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National Analyst Gives Kentucky D+ Off-Season Grade, “Zero” Chance to Win Title

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John Calipari frustrated as Kentucky plays Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena
© Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

The Field of 68 Podcast has been releasing their off-season grades for numerous teams, and most recently, it was Kentucky’s turn to be graded. Analyzing the team, prior to the addition of Ivisic, were Jeff Goodman and Greg Waddell, who both gave similar grades.

According to Goodman, Kentucky’s offseason would have been a “trainwreck” if not for some luck with adding Tre Mitchell and bringing Antonio Reeves back. So it’s safe to say he isn’t buying into Kentucky’s youth.

“There are a lot of questions with this team, and I think it starts with youth,” Goodman said. “You added some experienced guys, thankfully, with Reeves coming back and Tre Mitchell.”

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The critical comments didn’t stop there, as Goodman went to explain his grade. “They don’t have a ton of ‘dudes,’” Goodman said. Kentucky doesn’t have the depth, saying Reeves might not get to rest much. He also isn’t a believer in Kentucky’s guard play, specifically DJ Wagner and Rob Dillingham together: “Those guards scare me.”

Despite those “scary” guards, Goodman cites point guard play as Kentucky’s X-factor this season, but that there are too many guys who will want the ball in their hands. This led to another shocking quote. “It would be better for Louisville and Kentucky if DJ Wagner had gone to Louisville. …I just think he needs the ball in his hands. …from his perspective, I just don’t understand why he didn’t go to Louisville because he could’ve been the guy.”

Chances that Kentucky can win a National Championship this season? “Zero”, says Goodman. “There’s a world, but I don’t see it happening. I’d be shocked… Get to the second weekend and then call me.”

So, how did Goodman think Kentucky’s off-season went? He gives it a C-.

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“I think he (Calipari) did a horrible job this off-season, and didn’t even pull a rabbit out of his ass. Again, he got lucky. Even if you get Reeves back and not Mitchell right now you’re screwed, with the injuries to the bigs (Bradshaw and Onyenso).”

Greg Waddell wasn’t far off as he gave Kentucky a D+ grade.

“I struggle with this because I never really know whether or not I should include the entire recruiting class as part of this”, Waddell said. “When we’re grading like ‘what did this coaching staff go out to do this off-season?’, they already knew most of these guys were gonna be on campus, they didn’t know who else would be, and they didn’t really answer anything else.”

While it is true that the Wildcats’ top five freshmen were already signed to the roster prior to the offseason, that affected the guys that the coaching staff went after and were even deciding factors in Kentucky’s targets (i.e. Hunter Dickinson).

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Waddell says Kentucky “lucked into Tre Mitchell, and to an extent they lucked into Antonio Reeves staying. …I’m struggling with why Kentucky can’t find a happy medium between the freshman talent and winning in the portal.”

For what it is worth, Waddell says he would adjust that grade to a B with the addition of Ivisic on Tuesday.

That was a lot of stuff to unpack, with some wild takes on Kentucky’s off-season from The Field of 68. Take a listen yourself below.

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Men's Basketball

Kentucky Takes Down Arkansas 111-102 in Rupp Arena Track Meet

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Aaron Bradshaw

Kentucky won their third consecutive game on Saturday as the Wildcats downed the Hogs 111-102 in Rupp Arena. It was a back-and-forth affair from the tip to the final horn, but it was the good guys who came away with the win.

Aaron Bradshaw, back from the dead

For six consecutive games, Aaron Bradshaw failed to get into double-digits in the scoring column. His minutes were being heavily reduced, and it seemed like he was slipping further and further down the rotation.

However, against Arkansas, Bradshaw shook off his cold spell with a 15-point performance. The 7-1 freshman shot 4-4 from the field while going 6-8 from the charity stripe. Even in just 12 minutes of game time, he made sure to leave his impression on the game.

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Rob Dillingham is just too shifty

Well, well, well, if it isn’t Mr. Shifty himself, Rob Dillingham. The former OTE up-and-comer has been a very pleasant surprise for John Calipari and Kentucky this season, and that was no different against the Razorbacks.

Dillingham scored 15 points while racking up five assists against Arkansas. It seemed like this was going to be one of his off days, but he channeled his inner Allen Iverson, upping his game in the clutch.

Tre Mitchell struggles in his return

Now, for the not-so-great stuff.

The good news is that Tre Mitchell made his long-awaited return to the hardwood after suffering a shoulder injury against Ole Miss. Unfortunately, the bad news is that it wasn’t a great outing for him.

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Mitchell went 0-5 (0-3 3PT) as his only two points came from the free throw line. Perhaps one redeeming part about his effort against Arkansas were his three rebounds during his 16-minute run on the floor. He hasn’t scored 10+ points in a game since Kentucky’s first matchup with the Razorbacks back on January 27th.


Next up are the Vanderbilt Commodores who sit at 8-20 (3-12 SEC). Kentucky will be back home for the last time this season on Wednesday in a late 9:00 p.m. EST tip.

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John Wall Recalls Pranking Demarcus Cousins Before Playing Together at Kentucky, Telling Him Was Going to Duke

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© Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Could you imagine if John Wall chose another school? What about Duke? Well, DeMarcus Cousins thought that was happening right before Wall’s high school commitment.

During the first episode of Wall’s new Podcast, the Point Game Podcast, Wall brought Cousins on to be his first guest and talked about a prank he played on his former teammate.

Through high school, the duo always planned to play together in college, but just an hour before his college announcement, Wall called Cousins and told him he would be committing to Duke before abruptly hanging up. One can only imagine what went through Cousins’ head at that time, but he definitely wasn’t happy.

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“I called Boog (Cousins), I’m like ‘Yo bro, I’m about to commit to Duke,’ and I hung up on him,” Wall said. “Do you want to tell me all the times he called me all type of names? ‘Bro you really sold me out, you doing this…”

Cousins says it hit him hard in that moment. “Bro, I was sick,” Cousins said. “Leading up to that f****** phone call, dude told me like ‘Bro, I got you, bro, like we going to school together.’” Cousins says he kept calling Wall after the prank call. “So I hit back, I call bro like ten times, like ‘Yo what’s up.”

All joking aside, Wall says he had his mind made up long before that day. “When I seen D-rose play in the first game at The Garden against Oklahoma, I said no brainer what school I’m going to.”

More like, what coach he was going to play for, in John Calipari.

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The John Calipari era may have looked totally different had Wall and Cousins gone elsewhere, but thankfully they didn’t, and they helped Kentucky basketball reemerge from the depths the program had fallen during the Billy Gillespie era.

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John Calipari Provides Injury Update on Tre Mitchell Ahead Of Arkansas Game

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© Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

John Calipari was on his weekly radio show on Wednesday night, where he touched on Tuesday’s big win and more, but added an update on Tre Mitchell’s status for Saturday’s game against Arkansas.

Mitchell has missed four straight games with a shoulder injury suffered against Ole Miss, and is also still trying to recover fully from a lingering back issue. Calipari says Mitchell could be close to returning. “He’ll practice a couple of days and let’s see where he is,” he said on Tuesday following Kentucky’s win at Mississippi State.

Calipari reiterated that again on his radio show Wednesday night, saying it all comes down to practice. “We’ve got to see if Tre will be able to play, if he goes a couple practices, we’ll see.” Calipari said on his radio show. “That time off…how much can you really play him, and how do you start playing him? But, we’ll see in practice.”

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Calipari says Mitchell could be a little rusty after having some time off. “For us, what’s been special with him playing is it gives you another three-point shooter. But again, that was DJ, shooting 40 percent, took two and a half weeks off, didn’t touch a ball, and he was not making any shots, and now Tre was probably 37-38 percent and took this time off. We’ll have to see.”

As of now, KY Insider’s Tristan Pharis would lean that Mitchell will play limited action, starting a ramp-up to get him back to close to 100% by the start of the SEC Tournament on March 13th, a little less than two weeks away.

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