Kentucky's Early Season Woes Nothing to Worry About

Jimmy SmithCorrespondent INovember 20, 2008

The disappointment has set in earlier in the season than I expected.  A loss to VMI—embarrassing and frustrating.  A loss to No. 1 North Carolina—upsetting and hurtful.  What's next?

Kentucky ball handlers have committed a whopping 53 turnovers in two games, not very productive in the backcourt.  Kentucky's opponents are shooting 47 percent from three-point land, an average of 10.5 a game, compared to Kentucky's three.  

What on Earth is going on with this team's ball handling and defense?  Throughout the preseason much was written about how Kentucky could really be a surprise team and show up and surprise some people, and they can.

Kentucky's turnovers and three-point defense can be fixed—not immediately, but it can be fixed.  Kentucky has stats heavily in their favor.  Despite the turnovers, the Cats are outrebounding opponents by an average of 10.5 a game. 

The Cats are also shooting 50.4 percent from the floor. If there weren't big numbers of turnovers, would the outcomes be any different?

Kentucky is also blocking 10 shots per game.  Kentucky is playing defense in the paint, and they are rebounding the ball.  Kentucky needs to handle the ball better on the perimeter and look for Patrick Patterson.

Kentucky has two things going for them that they can exploit throughout the season.  Kentucky has size, and Kentucky has athleticism.  When Liggins becomes comfortable with the college level, Kentucky will not have a starter shorter than 6'5".  Kentucky will be long and athletic.

With games coming up against Delaware State and Longwood, Kentucky will get on track heading into Las Vegas to play Kansas State and Iowa/West Virginia.  Heading into Miami (FL) on Dec. 6, look for the Cats to have a record no worse than 4-3.  After that, Kentucky could realistically win out heading into Freedom Hall on Jan. 4, giving them a record of 11-3.