Kentucky is vulnerable.

That's really the only takeaway from the No. 7 Wildcats' 83-75 loss on Saturday in New Orleans to unranked UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic.

And honestly, that shouldn't be any different than what you thought about Kentucky before the season began.

Yes, Kentucky (9-2) was ranked fifth in the preseason as it brought in another very good (but far from stellar) John Calipari recruiting class. That ranking was always inflated, reflective of the ceiling of this talented team but not reflective of how a team that's so young rarely reaches its ceiling.

And Kentucky is young – like, young young, the youngest team in college basketball this season, the youngest team of John Calipari's career, which has got to put them in the running for youngest collegiate team of all time.

Kentucky has zero seniors on its roster. Zero. The sophomore who gets the most run is Wenyen Gabriel, and he's only playing 21 minutes per game and averaging 6.1 points. Forget making 3-pointers – the team barely takes 3-pointers, with only two teams in college basketball scoring a smaller percentage of its points off 3-pointers, according to And that same team that doesn't make 3-pointers happens to give them up at a pretty impressive rate; more than a third of the points Kentucky gives up comes off 3-pointers. 36.4 percent going into the UCLA game, to be exact. That's 18th among schools from Power Six conferences, and that number will increase after UCLA made 12 of its 30 3-pointers in the upset win.

The Bruins (9-3) showed us the blueprint for beating this Kentucky team, and it's pretty simple:

Kentucky had a hard time defending UCLA's Kris Wilkes, who had 20 points.  USATSI

Make more 3-pointers than it does. And that makes Kentucky pretty vulnerable– especially, say, in March, when Kentucky is, say, a No. 3 seed, and playing a No. 14 seed that's overmatched in every way except from beyond the arc.

Everyone on this deep and balanced UCLA team seemed to be raining down 3-pointers on Saturday. Their alpha dog, Aaron Holiday, made a couple. Future first-round NBA Draft pick Kris Wilkes made three, and fellow top-notch recruit Jaylen Hands made two. Prince Ali made both of his 3-point attempts, and even 7-footer Thomas Welsh nailed three, tying his career high. (Incidentally, having a big man who can make 3-pointers – Welsh is 12 of 26 from beyond the arc this season, 46 percent – might be Kentucky kryptonite.)

This Kentucky team has a lot of strengths. They are among the nation's tallest, longest teams, and among the nation's most athletic as well. The exciting Hamidou Diallo has really come on of late, and scored a team-high 18 points Saturday night. Kevin Knox looks every bit of the versatile lottery pick that we expected him to be. PJ Washington has been great at getting to the rim, and Nick Richards has been dominant down low as a rebounder and a shot-blocker, and has been an incredibly efficient low-post scorer to boot.

What this team is missing is one piece – one name, in fact, in a player who very nearly committed to Kentucky: Trae Young, who as a freshman for Oklahoma has become the story of the first two months of college basketball, a player who has us dreaming of a second coming of Steph Curry.

Can you imagine this team with Young, a reliable and exciting go-to scorer to complement Kentucky's abundance of athletic bigs? This Kentucky team would be the favorite to win the title – yes, even more than the absurdly talented Duke team, or the No. 1-ranked and insanely compatible Villanova team.

As it stands now, Kentucky has a talented but flawed roster, and talented but flawed rosters are vulnerable – not just in December to UCLA but in March to double-digit seeds. This is the most vulnerable Kentucky team since the 2012-13 squad that ended up in the NIT. (Although this team's ceiling is far higher than that team's.)

Which is why I will end with this: If Calipari is able to take this team to the Final Four this season, it will be the greatest coaching job of his career.

Heck, it will rank among his finest coaching jobs even if he takes them just to the second weekend.