Talk of an undefeated season for Kentucky won’t dominate college basketball chatter this season as it did when one of the deepest teams in college basketball history made a run at perfection in 2014-15. However, John Calipari’s new squad still has plenty of talent to to dominate the SEC, and maybe even to cut down the nets after last year’s disappointing loss to Wisconsin.
The biggest question leading up to the season is when (or if) freshman center Skal Labissiere will be cleared by the NCAA. Most reports are skeptical that the 6-foot-11 Haiti native will have the opportunity to play college basketball due to eligibility issues. Most casual observers scoff at the potential loss, assuming the Wildcats are loaded up front. That’s not the case. Getting Alex Poythress back from injury and another season from Marcus Lee is nice but freshman Isaac Humphreys is only other noteworthy big man on the roster. Junior forward Derek Willis isn’t a game-changer but might be pressed into action barring an unexpectedly positive outcome in the Labissiere situation.
Tyler Ullis is back for his sophomore year and will be tasked with leading UK’s offense, one that is bolstered by a high ceiling backcourt with freshmen Isaiah Briscoe and Jamal Murray.
Head Coach: John Calipari
2014-15 Finish: 38-1 (Lost to Wisconsin in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament)
2014-15 Conference Finish: 18-0 (First Place in the SEC)
Projected 2015-16 Conference Finish:
G – Tyler Ullis – Sophomore
F – Alex Poythress – Senior
F – Marcus Lee – Junior
It would be shocking if freshman Isaiah Briscoe stuck around Lexington for more than one season. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound freakishly athletic guard should be a starter from day one and might lead the team in scoring. He is part of a backcourt that, despite losing Devin Booker and the Harrison twins, could be much more efficient on the offensive end.