Tuesday came and went without any more NBA Draft decisions for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team and for yet another day, there is hope that good news is on the horizon. Social media was abuzz with promises of “good news” but nothing materialized. For the record, just one player, Willie Cauley-Stein, has OFFICIALLY announced his decision and anything else you are hearing is unfounded. And I lump Marcus Lee in here as well. The fact that his brother talked to someone does not mean official to me.
For the record, I expect Julius Randle and James Young to announce they are leaving for the NBA. And I expect Marcus Lee and Alex Poythress to return to Kentucky. And that leaves us with the wildcards of the Harrisons and Dakari Johnson. To be honest, no one knows what is going on with these players and they still have until the 27th to decide.
I think we may hear from Randle and Young this week, but they may also be waiting on the Harrisons so that a joint press conference can be held. I know there are some holding out hope that Randle and Young return, but I am not hearing anything that suggests it may happen. I could be wrong. I think that common sense dictates that Dakari Johnson returns, yet I am sure he is getting some reports that suggest his stock is higher than expected. I still think Dakari returns, but I am less confident every day.
However, we can still dream for another day that the Harrisons return and if so, Kentucky can be the deepest team in the country. And give us a starting lineup that looks like this.
Kentucky: (Again, we’re going best-case-scenario here, so this lineup will be scary good.)
G Andrew Harrison–Seemed to become a new player when NBA pressure lessened and he became more of a distributor.
G Aaron Harrison–Struggled from deep–until the postseason, when he etched his name in UK lore. Would come back brimming with confidence
F Alex Poythress–Cal would probably feel more comfortable with a shooter here, but goodness look how athletic this lineup would be.
F Karl Towns–I know Towns is a natural center, but all indications are he has the skills to step in as a 4, too. And this is make-believe, anyway.
C Willie Cauley-Stein–Assuming his ankle injury isn’t something that will linger into next season. Has a chance to start annihilating shot-blocking records
And then that leaves UK with the deepest bench in the nation: Dakari Johnson (if he returns), Trey Lyles, Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Dominique Hawkins. To quote my good friend and UK beat writer, Kyle Tucker. “Mercy.” You could pluck a top-15 starting five out of that group.