Kentucky Pre-Season Outlook
After watching the two UK exhibition games there are a few things I noticed about this team. For one this team is no where near as good as they were last season. This UK team will improve significantly as the season progresses and by the end of the year they will be fantastic, but for now there are many question marks.
1. Who will be the starting PG?
Ryan Harrow has been outplayed thus far by Archie Goodwin and I think that Goodwin should get the starting nod. Cal has been preparing him as a lead guard and likes the intensity that he plays with. Goodwin is on track to be a lottery pick and the leading scorer on UK. I actually feel that Harrow would be better suited as a sixth man on this team.
2. Is Kyle Wiltjer good enough?
As talented as Wiltjer is offensively, he is atrocious on defense. His feet are stuck in cement and if you are going to play for UK you must defend. There was one play in particular, last night, where someone for Transylvania put the ball on the floor and beat Cauley-Stein off the dribble. Wiltjer was in weak side help and only had to take one step to his right to slow down the penetration, but just turned his head and watched as the man threw down a dunk. I also think Wiltjer should start the year on the bench with Noel and Cauley-Stein starting in the frontcourt.
3. Who is going to step up and score?
Goodwin, Poythress, Harrow, and Wiltjer all have potential to score over 15ppg, but I wonder which of them actually will. I think no one will score over 15 but Poythress and Goodwin will be the closest. Goodwin can take anyone off the bounce and in transition but he needs to improve his jump shot in order to become a reliable scorer. Poythress has a more complete game and body but his approach and attidtude is off. Throughout the two games he kind of coasted through and was quiet. He reminded me a lot of Terrence Jones because of his bad body language when he made an error or was pulled from the game. Poythress and Goodwin have lottery potential and will have great seasons once they get accostomed to college ball.
- Goodwin has great size and athleticism for a PG/SG. If he adds a consistent jumper watch out
- Cauley-Stein should have been a top ten player coming out of HS. Freakishly athletic, will be a dominent center in college basketball. Unbelievable hands.
- Nerlens isnt too shabby either. He can guard anyone and like Cauley has a great set of hands. Emerging low post threat.
- Julius Mays is the X-factor. Stingy defender and great 3pt shooter. Should start at the 2.
- The other scholarship players, Hood, Polson, and Beckham arent going to have an impact
Bottom Line- This team has a lot of talent, but they are probably a top 15 team right now. By the end of the season is when they will be the 3rd best team in the country.
I think the starting lineup should be: Harrow, Goodwin, Poythress, Wiltjer and Noel.
Harrow should start since he's the best ball-handler on the team. Goodwin, who I think is the best SG prospect in this draft (I consider 'Bazz a SF) can still share ball-handling duties a la Doron Lamb.
Wiltjer might be slow as hell on defense but he provides offensive balance. With a lineup full of slashers and finishers, the 'Cats need a knock down shooter to keep defenses from packing the paint. Wiltjer's the best shooter on the team is probably the most skilled player on the team offensively. The rest of the defense can make up for his shortcomings on that end.
I think they'll be a balanced scoring team with multiple guys in the low double digits. I'm not sure who the go to scorer will be though, but if I had to choose one right now it'd probably be Goodwin since he has the best combination of off-the-bounce ability and finishing. UK didn't really have a go to scorer or a guy who "carries the load" last year either, so I'm not sure how important that is.
Last year UK had six guys who could have easily broken 15ppg but no one really needed to. This year they only have 4. This is a different team than last year. They need a go to scorer or two.
What about Julius Mays he could start at the 2 guard?
Did you just say Alex Poythress' approach and attitude is off, yes you did
you have lost all credibility
Poythress went Perry Jones on this game. He looked like he didnt want to dominate and was kind of passive. He needs to be more aggressive and take it inside more rather than shooting on the perimeter. Im not saying hes a bad person im talking about solely on court.
In regards to Harrow, I'm saying that the starting 5 on Friday should be Goodwin, Mays, Poythress, Noel, and Cauley. Harrow started both exhibition games along with Wiltjer so they probably will get the nod but im saying to go with Mays and Cauley
there's no way ryan harrow doesnt start at the 1
They dont play with the same 2getherness,chemistry and maturity that last year's team had....Nor do they seem to be as focused on defense as last year's gang..Becuz in the 1st half last night, they let a team like Transylvania stay close....Cal must've gotten on they a$$ during halftime, becuz in the 2nd half, theycame out and played that old Nolan Ricardson's Arkansas 40 minutes of Hell type defense and blow them out...
Goodwin & Poythress have the potential to be very special at the next level...With all of the talent Kentucky has,1 of them has to emerge as the main man.......