In case you guys hadn't noticed, we have a game today. Also, it's kind of a big deal. I was able to talk with Glenn Logan over at A Sea of Blue about the upcoming game.
RCT: The depth of this team is well-publicized, but it's still amazing to think about. Obviously it was only possible because so many players returned from last year's team. Which player(s) surprised you most when he/they decided to return?
ASOB: For me, the most surprising was Willie Cauley-Stein. The Harrison twins were also a bit of a surprise, but WCS was projected to go early in the first round. Getting him back was a surprise to a lot of people, including Coach Cal.
RCT: I'm sure you hear this all the time, but is there any concern that having so many players push for playing time could cause problems with team chemistry?
ASOB: Not really. Calipari has proven that he is able to manage large amounts of talent, although he's never had to deal with quite this much. Calipari is very innovative in his thinking and he only recruits good kids with a team-first attitude. The so-called "platoon system" he has decided to implement is a simple solution to the problem, and I think it's a really good way to play college basketball if you have the depth.
RCT: With so much talent on the floor, it's got to be hard to find any particular player that has skills that can't be replicated by someone else on the roster. Is there any one player that has any unique talents or collection of talent that can't be replaced when they are out of the lineup?
ASOB: They all have unique talents, which is something that perhaps some people don't recognize. Dakari Johnson is the big, relentless bruiser on the glass. WCS is the ultra-athletic shot blocker and defender. Alex Pothress is the high-flying freak athlete. The Harrison twins are size and strength extraordinary in guards. Tyler Ulis is the pass-first point guard. Karl-Anthony Towns is Mister Inside-Out. It goes on and on like that.
The most irreplaceable person on this team is Andrew Harrison, because he gives you the most penetrating ability. But he can be replaced, just with a different skill set.
RCT: While the Wildcats ultimately pulled away in the second half, Buffalo was able to hold on to a lead going into halftime. What weaknesses in the UK team were they able to exploit, and is it something that Kansas can replicate?
ASOB: The weakness wasn't physical, it was mental. Kentucky simply didn't come to play in the first half, and the Bulls did. They believed they could beat Kentucky because they are well-coached and disciplined and were facing a team that obviously took them lightly.
When Kentucky came back for the second half, they erased the 5-point lead in 40 seconds, then seized control of the game and never relinquished it. Despite poor shooting, Kentucky held Buffalo to 14 points in the second half. That's what they can do when they exert themselves, and it was a lack of exertion that put them in that position.
RCT: How do you see the games going tomorrow? How long does Kansas hang around, or are you expecting the game to stay close the whole way?
ASOB: I think tomorrow will be a tough battle, and I expect Kansas to be in the game until the end. Kansas has plenty of talent, and it wouldn't shock me if they defeated Kentucky.
The Wildcats are far from a finished product, and right now, they are vulnerable to teams playing with greater intensity, and they are also vulnerable to pack-line and zone defenses because they haven't shown they can make threes. They have a way to go to even approach their potential, so if they are going to get beat, now would be the time.
A big thanks to Glenn for joining us today. Hopefully we get the chance to do this again before the championship. Don't forget to check out the questions I answered for him too.