Player Breakdown #1: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

11/01/2011 08:53 AM

Over the next few weeks, I will be giving you Kentucky fans my breakdown and predictions for some of this year’s players. Hope you enjoy.

I chose to start off with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist because to me, he’s an anomaly. This guy is not only talented and hardworking, but he quite possible could end up a lottery pick after a freshman year where he comes off the bench for the Cats. How can that be??

For one, Coach Cal has stated that he can’t keep Gilchrist off the floor for long because of all the things he does that contribute to winning. He’s an athletic wing that will dive on the floor, grab loose balls, run through walls, guard multiple/all positions, and of course, score the ball. How deadly will it be to have Kidd-Gilchrist coming off the bench? I look at it two- fold…

Let’s say Kentucky starts the game with a bang, goes up 10 in the first 4 minutes. The opposing team is sucking wind, looking for a let down of some sort by the Cats, but instead, they get a monster that comes into the game and pushes up the tempo and intensity even more. That’s scary, and it’s only scenario #1. The next possibility is that Kentucky starts out a little slow and things aren’t clicking. Bam! Here comes Kidd-Gilchrist off the bench to not only score baskets and run the floor, but he is the type of player that will ignite the crowd with a dive 5 rows into the stands after a loose ball.

There is no question he is athletic, explosive, and flat out gifted, but what makes Michael Kidd-Gilchrist so intriguing to watch is that most of the excitement he brings to the game can be done without the basketball. Let’s be honest, there will be games where he doesn’t shoot well or has a lot of turnovers, but he will be out there guarding the opposition’s best player night in and night out. He will definitely be the motor the team needs regardless of how his stats look. Whether he’s coming off the bench or in the starting line-up, he will do what is best for the TEAM! Another quality that is often overlooked.

As a fan, don’t get hung up on Kidd-Gilchrist’s statistics. He will wow you in other ways during the games. Also, don’t fret if he is playing “out of his mind” good and Coach Cal isn’t starting him. Allow the team and game plan time to work out the kinks. No matter if Kidd-Gilchrist is the 6th man or starter, Kentucky is in for an incredible ride during the 2011-2012 season.


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