Kentucky Basketball: Players Not Pulling Their Weight for the Wildcats

Lee SchechterContributor IIIJanuary 22, 2013

LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 15:  Nerlens Noel #3 of the Kentucky Wildcats dunks the ball during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Rupp Arena on January 15, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Last year's Kentucky Wildcats rode player of the year and No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Davis to a national championship.  

The Wildcats hauled in a highly ranked recruiting class this season, headlined by No. 1 recruit Nerlens Noel.  But, Kentucky has disappointed with its inconsistent play and dropped out of the Top 25 rankings.

Which Wildcats are not pulling their weight?  Read on to find out.  


Alex Poythress, Forward

As one of Kentucky's top recruits, Poythress has progressed in his freshman season so far.

He is averaging 13.1 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game, which shows his abilities on the offensive end.  Poythress also shoots 62 percent from the field and works the blocks to earn quality attempts.  

Despite his high efficiency, he only attempts 7.6 field goals per game.  

For a player who is efficient and manages to shoot that well from the floor, Poythress should be taking more shots per game.  He needs to work himself into the offensive game more, because he has the talent to lead them offensively.  

Poythress is not maximizing his offensive production.  He needs to lose his tentativeness and shoot the ball more.  


Kyle Wiltjer, Forward

Inconsistent.  That is the word that surrounds Kentucky's sophomore forward.  

Wiltjer, a 6'10", three-point-shooting big man, has shined in wins and struggled in losses.

In Kentucky's five losses, Wiltjer has averaged a mere 5.6 points per game, which is inflated by a good 14-point performance against Louisville.  

According to Ken Howlett of SB Nation, Wiltjer is shooting 26.9 percent from three-point land in losses and 47.1 percent in wins.  

Wiltjer needs to tighten up those numbers into a more consistent night-in, night-out performance.

Right now, Wiltjer's sporadic three-point shooting percentages are hindering his team's success.  


Nerlens Noel, Forward

Noel has proven that he is an absolute monster on the rebounding glass as he averages 9.2 rebounds per game.

Defensively, Noel puts up numbers close to those of Davis with his 4.1 blocks per game and 2.4 steals per game.  

While Noel is a work-in-progress type of player who improves each game, he has the size and physical ability to contribute more at the offensive end.   

Noel passes better than Anthony Davis did, but needs to carry his weight in scoring.  

Just like Davis, Noel has the endless potential to be a spectacular forward and rank among the best in college basketball.  He still needs to improve each game at the offensive end if he wants to pull the Wildcats back into the Top 25.