There’s a lot people can say about the way John Calipari has built his program at Kentucky. You can say he’s running a factory for pros. But right now, you can say he has the No. 1 team in the nation and a large part is because of freshman Anthony Davis.
Davis, a likely first-team all-American and candidate for national player of the year is setting records for the Wildcats on the defensive end. Davis broke Shaquille O’Neal’s record for blocks by a SEC freshman and still has plenty of ball to come. Right now Davis has 127 blocks, which is a staggering number for anyone.
The Wildcats’ great defense doesn’t end with Davis though. Fellow freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist may be the best overall defender on the team with other athletic guys like Terrance Jones and Doron Lamb who compete on that end of the floor as well.
This is Calipari’s best team since he’s been at Kentucky. He may give Big Blue Nation the championship it so desperately craves.
Stock Up: Wichita St. The entire country spent the first three months of the season praising Creighton and rightfully so. However, if you look at the Missouri Valley Conference standings now you’d see that it’s Wichita St that has a two-game lead on the rest of league. The Shockers went to Omaha on Saturday and dismantled the Blue Jays, sending a message to the country that they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in March.
Stock Down: The leaders in the Horizon League. Valparaiso and Cleveland St are solid teams with some big non-conference wins. I have no faith that either one of these two will win the Horizon League tournament. Cleveland St lost two games last week and Valparaiso, who beat Cleveland St last week, lost it’s next game to Youngstown St. These two are showing me that they can’t handle success and with the fact that Butler is lurking doesn’t bode well for the Horizon leaders.
Stock Up: Michigan St. Tom Izzo is at it again. His team went into Columbus and beat Ohio St. Izzo, in my opinion, is the best coach in the country and he has a team with chemistry this year. An Izzo team that has talent and chemistry can do a lot of damage down the stretch.
Stock Down: Pitt. I praised the Panthers last week, but they promptly went out and lost two games – effectively ending any hopes of an at-large bid. They need to string a bunch of wins together and last week wasn’t just a speed bump, it was a mountain. The Panthers will have to win the Big East tournament to get a bid.
This Week’s Bracket Projections:
Last Four In: Minnesota, Northwestern, NC State, Texas
Last Four Out: Seton Hall, UCF, Wyoming, Washington
Good for games through of 2/12
1.Kentucky16.Stony Brook/Norfolk St Louisville
8.Murray St9.West Virginia
5.San Diego St12.Xavier Portland
4.Michigan13.Long Beach St
6.Wichita St11.Illinois Columbus
1.Ohio St16.Long Island Pittsburgh
8.Iowa St9.Southern Miss
5.St. Mary’s12.Miami(FL) Nashville
7.Mississippi St10.Saint Louis Greensboro
1.Missouri16.UNC-Asheville/Mississippi Valley St Omaha
5.Notre Dame12.NC State/Minnesota Portland
6.Florida St11.Alabama Louisville
7.Memphis10.Kansas St Columbus
2.Michigan St15.Weber St
4.Florida13.Middle Tennessee St