10 days. So he’s been effectively ruled out for Wednesday, as well as Saturday’s home matchup with the LSU Tigers.
The good news here is we’ve finally gotten a timetable for when Clarke could return. To this point, Calipari has simply said the doctors are waiting for Clarke to be as close to pain-free as possible with his injury before being allowed to play again. He’s missed the last five games after originally suffering the injury vs. North Carolina on Dec. 19, though he attempted to play vs. Louisville the following week but was clearly hobbled by his injury.
Next week, Kentucky will play at No. 16 Alabama on Tuesday before hosting No. 5 Texas on Saturday. Winning just one of those games will be a massive uphill climb, so having Clarke would obviously be a much-needed boost.
More importantly, getting Clarke back and having everyone healthy will be critical to Kentucky possibly going on a run through conference play that could get them on the right side of the bubble, something that feels like is miles away right now.
It’s getting harder to see this team reach its potential, but there’s no chance it happens until Clarke is back. We have yet to see a game this season in which Kentucky had everyone healthy enough to play after Keion Brooks Jr. was sidelined every game Clarke played in.
As for the potential new starting lineup, what do you think it should look like? Let us know in the comments section!