Since the basketball season doesn't start for about a month yet, lets help the time go by with a few hypotheticals. You've heard some of the practice reports, seen the interviews and the hype, and you've seen me ask you to embrace that hype. Now, I'm going to ask you to consider, before the season begins, a few questions. Let's begin:
Who is going to lead this team? Last year, obviously, we had a dearth of leadership that really damaged the Wildcats' prospects to succeed. That lack of leadership blew up into a full-grown crisis when Nerlens Noel went down with injury, even though it is somewhat questionable if he was the team's "leader" in the most natural sense. He was certainly it's leader in effort and passion.
We have a number of good candidates for this question: Julius Randle, the "Alpha Beast"; Andrew Harrison, the point guard; Willie Cauley-Stein or Alex Poythress, the returning starters. It could be them, or others, as you please.
So predict who you think it will be.
Will this team actually run the Dribble Drive Motion, or will Calipari go back to some other scheme? Every year about this time, we hear that UK will probably be running more DDM, but recently, this hasn't really panned out. This year's team looks like a good candidate to see the DDM a lot more often than not, but the same thing could have been said about the 2010 team as well.
So what do you think? Will the DDM be the primary offensive set, or will Calipari discover that his personnel favor some other offense, i.e. more post-ups or pick and rolls?
Who is the most likely player to get into some kind of trouble with Coach Cal? I'm not talking academics or drunk-driving kind of thing, I assume that none of them will go there. I'm talking more along the lines of who is likely to start and get benched off and on the most.
Finally, which player do you think will get the first A Sea of Blue game ball? Our postmortems are one of the most popular parts of the blog, and we give away a game ball in basketball almost every game. It is theoretically possible (but unlikely) that nobody will get one in the first game, but in the first game that one is handed out, who will the player be?
I realize that all this is an exercise in mental masturbation, but when it comes to basketball, all we have right now are practice reports, Coach Cal and player interviews, and little else to go along with them other than pictures of Big Blue Madness campers. Analyzing this team, sight unseen, is too uncertain to be productive.
So about the only thing we can do is exercise our psychic skills and see if we can predict the future. I'm trying hard here not to steal JLeverenz's thunder when it comes to the pre-season GOG, so I'm trying to avoid the obvious questions like who will be the leading scorer and so on. I'll leave the really germane questions to JLev.
At the same time, I'm ready for some dadgum basketball talk. So let's get talking!