Earlier this week, we looked at the great Mike DeCourcy and his listings of the top ten players in college basketball by position. Andrew Harrison was tabbed as the #2 PG and his brother Aaron was left off the list but got what amounted to honorable mention. Well, Mike has been busy updating his lists and he put Alex Poythress as the #6 SF in college basketball.
We all know how disappointing Poythress’ freshman season was for the Wildcats, how John Calipari frequently challenged him to play with greater maturity, how many times Poythress found himself stewing on the bench. Would it surprise you to know that even with all that, Poythress still averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds and shot 58 percent from the floor? Those numbers were almost by accident. What if he returns for his second season with confidence and wisdom and a better sense of how to impact the game from the perimeter?
It should be noted that Andrew Wiggins is number one on the list, but I personally think that stories like this will only serve to motivate Poythress. We all know that there were bad influences in the locker room and on the court last year at Kentucky, and since Calipari welcomed him back, I assume Poythress is one of the good guys, despite the perception by some fans. I expect a totally different Poythress this year and one that is going to make us forget the 2011-12 version.
DeCourcy also tackled the PF position and order was restored to the universe as a Wildcat was listed for the third time in four positions. Julius Randle is your #3 power forward, folks.
It seems possible Randle will have a greater impact on the Kentucky Wildcats’ season than on the 2013-14 season as a whole. He will be one of the most important components of their championship drive, a physically overwhelming force along the baseline who remains versatile enough to step away from the basket and make a few jump shots. Then again, DeMarcus Cousins made AP All-American averaging 15.1 points in 24 minutes per game. Randle’s going to play more than that, and maybe do more, as well.
Personally, I think that Randle could be one of the best players in college hoops but with all the talent on Kentucky, won’t get the chance to do the stat padding other players will.
It is still mid June, so I am sure that the Gator fans that actually follow basketball are not in freakout mode yet, but it appears that Kentucky’s biggest rival in the SEC may have some big issues on their hands. A few days ago, PG Scottie Wilbekin was suspended indefinitely by Billy Donovan. This was the second time in seven months that Wilbekin has been suspended and while this mess has plenty of time to get sorted out, it could be a tumultuous season between Donovan and his point guard.
And now it appears that former Kentucky recruit Chris Walker is still having a hard time making the grades to become eligible.
Unlike most incoming freshmen basketball players who are already enrolled in summer classes, Florida’s Chris Walker has yet to make it to campus.
In fact, there’s still some question if the 6-foot-9 forward will be academically eligible to don a Gators uniform at all next season.
Walker, Rivals.com’s No. 6 prospect in the class of 2013, has yet to achieve a qualifying ACT score and is still taking three online courses to finish his core requirements, his high school coach told the Gainesville Sun earlier this week. NCAA initial eligibility is based on a sliding scale combining test scores and GPA in core courses, but the minimum GPA required is a 2.0 and the minimum ACT score is a 37.
There is still plenty of time for both issues to work out and the scary thing is that Florida will still be solid even without Scottie Wilbekin and Walker. The Gators have Kasey Hill, who could win the starting PG job himself and Patric Young is still around. Still, you can’t lose that much depth and remain a top ten team.