#00 Marcus Lee
Weight: 220 lbs
Minutes Per Game: 10.9
Points Per Game: 2.6
Rebounds Per Game: 2.7
Blocks Per Game: 0.7
Best Game in 2014/2015: vs. EKU (10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block)
Returning for his third season at the University of Kentucky, former McDonald's All-American Marcus Lee may finally have his time to shine. In the past couple of seasons, Lee has had flashes of amazing play but has been primarily forced into a supporting role due to the massive talent overflow at his position. Karl-Anthony Towns, Dakari Johnson, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Julius Randle all handled the lion's share at the power forward and center positions. Now that they are gone, it is finally time for Lee to showcase his ability. And the ‘Cats are going to need him.
2015/2016 Outlook: Lee has the talent. He has the athleticism. But does he have the consistency to score and defend enough to become a big difference throughout the season? I think he does. The reaction around the summer workouts have been that Lee has been extremely dedicated and has improved in all facets of his game.
With the loss of four big men to the NBA, Lee finally has the opportunity to showcase the reasoning for his five-star status and his McDonald's All-American credentials. While he has been a spark plug off the bench, and his signature moment was against Michigan in the Elite 8 in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. In that game, he filled in for Cauley-Stein and was a human highlight reel in the middle, dunking all over the Wolverines.
So we know it's there with him. But the knock on him has been his lack of offensive production. While he can go up and get lob dunks with the best of them, he has had limited post moves and production. We saw Cauley-Stein as the same type of player on offense and he took a leap forward in his third year at Kentucky. While he wasn't as polished as Towns or Jahlil Okafor, WCS showcased a decent hook shot, a decent midrange jumper, and much better production at the free throw line. If Kentucky can get from Marcus Lee this year on offense what they got out WCS last season, then the Wildcats will be very hard to contend with all season.
Defensively, Lee will be able to defend on the perimeter much like recent athletic Wildcat big men. He is long, quick and can get up high enough to swat shots away from the rim. The trio of athletic big men for Kentucky of Lee, Skal Labisiere, and Alex Poythress will give the ‘Cats an opportunity to defend like John Calipari wants and to play a fast up and down offense that will leave teams breathless.
This is the year for Marcus Lee and I believe he will be a breakout player for the Wildcats.
Watch Lee at his best against the Michigan Wolverines in the Elite 8 and the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four.
And here are some of Lee's highlights from last season: