By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky went to the Bahamas for an exhibition trip in 2014 and then went 38-0 before losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four.
Kentucky went to the Bahamas again in August and looked sensational in four wins. But it opened the season with a 34-point loss to Duke and despite winning its last five games has not looked overpowering.
What’s the difference?
“We had the No. 1 pick in the draft (Karl-Anthony Towns) and we had four lottery picks and we had pretty good players and six guys got drafted from that team. It was a pretty good team,” Calipari said about the 2014-15 team that also included Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew and Aaron Harrison, and Tyler Ulis.
So that 2014-15 team doesn’t compare talent-wise to this current team?
“I don’t think so at this point. I would say no. Now, by the end you watch what happened with Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) and (Kevin) Knox and Hami (Diallo) and the guys by the end (of last year),” Calipari said.
“But where we were at the beginning of last year, I would say the same with that group. But I don’t, you know, could we have four lottery picks on this team? Yeah, if they want to be that.
“But it’s going to start with we’re all going to commit to defending. We’re all going to commit to doing this and rotating and listening and executing on defense. Then the offense will come. I mean offense hasn’t been the issue. ”