Last night didn’t go exactly as everyone had thought, even down to the starting lineup. We started an all freshman lineup as expected but, the shocker was when we saw who was playing point, it was Shai. So, what do we take away from this game? We can be negative and say, things like “NIT year” or we could listen to the warnings that have been issued by Calipari at every single turn. We said to him at Big Blue Madness we were ready for the process and this is what he was talking about. This is a very young team and as most of you know it is his youngest ever.
It is going to take some time before this team does get on track, and it will take the entire length of the season to get out all of the bugs, but I am here to tell you this, if we do manage to get out all of the bugs…this team WILL go to the Final Four and WILL be poised to win our 9th national championship. This team is oozing with talent, we just have to work through the freshman blues.
Now, some may think there was no positives in this game but I thought the main one was without a doubt Hamidou Diallo. Diallo was able to show everyone last night his possible ability to be able to shoot the ball. Yes, he can dunk the ball like no other on the team, but his jump shot has been lacking at every turn so far. I don’t look to see a jump shot be his first go to, and it shouldn’t be with all of the other shooters on this team but whenever he is open, the asset of a Diallo consistent 3 pointer would be an amazing piece in our “march to March” . The other positive point I saw whether Calipari likes it or not is that ZONE defense is the BEST defense with this team. Our long team will almost be like a wall on the wing forcing every team to shoot and when they do, we have a long defender there to contest it. I feel as though the 17-0 run the moment we switched will lead us to run this defense for most of the season going forward.
Yes, on the surface last night was very worrisome, but I think if everyone steps back and realizes that we were warned about this, that Calipari was more than likely not shocked about this. Calipari has a method to his madness here, nothing has taken him by surprise. It may suck for the fans now, but come march, we will be a favorite and then everyone can reap the rewards of yet another mastermind plan by the godfather himself, John Calipari.