With the announcement on Wednesday that Patrick Patterson will take his power game to Rupp Arena next season, Kentucky head coach announced on Thursday at a press conference that recruiting for the 2007-08 season is basically done, capping what has been a long and tense process filled with highs and lows.
But now comes a new season -- speculation season.
Barring a late defection or injury, the Kentucky roster looks thus as of May 17, 2007 ...
Ramel Bradley, Sr.
Joe Crawford, Sr.
Jodie Meeks, So.
Derrick Jasper, So.
Michael Porter, So.
Alex Legion, Fr.
Ramon Harris, So.
Mark Coury, So. (walk on)
Perry Stevenson, So.
Patrick Patterson, Fr.
A.J. Stewart, Fr.
Jared Carter, So. (post-redshirt)
Mike Williams, Fr.
Without knowing precisely who will impress Gillispie, and going solely on what we've seen to date -- which hampers one's impressions of seldom-used and new players -- we can make only educated speculation as to the rotation. But that's what blogs are for, no?
I envision two scenarios, principally. The first is a more tradition team, with a rehabbed Carter in the pivot, flanked by Patterson and three guards. The second is a more fluid, full-court team, featuring the rangy Stevenson, Patterson and three guards. I don't see Gillispie asking Patterson to play as a small five man.
My first-game starting lineup would look like this, with rotation following:
PF - Patterson
3G - Crawford
SG - Meeks
PG - Bradley
Sub - Legion (first scoring guard off bench)
Sub - Jasper (first 'swing'/PG off bench)
Sub - Stevenson (first forward/center)
Sub - Stewart/Harris/Porter/Williams/Coury
This lineup is entirely dependent on Carter progressing despite his injury. If he is less Aaron Gray and more Woo, then Stevenson may be pressed into a more Marcus Camby-like position, an attacking five in for defense and cleaning up the boards.
Patterson, though, as Andy Katz noted, does give Gillispie myriad options that were otherwise impossible, or less possible.
What say you, Big Blue legion of armchair coaches?