Is it OK to storm the court now?: Robert Morris drops Kentucky 59-57
I'm actually starting to feel bad for Kentucky. This whole season has been a shining example of Murphy's Law for this Kentucky squad. Being mediocre this whole season, barely missing the NCAA's, and now this pitiful end to a pitiful season. What's amazing is they still managed to lose despite shooting 53% from 2.
Still, Robert Morris has to be proud of their victory, quite possibly one of their greatest wins ever. F Lucky Jones and Russell Johnson played well, scoring 29 points among them. Robert Morris lead for much of the 2nd half, then Kentucky came back to tie it with 90 seconds left. Mike McFadden came up big with a huge hustle play and some clutch FTs, putting Morris up 2. Wiltjer put up a 3 with seconds to go but just missed, sending the Wildcats home early.
I can't help but wonder which Kentucky players will declare for the draft anyway after this season. Noel is likely gone, as he's a potential #1 pick. Cauley-Stein may leave too, because the league never has enough 7-footers. Harrow, Goodwin, and Wiltjer are all up in the air. With 5 new prospects coming in, we'll see.
But for now, it's time for the Wildcats to lick their woods and start training for next season.
Noel and WCS will be fine leaving. I think WCS should probably stay another year, but he'll still be a lotto pick if he leaves. I'm more worried about Goodwin and Harrow. I have a feeling Goodwin is gonna be forced out cause of the Harrisons coming in, and Harrow will be facing the same predicament (AFTER having transferred from NC St.). Harrow is in the worst shape though
Coach Cal said it will be different next year with all that depth, guys who don't listen won't play. Goodwin said he's not ready for NBA and no one from UK should go. Obviously Noel will but it will be really interesting to see what happens next year.
I think that it would be good for goodwin to comeback and be sixth man if they dont get another top player like wiggins. Also poythress should comeback that way those two can play the terrence jones and doron lamb roles by providing some leadership. then they have their 4 top freshmon coming in and then that would leave wiltjer and harrow as the 7th and 8th men which is enough depth for kentucky. and that is if the 2 bigmen go to the NBA and they dont get another recruit. That will be a very good team.
One question.... Why didnt they give the ball to Archie Goodwin or call a timeout and run a play for him? That was terrible.
Lick their woods? LOL
Nothing like a good wood licking after a tough loss.
What a disappointing year for my Wildcats. They are filled with all this talent and miss the NCAA Tournament let alone they can't even win in the 1st round of the NIT Tournament. Not one of those players who Calipari recruited as one and dones are anywhere close to being ready for the NBA. Nerlens Noel may be the best defensive player in the draft but his offensive game is nowhere close to being ready for the NBA, he would get swollowed up at this time. Archie Goodwin would probably be the most ready but not the best out of this group. Alex Poythress was a huge disappointment, putting up 6 points consistently with the athleticism and body he has. Willie Cauley-Stein is the least most ready in Calipari's group, just because he's that long and athletic means nothing I could only see him riding the bench right now for an NBA team. With all the high expectations Ryan Harrow had like this site projecting him as a lottery pick before the season started, I can't even see him getting drafted and there's no way he would be able to start over the Harrisons next year. Okay this obviously was Calipari's worst recruiting class since he took over at UK in 2009 but they still should have done way better with all the talent on the roster.
Here is the problem for these UK guys - this is a weak draft, and odds are next year their playing time will go down, and the draft will be much better.
Lets say for the sake of conversation that all 3 freshman other than Noel stay. So now Goodwin has to duke it out with the Harrison twins for PT, which despite his experience, he may be less talented than both of them. Now Poythress has to split time with James Young, who is an extremely skilled player who I like a lot. See a lot of James Harden in him. WCS is probably in the best shape to stay, because he would probably still play plenty even with the presence of Dakari Johnson. For UK's sake, sure having all these guys makes them deep and extremely dangerous next year. But if I am those 3 Freshman? I go and get picked in the mid first round this year, and worry about improving my game at the next level. There is just too much incoming talent to risk not playing as much, suddenly being a 2nd rounder, and never getting an NBA shot. But maybe that's just me.
I don't know how often a program that small gets the opportunity to host one like Kentucky, and they made the most of it. It had kind of a European Cup feel to it where a Premier League team drawing some small town club in the 4th or 5th division. We see plenty of instances of little guys going to the big guys, but not vice versa. It was nice for Robert Morris.
For Kentucky, it is tough. It does not come across as if their team is full of bad guys, just mostly freshmen and underclassmen who played like it. I think it should send a signal as to where they are in their development and that they are not ready to play professionally, but it does not mean they should be cast off as being everything that is wrong with the one-and-done era of recruiting and college basketball (That is left for Baylor... joking). They didn't commit a crime because they played like the majority of Freshmen and Sophomores. It seems to be this binary perception with Kentucky. I fail to see how if these players choose to return in what way it could be bad for them or Kentucky. If Archie Goodwin returns with a better shot and a better feel for the game, I don't think any NBA teams would blink twice if his scoring goes down because they have more guys who can score. Getting better is rewarded. Nobody is holding the freshman and sophomore seasons of Victor Oladipo or Kelly Olynyk against them at this point. Returning would only hurt these guys if they don't get better, but the flip side is that if they go to the NBA and fail to get better they will not be there long.
I agree with what you are saying in theory, but lets just say that the Harrison twins are clearly superior to Goodwin. Now he is playing 15-18 minutes a game, not getting to handle the ball, has to adjust to being a role player off the bench, etc. Yes, if he improves an NBA team will still want him. But it may be hard for him psychologically to adjust to his new role on the team. And if he doesn't respond well, now he's coming back for a junior season. And maybe space clears up and he once again becomes one of their key guys. The fact is, Victor Oladipo and Kelly Olynyk are the best players on their teams, that is why they are suddenly first round draft picks. If Goodwin stays for 3-4 years, he could be that as well. But the last time I highly touted recruit stayed 3 years at UK was Patrick Patterson...
Oladipo isn't getting any more shots or opportunities this year than he did last year. I guess one can argue that he is Indiana's best player, but the substantive offensive difference in this year from last is that he is making open shots. He is still down on the totem pole in the halfcourt offense, but he is doing more with less. Olynyk emerged as Gonzaga's best player, but did so past a returning Elias Harris, a returning Sam Dower, and a highly regarded recruit in Karnowski. It isn't as if things just opened up for him and minutes and a feature frontcourt job was handed his way.
I do not know where the next Kentucky freshman class will fall in next to the hypothetically or supposedly returning players. Some kids do not miss a beat, some do. Were there a ton of people who predicted that Alex Poythress would be completely different player away from Rupp? There is no explaining it, but it happens. If you look at most of the top programs that bring in top recruiting class after top recruiting class, I cannot think of an instance where an entire freshmen class supplanted the returning players who were of equal stature when they were freshmen. It would be really surprising if all three guards Kentucky signed are that much better than Goodwin to keep him from playing similar minutes to what he did this year, particularly if he does what is needed from now until October to get better. The same would be the case if the frontcourt players were so polished that Poythress, Wiltjer, and/or Cauley-Stein were lost in the shuffle.
I agree completely... I don't see how everyone is saying that the incoming freshmen are going to automatically be starters and eat up all the minutes from guys who were 5 star recruits themselves...I guarantee a second year Goodwin and Cauley-Stein will be better than anybody else they have coming in at their position.
Don't get wrong I hope that these freshmen are that good but just as we saw this year from UK, not every 5 star talent translates immediately..
I guarantee they won't be. Was Patrick Patterson better than every freshman on the 09-10 team? Was Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones better than every freshman on the 11-12 team?
And the three of them were all better than Kentucky's current trio in the previous season.
I wouldn't say that's true at all. I would say that if the Harrison twins are only equal to Goodwin, he still won't play as much. I'm not saying he won't play at all, or will be a bum, but I think what you are leaving out of the equation is the mindset of these players. Victor Oladipo is a defensive stopper, who is shooting 60% from the field. Goodwin's a player who has gotten the opportunity to play PG, even though he isn't one, take the most shots on the team, and basically be there main guy. That won't be the case next year, whether he gets better or not. Its so hard to compare players from other programs to players from Kentucky. Because the depth and overall skill of freshman coming in, it is forseeable for players to get lost in the mix. Oladipo got the opportunity to mature. Look at Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb. Neither of them improved their draft stock at all from staying for a sophomore year, and neither of them even got playing time cut. Goodwin and Poythress could easily both come off the bench next year, and the thought and possibly of that alone can drive a player to go pro. Despite what you would like to believe, the Harrison twins, James Young, and Julius Randle are all extremely talented on the standards of usual top prospects. They are the kind of classe of top prospects that over the past years have single handidly made Kentucky championship contenders, or a championship team. Goodwin, Poythress, and Willie Caulie Stein weren't even good enough to get this team in the NCAA tournament. So don' be surprised if 2-3 of them are coming off the bench next year.
yes played like freshman and sophmore's but the only true freshman was archie, which means they should of played like true sophmores, kid that play down their age, should be stronger then the rest of the kids they play against, after all they had an extra year to get it right, now a days you can't tell who is a true freshman, so, jr or sr, yes RMU had veterans, in Velton, Russell, Mike, but Lucky, and Steven, were true to their age and grade, it was even to me, Kentuckey always promote kids that were held back, or prep, to make them better, this has been going on like forever, so i wish people stop saying they did'nt do what they were suppose to do, indeed they did do what they were suppose to do... but they just didnt pull it off.
Matt Jones tweeted that Goodwon and Poythress said they were returning and that WCS said he wasn't ready for the NBA.
Alex Poythress and WCS might come back I just don't see Goodwin coming back.
I don't understand how coming back could hurt any of these guys...look what it did for Patrick Patterson...his minutes dropped but his efficiency went up and increased his draft stock...
Goodwin and Cauley-Stein would still start next year if they return...both just need time, they're rare athletes and have enormous potential..
Poythress was a major disappointment and probably will have to fight with Lee, Johnson, Young, and possibly Randle or Wiggins if they get one of them for minutes..
I'm worried about Harrow because I think he deals with anxiety and possibly depression...so competing for time might not be good for him but don't count his skill out, his issue is his confidence..
Anyways, as a UK fan, this might be the most mind boggling team I've seen play... if all of them decide to leave I honestly don't care, but if they do come back I hope they commit themselves and teach the incoming freshmen to understand that its alot harder than Anthony Davis and crew made it seem..
Maybe I missed something, but how come Kentucky (the number 1 seed) had to go to Robert Morris (the number 8 seed) and play this game?
Because Rupp Arena is being used as an NCAA tourney site. Whoever scheduled the events for the arena likely did not foresee Kentucky being in the NIT.
The depth might not be that bad. If Kentucky doesn't get Wiggins or Randle then their rotation is something like this:
G: Harrison #1 / R. Harrow
G: Harrison #2 / J. Young
G: Goodwin/J. Young
F: Poythress / Wiltjer
F: WCS / Lee
Callipari would just have to mess with minutes. It could be done seeing as Tyreke Evans only got 27.8 mpg at Memphis. But all in all, I feel Harrow would get screwed over minutes wise.
Oops I completely forgot about Dakari. And now Julius. Nvm, forget my rotation, there's no room for this year's guys.