clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Is a 3-Point Guard Lineup Coming?

New, 25 comments

There is an obvious debacle when it comes to Kentucky's backcourt for the upcoming season.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

There is an obvious debacle when it comes to Kentucky's backcourt for the upcoming season.

Tyler Ulis is locked in as the starting point guard, as made clear by John Calipari. With the commitment of Isaiah Briscoe back in the midst of the regular season last year, the speculative question was would Calipari go with a two-point guard starting back court again?

It worked pretty well back when John Wall and Eric Bledsoe were running that total super team; it could surely work.

Now, we're throwing Jamal Murray right into the mix as well. For those who left all their electronics at home for their summer vacation cruise to the Bahamas, Kentucky landed five-star Canadian guard Jamal Murray not even a month ago. Many have not heard of Murray as he was originally classified in the Class of 2016, but recently reclassified to 2015 and committed to UK.

Many of us got our first real look at Jamal in the Pan-Am Games as he led Canada to a silver medal in the Men's Basketball tournament; as Canada defeated the United States in the semifinals then fell to Brazil in the gold medal game. Murray averaged 15 points per game in the tournament; with his most outstanding moment in the game against the United States.

After going scoreless in the first three quarters, Murray proceeded to score 22 points throughout the fourth quarter and overtime of the semifinal game, which included a game-tying three that sent the game to overtime. Murray showed pure point guard skills, showcasing his scoring ability and also some very flashy passing. Murray also showed a ton of confidence, which is great considering he was the second youngest player in the Pan Am Games.

Now another question must be asked; is John Calipari going to go all out and put all three point guards in the starting lineup? He got away with starting two centers and a power forward last season, and got away with starting three shooting guards the year before. So, who's to say that a Ulis, Briscoe, Murray starting front-court wouldn't be successful?

We all know that Tyler Ulis is the shorty, still listed at 5'9", but he confirmed on his Instagram can now dunk. Isn't that a great thing to know. Briscoe is listed at 6'3" 205 lbs, and Jamal Murray is just under 6'5" 195 lbs. To say that this would be a small, undersized lineup would truly be an understatement; this would stick 6'8" senior Alex Poythress at the four and Skal Labissiere at the five.

Each player brings great qualities to the floor that could make this potential lineup work. Tyler, as we saw last year, is just a naturally great floor general; runs the offense well, is so smooth with his ball handling and floor vision and makes the right passes. Showed solid offense as well, with a very reliable three-point shot and mid-range floater.

Isaiah Briscoe is more athletic; he's going to get to the rim and finish, and probably break his fair share of ankles along the way. The jump shot is a work in progress, but 205 pounds isn't bad at all for a guard coming into his freshman season. Briscoe can bring what Ulis typically cannot when it comes to spacing the floor and getting to the rim.

Jamal Murray will bring you just a little bit of everything, as he did in the Pan Am Games. Murray, though right handed, will attack to his left about eight out of ten times on half-court possessions and fast breaks. Murray's a good isolation player that can and will attack the basket; can either finish at the rim or pull up with a nice teardrop floater or jumper. Jamal shoots the three at an above average rate as well, and is almost as good of a flashy passer as Ulis.

All three are great players, but a lineup with all of them together is no guarantee to work. It would be severely undersized, which would really hurt us when playing Duke, Kansas and LSU. There's no guarantee that Briscoe and Murray will excel as wing players either, which could hurt our half-court offense. Talk about a deadly team if they constantly went fast paced though. We try year in and year out trying to predict what the depth chart will look like the next season; who knows what Calipari is gonna come up with.