Commentary

Knight is Kentucky's Kemba

The Wildcats guard is dominating the ball, much like his UConn counterpart

Updated: April 1, 2011, 12:17 PM ET
By John Gasaway | Basketball Prospectus
Brandon KnightAP Photo/Eugene TannerAs Brandon Knight's role has grown, the Wildcats have become more dangerous.

Once a team has made it to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, it often looks much different than it did during the regular season. Virginia Commonwealth is Exhibit A there, of course, but even a team that was in the national polls all season long can learn a few new tricks when late March rolls around. Take Kentucky.

This won't come as news to Wildcats fans, but for the rest of you out there, let me say that this team didn't always look like this. If you'd watched John Calipari's team in, say, January, you would have seen a lot more shooting from Terrence Jones, somewhat less shooting from Brandon Knight and most definitely fewer points from Josh Harrellson.

Whether these changes reflect directives laid down by Calipari, unconscious real-time choices by the players themselves or a little of both, I can't say. All I know is that these changes are real. For the year as a whole Knight has accounted for 26 percent of Kentucky's shots during his minutes, but during the NCAA tournament that number has increased to 31 percent. And while a 5 percent increase in something may not sound earth-shattering, keep in mind that Knight's prominence in the offense is now within shouting distance of the starring role that Kemba Walker has played in Connecticut's offense this season.