Guess who’s back! Been away for a bit with some “family time”, crazy things going on in the world and a lot of changes have occurred, but one that hasn’t changed… Our UK Basketball “alternate history”
UK Basketball ‘What If’ Part IV (2013):
To recap, we enter 2012-13 season, fresh off three straight national titles. We enter the season with another great class, have sophomore Teague and new transfer Ryan Harris running point and Junior Doron Lamb with 5 star freshman Archie Goodwin round out our back court. Our front court appears a bit thin, with Poythress on the wing, Wiltjer our power forward and two freshman playing the center position: under recruited Willie Caulie and 5 star stud Andre Drummond (If you recall, there was rumors that Drummond would go to a prep school over UConn and then come to UK the next year, we are going with that timeline and Noel stays in the 2013 class):
The season didn’t go quiet as planned at the beginning. Teague battled a foot injury early in the season leading to some ugly losses vs Notre Dame and Baylor. As we entered conference play, Harrow had to step away from the team for a few weeks and as it looked as if we were gaining some momentum, Drummond sprains his ACL vs Florida.
After finishing the regular season 20-11, there wasn’t too many happy fans, even after 3 straight titles, there were still some asking if Cal was the right guy. Going into the SEC tournament, Drummond and Teague were both cleared to go 100%. Kentucky started the tournament off with a comeback win over Vandy and revenge victory vs Ole Miss. UK would come up short in the SEC title game versus Florida.
Even with 12 losses, Kentucky was given the 12 seed in the West Region.
Round 1: Wisconsin (5 seed)
Kentucky would start the tournament as an underdog vs the very discipline Badgers. However, Drummonds size inside was too much for any one they had. Kentucky: 57
Round 2: LaSalle (13 seed)
With LaSalle upsetting KState, it set up a 12 v 13 matchup, but the score wasn’t even close. Kentucky was better at every position.
Sweet 16: Wichita St (9 seed)
The upsets kept coming in the West. However, the Shockers was a formidable foe. A tie game with 30 sec left, it took a big rebound and key free throws by Lamb to secure a win
Wichita St: 75
Elite 8: Ohio St (2 seed)
Kentucky’s Elite 8 matchup was its toughest to that point. Ohio St had battled through the tough Big 10 and had a senior led team, that helped them get a early lead. The Buckeyes held that lead until late in the game when Poythress got hot. The freshman had experienced a very up and down season, but this was his game, scoring 24 points with a triple double. Poythress down the stretch couldn’t be stopped and allowed UK to secure its 4th Final Four.
Ohio St: 68
Final Four: Louisville (1 seed)
Louisville entered the tournament as the best overall seed and had snuck away with a win over UK at the Yum Center. This round was different, it was back and fourth until the final 10 seconds until Wiltjer hit a 3 to win.
Championship Game: Michigan (4 seed)
Battle of the Point Guards: Trey Burke vs Marquis Teague. Both had amazing games but it was the bigs on Kentucky that was the difference makers.
Teague, Lamb, Goodwin, Drummond all entered the NBA Draft and Ryan Harrow transferred time Georgia State.
Andre Drummond: Cleveland Cavaliers (#1)
Marquis Teague: Philadelphia 76ers (#11)
Doron Lamb: New York Knicks (#24)
Archie Goodwin: Oklahoma City Thunder (#29)