What are Your Realistic Expectations for Kentucky

Coming off the best season in Kentucky Football history, well since I’ve been alive, expectations are high in the Commonwealth. This offseason Kentucky has been the subject of tons of hate, including Terry Wilson being ranked last in the SEC, our buddy Phil Steele projecting Kentucky to miss out on a bowl game, and lastly tons of national media just setting Kentucky’s over/under anywhere from 5.5 to 6.5. With the schedule released, let’s take a look and walk it through.

First, let’s begin with Toledo. Opening day at Kroger Field, Cats win easily and they win the second week against Eastern Michigan as well. Those are two locks. Then Kentucky enters possibly the most important three weeks of the season involving Florida, @Mississippi State, and and @South Carolina. Kentucky needs 2 of the 3 if they want to be special. Personally, I think Kentucky will best Florida again, especially with Touchdown Terry showing up in a big way and the crowd just behind them. Mississippi State is much improved from last season and so is South Carolina. I think our best bet is Mississippi State and we’ll start the season 4-0 with our first potential loss the following weekend at South Carolina. So 4-1 entering the Arkansas game.

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Arkansas is Arkansas. They’ll have their usual ups and downs but at Kroger Field for the first time in weeks, this Kentucky team will eat them alive and come 5-1 coming up on the possible SEC East Championship in Athens. I’ll be blunt, I’d be shocked if Kentucky even comes close in this game so I’ll put us at 5-2 and then a win against Missouri to make us bowl eligible. Tennessee demolished us last season, for no reason. I see it as a revenge game and we’ll be 7-2, 8-2 after Vanderbilt. 9-2 after Tennessee Martin and I think Kentucky absolutely obliterates Louisville again making us 10-2. This is my prediction.

Obviously a lot can change. Defensively we are much weaker than last season, but Stoops has set the bar high and this team can play higher. The offense will be the show, if Terry can be Florida Terry all year then this team attains this easily, possibly setting Kentucky scoring records. The one game I look at that could change…Mississippi State. That three game stretch is brutal and Kentucky needs 2 of the 3. Otherwise, we could end up 9-3 or worse. It’ll set the tone for the season.

So I ask you, what are your predictions?

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And Now the N’Faly Dante Watch Begins

As the Peach Jam finally ends with N’Faly’s team winning it, the official watch can actually begin. The whole time we knew he’d delay his process until at least now so he could showcase his skills during this elite tournament and with it finally done…we wait. There is still so much to unwrap in his reclassification and his recruitment in general, but what I do know is that he needs to decide quickly to avoid being far behind in his conditioning because man, it was awful to watch today, but even when he’s tired he scored 22 and brought in 18 boards, so…

With the Peach Jam being essentially 8 games in three days, N’Faly is bound to be tired. But watching his game today there were multiple occasions where he couldn’t even make it across half court. Again, so many games can do that to you and he still made such an impact on the court as he led his team to the win, but he needs to decide quickly in order to ramp up his conditioning. Being a 6’11” center, N’Faly is expected to be a little behind in conditioning as it is but when you can’t make it up the court it’s just embarrassing. NCAA is a much faster, more intense game than any AAU game will ever be, especially when you get to March. I have no worries he’ll be fine once he reaches that point and I’ll tell you what…even with him out of shape at points, he controlled the game and that is who I want representing the University of Kentucky. With the game winning free throws being hit by N’Faly, I like this kid more and more.

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N’Faly is such an athlete and would add so much talent to this current team. With an obvious “weak” spot at the center position, N’Faly would allow EJ and Nick more rest as well as a huge defensive asset. He is going to cause so many issues inside the paint and the one thing that has come out of the Peach Jam is the dude is “100% NBA ready.” N’Faly told KSR if everything works our academically, he’ll be reclassifying but he’s waiting on a few test as well as finishing classes. He is considering Oregon, LSU, and Kentucky but honestly if he reclassified, Kentucky is the leader. He also said Calipari told him they have a spot either this year or next, meaning they want him to be a Wildcat regardless.

As a refresher, Dante is 6’11” and he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible.

I think he’ll be a Wildcat soon enough, especially once he gets cleared to reclassify. For all BBN updates, opinions and much more, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports now!

Calipari Watching Closely

As we are all aware at this point, Kentucky is looking to add another piece to their 2019-2020 team. With the AAU Peach Jam ongoing, the main point of attraction for Cats fan is N’Faly Dante as he told KSR he wanted to reclassify if everything works our academically. Well, his team is playing in the semi-final this evening and guess who is there…John Calipari (see below). Calipari was straddling two courts watching N’Faly on one and Jalen Green vs Cade Cunningham on the other (both in the 2020 class). (Picture via @JackPilgrimKSR on twitter)

If you follow us at Soft7, you know how much I want N’Faly Dante. N’Faly is such an athlete and would add so much talent to this current team. With an obvious “weak” spot at the center position, N’Faly would allow EJ and Nick more rest as well as a huge defensive asset. He is going to cause so many issues inside the paint and the one thing that has come out of the Peach Jam is the dude is “100% NBA ready.” N’Faly told KSR if everything works our academically, he’ll be reclassifying but he’s waiting on a few test as well as finishing classes. He is considering Oregon, LSU, and Kentucky but honestly if he reclassified, Kentucky is the leader. He also said Calipari told him they have a spot either this year or next, meaning they want him to be a Wildcat regardless.

As a refresher, Dante is 6’11” and he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible.

From an interview with the Athletic, Dante’s AAU director claims that they are doing everything possible to reclassify. The hardest thing to do is reclassify but it is even harder when English is not your primary language. His family wants him to reclassify and they love Kentucky, but again it will take time and it won’t likely happen until the end of the summer, if at all. They claim they are working “around the clock” to make it possible and by all accounts, he wants it to happen. Oregon and Kansas are possible contenders but I really think if he reclassifies, he is Kentucky’s to lose.

Here are my thoughts…if N’Faly reclassifies Kentucky is in the driver’s seat. He could potentially stay home at Kansas and even Oregon is atop of is list, but Kentucky is the school he has his eyes on and his host family feels the exact same way. If I had to take a guess, I think he will reclassify but it would happen after Peach Jam and those AAU events. This gives him more time to visit, work on school work, and show off his skills against the elite of the elite. It may be a waiting process, but I think the Cats wrap up their 2019 recruiting class with N’Faly.

For all BBN updates, opinions and much more, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports now!

HUGE N’Faly Dante Updated

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we have been waiting for…N’Faly Dante wants to reclassify to the 2019 class he tells KSR. Although him saying it doesn’t mean much, we are still awaiting test results to see where he actually stands. But if this is able to happen, he is considering Kentucky, Oregon, and LSU. When asked, N’Faly said “I feel like I can play [in college right now], but it’s all about school, you know?” he said. “But I don’t even think about [my reclassification] right now.” He told KSR he’s ready, but everything is just waiting on school work as he is finishing up class online currently. According to Dante, Kentucky told him they have a spot in 2019 or 2020, whenever he is ready.

This speaks volumes to me. Calipari wants him and why wouldn’t he? Dude is an absolute beast as he has dominated the Peach Jam as well as showcasing his ability day in and day out. Tennessee is also a possibility but due to their ability to actually win or get him on national television, I think they stand no chance. I’ve said time and time again, if he reclassified Kentucky would be the choice. They offer the most for him and give him the best ability to grow.

While Dante is 6’11”, he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible.

From an interview with the Athletic, Dante’s AAU director claims that they are doing everything possible to reclassify. The hardest thing to do is reclassify but it is even harder when English is not your primary language. His family wants him to reclassify and they love Kentucky, but again it will take time and it won’t likely happen until the end of the summer, if at all. They claim they are working “around the clock” to make it possible and by all accounts, he wants it to happen. Oregon and Kansas are possible contenders but I really think if he reclassifies, he is Kentucky’s to lose.

Here are my thoughts…if and it’s about 50/50 right now, IF N’Faly reclassifies Kentucky is in the driver’s seat. He could potentially stay home at Kansas and even Oregon is atop of is list, but Kentucky is the school he has his eyes on and his host family feels the exact same way. If I had to take a guess, I think he will reclassify but it would happen after Peach Jam and those AAU events. This gives him more time to visit, work on school work, and show off his skills against the elite of the elite. It may be a waiting process, but I think the Cats wrap up their 2019 recruiting class with N’Faly.

For all BBN updates, opinions and much more, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports now!

N’Faly Looking Like a Cat

For weeks I have been praising N’Faly and practically speaking into existence his membership on the 2019 squad and let me tell you, it’s looking pretty damn good. We all know him as the 6’11” center from Mali, but currently living in Wichita. Dante is an absolute stud who currently plays for Willie Cauley Stein’s old team and his coach constantly says how Kenny Payne helped shaped WCS into the player he became and basically includes Kenny Payne in his family. While he sees so many comparables between the two, he thinks Dante may have the higher ceiling and I tend to agree with that.

This past week the AAU Peach Jam has been going on and N’Faly has been a dominant force for his team. The other day he scored 7 of the first 13 for his team including two dunks. He runs the floor like an animal, his body is already looking NBA ready and he has a strong interior presence on defense. This kid is ready to make the leap and this week has shown just that. The 2020 center from Mali will hopefully make the leap but it’s up to him at this point…well and if he passes some tests.

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While Dante is 6’11”, he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible.

From an interview with the Athletic, Dante’s AAU director claims that they are doing everything possible to reclassify. The hardest thing to do is reclassify but it is even harder when English is not your primary language. His family wants him to reclassify and they love Kentucky, but again it will take time and it won’t likely happen until the end of the summer, if at all. They claim they are working “around the clock” to make it possible and by all accounts, he wants it to happen. Oregon and Kansas are possible contenders but I really think if he reclassifies, he is Kentucky’s to lose.

Here are my thoughts…if and it’s about 50/50 right now, IF N’Faly reclassifies Kentucky is in the driver’s seat. He could potentially stay home at Kansas and even Oregon is atop of is list, but Kentucky is the school he has his eyes on and his host family feels the exact same way. If I had to take a guess, I think he will reclassify but it would happen after Peach Jam and those AAU events. This gives him more time to visit, work on school work, and show off his skills against the elite of the elite. It may be a waiting process, but I think the Cats wrap up their 2019 recruiting class with N’Faly.

Big Man Update for 2019

We have entered the dog days of summer where it’s basically just baseball for the next few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Reds fan, but with college football just around the corner it’s hard to stay focused. College Football I love, but for the sole reason that Basketball is just a few more months away. When Calipari came to Kentucky, he brought the program back to where it should be and this year is no different. With the number two recruiting class and a ton of players returning, Kentucky is set out to do what it did in 2012 and this is the team to do so.

The role that maybe scares me the most, the big men. The bigs are definitely improved. Not only do we return Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery but Kentucky adds special talent to help them out. Kahlil Whitney is the player I am most excited for next season. After watching hours of his highlights, he reminds me of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the jumping ability of Hamidou Diallo. Expect two alley-oops a game and several players’ careers being ended by getting dunked on. Along with Whitney, Kentucky brings in Keion Brooks, Dontaie Allen, Johnny Juzang, and Nate Sestina. Allen could be a legit player once he is healthy, and Keion brings on a special skill set including rim protector. Juzang could be this years Tyler Herro will his shooting ability and Sestina brings the experience and the shooting/defensive ability needed. But when we look at the 5, only three people can play it: EJ Montgomery, Nick Richards, and Nate Sestina.

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First off, the most important piece is Nick Richards. He is probably the biggest question mark mainly because he is just so damn inconsistent. If he can play like Bam did where he’d get 10-15 rebounds scoring a few here and there that’s about all we can ask for, but we’ve seen how much fouling comes into play with him but as a Junior let’s hope he can work on that. EJ is going to be different. Much like Hagans, EJ added some muscle and has been in the gym daily. I think he’ll play like a peak WCS with glimpses of KAT on the shooting end. Nate Sestina is going to be a lot like Kyle Wiltjer just imagine more height, more athleticism and the ability to actually play defense. Dude can shoot and defend, so he’ll be a solid option for when Richards or Montgomery inevitably get into foul trouble. I think it’s definitely our weakness, but our plethora of forwards (3/4 position) allow this team to hide it if need be.

For only the second time in the Calipari era, Kentucky returns four players who averaged double digits in minutes and more than 4 points per game. The last time that happened? Kentucky went 38-1* and got screwed in the Final Four with a non call on a shot clock violation. Now to sit here and say this team will go 40-0 is just outrageous, but they can make a run. They return their guards in Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley who both improved tremendously as the season progressed. They both could be apart of the best backcourt in college basketball next season along with Tyrese Maxey. Tyrese Maxey has an uncanny ability to get to the rim. Think of John Wall with the ability to shoot outside of 15 feet. He’s going to be a special player and I can see him assuming the starting role at point guard if Hagans is underperforming but they’ll be a great mix.

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Obviously there is one more option: N’Faly Dante. While Dante is 6’11”, he has a wingspan of 7’5” which just makes him a beast. Watching some of his highlights, I feel like Dante is the closest to Bam. Bam was an absolute tank but he wasn’t the best shooter. His defense will set him apart from the others as he is a complete package with shot-blocking and rebounding and the ability to switch off the pick. The issue Dante may have is his outside shot. While he drains threes in his videos, his shot is just so inconsistent. With his height, he has the ability to again rebound and dunk but he’ll need to develop an outside shot and it will take patience from everyone. He has the peak of a Karl Anthony Towns with his athleticism and he can grow into a shot and with Kenny Payne, this is possible. With the Jam coming to an end, N’Faly showed he is college ready with his shot blocking and dunking ability. Now we just wait for him.

My thoughts stay the same, N’Faly will be a Wildcat just give him some time to get everything sorted out. This week showed he’s ready to go and he’ll add a much needed depth in the 5 spot. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @soft7sports and on Facebook.

Finally Some Respect for Kentucky Football, Maybe

After weeks of constant disrespect aimed towards Kentucky Football, we finally have some respect…well for at least one player. Lynn Bowden was named as one of the top 50 most underrated players in the nation. Lynn Bowden was a main piece of the offense last season and on the punt return squad, especially against Penn State. Bowden is a stud and as he enters his junior year, all of us are expecting a breakout season to coincide nicely with Terry Wilson, AJ Rose, and Smoke. So with one sign of respect, it’s obvious more disrespect follows, right?

Yesterday, the Kentucky Football over/under was set at 6.5 which would symbolize them making a bowl game, right? Wrong. Phil Steele continues to shove hate towards us and says we won’t make a bowl. First off, their schedule is a tad easier than last season. They have their rivals, Louisville, Florida, and Tennessee at home while traveling to Mississippi State, Georgia, and South Carolina. Kentucky will win four of those six games…with losses probably coming to Georgia and Mississippi State if I had to guess. But our good pal Phil claims Kentucky will only win five games and he states that the loss of our defense is too major to recover yet Mark Stoops has had an inexperienced defense every season besides last and we’ve still been able to reach the seven wins. But this year is different, mainly because our offense is so much better.

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While the disrespect is in the records, more Football analyst throw shade towards Terry. Terry has been ranked last in the SEC due to “inconsistency” yet he led Kentucky Football to a 10 win season, a rarity in the Bluegrass. Terry Wilson has what it takes to be an elite quarterback. He is tall, athletic, and can run the RPO offense which the NFL seems to be leaning towards. He has the arm to make the downfield threat but you really never know where his ball will go. He has experienced the lowest of lows, including his season opener against Central Michigan where he went 11-18 with only 78 yards and 2 interceptions but he also has had his highlights when he beat Florida at the Swamp by throwing two touchdowns and running for one more. Terry has shown he has what it takes, especially against Kentucky’s rival opponents. To say he is the worst quarterback in the SEC after he led Kentucky into the Swamp to defeat Franks and the Gators to end a long streak. To have Franks ranked above Terry is just as disrespectful as having Terry last.

Say what you want about Kentucky Football, but it’s on the rise. Kentucky will shock a ton of people this season, so let’s just enjoy the ride and embrace the hate. For the latest updates, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports and on Facebook