Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kentucky Wildcats vs Charlotte Bobcats - Who Wins?

I was listening to Mike & Mike on the way in to work today, and they were having a discussion about whether or not this year's NCAA Division I National Champion, the Kentucky Wildcats, could beat the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats (7-53) who are on pace for one of the worst seasons in NBA history. I've got to be honest with you, I don't know how this is even a discussion. There is absolutely no way that Charlotte would ever lose to Kentucky, I don't care how many NBA prospects they have on their roster.
Photo Credit: espn.go.com
The Charlotte Bobcats' roster is comprised of 7 former lottery picks, 4 late first and second round picks, 2 seven footers, six other guys who stand at least 6'8", a former two-time NCAA Leading Scorer, and a number of All-Americans. Just because they are a terrible NBA team - and make no mistake about it, they are terrible - they're still made up of guys who were once terrific college players. And along those lines, they have 15 guys on their roster like that. Kentucky basically had a 6-man rotation, 7 if you count Kyle Wiltjer who averaged just over 10 minutes a game. There is no way they can go toe-to-toe with a much bigger Bobcats team for 48 minutes (yes, for the sake of this discussion they'd have to play NBA rules). They just don't have the depth. While it's certainly possible that the starters could maybe make things interesting, at some point the short bench will get exposed. And while the Bobcats can bring in Kemba Walker and D.J. White and Tyrus Thomas, the last 5 guys off the Kentucky bench scored a TOTAL of 37 points in 40 games this year.
Photo Credit: articles.nydailynews.com
Depth especially becomes a problem when you look at Kentucky's frontcourt. Sure, player of the year and likely number one draft pick Anthony Davis is amazing, but he's also only 6'10", 220 pounds. That's not exactly NBA Center material. You can't tell me he wouldn't have his hands full with even a mediocre NBA center like B.J. Mullens who stands 7'0" and weighs in at 275. Davis's backup Eloy Vargas is 6'11", 244 pounds, but he only played 7 minutes in the NCAA Tournament and averaged less than a point a game this year. After those two guys, the Wildcats have only a pair of 6'9" forwards in Terrence Jones and Wiltjer and that's really it as far as size on the interior. And it's not just height that the Bobcats have on Kentucky, it's mass. It's literally a team of men versus a team of boys. I just don't see Kentucky holding up in a physical game with these guys. Plus, look at who the Bobcats play against every night: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant... The Wildcats played Marist. And Radford. Chattanooga. Lamar. Arkansas-Little Rock... It's not the same thing.

Bottom line at the end of the day, don't forget that the worst player on the Bobcats is still an NBA player. The worst player on Kentucky was once really good in high school.

For kicks I put together some notes on the Bobcats' roster just to drive this point home:

D.J. Augustin, PG, 6'0", 180 lbs - Drafted 9th overall, 2008 - 19.2 ppg, 5.8 apg as a Sophomore at Texas - Winner of the 2008 Bob Cousy Award (given to the best collegiate point guard)

Bismack Biyombo, C, 6'9", 245 lbs  - Drafted 7th overall, 2011 - Recorded first ever triple double at the Nike Hoops Summit when he did so in 2011. He finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks.

Derrick Brown, F, 6'8", 233 lbs - Drafted 40th overall, 2009 - 13.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg as a Junior at Xavier

Matt Carroll, SG, 6'6", 212 lbs - Undrafted, 2003 - 19.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg as a Senior at Notre Dame - All-American Honorable Mention and All-Big East First Team as a senior. - NBADL MVP in 2005

DeSagana Diop, C, 7'0", 280 lbs - Drafted 8th overall, 2001 - Averaged 14.6 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 8.1 blocks during his senior high school season leading Oak Hill Academy to a #1 National Ranking and a 33-0 record.

Gerald Henderson, G, 6'5", 215 lbs - Drafted 12th overall, 2009 - 16.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg as a Junior at Duke - First-Team All-ACC as a Junior.

Cory Higgins, G, 6'5", 180 lbs - Undrafted, 2011 - 16.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg as a Senior at Colorado - all-time leading scorer for Colorado and 6th all-time in Big 12 history.

Corey Maggette, SF, 6'6", 225 lbs - Drafted 13th overall, 1999 - 10.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg as a Freshman at Duke

Jamario Moon, SF, 6'8", 205 lbs - Undrafted, 2001 - 20.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg as a Freshman at Meridian Community College - Former Harlem Globetrotter.

B.J. Mullens, C, 7'0", 275 lbs - Drafted 24th overall, 2009 - 8.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg as a Freshman at Ohio State - Made Big Ten All-Freshman team and earned the Big Ten's Sixth Man of the Year award in his only year with the Buckeyes.

Eduardo Najera, PF, 6'8", 235 lbs - Drafted 38th overall, 2000 - 18.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg as a Senior at Oklahoma - Third Team All-American as a Senior.

Tyrus Thomas, PF, 6'10", 225 lbs - Drafted 4th overall, 2006 - 12.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg as a Freshman at LSU - 2006 SEC Freshman of the Year.

Kemba Walker, PG, 6'1", 184 lbs - Drafted 9th overall, 2011 - 23.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 4.5 apg as a Junior at Connecticut - First Team All-American, Winner of 2011 Bob Cousy Award, NCAA Champion and NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player

D.J. White, PF, 6'9", 235 lbs - Drafted 29th overall, 2008 - 17.4 ppg, 10.3 rpg as a Senior at Indiana - Big Ten Player of the Year and Second Team All-American in 2008.

Reggie Williams, SF, 6'6", 205 lbs - Undrafted, 2008 - 27.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg as a Senior at VMI - led the NCAA in scoring as a junior and  again as a senior.

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