2013 SEC Final Season Review: Kentucky Wildcats
It may not be possible to have a more disappointing season than the Kentucky Wildcats did in 2012-2013. They began the season ranked No. 3 overall and had the expectation of winning the SEC and finishing somewhere near the Final Four at the end of the season. Unfortunately, the Wildcats did no such thing as John Calipari’s young team was knocked out of the first round of the NIT tournament by the Robert Morris Colonials.
Kentucky looked shaky all season long, but were still expected to make the NCAA tournament. The breaking point for the Wildcats was the thirty point loss to the Tennessee Volunteers (it could have been 40 points) and the season ending injury to Nerlens Noel. Noel was clearly Kentucky’s best player and without him on defense, the Wildcats continued to lose games until they weren’t even on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. The loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores in the SEC tournament is the game that kept them out of the NCAA tournament; if they had won, they may have been in one of the NCAA tournament’s play-in games.
Noel, Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin may be gone, but the Wildcats have a lot to look forward to for next season. Kyle Wiltjer is returning along with Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress. As if these returning threats aren’t worrying enough to any team that plays Kentucky next season, Calipari will be sure to have another star recruiting class. Kentucky will be sure to start the season ranked in the top ten, and next season will be much better for the Wildcats