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Are the 2011-12 Kentucky Wildcats as Good as We Think They Are?

Yesterday's game showed me a few things.

1st; Kentucky's freshmen mistakes will tank this team in a hostile environment. We all know that road games, especially in a rivalry, will not always be officiated the way us Cat's fans want the game officiated. We cannot blame the refs for Kentucky's loss to the unranked (until tomorrow) Indiana Hoosiers. Kentucky and Indiana shot an equal amount of free throws, 17 a piece. Kentucky shot enough bricks to help the Lexington remodel Rupp Arena. Kentucky shot a terrible 58% from the charity stripe. 58% miserable percent! Indiana on the other hand shot the lights out from the free throw line with 82%!

This sort of thing has haunted Calipari teams in the past, remember the Memphis disaster against Kansas in the National Championship game? How could a team lose this game leading by 10 with 2 minutes left? Free throws. So we know that these young Cats will choke on a hair-ball at the stripe in a hostile environment. We also know that the refs on the road will not give Anthony Davis those (cough cough) Rupp Arena breaks in the paint. So we can count on seeing a lot of Eloy Vargus, especially during SEC road games. Vargus did his thing with 2 points, 1 steal and 3 rebounds, it is what it is with Vargus.

2nd; Kentucky is flat lazy on perimeter defense. I made the comment in an earlier article that we may not see the 60% plus shooting from three again as we witnessed in the North Carolina game, well I am eating shoe because it happened, in the very next game! If Kentucky doesn't figure out how to peel off of the high screen we can probably chalk up at least 3 to 5 more losses on the year. We can expect, just as Tom Crean did, opposing coaches to be salivating at the chance to shoot at least 15 to 20 threes against Kentucky. We guarantee that.

3rd; Terrence Jones is still Terrence Jones. Great players rise to the occasion, most of the time. Great players find a way to make a contribution. Great players are not told by their coach, in a heated-close game, "I am done with you, I will deal with you when we get home", like Calipari told Jones late in the game. (not an exact quote but close enough). So while Jones has potential to be a great player he is not a great player as of today.

4th; When Anthony Davis is on the bench and Terrence Jones is a no show (he has a new nickname by the way - No Show Jones), the Kentucky Wildcats are in big trouble. I am not so sure how good Indiana really is, only time will tell but Kentucky showed yesterday that this team has weaknesses.

Conclusion; this Kentucky Wildcat team is NOT as good as billed, not yet. If Jones uses this as a learning experience and becomes that superstar everyone expects him to be and Anthony Davis stops making stupid freshman fouls, then the 2011-12 Kentucky Wildcats are as good as billed.

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