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UK Unranked for First Time in Calipari Era [VIDEO]

Let’s see, you have to go back to the Billy Gillispie era to find the last time (before Saturday) that Kentucky lost a home game–it was a 4-point setback to Georgia in March of 2009.

Now, you have to go back to the Billy Gillispie era to find the last time Kentucky was not ranked. (And, not only are they unranked, the ‘Cats have suffered the biggest drop out of the poll in AP Top 25 history.)

But I’m not going to dump on these kids.

For one thing, they’re kids. For another thing, Coach John Calipari has asked us not to. On his post-game radio show, Saturday, after the Wildcats’ 64-55 home loss to Baylor, Coach Cal asked fans to lay off the team and come after him, if they need to come after somebody. He’s fine with that.

I don’t want to go after either.

There is talent on this UK team. And John Calipari is one of the best coaches working. And he’s a great recruiter. But, unfortunately, there’s the front that’s vulnerable to attack, if you must.

Yes, Cal can amass a recruiting haul like no other, but this time, there was no blue-chip point guard in the bunch. And as goes your point guard, so goes your team.

Floor leadership is an absolute must. Even if a kid can’t shoot, he can still hand off the ball and direct his team. No one like that exists on this Kentucky team, at the moment. Cal will have to really teach like he never has before.

Previous leaders–John Wall, Brandon Knight, Marquis Teague–developed quickly because they were unbelievably talented natural point guards and everything else fell into place. Archie Goodwin, currently miscast at the point, is a shooting guard. Ryan Harrow is a point guard but not even remotely close to being at the level of a Wall, a Knight, or a Teague. And I’m afraid that weighs on him and inhibits his ability to perform to the best of his abilities.

Again, Cal the Teacher has his work cut out for him. In my opinion, this team has to buckle down and really focus harder than they ever imagined. They have to forget about last year’s team. They have to ignore the polls and the coverage.

No John Calipari team isn’t going to improve. It’s just going to take more effort, in 2012-2013, than it ever has before.


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