Believe it or not, Marquis Teague going pro might be the biggest loss for the Wildcats. He may not have been the best player in the class, but is certainly the most important. Cal has found depth at every position so far, except at guard.
Ryan Harrow, Twany Beckham and Archie Goodwin seems like a pretty solid rotation and it was understood that the 2012-13 guards were going to be good but not great like in the past (Wall & Bledsoe / Knight & Lamb / Teague & Lamb). However, it seems like there is growing skepticism about the guard situation from the coaching staff. Within the past week we’ve seen and heard a lot of buzz about adding two more guards to the squad: Xavier’s “soon to be” transfer Mark Lyons and Mislav Brzoja from Croatia.
Lyons is a redshirt junior who will be looking for somewhere else to play his final year of basketball – looks like Kentucky will have to compete with Kansas and Arizona for Lyons. The 6’1″ guard from New York averaged 15 points and 3 rebounds a game for the Musketeers last season. He can shoot it from the outside (39% from behind the arc) and also finish at the rim…
Brzoja (try saying that five times fast) is an interesting prospect bringing more size to the table for the Cats. The “guard” stands 6’5″ and will impress fans with his ball handling and outside shooting. Brzoja started for Croatia’s U-19 national team last summer, upsetting the USA squad and averaged six points. He also played for Croatia’s U-18 team and led them in scoring. Brzoja finished his high school in Indiana and is being courted by the likes of Marquette, Dayton and Vanderbilt (among others).
Now, it would be great to land one of these guards, but what does it say if Cal doesn’t? Are the Cats fine with just Harrow, Beckham and Goodwin? I think they will be good enough with these three, but not great. If anything, this year’s tournament showed fans just how important it was to have Teague and Lamb in the backcourt. At one point or another each one carried the Cats during the National Championship run. Not sure if the combination of Harrow and Beckham are ready to carry the team on the road in the SEC when down by five with two minutes left. Can Harrow be ready for 35 minutes of running the show? That’s what will be expected of him.
Obviously Cal picked these guys for a reason. He knows they can play. But, the fact of the matter is they haven’t put up the numbers… yet. Just like all the other Calipari seasons the Cats will enter this one with huge question marks. So far, Cal has been able to mold together a squad that has advance further and further every year. This upcoming season will be the first that he hasn’t brought in a big name POINT GUARD (Wall, Knight, Teague) and that has fans/skeptics talking. Lyons and Brzoja will help answer some of those questions and no doubt give UK another legitimate shot at the Final Four. Without them, UK fans can only hope Cal continues his coaching magic.
But you have to wonder, is Coach Cal worried he doesn’t have enough?
Filed Under: Uncategorized
About the Author: