Kentucky Basketball: Grading Each Player on the Wildcats Roster So Far

Matt DavidCorrespondent IIJanuary 23, 2011

Kentucky Basketball: Grading Each Player on the Wildcats Roster So Far

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    Terrence JonesAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Kentucky Wildcats are one of the elite programs in college basketball. They have always had great players, but when coach John Calipari took over, the team now produces top notch NBA talent. Last year's team had five players drafted in the first round of the NBA draft.

    This year's squad is loaded, also.

    Here is a look at each player on the Kentucky roster.

No. 0 Enes Kanter

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    Enes Kanter

    Enes Kanter is a 6'11" power forward/center from Turkey who was born in Switzerland. He will turn 19-years-old this May.

    As most people who follow college basketball know by now, Kanter will never play college hoops.

    The Turkish big man received over $33,000 from his club team during the 2008-09 season. Kanter turned down millions more from European pro teams so that he could play college ball here in the States.

    On January 7, 2011, Kanter was ruled ineligible to play.

    Don't weep for Kanter, though. He will likely be a lottery pick in the upcoming draft (if there is not a lockout, of course).

    Click here to read more about the Kanter situation.

    Grade: Incomplete

No. 1 Darius Miller

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    Darius MillerAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    Darius Miller is averaging around 10 points a game. He has good size at 6'7" and can shoot well (particularly his terrific runner).

    Miller is a consistent player that Coach Cal relies on to help the freshmen during the game. For example, Miller was huge in the game against South Carolina in a hostile environment. He needs to work on his strength but if he can keep getting better he has a shot at the NBA.

    Grade: B

No. 2 Stacey Poole Jr.

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    Stacey Poole Jr.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The jury is still out on Stacey Poole. He was a big time recruit but hasn't gotten much playing time this season. Poole is 6'5"and will likely be a major factor on next year's squad.

    Grade: C

No. 3 Darnell Dodson

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    Darnell DodsonAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    Darnell Dodson was declared academically eligible for 2010. There is a chance he could be back, but it doesn't seem likely.

    Dodson averaged six points and 2.5 rebounds in 35 games for the Wildcats last season. He did lead the team in three-pointers made.

    Grade: F

    Update - On January 21, Darnell Dodson transferred to Southern Miss.

No. 3 Terrence Jones

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    Terrence JonesAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    Terrence Jones is one of the best players in the country. He averages over 18 points and nine rebounds. Jones needs to work on his shot and can disappear at times like in the loss at Alabama. Coach Calipari has been trying to light a fire under him because this kid is an amazing talent.

    Jones has an elite combination of size and skills, but he is not without flaws. He lacks an explosive first step but has no trouble getting to the rim at the college level. He also has an awkward jump shot that needs some work.

    You can read about Jones' NBA chances here.

    Grade: A+

No. 4 Jon Hood

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    Jon HoodChris Graythen/Getty Images

    Jon Hood looks like a player who is reluctant to try to score. This season, he is not a threat to opposing defenses, but his role is to play some defense and not make mistakes.

    Hood is 6'7" and may make an impact next year.

    Grade: C

No. 5 Jarrod Polson

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    Jarrod Polson

    Polson accepted the invitation to walk on at Kentucky.

    Polson is 6'2" and hasn't played much this season. If he can give some minutes and not hurt them on defense in the process, Coach Cal will be happy.

    Grade: C

No. 12 Brandon Knight

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    Brandon KnightAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    Brandon Knight is similar to Miller in that he does a lot of things well but lacks a high-level NBA skill. He shoots well but has an unorthodox form. He can be beaten by quick guards. Knight is a good rebounder for a guard. He also has trouble when he is up against physical defenders but projects to be a point guard in the NBA this fall.

    Knight is the key to the Kentucky season. He is the key to wins or losses. Many teams will focus on Terrence Jones, but if Knight plays poorly, the 'Cats don't do well.

    Grade: A

No. 20 Doron Lamb

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    Doron LambAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    Doron Lamb is a 6'4" freshman guard. He is averaging around 14 points a game. Lamb has a shot at going to the NBA, but if he stays for some reason, he will be an elite scorer next year.

    Lamb excels at the pull-up jumper and has done everything asked of him. He and Miller are the only ones on the team with a reliable mid-range game.

    Grade: B+

No. 30 Eloy Vargas

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    Eloy VargasAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    Eloy Vargas is a big dude (6'11") who takes up space in the middle. He reminds many Kentucky fans of Jared Carter. Vargas has had trouble getting out of Coach Cal's doghouse. He needs to step up his intensity level.

    At this point, Vargas' role is to provide up to five minutes of mistake free basketball.

    Grade: C

No. 34 DeAndre Liggins

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    DeAndre LigginsAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    Averaging around nine points a game, DeAndre Liggins plays hard every time out. He is the team's best defender. Liggins should be a leader on the team next year when he is a senior. He spent some time in Cal's doghouse last year, but those days are over.

    Liggins is normally matched up against the other team's best scorer.

    Grade: B

No. 55 Josh Harrellson

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    Josh HarrellsonAndy Lyons/Getty Images

    With an average of over nine boards per game, Josh Harrellson could end up being 10th all time in rebounds in one season. Nobody could have predicted this from a guy who barely made the team last year. Harrellson's hard work has paid off.

    Harrellson needs to be more physical under the glass. He isn't a scorer, but this team does not need him to do that.

    Grade: B