By Kyle Lovern
April 30, 2014
As most University of Kentucky fans now know, many of the players on this year’s national runner-up team will return for the 2014-15 season.
Thus, John Calapari will have to be a chemist to be able to blend all of the talent he will have next year.
Only Julius Randle and James Young have opted for the upcoming NBA draft. That means 7’0” Willie Cauley-Stein, 6’6” Andrew Harrison, 6’6” Aaron Harrison, 7’0” Dakari Johnson, 6’8” Alex Poythress and 6’9” Marcus Lee have decided to stay in Lexington and play another season for the Wildcats and Calapari.
Poythress will battle for playing time with freshman forward Lee and Cauley-Stein, 7-foot sophomore. He’ll be part of a Wildcats frontcourt that will welcome freshmen 7-foot Karl Towns and 6-10 Trey Lyles next season. Johnson is also another big low-post player.
The Harrison’s will compete with newcomers 6’5” shooting guard Devin Baker and 5’9” point guard Tyler Ulis this year for playing time.
My question is, will there be enough minutes to share with all of this talent?
Calapari will have his work cut out for him to keep all of these players happy.
The returners will expect to start or get plenty of playing time to showcase their talents. Then the incoming freshmen will want to play right way. After all, they are used to playing, not sitting on the bench.
I guess this is a good problem to have.
Richmond, Ky. recruit Dominique Hawkins will also return as a sophomore and I’m sure he hopes to get more time on the hardwood in the 2014-15 season.
I know Kentucky fans are excited about all of the players that have decided to stay and the new crop of All-Americans coming into the program.
Last year’s regular season was at times difficult for the Wildcats, Calapari and their fans. They lost nine games in the regular season, and then lost to Florida in the finals of the SEC tourney, before losing in the NCAA championship game to UConn.
However, will the chemistry work? Will Coach Cal be able to mix and match all of these remarkable talents?
I have a saying that there might not be enough basketballs to go around for a team with so much diverse abilities.
Can Calapari weave them into a tapestry that will work?
I guess that remains to be seen.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33 or Twitter @KyleLovern)