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ESPN’s Dykes: Calipari could be UK’s best player this season

By LARRY VAUGHT

BIRMINGHAM — ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes, a former UK assistant coach, is not sure Kentucky will have a “best” player this season.

“I don’t think even they know if there is a best player and I don’t think there will be one,” Dykes said. “I think it could change. James Young is a terrific talent. Julius Randle is destined to be one of the top two picks in the next NBA draft. The Harrison twins. I think it will be a combination of guys and I think if you are Kentucky, that’s what you want.

“I don’t think you want one guy to be ‘the guy.’ If they are going to win a championship like I think they are capable of doing, they probably need to look a lot like the 2012 (national championship) team that all averaged eight to 10 shots a game and different guy in double figures every night and played together.

“I think Kentucky’s best player this year is going to be John Calipari making sure that they don’t have one best player.”

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10 comments

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  1. Jim Harris

    Right on, Jimmy!

  2. Little Baron

    I believe he nailed it! And Calipari WILL get it done!

  3. Indiana Tom

    Jimmy
    is A OK in my book!

  4. Alex

    We will go undefeated, beating everyone by 30.

  5. Rick

    Jimmy,you be da many

  6. Stigbick

    Over/Under at about 3.5 on number of times Dykes mentions he “coached at UK” when he’s calling our games this season.

  7. cats79

    Alex, sorry i’m a cat fan that won’t happen!!!

  8. Kokamo Joe

    IMO Calipari’s strength is recruiting. He has revolutionized college basketball with his one and done system. Other schools rebuild. Calipari starts all over each year with a clean slate and a new roster. And his teams are ranked in the top programs each and ever year when the season begins. No other program can claim to do that.

    His task, after the stars arrive on campus, is to stress how important it is to the players to bond and form a team. Of course it is important to the team, but it is even more important to the players since their draft status will depend on what they can demonstrate as players.

    Much depends on the make up of the players. Last year proved that not all super players can be motivated. That will be the mystery each year. Can Calipari motivate the new comers. Most years he will.

  9. Little Baron

    K-Joe… I believe the lack of a genuine Div 1 PG was the biggest reason the team did not click, did not dig deep, did not play up to their ability. Every player is greatly affected by the leadership (or, as in last year’s case – the LACK therof) of the PG. Players are either included or excluded from the majority of offensive plays, depending on the ability, attitude and selfishness/unselfishness of the PG. We had a one dimensional PG – downward – in most of our games, and it drug the team downward.

    As much flack as Alex takes, I still believe he would have been a completely different player IF we had a TRUE Calipari-type PG. Remember those 4 consecutive 20 pt games, and the AWESOME slam-dunk-follow shot he made against Duke?

    In addition to the PG failure, I believe Calipari made some mistakes dealing with Alex and Wiltjer, and it contributed to losing Wiltjer… not the only reason… I believe Wiltjer leaving was because of tampering by other teams, Cal’s public knocking of Kyle and Kyle not wise enough to know that a year of redshirting at UK would place him in a prime-time position to help the team when “Towns comes to Town”.

    Wiltjer made a push mid-season, and just did not have what it took to overcome the negative effect of the PG, and then after a few super games and stand-out practices when he pushed everyone, he just gave up, like everyone except Noel and Polson did.

  10. King Ghidora

    I think Kyle was pretty upset with not being able to make his jump shot when closely guarded last year. Other teams keyed on him and that is a whole other ball game than playing a role and taking the shots that come your way because the opposition has to key on other players. But like you said he stood out for a few games playing a high post position essentially. His passing was superb and he proved he could create shots for himself inside. And like you said the effects of the other players overcame him it seemed and he just gave up. I think he may have thought he deserved more recognition for what he was getting done. Who knows. At any rate I too think a red shirt year could have helped him tremendously. Playing against the top talent coming in had to make him improve unless he just gave up. I was sorry to see him go. I think he could have blossomed into a great player but he needed to learn to play defense with his feet. Some players manage to do just that. And his body could have matured a lot over that extra year.

    I wish him the best but I do wish he had stayed. I think things could have turned around for him big time. Maybe he felt like Cal recruited over him but that’s how it is at UK. He should have known that when he came to Lexington to play.

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