John Calipari’s three best teams at Kentucky — the 2010 team, the 2012 team, and the 2015 team — were all built similarly. They were each led by a future No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft and supported by non-freshmen who spent multiple years in the program.
This year’s UK team isn’t built that way.
It is, instead, built with almost entirely new guys, none of whom project as a future No. 1 overall pick. And what history tells us about Calipari-coached teams built with almost entirely new guys, none of whom project as a future No. 1 overall pick, is that they usually, eventually, get really good or great but often experience ups and downs along the way. So what happened Sunday was an upset, sure. But there was nothing too surprising about these young Wildcats losing 76-64 inside Rupp Arena to an experienced Richmond team that is considered the favorite in the Atlantic 10.
“It’s a tremendous win,” said Richmond coach Chris Mooney. “Kentucky loses very rarely. They lose out of conference extremely rarely. This is a great win for us.”
The box score highlighted some real areas of concern for the Wildcats. They finished with just five assists and 21 turnovers. They were 0-of-10 from 3-point range. They only shot 36.1% from the field.
Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.
All of it is fixable, of course, if only because Kentucky still has more NBA talent than just about anybody. But it should be noted that three of UK’s next five games are against opponents KenPom currently rates stronger than the Richmond team that just beat the Wildcats by double-digits. So getting through the non-league portion of the schedule with a winning record isn’t guaranteed.
Kentucky, as a result of the loss, dropped to No. 21 in Monday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. And Richmond entered the Top 25 And 1 at No. 21, which pushed Oregon, Rutgers, Indiana, Arizona State, Florida State and Michigan down one spot each, no fault of their own.
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Monday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings
Published: 2020-11-30 15:26:07
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