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This team has to get tougher. Everywhere. Every position. Why did Noel spend so much time on the bench? This team got plain man handled. How you win a game when you're getting completely owned on the boards like that is beyond me. Goodwin needs to learn he doesn't have to drive and shoot everytime he touches the ball. That's on Cal. He tells him to do it. Some of his shots were just ridiculous. He needs to learn when to drive and when to pass. I'm not buying the Harrow flu thing for one second. He would have played that way regardless. Man up. Cal needs to make a decision on the point. You can't have a point by commission. If it's Harrow, fine. Put him out there and let him learn. If he can't handle it start Goodwin and let him learn. These guys are young and I don't put much of the blame on them. This is 90% Cal's doing. It's the first game and if they aren't tough enough it's because Cal hasn't beaten them up enough. Mr Poythress? Hello? Are you there? Do you care? You didn't come to UK to be a spectator. Just standing there watching everyone else play. Countin daisies with his finger in his butt. Stop with the mad facial expressions and play ball. Grow up!! I know that's harsh but it's only because I think he can be the best player in college basketball bar none and imo his problems have everything to do with laziness and immaturity and that's unacceptable. And before you get to bashing me let me say I do realize this is the first game of a very very young team and I realize they will improve in everything I've mentioned. Well everything but Harrow. Like I've said before I've never been sold on Harrow and I'm not convinced he can run this team and get it to where we want to go. It's 50/50. And again that's Cals fault for not recruiting a PG in this class. I don't envy Cal's job figuring out the point on this team.
To the good stuff. Wiltjer. He plain brought the meat on offense and even fought for a few boards. Still a defensive liability but he's getting better with that too. Polson. Is he for real or was that just a novelty performance? I don't know. I would tag a Harrellson comparison on him but Josh was in a position where there was no one else. He had to play and it was sink or swim. Polson has 2 other players competing for that spot. It's good to know that if and when needed he can come in and give quality minutes at the very least. This team will be a contender by the end of the year. I'm just squackin. Forgive me.
This post was edited by CarlLexington 17 months ago
Agree 100% with the toughness and rebounding, both of which just so happen to go hand in hand. Poythress definitely did not show up like he is capable of. However, as far as Polson goes I still don't think he should be in the third string position, and yes that is something I have been saying all along not just after the way he played last night. I just think, depending on how cal wants goodwin to play, then Polson should not be any less than the second string. If Harrow is still gonna be the starting PG then Polson IMO should be the second string PG and nothing less. The kid is pretty tough, he has really got a good game, he consistently plays hard, and one of the most important things for me is he has really really proved he wants to be there and play. What I mean by that is he wanted to be at UK so badly that he was willing to walk on with no guarantee of scholarship and that kind of love and desire for a team can't be learned. HE'S GOT HEART.
A couple of points-
1. Harrow had been ill this week
2. It's our first game with a completely new squad
3. Maryland is a big, physical team and they're predicted to be decent this year
I'm thinking that you're being a little overdramatic about the game.
I agree with the Polson stuff. Let's be honest all these highly tauted 5*'s are here for one reason. Cal and the NBA after one year. They can say what they want about loving UK, the campus, the fans, they're staying more than one year etc. It's all crap. They're only here cause they can't go to the NBA immediately after high school and UK is the best place to be for a year while they wait for NBA money. That's fine. But Polson wants to be at UK and only UK. He plays hard and hustles because he has to. It's the only way he can play. So if he out hustles and outplays these 5*'s he should play. Just that simple.
I acknowledged all those points in my post. The only issue I'd take is that I think the Harrow flu thing is bull. He would have played that way regardless. Like I said in the original post.
Its the first game of the season get used to the ups and downs we have zero returning scoring from last year and just beat a tough maryland team the rebounding will come with reps.
cal this cal that...
there is a reason why most (like 99% of the coaches) coaches fail to get good performance out of freshmen....
And Coach Cal doesn't tell Goodwin to mindlessly penetrate all the time. That's the same thing you saw Knight and Teague did.
I think, we can point out the issues, but there is no reason to blame anyone. Because, it's the first game. YAWN....
Not to mention, the first thing you said was what Cal has been harping since day 1...
KY played like it was their 1st game, oh yeah it was their first game I forgot. I agree on certain points like Goodwin really does have to learn to play under control but Cal never told him to drive no matter what thats on Goodwin, but he will learn. I knew we would have trouble with Len. I watched the kid play last year in a few games and he really is talented and will get even better as the year goes along. I guarantee you that Cal stresses rebounding everyday in practice and will have to sress it a little more forcefully in the future. Polson no doubt was the Mvp and should get future quality minutes as long as he continues the kind of play he exhibited last night. This team will play a Duke team on Tuesday and I am worried which UK team will show up 1st half KY or 2nd half KY.
If you guys haven't figured it out yet, Carl more hyper emotional than a woman in the middle of menopause. He is addicted to hyperbole too.
His post is so silly it doesn't deserve a response in terms of the substance.
This team will be fine. The talent is there. The chemistry isn't bad for only playing 3 games against other teams. Cal has his work cut out for him on fundamentals, specifically blocking out, and playing hard all the time. Those things are easily taught. Well, playing hard all the time might not be as easy, but guys will get the point when they spend significant time on the bench.
Overall, I'm pleased how the first game went for this group on the big stage. They showed they could stretch a lead, then took an uppercut to the mouth and held off a pretty good team.
I'm excited to see what they can do against Duke's starting 8.
This post was edited by Nate87 17 months ago
Cal will be able to teach from this one game all season. Too bad some of the fans can't learn this simple lesson.
I absolutely agree with you. Willie and Nerlens need to get used to playing together and not trying to make the same block at the same time. When one goes up the other one should block out. To me, in the second half, it was evident that no one, with the possible exception of Wiltjer, was concerned with blocking out. But I am sure that will come. Coach Cal will use this film to teach. He knows what he is doing and, in this first game, deserves absolutely no negative criticism. We owe him our trust.
Nothing new here ... we've seen all of the issues you mention before with various players at UK under Cal. I think it's pretty indisputable that Cal has been able to work through those issues with pretty good results so far.
I expect nothing less this year and am not worried about the season.
It's the first game of the season & clowns are yelling that the team has to get tougher, Cal has to settle on a point guard, etc etc etc. Good God people, most teams open up against awful teams, UK played a very physical Maryland team who kicked their butt on the boards. UK played well defensively & that will get better as well. Calm the hell down & let these kids grow.
Did you even read the post? Did you read where I said it will all improve? Did you read where I said they'll be a contender at the end of the year? Did you not read where I, myself, admitted I was "just squackin"? This isn't just for you but all those that can't seem to read a post in context.
BTW, I don't support Archie driving all the time. But he is so good that most of the drives ended in scores or being fouled. If he polishes his drives a bit more, he could turn into another Westbrook.
I don't know about all that. I agree in principle but Westbrook? He'll learn. By the time it's all said and done he could be the best player on the team. I'd put my money on him or Poythress.
I understand all that Carl, but it just seemed that you were over critical after the first game. Their rebounding was horrendous, but I think that's a technique problem that is fixable. They were just walking to the rim and in turn was getting pushed under the rim. You won't get a rebound like that. I was not trying to ride you, I just thought you were over critical of them
If he's Russell Westbrook (as he is today) by the end of March ... go ahead and start engraving 'Kentucky' on the trophy.
I totally agree I was over critical lol It's part of the fun. Not that I think anything I said was wrong. It's just that it's only the first game of a very young team so you have to take my critique with a grain of salt. I do. Now if they're playing like this in mid December you'll really see a rant. But there's a 100% chance they'll have improved exponentially by mid December.
I will say the only thing that is really concerning me at this point is Harrow. I would bet 100% of everyone and everything I mentioned will improve. I'm not sure about Harrow. He was part of the team last year. He ran the offense in practices against the main squad. The only thing he didn't do for UK last year was play in the games. And he has a year experience at NC State. He's looking over at Cal every play. He should be further along than he is. It's far from panic time with him. I don't think it's over the top to be concerned about the Harrow situation even this early.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by CarlLexington 17 months ago
Right. That will come in time with coaching. That last Maryland FT where Goodwin didn't block out you could tell he relied on his athleticism in HS to make a play there. Bet he puts his butt on the shooter next time.
As for your point on Goodwin and driving, I agree. He's incredibly explosive and fearless attacking the rim. What makes all of that even better is he's a dead-eye FT shooter. I absolutely love that. Once Cal teaches him for two months he will be talked about on a national stage like a Wall.
Carl has a right to express what he thinks and feels and put it in a post if he wants to. If you arent interested in replying to a particular post by all means excercise your right to not comment on it. I dont always agree with Carl on things but he sure has a right to express them. Man I sound like a ACLU lawyer dont I, but thats the way I feel.
This post was edited by sleepydog 17 months ago
You didn't say anything wrong. I know exactly what you are saying about Harrow, he kinda scares me, but I'll trust Cal in getting him where he needs to be.
Here are my points that need improvement IMO and the things UK did well:
1.) Goodwin needs to slow himself down where there is 3 defenders in front of him. He is just trying to do too much and make the Espn play rather than the lack luster easy bucket play. That will come through the season (see Teague last year for confirmation)
2.) Harrow needs to be a vocal leader on the court; I know he was ill but it really doesn't take much to call out to your team for plays and to get them on the same page.
3.) When Noel and Cauley-Stein are in the game they both should not go from the same block! One needs to block out and all them need to grab the ball and be strong with it. Again that will come, see Davis against KU in the season opener.
4.) Wiltjer has to get stronger in the post. He had a great game but being 6'10'' he should be able block people out and use his size
5.) If Polson plays and practices harder than any of those 5* points then he should play. It will only make things better.
Here is the good:
1.) Its their first game in an arena that sounded like a pretty much like an away game for UK and they won after a huge run from Maryland
2.) Polson and Wiltjer played well and having Wiltjer stepping up like that is a huge plus for UK
3.)All the things that needed to be addressed can be fixed and it will just take time.
4.) Cal is our coach and he knows this team better than anyone; if anyone can help these guys play smarter and harder, its him
5.) Our offense looked really smooth in the first half and that has to be encouraging that these kids are understanding the offense right away. I know the second half did not go so well but then again inconsistency is a sign of a young team.
All will be fine, I expect this team to take a few loses as the season progresses but there is a ton of talent there and you see flashes of a well round team both inside and outside scoring with the hustle and drive on defense (see Noel diving on the floor after balls and Cauley-Stein chasing the ball down after a blocked shot.)
Go Big Blue!!!
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