By LARRY VAUGHT
Most Kentucky teams under John Calipari have had a clear leader except maybe the 2014-15 team that was loaded with players good enough and vocal enough to be leaders.
But who is the team leader this year?
It seems like it should be sophomore Isaiah Briscoe — and Calipari has done everything he can to try and make that happen.
Still, at times this team has seemed to lack that consistent leadership on the court.
“If you are a senior with certain amount of presence you can be a leader,” said Sporting News columnist Mike DeCourcy. “If you have a really good point guard and he has leadership qualities, it does not matter if he is a freshmen or sophomore as Tyler Ulis showed last year when he was leading older players.”
DeCourcy considers UK freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox “not just a great point guard, but one of the best players in college basketball this season.” But he doesn’t see him as a floor leader.
“De’Aaron is not that guy,” DeCourcy said. “It’s not his personality and he has not played enough to tell Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis or Isaiah Briscoe what to do.”
However, DeCourcy said Briscoe’s position makes it a little more difficult to be the floor leader UK needs.
“With Isaiah playing off the ball and not having the ball in his hands a lot, it can be hard,” DeCourcy said. “But Isaiah can do it and he has that physical toughness about him you need. Having a little bit of menace is an important leadership quality, too. He has the biceps that makes you want to do what he says — or at least you should.”
He also has shown at times in recent games, especially late, that he can produce key plays along with key words.
“Hopefully he is learning that players will listen to him and learning what he needs to do to be that leader because Kentucky needs him,” DeCourcy said.