John Calipari’s frequent criticism of his team seems to have made a positive impact. The Kentucky Wildcats earned a very nice win against the previously undefeated Boise State Broncos on Tuesday night, and did so in very convincing fashion. After publicly stating his team can get arrogant after a fast start and “step back” toward the end, the Wildcats gave the Broncos a thorough beating from start to finish with a final score of 70-55.
With a young starting lineup that consists of four freshmen and one sophomore, Kentucky has a lot of room to grow with no shortage of talent. The biggest impact from the Wildcats’ gifted bunch has come from Julius Randle. The freshman forward has been a force thus far in the young season, and is clearly one of the front-runners for the Player of the Year award.
Randle kept his campaign for the award strong against the Broncos with 17 points and 11 rebounds, earning his eighth double-double in 10 games. He is averaging 17.8 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game this season, making him the only player in the Player of the Year race who averages a double-double.
The lone weak point in his game is his problem with turnovers. Randle averages 3.5 per game and had eight in Kentucky’s tough loss to the Michigan State Spartans. As an inexperienced player, it’s safe to expect him to improve in this area throughout the season but even if he doesn’t, Randle would still have a very strong case for Player of the Year if he can keep his tremendous play going.