For the past couple of weeks, we have had different people give their opinion on just how good the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team is. They are wonderfully talented, and seem to be in control of their own destiny heading into the Final Four this Saturday after only losing 2 games this season. Anthony Davis seems to be the surefire #1 pick in this years draft, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Terrance Jones could also find themselves as lottery picks, or at least 1st round picks. Marquis Teague continues to carry-on the great tradition of John Calipari freshman point guards. But let me clear on something, they are not good enough to beat an NBA team. ANY NBA team.
For as terrible as the the Bobcats have been all season, they would destroy the Wildcats, 10 out of 10 times. The games would not be remotely close, and nobody should think otherwise. Yes, the Bobcats have won only 7 games out of the 48 they have played in this year, but that shouldn’t be your gauge. They are more talented, more physical, and just plain better than the best team in college basketball.
All I need to do is stop and begin with rookie PG, Kemba Walker. Walker already ran wild on the majority of these Kentucky players a year ago. In fact, he did it while having to deal with fellow rookie Brandon Knight of the Pistons, who is and was better than Teague. But of course I am not stopping with just Kemba.
Corey Maggette is one of the players in the NBA that probably has wasted his talent more than anyone, or at least it would appear that way. He had shown flashes earlier in his career, but for whatever reason just never was more than a marginal player that has bounced around. With that said, nobody could guard him one-on-one.
I love Davis, and hope that a certain team from Detroit lands the #1 pick in the lottery to select him. I think he would be a great complement to a polished offensive player. He is a great interior college defender, but his rail thin body isn’t ready for what happens in the post of an NBA game. Have you ever sat close enough to see how absolutely physical it is in the paint of an NBA game? These guys may not be smashing one another into the ground or the boards like other contact sports, but they beat one another up. That is the biggest challenge for college players to deal with once they come into the NBA. Not all players have an NBA ready body like Shaq did. Davis isn’t ready to bang around with guys, right now. Next fall might be different, when an NBA team has him prepared and on a 6000 calorie diet and weight training.
Just like in football, no college team can take on the pros. It wouldn’t be close. The best college basketball team I ever saw was the 1991 UNLV team that was upset by the Duke Blue Devils. It would be easy to have said the 1990 team that won it all, but the 91 team was even better. Still, they lost to another college team. That 90s Runnin Rebels team had Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, and Anderson Hunt. All these guys were bound for the NBA the following season, and Larry Johnson looked like he was already 5 years into the NBA. With that said, the 1991 Denver Nuggets with Chris Jackson (before he changed his name to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf), Michael Adams, Orlando Woolridge, Walter Davis and Terry Mills would have put a whooping on them. The college game is much more simplistic than that of the pros, and as much as I love the college game more, they don’t play harder or better defense than the pros. The atmosphere and the bad shooting play a bigger role in making us think otherwise. Calipari can’t roll the ball out on the floor and tell his guys to “just go play”.
I also struggle to believe that a team that actually lost a couple games could knock of a pro team. Let’s face it, they didn’t have a letdown when they lost at the buzzer to Indiana earlier in the year, they just got straight up beat by a lesser team. Charlotte is not a lesser team, unless you are comparing them to the 29 other NBA teams.