It has become an annual question in the John Calipari era at Kentucky: How will the Wildcats be able to bounce back from their NBA defections? And the answer is usually “Pretty darn well”. Andy Glockner of Sports Illustrated took an early look at the SEC and well, that question came up again:
How vulnerable is Kentucky?: It’s fairly safe to say the Wildcats aren’t going 16-0 in the league again this season. It also would be a surprise if they struggled to 10-6 like the 2010-11 team that still ended up in the Final Four. How close they’ll be to either end of that range will depend on the development of the freshmen (obviously) but maybe more so on transfers Ryan Harrow (NC State), who is expected to start at the point, and Julius Mays (Wright State after two seasons in Raleigh), who will add experienced backcourt depth. With sophomore Kyle Wiltjer back, too, no one will be feeling sorry for Calipari’s talent level, but expect the Cats to be more mortal.
Despite the NBA defections, Glockner still thinks Kentucky will win the SEC, followed by Missouri and Tennessee. It’s still very early, but its always good to be the king.
In what should be a surprise to no one, Karl Towns Jr became the first member of the 2015 class to get an offer as he received it last night. As long as John Calipari is at Kentucky, you can expect Kentucky to be the favorite for Towns. Fact is, the kid is just 15 and its too early to get excited about him. But it does feel good to know Kentucky has offered after Towns has been flooding Twitter with news of all his other offers recently.
There is also a bit of news from the 2014 class as the invitation list for Big Blue Madness is starting to shape up. And it will have decidedly a New York state of mind to it. 2014 SG Isaiah Whitehead from Brooklyn and 6’10 PF Chris McCullough from the Bronx will attend Big Blue Madness. Both players are ***** and McCullough is the 12th best player in the class, Whitehead is the 13th.
In a way, Kentucky will have two “Big Blue Madness” this year as the September 15 charity All Star tame is quickly turning into a destination stop for top recruits. While he was on an unofficial visit to Louisville and at the UK/UL football game, 2014 PG JaQuan Lyle announced that he will be visiting Kentucky on September 15 and attending the charity exhibition. 2013 star Julius Randle will also be in Lexington for the event.