It’s hard to do what John Calipari did in the previous three years at Kentucky. He’s taken extremely young teams, meshed them perfectly and had great seasons. People may have opinions about his tactics, but he’s found a way to work within the system.
However, relying on freshmen and sophomores every year is going to produce some seasons like the one the Wildcats are currently experiencing. It’s hard to count on young players to give you consistency in effort and performance on a night-in night-out basis.
It’s doubly hard in a year when the freshman class just isn’t that good nationally. Nerlens Noel was arguably the best freshman in the country but Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein haven’t been what Calipari expected.
People around the country are wondering what’s wrong with Kentucky. It’s just the natural progression of a young team. It’s tough for Big Blue Nation this season, but no one should shed a tear for Kentucky fans. They’ll be back.
Stock Up: Memphis. The Tigers are making the most of their last season in Conference-USA. They’re dominating right now with an 11-0 record including a convincing 13-point win over second-place Southern Miss. They’re poised for a strong finish.
Stock Down: Ohio St. Now I’m pretty confident that the Buckeyes are going to make the tournament. However their resume leaves a lot to be desired. You wouldn’t even be able to call Ohio St paper champions with the way its resume looks right now.
Stock Up: Colorado St. New Mexico is in first place by a half game in the Mountain West, but Colorado St is turning heads out west. The Rams are following up on an outstanding year last year with another this year and looks prime for a solid seed in the Big Dance.
Stock Down: The end of Bracketbusters. This was a great event for mid-majors to get a signature win and has directly led to some squads getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. If George Mason doesn’t have the opportunity to beat Wichita St in Wichita in 2006 then the Patriots end up in the NIT and the Final Four.
This Week’s Bracket Projections.
Last Four In: Alabama, Temple, California, Villanova
Last Four Out: Baylor, St. Mary’s, Indiana St, Iowa
This bracket is good for games through 2/18.
1.Indiana16.Charleston Southern/Norfolk St Dayton, OH
6.Illinois11.Creighton Salt Lake City
7.Pittsburgh10.Virginia Kansas City
1.Michigan St16.Robert Morris Auburn Hills, MI
4.Georgetown13.South Dakota St
6.Ohio St11.Middle Tennessee St Salt Lake City
7.Cincinnati10.La Salle Philadelphia
1.Florida16.Niagara Lexington, KY
8.Notre Dame9.San Diego St
5.Wisconsin12.Louisiana Tech Kansas City
6.NC State11.Arizona St Dayton, OH
3.Louisville14.Stephen F. Austin
7.Minnesota10.Oklahoma San Jose
1.Miami(FL)16.Northeastern/Southern Lexington, KY
5.Colorado St12.Villanova/Alabama San Jose
6.VCU11.Iowa St Philadelphia
7.Memphis10.North Carolina Auburn Hills, MI
2.Michigan15.Long Beach St