February 22, 2013
Some comments from the ESPN GameDay crew on UK's team and its tournament chances.
"My belief is, with the talent that they have, and the level of coaching that they have, they'll win enough games down the stretch to get in. I know they're on the edge right now and that they're being scrutinized closer because Nerlens isn't in the lineup anymore. But I think they'll win enough games to get in. That's just my judgment on it from watching. I kind of have a hard time thinking that, even though they haven't always played great this year, are there really 37 teams better than them? I'm not sure I really believe that. Even without Nerlens."
"I think they've got a good chance to make it. ... They got a bad break with Nerlens Noel going down. But it's also an opportunity for some other players. It means that they're going to have to adapt to playing a different way. Guys are going to have to do more and get tougher. Diving on the floor, taking charges. You can't rely on somebody to erase a mistake. You have to eliminate that mistake before it gets to that point.
"I think Kentucky's tournament chances rest less upon what plays they run, are they playing man or zone, are they pressing or are they playing more containment. I think it has to do more with, are they getting loose balls, are they taking charges, do they do the little details, do they talk on defense. Those little things. It's going to come down to the simplest things in playing rather than the strategic chances they make."
On Kentucky having a 'down' year:
"I may look at it a little differently. I don't look at it so much as this year being down. It underscores how great of a job John's done the last few years to take teams that young and inexperienced and go to Elite Eights, Final Fours, win the championship. This isn't the unusual thing. That's the unusual thing. Teams this age struggle. The fact that the teams he's had here before this have not speaks incredibly well of him."