Kentucky Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Kentucky Wildcats

SEC (29-5, 16-2)

Once again Coach John Calipari has a bevy of talented freshmen on his Kentucky squad. Four freshmen have been regular starters and those four freshmen will carry the Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament. And, as always with freshmen, it remains to be seen how those freshmen will react when the season is on the line.
Big Wins: 12/17 vs North Carolina (103-100), 1/21 South Carolina (85-69), 2/25 Florida (76-66)
Bad Losses: 12/3 UCLA (92-97), 12/21 at Louisville (70-73), 1/24 at Tennessee (80-82)
Coach: John Calipari
Why They Can Surprise:
Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, Wenyen Gabriel and Edrice Adebayo are extremely talented freshmen. Monk leads the team with 20.4 points per game and is a lethal outside shooter who can score from anywhere on the floor. Fox added 16.1 points per game and a team high 4.8 assists. Fox is not a shooter, but few players can attack the basket as effectively as him. Gabriel and Adebayo man the frontcourt. Gabriel will do plenty of good things on the defensive end, while Adebayo has emerged as a very good scoring option in the paint. Overall, Kentucky does everything right on offense. They take care of the ball, work for good shots and usually make those open looks.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Kentucky moves quickly, so it is not a surprise that they allow quite a few points, but they also allow the opposition to shoot the ball effectively. That is not normal for a Kentucky team. Gabriel and Adebayo are decent shot blockers and players like Derek Willis and Isaac Humphries can block some shots too, but none of them are dominating rim protectors that will scare everybody away from attacking the basket. The frontcourt could be better rebounders too. The other potential issue is the outside shooting. Monk is superb, but he is the only consistent shooter on the team. Willis can knock down some long balls and Mychal Mulder will hit some too off the bench, but the usual starting lineup lacks a secondary shooter. Sophomore Isaiah Briscoe is a great scorer and fine passer, but he is not a shooter. Kentucky can win games by just attacking the basket, but it will be much easier to do that when the defense has to worry about guarding the perimeter.
Probable Starters:
De’Aaron Fox, Freshman, Guard, 16.1 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.1 rpg
Malik Monk, Freshman, Guard, 20.4 ppg, 2.4 apg
Isaiah Briscoe, Sophomore, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 4.2 apg, 5.4 rpg
Wenyen Gabriel, Freshman, Forward, 5.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Edrice Adebayo, Freshman, Forward, 13.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg
Key Role Players:
Derek Willis, Senior, Forward, 6.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Mychal Mulder, Senior, Guard, 5.3 ppg
Isaac Humphries, Sophomore, Forward, 2.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Dominique Hawkins, Senior, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.9 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 86.8 (5th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.1 (175, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.8 (32, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.6 (109, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (195, 6)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.2 (166, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.0 (180, 7)
Rebound Margin: 5.7 (29, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.1 (36, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (70, 3)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Stony Brook
2016    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Indiana
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Hampton
2015    NCAA Round of 32 win over Cincinnati
2015    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over West Virginia
2015    NCAA Regional Final win over Notre Dame
2015    NCAA National Semifinal win loss to Wisconsin
2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over Kansas State
2014    NCAA Round of 32 win over Wichita State
2014    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Louisville
2014    NCAA Regional Final win over Michigan
2014    NCAA National Semifinal win over Wisconsin
2014    NCAA National Final loss to Connecticut
2013    NIT      First Round loss to Robert Morris
2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over Western Kentucky
2012    NCAA Round of 32 win over Iowa State
2012    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Indiana
2012    NCAA Regional Final win over Baylor
2012    NCAA National Semifinal win over Louisville
2012    NCAA National Final win over Kansas
2011    NCAA Round of 64 win over Princeton
2011    NCAA Round of 32 win over West Virginia
2011    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Ohio State
2011    NCAA Regional Final win over North Carolina
2011    NCAA National Semifinal loss to Connecticut
2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over East Tennessee State
2010    NCAA Round of 32 win over Wake Forest
2010    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Cornell
2010    NCAA Regional Final loss to West Virginia
2009    NIT      First Round win over UNLV
2009    NIT      Second Round win over Creighton
2009    NIT      Quarterfinal loss to Notre Dame
2008    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Marquette
2007    NCAA Round of 64 win over Villanova
2007    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Kansas
*all team stats through 3/5