Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
Today we will talk about the fact that the Wildcats are in an unusual situation, basketball-wise. John Gasaway writing for ESPN notes:
This is actually a fairly unusual situation for John Calipari. The more common sequence this time of year is that Kentucky’s contentedly and definitively saying goodbye to multiple early-entry candidates – and making room for a fresh crop of amazing recruits.
Indeed it is, and it’s the first time since 2014-15 that we had a lot of talent taking a look at the draft with a very significant chance of going either way, and the consequences of their decisions so impactful of the potential upcoming season.
If Jarred Vanderbilt, PJ Washington and Wenyen Gabriel all decide to move on, it would put Kentucky in a position to need players pretty urgently, and place the Wildcats’ national championship hopes for 2019 into serious doubt. All three returning would make Kentucky a loaded powerhouse and a likely 2019 title favorite.
But there are other possibilities. Here are my thoughts on what they are and their possible impact:
Two out of three return
Best case scenario: Vanderbilt and Washington.
Worst case scenario: Washington and Gabriel
Vanderbilt’s ability as a rebounder and facilitator, along with his constant energy, make him the linchpin of the three. Note that even the worst-case scenario is still outstanding, and would place Kentucky among the title favorites.
One out of three returns
Best case scenario: Vanderbilt
Worst case scenario: There isn’t one. If Washington or Gabriel return, I judge them to be essentially equal. Gabriel has more experience, Washington has more talent, but the two would essentially offset.
That’s how I see it, anyway.
Tweet of the Morning
The former Kentucky Wildcats star will likely be on the Oklahoma City Thunder's radar. https://t.co/PGcEpxb6EB— Thunder247 (@OKC_Thunder247) May 8, 2018
Interesting. I definitely think Randle needs a spot other than LA.
- The Courier-Journal story about Eli Cox’s commitment to Kentucky. It has already been reported here.
I think it’s definitely a good thing for Stoops to get in-state talent. I know Kentucky isn’t exactly flush with top players, but we do have some very good ones every year, and there’s really no excuse for us not to sign more in-state players.
- Could Denzil Ware be headed to Florida State?
One time FSU commit - followed Mark Stoops to Kentucky. Big talent, position of need. https://t.co/Z5D5Qy2Fra— GuruNole (@jbuch007) May 5, 2018
- Kentucky offers Malcolm Ray, a 3-star 2019 DE out of Miami.
I’m Blessed to say that i received a offer from Kentucky Wildcats @247Sports @Corey_Bender pic.twitter.com/2bEltCFcNR— 9️⃣9️⃣ (@Ray8Malcolm) May 4, 2018
- Tyler Herro top 5 plays of the season:
Other Kentucky sports
- The Bat Cats take on the Hoosiers today in Bloomington. Both teams need a win after suffering losses in their weekend series.
- Former hoops player Amber Smith takes on a new role for Kentucky — that of assistant coach.
- Ole Miss DT Jerell Powe formally invited the NCAA to his commencement. Powe struggled with the NCAA to be eligible to play football.
- The SEC has a scheduling problem. Rocky Top Talk has a suggested solution.
- Mid-majors have an even tougher path to the NCAA tournament as power five conference teams are filling the higher seeds more and more.
- Former Duke player Wendell Carter Jr.’s mom compares the NCAA to slavery and prison. Hyperbole much?