I had the same feeling watching the McDonald’s All-American game last night that I had while watching the game in 2011. However, this feeling was lacking while watching the game last year.
With the announcement that Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Kyle Wiltjer are coming back next season to the Wildcats alongside the insane amount of talent in the 2013 freshman class, I have a feeling that the Wildcats will do some damage that has never been seen in NCAA history.
Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin are going pro while Ryan Harrow transfers to Georgia State. This isn’t bad for the program at all with the talent coming in. As others have commented, Harrow isn’t the Calipari type of point guard.
While Goodwin did not sign with an agent, he will be signing at Lexington Sports Cards and thus, he has ended any possibility at taking his name out of the draft and being able to return for next season.
The difference between the team next year and the team that won the championship last year? The amount of talent on the bench that is capable of logging some major minutes.
The Wildcats didn’t have that when they won in 2012. The rotation was only about 7 deep as Eloy Vargas didn’t see that much of the action compared to Darius Miller and Kyle Wiltjer.
The Wildcats and North Carolina didn’t play this season against each other but will do so next season. This is a good thing for college basketball. Both teams had down seasons after the amount of talent that left for the NBA.
McDonald’s All-Americans dominate the UK roster for next season.
2011: Kyle Wiltjer
2012: Alex Poythress
2013: Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Julius Randle, and James Young
The non-McDonald’s talent on the roster last season and eligible to play next season includes Jarrod Polson, Jon Hood, Sam Malone, Tod Lanter, and Brian Long.
Derek Willis will be a freshman on next year’s team, and there’s still no word on what Andrew Wiggins decides to do.