Basketball Analysts All Say Other SEC Teams Have As Much Talent or Better than Kentucky


Fox Sports college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb says there is one easy explanation for why Kentucky was not dominating the SEC.

“Arkansas and Bama have better players,” Gottlieb said on Twitter. “Part of it is UK with some bad evals (evaluations), part is that they can’t shoot. Also, their transition defense.”

Gottlieb is not on the “John Calipari cannot coach” bandwagon like some are. Instead, he says it is just a matter of talent.

“They have had better dudes than everyone most years, that has changed their margin for error dramatically. Keep in mind Overtime, Ignite and all the SEC comp has chipped away at the talent he used always get,” Gottlieb posted.

ESPN/SEC Network analyst Jimmy Dykes made that point clear during two recent UK games he worked.

“You talk to coaches in this league and they say Kentucky cannot guard at the level they used to,” Dykes said. “Kentucky is no longer feared in the SEC. Even South Carolina was confident it could take down Kentucky.”

Another ESPN analyst, Jay Bilas, is not quite ready to write off Kentucky, especially after the win over Tennessee.

“Kentucky’s defensive problems are all fixable. They kept Tennessee from getting to the rim,” Bilas said. “They were more connected on the defensive end and fighting harder.”

Former UK All-American Jack Givens, the 1978 Final Four MVP, liked what Kentucky did at Tennessee and sees that as a turning point for the season.

“They did it by taking on the physical pressure and most of the game and welcoming it,” Givens said. “I can’t tell you how big that is for Kentucky with what they have to face the rest of the season and what they have to do.

“I really liked the way Kentucky won the game with defense because they had been struggling. Winning 98-94 would have been great but I like this win that came because of the defense and that is how you keep winning games.”