Southern Methodist University coach Larry Brown has some strong opinions about Kentucky. The former Nets coach, who is the only coach in history to win an NCAA and NBA championship, said earlier this week that John Calipari’s Wildcats, currently undefeated and boasting a rotation bigger than 29 NBA teams, could “honestly make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference if they were in the NBA.”
But at least one Eastern Conference starter disagrees: Nets point guard Deron Williams.
“Making the playoffs? Playoffs!?” Williams said, channeling former NFL coach Jim Mora’s famous rant.
“There’s no way,” Williams said. “I wish they would come in here. They’re really good. They are really good. Don’t let me take anything away from them. But that’s just crazy.”
The Wildcats do boast four rotation players expected to go in the first round of the NBA draft next season, including Karl Anthony-Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, seven-footers expected to go high in the lottery. Williams then alleged that the talented team might be able to steal one or two wins from an NBA team over the course of an NBA season:
“It sounds good,” Williams said. “Could they win a game at some point in the season? Yeah. I’m saying they could probably win a game. Maybe. Once, twice.
“When you have a team full of 18-, 19-year-olds it’s just completely different. You’re going to catch a team tired one night, on a back-to-back, four games in five nights, then they could give them a run. But making the East?”
The NCAA Tournament kicked off Thursday, and the Wildcats won their opening-round game against the Hampton Pirates, 79-56. They will never face an NBA team.
NorthJersey.com — Playoffs for Kentucky? Deron Williams doesn’t think so