WALKER: Next month can be productive for Cats

Now that we have seen what Kentucky can do when it adds Jodie Meeks and Derrick Jasper to the playing rotation, there's reason to think the next month could still be pretty productive for the Wildcats. It should definitely be better than it has been.

You get a couple of key things when you get those guys back together in the lineup.

One, with Jasper you get that calming impact on the offense. He is that guy who makes everybody go back to their natural positions and he will run the offense. Plus, he will rebound the basketball. Against Florida International, he had 10 rebounds. That's exactly what UK needs.

And we all know that Kentucky needs scoring. When Jodie is right and is in a good rhythm, he can provide you that scoring.

When they are back playing to their potential on a regular basis, I am not saying we will be ready to knock off North Carolina but you win games against UAB, Houston and Gardner-Webb if they are both in the lineup. If they are playing well and develop chemistry, then the team gets more confidence.

When you put those two guys with Patrick Patterson, Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley, they can compete in the SEC because the SEC is down a little bit from previous years. If you struggle in the non-conference, though, based on my experience, even in a down year in the SEC the road wins are going to be tough to come by. If you are Kentucky from this point on, you have to beat all the teams you are supposed to beat at home. Then you have to go on the road and win one or two places you are not expected to win and then you have a chance to be a factor in the SEC.

You can't get suckered into looking at all those scenarios, though. You have to make sure you look only at the next game.

If Meeks and Jasper stay healthy, I think Billy Gillispie will reduce his playing rotation.

Not to disrespect what these kids have done, but Meeks and Jasper are two of better players on the team. If they stay healthy, that is going to cut somebody's playing time back. But that's fine. If it is a guy like Porter or Coury that goes down from 25 to 30 minutes a game to 8 to 12 minutes a game, that works. They will be fine with that role.

The most important thing is that you just say your prayers and hope that Meeks and Jasper can stay healthy. If it is going to be where they are in and out of the lineup every couple of games or so, you will never be able to develop chemistry. I am hoping they are healthy so we can see what happens with this team.

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