Every offseason for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team is sure to be one full of questions, drama, panic, and reassurance.
The debate for who leaves and who stays is always at an all-time high on Twitter. Then, we find out, and it turns into a panic because more times than not, a majority of Kentucky’s offense has declared for the NBA.
Well, that may be more true than ever with this team. Five players have declared for the draft: Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, and EJ Montgomery. One player, Johnny Juzang, has transferred.
This all boils down to Kentucky losing around 94% of it’s scoring offense (most-ever), 98.6% of its assists (most-ever), and 92.4% of its minutes (second most-ever).
There’s no question that this is the biggest hit that Calipari has ever taken. But, will it matter in 2020-21? Are BJ Boston and Terrence Clarke good enough to make up for it? Will Keion Brooks have a breakout sophomore year?
Joel Justus joined 247 to try and calm the nerves of BBN for next season.
“There’s always that sense this time of year that folks are nervous. When people panic or they get a little bit worried because you don’t know. We don’t know what it’s going to look like, but we feel this way every year and fans get that way but it’s a fun team, great kids and we can’t wait to get them here on campus and put them on display for the Big Blue Nation.”
Coach Justus is really excited to see this fast-paced backcourt of Devin Askew, BJ Boston, and Terrence Clarke together.
“When you talk about our young guys coming in, it’s the same stuff that we’ve talked about since we’ve done this. You have a phenomenal backcourt with Devin, BJ, Terrence, and adding Davion to that. Three guys that wanted the challenge, that wanted to play with great players, that wanted to come in and fight every day but do it for a hall of fame coach on the biggest stage of college basketball, playing in front of the greatest fans that there is in basketball.”
Getting a guard grad transfer is something new for this team, and it’s really going to help this young backcourt mold together. Justus thinks so as well.
“He’s a guy that obviously brings tremendous experience to a young backcourt that we’re bringing in with no experience,” said Justus. “He wants to get better, he wants to challenge, he wants to win a national championship, he wants to play with really good players and he wants to put himself in a position where he can better himself both on and off the floor.”
Cam’Ron Fletcher has been a bit of an under-the-radar recruit. He was the second player to commit to the 2020 class and currently has the lowest ranking of all the recruits. Don’t let that fool you, though, he’s a dangerous, versatile forward that can get it done on both ends.
Isaiah Jackson and Lancer Ware are both 6-foot-9 with a world of potential. They fit the new scheme of basketball well, and Coach Justus thinks Cal can do a lot with their game.
So, while Calipari and his crew are losing a lot, no one should he the panic button. It has been the same narrative since Cal got here.
Seeing the Calipari is coming off one of the most successful decades a coach has ever had in College Basketball, there seems to be a method to his madness.
Relax, BBN, this program knows what it’s doing.