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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: The Sun Peeks Over the Horizon on the 2019-20 College Basketball Season

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With Big Blue Madness in the rear-view, it’s the dawn of a new college basketball season in the Bluegrass.

Auburn v Kentucky Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.

Well, as we all saw on Friday, basketball season has arrived in the Bluegrass. It’s a kind of renewal that Kentucky fans joyfully undergo every year as the hope of a ninth NCAA Tournament championship springs eternal in our breast.

This year’s team looks to have outstanding potential. Individual players are extremely talented, they look fit and ready to start the assault on the mountain of college basketball in an attempt to reach the summit in Atlanta.

Here are a few of my observations:

  • Johnny Juzang looks like the real deal when it comes to being a perimeter scorer. But can he do anything else?
  • This is certainly not the biggest team we have fielded.
  • Tyrese Maxey may have the best smile I can ever remember at Kentucky. It seems to be permanently attached to his face. He can also shoot the ball better than I expected.
  • Can Nick Richards reach his potential? Heck, I’d settle for 75% of it, it seems so prodigious to me.
  • Immanuel Quickley has always shot the ball well in practice and 3-point contests. Can he begin to deliver that kind of lethal precisions consistently in games?
  • Nate Sestina really surprised me with his range, and we know he could rebound at Bucknell. Can he be a reliable glass-cleaner in the much more competitive SEC?
  • What will free throw shooting be like this season? We’ll have to wait and see, but it was a weapon last year, and it looks like we have the personnel to do well from the line this season.
  • We know Ashton Hagans is the likely point guard starter, but who is going to spell him? How much point will Maxey play?
  • I don’t expect much this year from Dontaie Allen, he’s still obviously in recovery from his injury. A redshirt seems likely.
  • Brennan Canada showed some shooting chops, and looked good out there. He has excellent size, too. I think he could contribute in games.
  • Keion Brooks Jr. and EJ Montgomery were both fairly quiet, but both bring the size and inside presence, very little of which was on display other than dunks. Where will Brooks fit into the rotation, and how much has Montgomery improved? Can’t tell much about either question so far.

Tweet of the Morning

Anyone out there in the Big Blue Nation surprised? Didn’t think so. Noel did a lot of this at UK.

I still find myself wishing we could’ve had him for a whole season, even as poorly as that season was going. Alas.

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Well, Scottie Barnes, one of the players mentioned above, is off the board:

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“Obviously he’s going to get a tag of being a shooter because he looks a certain way. But he’s not; he’s a basketball player. He makes plays.”

Sound familiar?

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