ESPN college basketball analyst Bruce Pearl was the “Five Good Minutes” guest on PTI this afternoon, and Michael Wilbon asked the former Tennessee coach about Kentucky.
“Michael, first of all, expectations were way too high on these Wildcats, OK?” Pearl said. “When last year’s class came in, there were three NBA players staying there on the roster: Terrence Jones, Darius Miller and Doron Lamb. Nobody returned to Kentucky’s roster. These freshmen are very good, but they’re not as good as last year.
“This group each has a deficiency. One of the things I think is that they’re too big and too slow at every position. They can’t guard. They can’t defend the ball screen. As a result, I think Kentucky is going to lose more games in the SEC and be challenged to make the NCAA Tournament.”
Wilbon then asked, “We could see guys coming back to Kentucky and be sophomores next year?”
“We could,” said Pearl, “and the question is are some of them welcome to come back because John Calipari has the best recruiting class coming in for the year 2014. The program is still in great shape. And John Calipari likes his team. These are good kids. They haven’t bought in completely. They’re not mentally and physically as tough as some of the teams that John has had in the past, but yes, you could see a couple of them coming back for their sophomore years.”