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From the Pressbox: Parrish sees UK as clear favorite

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"I think Kentucky is the only stumbling block to Kentucky. They're so much better than everybody else right now."

That's the take of CBS college basketball writer Gary Parrish.

"I talked to a coach (who has played Kentucky) after that Vanderbilt game and he said 'unless Anthony Davis gets in foul trouble, they ain't losin'. Not only has John recruited a top-notch roster, but he's got them playing together. He's got them playing with a purpose," Parrish said on "The Leach Report" radio show. "I don't think team is flawed like maybe some of his (Calipari's) past teams. Even that 2008 at Memphis, they didn't have a shooter. The John Wall-DeMarcus Cousins team (at UK) didn't have a shooter.  I don't see this team doing one of those two-of-17 from three-point range. The only way they slip up is something out of the ordinary--somebody hits 10 three-pointers."

Parrish says when the brackets are unveiled, he'll "put Kentucky in the middle as national champion and work (back) from there."

SEC Network analyst on UK's progression


SEC TV Network analyst Joe Dean, Jr. brings an interesting perspective to Kentucky's evolution this season. That's because the first UK game he worked was in mid-January at Auburn and the second was last Saturday, against Ole Miss. He says two things stood out to him in comparing those two performances.

"One was their zone offense because they're going to see a lot of zone. I thought they really attacked the Ole Miss zone very well. They had played against a zone at Auburn and really struggled a little," Dean told "The Leach Report" earlier this week. "The second thing is the improvement of Marquis Teague. He has really taken to John Calipari's coaching. Very impressed with that young man and what he's doing to run the Kentucky team."

Cats elite on offense too


For all of the worthy praise for the Wildcats' defense, Kentucky is the only team that ranks in the top five in points-per-possession on offense, too.

And Coach Cal's squad went into the Mississippi State game hitting 48.7 percent of its shots, a level topped by only the 2003 and 1987 teams in the shot clock era (since '87).  No Kentucky team has hit 50 percent or better from the field during that span.

Davis POY candidacy unprecedented

Anthony Davis is making a strong bid to become the first consensus National Player of the Year in UK history. John Wall won the Rupp Trophy two years ago but the rest of the POY awards went to Ohio State's Evan Turner.

If Davis wins the Associated Press' POY award, he will likely set a record for the lowest scoring average.

Georgetown's Patrick Ewing averaged 14.6 points per game when he won the honor in 1984 and since Shane Battier's win in 2001, every AP National Player of the Year has averaged better than 20 per game.

Davis is currently averaging just under 14 points per game.

And he is also on pace to become the first UK freshman to finish in the top five in points, rebounds and steals.

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