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DeCourcy likes UK’s veteran players, expects real leadership from Poythress and Cauley-Stein


With all the hype about John Calipari’s team, I asked Sporting News columnist Mike DeCourcy what it thought was the most underrated part of the team going into the season.

“I think it is the veteran core. I have heard a lot of people try to make the case that when Kyle Wiltjer decided to transfer to Gonzaga that this team now lacked leadership. I like Kyle and like his talent, but he wasn’t going to be a leader on this team,” DeCourcy said.  “I think having Jarrod Polson, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein back is big.

“I like Jon Hood as a presence. He is a good kid. You are talking about him being a leader even though he is not playing, and that’s what role Kyle would have had. Jon can do that. He has been on every one of Cal’s teams at Kentucky. He knows what to tell the freshmen to do on and off the court. How much will they listen to him? No more or less than they would have Kyle. Kyle would not have been a big factor with this team.

“I think the real leadership has to come from Willie and Alex if he has mastered his position, and I think he will. I think Alex in terms of on court direction and do what I am doing, he can do that from a leadership standpoint. Kentucky is bringing back more people than they are being given credit for this year because of the failure of last year. Willie and Alex are both (NBA draft) first-round talent. The idea that because Kentucky failed last year they don’t have talent is ludicrous. Last year they just did not have a point guard, had chemistry issues and then had a major injury (to Nerlens Noel).”

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  1. Little Baron

    Two lottery picks are returning, plus deep rooted Kentuckians Hood & Polson. Add the best player in the land (Randall & he will prove it), the top PG to be drafted next summer, and four more 1st rounders (whatever year they choose to go pro) and we have all the ingredients for 40 big W’s.

    We will know just how rare this collection of talent is by jus the 3rd game of the season!

  2. King Ghidora

    If this team gels half as well as the 2012 team did it is going to be a monster. I think Cal will have something to prove this year and that will show up in the way this team plays. I can’t see the same problems as happened last season. There will be leadership on this team and the guard play will be better. You really can’t expect to win big in basketball without great guard play.

    This could truly be a great team. Things came together almost in a perfect storm situation in 2012. I’m not going to be counting my chickens though. We won’t really know until the ball is tossed up Nov. 8th. Yeah I know there are exhibition games before that but the competition doesn’t look real tough. Too bad they didn’t play cross town rival Transy when they were having great teams. Dang it’s only a little over 5 weeks before that game! Ordinarily I’d say I couldn’t wait but I’m enjoying watching the football team a lot.

  3. Larry T Clemons

    The competition in Practice, has all the Coaches excited and fired up for the Season….That just Did Not exist last year…

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