The 2021-22 season is over for the Kentucky Wildcats, and now, we turn our attention to the NBA decisions that some of the players will have to make.
Despite the early loss, it had little impact on the NBA Draft stock of the three players we have seen in ESPN’s mock draft.
Shaedon Sharpe is still the first Cat to come off the board being the No. 6 overall pick, which is two spots higher than last month.
TyTy Washington slipped four spots after struggling following his ankle injury, but he is still in the lottery going No. 14 overall.
Speaking of Washington, there’s been speculation as of late that Washington could potentially return for a sophomore season after his NBA stock took a hit over the last month of the season.
There was also Washington’s dad tweeting out “Year 1 in the books” as if there was a chance we’d see Year 2 of his son in a Kentucky uniform.
No. And in case you needed any reassurance that there’s 0% of this happening, listen to the wise Andrew Slater.
https://t.co/K5hXHABTQp pic.twitter.com/n5BcWx9D3v— ℯ ℯ (@Andrew__Slater) March 22, 2022
Moving on, Oscar Tshiebwe moved up one spot, but he is still no projected close to the first-round as he is sitting at No. 42 overall.
There is a very real chance that all three of these players could be gone this offseason.
Instead of the player’s draft stock falling, it’s John Calipari who is rightfully being questioned following the shocking loss.
ESPN lead NBA Draft analyst Jonathan Givony talked about the performances of several players in the NCAA Tournament. His most lengthy one was under Washington, but it was more of a criticism of Calipari.
Givony mentioned former Kentucky guards Tyrese Maxey, Hamidou Diallo, and Brandon Boston Jr who were under drafted but looked much better in the NBA thanks to a more “modern” offense.
“Were Washington’s weaknesses similarly accentuated by the extreme lack of shooting and spacing surrounding him?” Givony asked. “And will being placed in a more modern offensive system not built around post-ups, offensive rebounds and mid-range jumpers help solve some of the issues he faced this season with his struggles beating opponents off the dribble and finishing in traffic?”
This comes just over one year after the same kind of criticism came from Givony during Kentucky’s horrific 9-16 campaign last season when talking about BJ’s Boston’s pro prospects.
“The hope among optimists is that (BJ) Boston’s inability to show anything beyond small glimmers of what made him such a coveted prospect in high school lies more in Kentucky’s archaic offense, poorly constructed roster and his own lack of physical strength than deal-breaking talent shortcomings.”
Givony also took to Twitter following the Cats’ loss to point out that the style of offense Kentucky was playing is not played by almost anyone in the world anymore.
This is a constant theme the entire game. Saint Peter's just sagging off all of Kentucky's non-shooters (Wheeler, Toppin, Tshiebwe, and the ice-cold Grady) and then collapsing the entire defense on every drive. The defense was just as bad tonight, but this surely didn't help. pic.twitter.com/iEMZv6ROr4— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) March 18, 2022
Oscar about to get triple-teamed, so he kicks to a guy who doesn't want to shoot (Brooks), who is then doubled off another guy that can't shoot (Wheeler). This is how a No. 2 seed loses to a No. 15 seed. pic.twitter.com/vNd0PHo8bJ— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) March 18, 2022
In Calipari’s defense, a lot of these issues would have been solved if Kellan Grady was still playing at the level we saw most of the season and if Washington was playing at the level we saw before his injury when he was averaging 14.2 points on 50% shooting from the field and 40% shooting from three.
Regardless, this team should never have lost to a No. 15 seed, and it will be up to Calipari to evaluate what went wrong and make the necessary changes heading into next season. A big part of that will be modernizing his offense, but it’s fair to question if the 63-year-old coach with actually do so.
What are your thoughts on John Calipari and the state of this program? Let us know in the comments section!