Kentucky basketball: 3 players primed to level up in conference play

The Kentucky Wildcats are one of the best teams in the country, but with such a young roster, a few players are ready to take another leap and have a breakout moment in SEC play. If these three players do improve, then Kentucky shouldn't just be the favorite in the conference, but in the country.

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari talks with Justin Edwards
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari talks with Justin Edwards / Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
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The rest of the country has mostly pivoted away from the one-and-done model, but John Calipari went all in again and assembled the No. 1 freshman class in the country. Now, he has his roster of four and five-star freshmen at 9-2 and No. 6 in the country. 

The difference this year is that Kentucky has a better mix of veterans and freshmen. The Wildcats are No. 4 in the country in points per game with an elite offense led by senior Antonio Reeves, scoring 19.0 points per game on 52.3% shooting from the field, and freshman Rob Dillingham who is averaging 14.3 points in just 22.8 minutes.

The guard-heavy roster loves to play fast, and it’s been working, but there is still another level for this team to reach on both ends of the court. 

These are the players ready to level up in conference play. With such a young roster, Calipari’s Wildcats will keep getting better throughout SEC play, and if these three players do take the next step then Kentucky will be the favorite in the conference and one of the favorites to win it all in March. 

The Wildcats will dive into SEC play on Saturday against Florida down in the Swamp and that game might serve as the springboard for a couple of players who are on the verge of a breakout.