As the Kentucky Wildcats continue training for the 2020-21 season, more positive buzz continues to emerge from the Joe Craft Center.
This time, it’s ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes who’s giving fans more reason for excitement with these Cats.
Dykes was graced with the chance to see the new Cats in action. Perhaps the biggest takeaway was how good freshman forward Isaiah Jackson has looked, which has been a common theme this fall.
For all the praise Jackson is getting, it’s getting to the point where it won’t be a surprise at all if he’s a one-and-done first-round NBA Draft pick next year. But more than anything, Jackson playing at a high level will make an already-scary frontcourt even more terrifying for opponents.
Everyone expects Olivier Sarr to have a major role and Keion Brooks Jr. to also be at worst a solid role player in Year 2, so having someone like Jackson step up and play a major role could eventually elevate a preseason top-10 team to a Final Four favorite.
As always with @KentuckyMBB ... defense and boards will have to win games early for them. And they are built to be terrific at both.— Jimmy Dykes (@CoachJimmyDykes) November 8, 2020
The biggest position battle going into the new season is at point guard, where fifth-year senior Davion Mintz is battling with highly-touted recruit Devin Askew for the right to run the show for what should be a loaded offense with Sarr, Terrence Clarke and Brandon Boston Jr.
Mintz and Askew are both fighters and ultra competitive at that @KentuckyMBB point guard position. Cannot be a great team if that spot is soft.— Jimmy Dykes (@CoachJimmyDykes) November 8, 2020
This may very well be a battle that doesn’t see either guy lock down the job until closer to conference play. You have to think Mintz will be more prepared to start early on, while Askew has a higher ceiling and could begin to blossom as the season progresses.
Either way, it sounds like both guys will be solid contributors, and both can also play effectively off the ball, so we could see them on the court together here and there. Like Brooks, these two guards should at least be solid role players.
November 25th can’t get here soon enough.