LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky basketball has a large Saturday on tap: The Wildcats host SEC rival Florida and 5-star recruit Zion Williamson makes his college decision. So it could be a thrilling night for Big Blue Nation … or a disastrous one.
We break it all down on the latest episode of Wildcat Country, your daily Kentucky podcast presented by SEC Country. Host Curtis Burch is joined by Cats beat writer Kyle Tucker and Gators beat writer Ryan Young to preview a huge weekend.
- Kyle says he doesn’t really get the fuss about ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg’s “spoiled” comment about Kentucky’s 5-star freshmen — although he was really speaking about high-level freshmen across college basketball — because it isn’t unlike what John Calipari has said about his own team (this year and in the past) and it isn’t really untrue. The way he said it might’ve been a little harsh, but dealing with the reality of entitled young stars and coaching it out of them by the end of the season is one of the secret’s to Calipari’s success.
- Speaking of 5-stars: One of the top three players in the Class of 2018, Williamson, will announce where he’s playing in college at 8 p.m. Saturday (and UK-UF tips off at 8:15). All of the buzz lately has been about Clemson, but is Kyle hearing that Cal and the Cats have a shot to pull another Kevin Knox-level surprise?
- Ryan talks about why Florida has had such an up-and-down season. After a double-OT win over No. 13 Gonzaga and nearly taking out No. 5 Duke, the Gators lost three straight. Then they beat No. 12 Cincinnati, then lost to No. 20 Clemson, then won six straight, then lost to Ole Miss (No. 79 in the RPI). And then pounded a good Arkansas team (No. 24 in the RPI) on Wednesday. Which Florida team is coming to Rupp Arena?
- We also get Ryan’s thoughts on the Gators’ loaded backcourt — but shaky frontcourt — and why KeVaughn Allen hasn’t lived up to the preseason hype. He’d averaged just 4.3 points in the four previous games before busting his slump with 28 against the Razorbacks. If he’s back on track, Kentucky’s task Saturday just got tougher.
- Where Mike White fits among SEC coaches and how former UK associate AD Scott Stricklin is doing as the new boss in Gainesville.