BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Is Cal really to blame for roster weaknesses?
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BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Is Cal really to blame for roster weaknesses?

Bryan the Internalmost 11 years

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Article written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
(If you haven't noticed, the Rants and Ramblings are moving to 9AM permanent to make room for some kind of comments post about a radio show.  I thought this world had moved past radio, but what do I know.  And despite arguing with Beisner about my 3 1/2 years at 10AM, he gave me this message and ended the discussion: Sie werden einschlafen oder ich werde Sie stellen, zu schlafen. Was ist das, Ihre Finger verletzen? Gut jetzt ist Ihre Rückseite gonna Verletzung, weil Sie die Postenpflicht von Nacht gezogen haben.  Translate it jerks.) It's no secret that this year's roster is a little thin.  Honestly, only 6 regular players, with fans cringing with about the next 2 or 3 off the bench.  Certainly not what fans thought would ever happen under Cal, but a lot of odd occurrences happened over the past year to lead us where we are today.  And you have wonder how much blame Cal should take for the problems with the roster this season.  First, take a look at what the roster was PROJECTED to be in the middle of last season:  Projected 2011 Roster Eric Bledsoe Daniel Orton Darnell Dodson Brandon Knight Terrence Jones Doron Lamb Darius Miller Deandre Liggins Josh Harrellson Jon Hood Enes Kanter Stacey Poole Jarrod Polson (walk-on) Bledsoeleaves, which wasn't a surprise in March because of his draft stock.  But, when he was recruited in 2009 he was expected to be an "understudy" to John Wall and then take over the program for at least 1 season in 2010-11.  His draft stock suddenly rises.  He leaves.  So be it. But Orton was really the killer.  If Orton stays, as he should have and was expected to, he would have given them a defensive and better offensive presence in the post, allowing Harrellson a better opportunity to play spot minutes, which would be more to his strength.  Plus, Eloy Vargas was only recruited in response to Orton leaving, so we wouldn't have to struggle through his play.  Dodson leaving cut the Cats back at the guard spot, which would have simply allowed the Knight-Lamb-Bledsoe trio some less minutes, possibly saving them more on the stamina side of things.  But, Dodson would not have seen many minutes with those expected guys ahead of him.  Then Kanter is declared ineligible, which hurt with the CURRENT roster, but not would not have been such a killer with the EXPECTED roster.  With Orton and Harrellson still on roster, Kanter would have been a bonus.  He was always a risk from the get-go, but once Orton bolted, it made him necessary to success.  He then is declared ineligible, and we have the center dilemma UK has.  So, Kentucky lost Bledsoe, Orton, Dodson, and Kanter.  In return, they got Vargas and more minutes for Harrellson.  Seems like a pretty poor switch to me.  But the question is: Is any of this Coach Cal's fault?  It seems many blame his "recruiting practices" as the reason this roster is so young.  But in reality, if things had worked out as Cal had hoped, he would have actually had an EXPERIENCED team coming back.  And remember, the players in the junior and seniors classes are Billy Gillispie's, so those players and their performance does not fall squarely on Cal.  Point is, Bledsoe's draft stock rising was not Cal's fault.  Orton being an idiot and the Magic being dumb enough to draft him was not Cal's fault.  Dodson loving the plant more than schoolbook may or may not be Cal's fault.  The NCAA decision on Kanter was not Cal's fault.  Three of the four players that are missing from the roster Cal could do nothing about.  Dodson was a problem anyway, so did we really want him?  People who criticize Cal's coaching this season, his vulgarity towards Jones, and his late game decisions I can understand.  What I don't get is how the ACTUAL ROSTER itself is Calipari's fault.  What could Cal have done differently to change the roster for this season?  Your thoughts?

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