Florida beat Kentucky 66-64 inside Rupp Arena on Saturday to drop the Wildcats' record to 14-5 overall and 4-3 in the SEC. Consequently, UK is now outside of the top 30 at KenPom for the first time since it lost Nerlens Noel to a torn ACL and spiraled into the 2013 NIT. So things clearly aren't going as planned with this team that was ranked fifth in the preseason AP poll.
Kentucky is 2-2 against top-50 KenPom teams with two sub-50 losses. The Wildcats have zero wins over currently ranked teams. They're 3-4 away from Rupp Arena. They're 59th in offensive efficiency, 28th in defensive efficiency and not really great at anything other than getting to the free throw line and guarding the three-point line. In short, this is unusual -- and a reminder that winning with a roster filled with first-year players isn't as easy as John Calipari normally makes it look.
Is there still time to get things fixed?
Calipari has taken teams with six league losses to the Final Four twice. So only a fool would completely count him out now. But, that said, there's no denying this UK team is different than most UK teams in that this is Calipari's first UK team without a guaranteed top-10 NBA Draft pick. In fact, this could go down as the first year since 2007 -- dating back to his days at Memphis -- that Calipari has coached a team without a player who was selected in the top 10 of the subsequent NBA Draft.
Take a look ...
- 2008: No. 1 Derrick Rose
- 2009: No. 7 Tyreke Evans
- 2010: No. 1 John Wall, No. 5 DeMarcus Cousins
- 2011: No. 8 Brandon Knight
- 2012: No. 1 Anthony Davis, No. 2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
- 2013: No. 6 Nerlens Noel
- 2014: No. 7 Julius Randle
- 2015: No. 1 Karl-Anthony Towns, No. 6 Willie Cauley-Stein
- 2016: No. 7 Jamal Murray
- 2017: No. 5 De'Aaron Fox
- 2018: ???
Bottom line, Kentucky is still talented but not as talented as normal -- especially not at the top of the roster. And it's showing. UK is no longer in the CBS Sports Top 25 (and one). But three other SEC schools are -- specifically Auburn, Tennessee and Florida.
The complete Top 25 (and one) is below.
|Fourteen of the Wildcats' 18 wins have come by double-digits, among them victories over Xavier and Gonzaga. Villanova's lone loss is a single-digit loss at Butler.||--||18-7|
|The Cavaliers have won nine straight games since losing at West Virginia. They are 4-1 against top-50 KenPom teams with wins over North Carolina and Rhode Island.||--||18-7|
|The Blue Devils' resume includes five top-50 KenPom wins, among them victories over Michigan State and Florida. Both of Duke's losses came in true road games.||--||13-11|
|The Boilermakers have won 15 straight games since losing consecutive games to Tennessee and Western Kentucky in November. Fifteen of Purdue's 19 wins are double-digit wins.||--||18-10|
|The Jayhawks will take a five-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at Oklahoma. They're 6-1 in the Big 12 and alone atop the league standings.||1||21-9|
|The Mountaineers' resume features six top-45 KenPom wins and zero sub-30 losses. They're 5-2 in the Big 12 and alone in second in the league standings.||1||19-10|
|The Spartans opened 15-1 but are just 2-2 in their past four games. Their resume features three top-40 KenPom wins and zero sub-30 losses.||2||15-13|
|The Musketeers have won three straight games since losing at Villanova. Their resume features six top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-55 losses.||2||13-8|
|The Tar Heels' resume features six top-45 KenPom wins and just one sub-25 loss. UNC owns victories over Ohio State, Clemson and Tennessee.||2||18-11|
|The Bearcats have won 10 straight games since losing consecutive games to Xavier and Florida. They're 6-0 in the AAC and in possession of a two-game lead in the league standings.||2||12-11|
|The Sooners' resume features five top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-50 loss. They'll take a two-game losing streak into Tuesday's game with Kansas.||3||16-11|
|The Red Raiders' resume features five top-40 KenPom wins and just one sub-45 loss. They're 1-3 since Zach Smith broke a bone in his foot.||7||18-11|
|The Gaels' 14-game winning streak features victories at Gonzaga and BYU. Their resume includes three top-50 KenPom wins.||--||14-10|
|The Zags' resume features three top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-25 loss. Their best win is a 27-point victory over Ohio State.||--||31-1|
|The Buckeyes are 12-1 in their past 13 games with wins over Michigan State, Michigan and Maryland. The lone loss in that stretch is a neutral-court loss to North Carolina.||4||21-10|
|The Wildcats have won four straight games since losing at Colorado. Their resume includes two top-50 KenPom wins and two sub-60 losses.||--||17-9|
|The Tigers are off to their best start since they opened 19-2 in the 2008-09 season. Their resume features five top-40 KenPom wins.||--||16-8|
|The Tigers overcame a 16-point deficit Saturday to beat Georgia. Auburn is 15-1 in its past 16 games with wins over Tennessee and Arkansas.||2||13-14|
|The Vols' resume features three top-35 KenPom wins and zero sub-45 losses. They're one of only two teams to beat Purdue.||2||18-9|
|The Shockers' resume features three top-50 KenPom wins and zero sub-45 losses. They'll try to snap a two-game losing streak Thursday against UCF.||5||16-6|
|The Gators are 8-1 in their past nine games with wins at Texas A&M, Missouri and Kentucky. They're alone atop the SEC standings but in possession of a resume with two sub-80 losses.||NR||15-10|
|The Sun Devils started the season 12-0 but are just 3-4 in their past seven games. Their resume features double-digit wins over Kansas and Xavier.||1||11-14|
|The Horned Frogs' resume features three top-40 KenPom wins and zero sub-45 losses. They're 1-1 so far without Jaylen Fisher.||5||12-14|
|The Wolf Pack's resume features two top-50 KenPom wins and just one sub-25 loss. Nevada will take a seven-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at Wyoming.||1||16-10|
|The Rams will take a 10-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at Fordham. They're 7-0 in the Atlantic 10 and alone atop the league standings.||1||10-15|
|The Wolverines' resume features three top-50 KenPom wins - most notably a double-digit win at Michigan State. Michigan is 9-2 in its last 11 games.||NR||23-5|
In: Florida, Michigan
Out: Creighton, Kentucky