There’s not much to talk about during the offseason, except speculate on new players or potential recruits. But, looking forward to next season, there’s plenty of speculation and predicting we can do from now until October. Looking at this star-studded roster, my question is: could the backcourt for next season be better than the 2010 season?
DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Daniel Orton, Perry Stevenson, and Josh Harrellson. Those are the players that dominated the backcourt for UK during a 35-3 season. Superstar freshmen, two veteran players from the bench, and a versatile player who was the vocal leader for a very talented, yet focused team. On a scoring perspective, these players averaged a combined 34 points per game (Cousins-15, Patterson-14, Orton-3, Stevenson-1, Harrellson-1). They were also one of the tallest frontcourts in recent history for UK. They collectively had a large impact on a team that bulldozed through the SEC and was able to make it to the Elite Eight.
Next season’s team doesn’t have as many veterans as the 2010 team did, but they do have limited experience and loads of talent in what is considered to be “the greatest assembled class in history”. Willie Cauley-Stein (So.), Alex Poythress (So.), Marcus Lee (Fr.), Kyle Wiltjer (Jr.), Derek Willis (Fr.), Dakari Johnson (Fr.), and Julius Randle (Fr.) make a complete team themselves. Wiltjer is an experienced player under Calipari’s system, and is a duel threat from the post and from the outside. Poythress and Cauley-Stein have shown potential last season, and believe that they have something to prove next season. That leaves Lee, Willis, Johnson, and Randle, with the last two viewed as potential starters as well as lottery picks for the 2014 NBA Draft. This is also one of the tallest teams UK has ever had, with all but two players standing over 6’5″. They have yet to play a single college game, but they have all proved themselves worthy at the high school level. And these are freshmen that seem to love the spotlight, and know how to manage it.
I’m asking you, Big Blue Nation, is the 2013 backcourt more talented than the 2010 frontcourt, and could they accomplish more than Calipari’s past teams at Kentucky?