The 1999-2000 Kentucky Wildcats surprised many by grabbing a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship, yet faltered in the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Atlanta and disappointed many with their early exit from the NCAA Tournament, where they escaped a double-overtime nailbiter with St. Bonaventure, only to fall short against a talented, but beatable, Syracuse team. The highlights of the season included a 30-point demolition of arch-rival Louisville, a gritty victory over eventual national champion Michigan State and an exciting 15-point victory over eventual NCAA runner-up Florida.
Kentucky coach Orlando "Tubby" Smith was able to overcome a 4-4 start to the season and lead his young players to a conference championship. Adversity plagued the program throughout, beginning with the tragic death of UK recruit John Stewart and followed by a rash of transfers which left the team extremely young and not very deep. Finally a late-season suspension of starter Desmond Allison came at probably the worst time, on the eve of the NCAA touranment. Despite these set-backs, the team pulled together and played as well as they could under the circumstances. Freshman Keith Bogans showed flashes of brilliance, scoring 20 or more points on five difference occassions. Fellow freshman Marvin Stone also played excellent in limited minutes, despite a broken hand the second half of the season. The leader of the team was senior Jamaal Magloire who became the 47th player to enter the 1000-point club and finished his career as the all-time leader in blocked shots, along with finishing tied for third with Alonzo Mourning in all-time blocks in the NCAA tournament. He made great strides in the season but still showed signs of inconsistency and lack of maturity which has plagued him throughout his career at UK. Tayshaun Prince was another notable player, who made many a memorable dunk and shot block during the season.
1999-00 Kentucky Wildcats
Seated: Keith Bogans, Todd Tackett, Saul Smith, Head Coach Orlando "Tubby" Smith, Steve Masiello, Desmond Allison, J.P. Blevins
Middle Row: Marquis Estill, Nate Knight, Souleymane "Jules" Camara, Jamaal Magloire, Marvin Stone, Tayshaun Prince
Back Row: Strength Coach Tom Boyd, Administrative Assistant Simeon Mars, Assistant Coach Mike Sutton, Assistant Coach Shawn Finney, Equipment Manager Bill Keightley, Athletic Trainer David Kindy
Jamaal Magloire was picked in the first round of the 2000 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets. This makes the fifth straight year that Kentucky has had at least one player picked in the first round of the NBA draft.
|Jamaal Magloire||Steve Masiello|
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