Michigan's 1991 recruiting class – for better or worse – has long been the standard bearer for hoops recruiting. They had it all. Four of the five were McDonald's All Americans. They were brash. They were good. They became a symbol for a changing game. They even had their own nickname – the Fab 5.
Now, with John Calipari at the helm of Kentucky, the Wildcats' classes are routinely compared to the Fab 5. Last year, the heralded class ended up in the NIT, and this year the new class is off to a 8-3 start. This after national pundits voted them the preseason No. 1 team both years.
But how did the Fab 5 begin their careers?
They started with four wins vs overmatched teams, before getting No. 1 Duke in Ann Arbor. That game went to overtime, with Duke winning. They won their next five (including one over No. 16 Iowa) before dropping games to unranked Minnesota and unranked Purdue. That put them at 9-3, which is exactly where Kentucky will be if they beat Belmont on Saturday.
The Fab 5 would end up struggling through much of Big Ten play, and were 17-8 (8-7) on March 3rd.
Then they won eight straight and ended up in the National Final vs Duke, which they lost by 20.
One difference between the two teams is the hype created by the media. The media has pronounced the last two Kentucky teams the best in the nation before they ever played a game. But that didn't happen with Michigan in 1991. The media voted them as the preseason No. 25 team in the nation. Had this year's Kentucky team managed to enter the season as No. 25, then their start so far would seem about right.
But those days are gone. Now, hype is king. And because of that hype, people are down on this Kentucky team. Most notably, it's the idiots who voted them No. 1 in the first place who are now writing about what is "wrong" with this team.
I'll wait until April to judge Kentucky. An awful lot of people were bagging on the Fab 5 early in their freshmen year, and those people ended up looking like fools.