Everyone knows that the Kentucky Wildcats are having a historically bad season. But anyone who has followed Kentucky basketball with John Calipari at the helm knows that they are always one recruiting class away from competing for a national championship.
The 2021 class is already shaping up well. The lone guard of the group, Nolan Hickman, does not seem concerned about this season’s struggles. And based on what he told Sports Illustrated, Hickman also has minimal concern about his ability to crack the starting lineup next season.
“I’m not worried about playing at all,” Hickman told SI when asked about the 2021 point guard rotation in Lexington. “What I’ll bring is my ability to facilitate, competitiveness and ability to win games. My goal is to definitely be the starting point guard next season.”
While Terrence Clarke did play point guard when he was healthy for this team, that is not the optimal role for him in the offense. There is also a strong chance he is headed to the NBA after this season.
Devin Askew is a strong candidate to return, and he would likely be Hickman’s primary competition for the starting role. But as we have seen since Clarke’s injury, Askew is also fine sharing the court with another point guard and playing off the ball.
Hickman believes one of his greatest strengths is playing with a chip on his shoulder. He has continued to be overshadowed by other stars on the Nike basketball circuit, but he uses that to drive him to be an even better player.
“When I look back it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me,” Hickman said of being overlooked. “I play with an edge that other players don’t have, and that’s what I’m bringing to Kentucky.”
Read more about Hickman and his interview with Sports Illustrated here.