Kentucky Basketball: The 5 Most Unpredictable Players in Wildcats History
Consistent success is a staple for Kentucky basketball. However, the program has been blessed and cursed, depending on how you look at it, with players who could put up a double-double one night and then not record a stat the next game.
While unpredictability can be exciting, it's also frustrating at the same time. While these players may have made you want to pull your hair out at one point, they have also been fun to watch.
Read on to see five unpredictable Wildcats that have fit this description throughout Kentucky's history.
Looks like Tarzan but plays like Jane.
A one-liner by then head coach Tubby Smith when describing Azubuike that left many fans nodding in agreement.
Azubuike entered Kentucky with an NBA-ready body and averaging nearly 40 points a game from high school. However, he never developed into the truly dominant player many fans expected him to be.
Now, Azubuike was a nice player, averaging 12 points per game his sophomore year and then 14 points per game as a junior, but often times he'd score in bunches to get his numbers to look like that.
DraftExpress once described Azubuike as a player who finished like Jason Richardson and shot like Tracy McGrady on his best day, however you never knew when that day was coming.
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I can't confirm Alex Poythress and Kelenna Azubuike are the same person, however they have many common traits.
Both entered the Kentucky program with plenty of hype. As mentioned earlier, Azubuike averaged nearly 40 points in high school and Poythress was a McDonald's All-American and preseason All-American mention.
However, Poythress took on the "looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane" mantra that was given to his predecessor.
For instance, Poythress started the season off on a tear, scoring 20 points in four of Kentucky's first five games. However, after that, he tallied three points in a game and was even pulled from the starting lineup in the Wildcats' game against rival Louisville.
By the end of the season, Poythress was Kentucky's second-leading scorer, but scored 9, 4, 9, 6, 6, respectively in his last five games.
Poythress decided to return for his sophomore season and has a chance to redeem himself as one of the most unpredictable players in Kentucky's history.
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His unpredictability didn't start when he put on the blue and white for Kentucky either. Jones famously gave a verbal commitment to the University of Washington before calling Calipari and saying he made a mistake. He then switched his commitment to the Wildcats and eventually became a national champion in Lexington.
The biggest knack on Jones while he was at Kentucky was the fact he pouted when things didn't go his way and never stayed focused the entire game.
Jones was able to improve his decision making from his freshman year to sophomore campaign however. His field goal percentage increased over five percent and Jones often showed his talent compared to his freshman year.
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Joe Crawford was a McDonald's All-American, then underachiever and then a fan-favorite. Unpredictability summed up Crawford's career in Lexington.
The Michigan native increased his scoring every season at Lexington, but you never knew what you were going to get game in and game out from him. After a freshman year where he averaged three points in 11 minutes of play, he upped his average to 10 points as a sophomore, 14 points as a junior and then 17 points as a senior.
During his sophomore and junior years, Big Blue Nation always waited for Crawford to take over a game thanks to his ability to finish at the rim and pull up for a mid-range jumper. However, much like Azubuike he scored in bunches and that was it for the entire game.
However, during his senior year, he became the go-to player for the Wildcats, leading them on the court and in scoring.
Crawford also debated a transfer during his freshman year, after playing just three minutes after No. 2 ranked Kansas.
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Was it Darius Miller or Disappearus Miller?
That was Miller's knock his entire career at Kentucky. The former Mr. Basketball in Kentucky came into Lexington with heavy expectations and never truly lived up to them. He was often known for letting his confidence falter in games when he struggled from the field.
However, he also showed up big time in games when the Wildcats needed him. Miller was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 SEC Tournament. He also hit a big three in Kentucky's second round game against West Virginia in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Then came his senior year. Miller brushed aside his first two years in Kentucky when members of Big Blue Nation didn't know what to expect out of Miller and more often than not expected him to disappear when the Wildcats needed him the most.
Instead, he embraced his role as the sixth man on the No. 1 team in the nation and had his most successful year in Lexington. He averaged 10 points per game while shooting over 47 percent from the field 37 percent from behind the line.
Most importantly, fans didn't cringe when the ball was in his hands in important situations.