Kentucky's Final Four precedent
Hope for the Wildcats, the Pressey Paradox and Doug McDermott's season
It was something of a tribute to John Calipari that he could lose all five starters from last season and still enter 2012-13 with his Kentucky team ranked No. 3 in the nation. Let's call that one extreme opinion regarding the Wildcats.
At the other extreme, of course, is the fact that UK was dropped from the rankings entirely after losing consecutive games at Notre Dame and at home against Baylor. At this writing the Wildcats are still unranked in the AP poll. (That won't last.)
In between these two extremes we find Kentucky as it is and perhaps as we should have regarded the Wildcats right from the beginning. Not as good as last season's team by any means, but very good and getting better.
My working assumption all along for this season's team has been that the proper standard of comparison is not the impossibly high precedent set last season by Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones and company, but rather the example presented by Kentucky two seasons ago. Jones was a freshman, Brandon Knight was the point guard and Josh Harrellson was a decidedly underrated big man.
To read how Kentucky compares to the 2010-11 Final Four team, plus other takeaways from Saturday's games, you must be an ESPN Insider.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game