Questions for Kentucky going into next season
John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats are certainly in quite the funk heading into this upcoming season. After losing the top seven players on the team, a ridiculous amount to say the least, Kentucky needed at least two or three more prospects to sign to make up for the talent lost. Despite Thon Maker still up for grabs, all Coach Cal got was junior college transfer, Mychal Mulder. It’ll be a much different Wildcats team this season, time to dive into some questions concerning the state of concerns for the team.
Experience over youth?
In the Calipari-era, Kentucky has lived off the philosophy of stacking ridiculously talented freshman and letting them dominate. Calipari doesn’t have that exact scenario this year though. The only freshman coming in this year are PG Isaiah Briscoe, C Skal Labissiere, and SG Charles Matthews. Despite being very talented, it’s nothing compared to what Cal has had in any year of his Kentucky tenure. Even the team that got knocked out by Robert Morris in the NIT had insanely good talent going in. He does have experience though: Tyler Ullis (Soph), Alex Poythress (SR), Marcus Lee (JR) and Dominique Hawkins (JR) are all “older guys” that bring key experience that could very well pull this team.
Could Alex Poythress be a star?
Senior small forward Alex Poythress was a star in the making coming out of high school and a borderline star his freshman year; it’s almost shocking that he’s still even at Kentucky. After being a role player his sophomore year and suffering an ACL tear last year, it hasn’t quite been the road Poythress had hoped for. Now, he’s got his chance to be a great player. This guy’s been Kentucky’s unquestioned leader since his sophomore year. Poythress has displayed himself as a freak athlete and an inside presence who’s shown life of an outside shot. It’s a long shot, but Poythress could have one of those years like Willie Cauley Stein had for Kentucky last year.
Who’s the starting point guard?
Cal has made it clear that he wants to build this team around Tyler Ullis, so this seems like an easy question. It is a topic for discussion though, because Isaiah Briscoe is a very VERY talented point guard coming out of Roselle Catholic High School in New Jersey. The last time Kentucky used a two point guard lineup was when they had John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, which ultimately worked out fairly well. It’s hard to predict any starting lineup that Calipari will use going into a season, but I’m sure he’s leaning more towards the idea previously mentioned.
Marcus Lee vs The World
Junior center Marcus Lee is likely going to take over the starting five role alongside Skal Labissiere or Thon Maker, depending on if he ends up committing to the Bluegrass. Marcus is a fan favorite for UK, mainly since his fantastic performance in the Elite Eight against Michigan just two seasons ago. He’s never been able to blossom behind all the talent in the front court Kentucky has had. Lee is a major shot blocking presence and a solid athlete. His offense is a question mark, but if you watch Lee play, you’ll notice that he dunks just about everything.