Kentucky Basketball: Who will the Wildcats depend on to reach the Final Four?

Photo by David Banks/Getty Images
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images /

Each season, it is expected that Kentucky Basketball will make their return to the Final Four. Who are the go-to players the Wildcats will rely on to get there?

In order to compete for a National Championship every team needs multiple players who are elite.  John Calipari, as he does almost every year has a new crew full of talent and promise. But with three lottery picks in this past years, who will pick up where De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, and Bam Adebayo left off. With this incoming class, Calipari has all of the pieces to go to his fifth Final Four in his tenure as the Kentucky Basketball head coach. But who will be the players who take us there?

Hamidou Diallo

In college basketball it is crucial that you have an elite wing player. Hamidou Diallo offers that and then some.  The 6-foot-5 shooting guard will have a Malik Monk like impact for the Kentucky Basketball team next season. He’s not as much of a scoring threat as Monk was, but he is athletic freak just like Monk. He may even be more athletic than Malik was. His ability to get to the rim with ease and an insane 44.5 inch vertical makes his NBA ready already. If he improves his shooting stroke and performs to his capability, Diallo will be a driving force for Kentucky next season.

Kevin Knox

The shock in the 2017 recruiting cycle was Kentucky Basketball landing Kevin Knox. Knox may be the most valuable player on next seasons team.  The 6-foot-9 small forward brings versatility to the team that Kentucky Basketball fans haven’t seen before. A smooth scorer who can do it all might be the teams leading scorer. Knox can knock down threes and has a nice mid range jumper. He also can get to the rim with ease. If he lives up to expectations, Kentucky is in for a treat. What also makes Knox a special player is his defensive abilities. His seven foot wingspan is a nightmare for opponents. Using his reach Knox will get a lot of steals and alter a lot of shots. Knox is going to be another lottery pick in the NBA very soon.

Jarred Vanderbilt

Maybe the sleeper of the incoming class is Jarred Vanderbilt. The Houston product brings a lot of versatility to the team. With an ability to guard almost every position on the court, Calipari will use him in multiple ways. Likely playing behind Diallo and Knox, Vanderbilt could be the Wildcats secret weapon next season. When getting the rebound his ability to get it and push in transition is when he is at his best. When the lefty is getting to the rim or hitting his pull-up jumper, Kentucky will be a different team. If he can play well into March along with Knox and Diallo, Kentucky has potential to be a dominant team.

PJ Washington

A post player who can hold his own and space the floor when needed is valuable in today’s game and that’s what Kentucky has in PJ Washington. The versatile forward can play nearly every position on the floor has potential to be a force next season.  His touch around the rim and consistent mid range game will make him a star at Kentucky. Another plus on Washington is the length that he brings to the team. Washington’s 7-foot-3 wingspan will make him a nice shot blocker to have down low and another key asset to this Kentucky defense. If he can keep working he will be a crucial defender for the Wildcats next season.

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With one of the longest teams in recent memory this team should bring a lot of excitement to Rupp Arena.  In order for the Wildcats to be an elite team next season these four will have to be at the top of their game.  Big Blue Nation, you are in for a treat because these four players could be something special.