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A look at basketball starting lineup possibilities

There isn't much Kentucky basketball news out there, so I thought it might be interesting to project ourselves forward into the regular season and look at some possible starting lineups for the Wildcats, and examine how each might be beneficial.

First off, Let's look at our roster:

# Name Pos. Yr. Exp. Ht./Wt. Hometown (last school)
1 Alex Legion G Fr. HS 6'5"/196# Detroit, MI (Oak Hill Academy)
3 Ramel Bradley G Sr. 3V 6'2"/199# New York, NY (The Pendleton School, Fla.)
5 Derrick Jasper G So. 1V 6'6"/213# Paso Robles, CA (Paso Robles)
13 Michael Porter G So. 1V 6'2"/193# Modesto, CA (Modesto Christian)
15 A.J. Stewart F Fr. HS 6'8"/208# Jacksonville, FL (Arlington Country Day HS)
21 Perry Stevenson F So. 1V 6'9"/192# Lafayette, LA (Northside)
23 Jodie Meeks G So. 1V 6'4"/212# Norcross, GA (Norcross)
25 Mike Williams C Fr. HS 6'11"/270# Solihull, (Bishop Ireton HS)
32 Joe Crawford G Sr. 3V 6'5"/221# Detroit, MI (Renaissance)
34 Ramon Harris F So. 1V 6'7"/216# Anchorage, AK (West Anchorage HS)
42 Mark Coury F So. 1V 6'8"/230# Detroit, MI (Detroit Day HS)
43 Jared Carter C Jr. 1V 7'2"/250# Georgetown, KY (Scott County)
54 Patrick Patterson F Fr. HS 6'9"/219# Huntington, WV (Huntington HS)

Now, lets make a starting lineup.  My first iteration, or Option 1, based on nothing more than past performance and expectations, would probably look something like this:

# Name Pos. Yr. Ht./Wt. Option 1
3 Ramel Bradley G Sr. 6'2"/199# 1
23 Jodie Meeks G So. 6'4"/212# 3
32 Joe Crawford G Sr. 6'5"/221# 2
43 Jared Carter C Jr. 7'2"/250# 5
54 Patrick Patterson F Fr. 6'9"/219# 4

Obviously, this option is contingent upon Jared Carter being a) available to play, and b) being the best available option -- i.e. significantly better than going with another forward or another guard.  I am not sanguine about either contingency based on what we know now.  But let's just assume this is what we have for the moment.

Backups would look like this:  Jasper for Bradley, Harris for Meeks, Legion for Crawford, Stevenson for Carter and Stewart for Patterson.  This team would have the following characteristics:

  • Good perimeter shooting
  • Best interior size
  • Good rebounding
  • Fair running team
  • Good free-throw shooting
  • Fair perimeter size
  • Fair passing
  • Good perimeter defense
  • Fair interior defense

Option 2, actually one I consider somewhat more likely, would assume Carter is unavailable, and replace him in the lineup with Stevenson.  It would look like this:

# Name Pos. Yr. Ht./Wt. Option 2
3 Ramel Bradley G Sr. 6'2"/199# 1
21 Perry Stevenson F So. 6'9"/192# 5
23 Jodie Meeks G So. 6'4"/212# 2
32 Joe Crawford G Sr. 6'5"/221# 3
54 Patrick Patterson F Fr. 6'9"/219# 4

This lineup, in my opinion, is substantially more likely than Option 1.  The backups would be DJ for Bradley, Legion for Meeks, Harris for Crawford, Stewart for Stevenson and either Harris or DJ for Patterson, assuming that Williams or Coury isn't a better option.  If we rotate in guards the team would have the following characteristics:

  • Excellent perimeter shooting
  • Best perimeter defense
  • Good interior size
  • Best interior defense
  • Good passing
  • Best running team
  • Best free throw shooting
  • Good perimeter defense
  • Fair perimeter size

Obviously, there are other permutations on this that could be considered, but these two seem the most likely at the moment.  It is possible, but not likely, that either Ramel or Crawford would not start.  It is also possible and somewhat more likely that Jasper or Legion could wind up in the starting lineup, but I am doubtful about the former and very doubtful about the latter.