This was never going to be an encore performance met with raucous applause and rave reviews. With the headliners racing out the door even as the curtain closed, the most anyone could hope to witness was a reasonable facsimile put forth by a group of unproven understudies and fresh-faced newcomers.
Thus far, the effort has been shaky at best.
Welcome to the University of Kentucky men’s basketball 2012-13, the season after the Wildcats earned their eighth national championship.
Despite their youth, they entered the current campaign ranked third in the country – a byproduct of the program’s history, both recent and long-term, and the acknowledged talent that had joined coach John Calipari’s fold. Parade All-Americans Archie Goodwin, Alex Poythress and Nerlens Noel not only gave the UK faithful hope that the good times would continue to roll, but, apparently, they had the experts convinced of the same thing.
Returning big man Kyle Wiltjer, the main link to last year’s 38-2 example of dominance, and North Carolina State transfer Ryan Harrow only strengthened those positions.