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Mar 30

UK Basketball: Moving forward

Although Kentucky fell short of reaching the Final Four, it would be hard to argue the Wildcats enjoyed their best season in more than a decade. Kentucky finished the year with a remarkable 35-3 record in coach John Calipari’s first season as coach of the Wildcats.
Now, the team faces the possibility of a major makeover and may lose up to five players, plus three seniors by the time next season arrives. Freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton, along with junior Patrick Patterson will likely declare and be chosen in the NBA Draft. All five players have first-round potential, including Orton, who blossomed into one of the top players off the bench down the stretch and bolstered his stock during the postseason.
Many figured Wall and Cousins wouldn’t last more than nine months in Lexington, but many have wondered if all five players would come back after coming up short in the Big Dance. If all five players returned, the team would be a legitimate title contender. If not, it’s like starting over.
You can’t blame NBA teams for wanting the best players and throwing money and freedom at them. However, college basketball only comes around once in a lifetime and can’t be reclaimed once the sport becomes a job instead of an audition.
Look at North Carolina. The Tar Heels won the NCAA last season, but lost most of its talent to the professional ranks and is competing for an NIT championship one year later. It’s hard to blame them for leaving college early because of the risk of injury.
Regardless of who stays or leaves, Kentucky will be in good hands next season with John Calipari at the helm. His track record for reloading is second to none.

1 ping

  1. » BBL: Selby, Leslie, Lamb and Luke Cothron updates John Clay’s Sidelines

    […] Keith Taylor of the Winchester Sun on UK men moving forward: Many figured Wall and Cousins wouldn’t last more than nine months in Lexington, but many have wondered if all five players would come back after coming up short in the Big Dance. If all five players returned, the team would be a legitimate title contender. If not, it’s like starting over. You can’t blame NBA teams for wanting the best players and throwing money and freedom at them. However, college basketball only comes around once in a lifetime and can’t be reclaimed once the sport becomes a job instead of an audition. […]

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