Kentucky Is Ranked Number 25. Should They Be?
The Kentucky Wildcats visit the Vanderbilt Commodores this evening. Kentucky, ranked 25th in the nation will have to prove it deserves to be ranked anywhere in the top 25, and that must happen tonight.
John Calipari will have to have his team at the top of their game mentally and physically. The game after they lost freshman Nerlens Noel to a season-ending knee injury, they were humiliated in defeat by Tennessee 88-58, that was just four days ago.
Will the young Wildcats continue to be a team slipping away from participation in the Tournament, or will they come together and play sound, team basketball?
Sophomore center Josh Henderson said Vanderbilt (10-14, 4-8) is planning for the latter when the ball is tipped at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
“I think they’ll be mad and focused,” Henderson said. “Those guys, even coming out of high school, none of them are used to losing … and especially they’re not used to losing by 30. So I know they’re going to come out with a chip on their shoulder and they’re going to try to take it to us.
“I know the first four minutes of the game are going to be very important. We’re going to have to do a good job of just weathering the storm and take it to them, I hope.”
Kentucky edged Vanderbilt on a debated call as the buzzer on the shot clock sang out on January 10th, 60-58. The Commodores failed to make a 3 pointer as the game clock sounded the game’s end seconds later.
Calipari’s comments about his inexperienced team show his frustration and lack of complete confidence. “We don’t have bad kids. They just leave the huddle and their habits are so bad that they just keep doing the same things.”
Vanderbilt forward Rod Odom said there should be opportunities to score in the paint this time.
“The first time it was definitely hard to get any looks at the rim because of (Noel),” said Odom, who has averaged 15 points during the last four games while making nine 3s. “I think it will be easier getting around the rim, but they still have some (size) to them.”
Coaches and players alike will be interested in seeing the results of tonight’s contest throughout the NCAA. Calipari, considered one of the better coaches in the nation, will have to find a floor leader, as well as inspire and teach his team for the full 40 minutes.
Columnist-The Guardian Express