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National experts weigh in on Kentucky Wildcats ahead of the 2023-24 season

How do people across the country think the Cats will fair this season?

Justin Edwards Jason Marcum - A Sea Of Blue

The last several seasons for the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball program have been far from stellar. Despite some decent regular seasons, both teams have flamed out as the NCAA Tournament kicked off, causing first-weekend exits.

This year, however, John Calipari has a team that replicates those of old. With elite freshmen and a mix of veteran players, things could be set up for success if all things click. But that might be the main question: will everything click for this team?

Ben Roberts of The Herald-Leader recently sat down with some national experts around college basketball and asked them their opinions on how they would fare heading into week one of the season.

Among the experts Roberts talked to, Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News weighed in his thoughts on what fans should expect from the Cats this year:

“I have Kentucky projected to be a No. 3 seed at this point, although that could slip by a few seed lines if the big guys don’t heal reasonably soon,” DeCourcy said. “I’m higher on the Wildcats than those who’ve become convinced being freshman-dominant is not a successful formula, but they need at least one of their big guys available to protect the rim. I believe Tre Mitchell can handle the middle periodically, or when matchups make it necessary or advantageous, but they’re going to need more size on a regular basis to be a top-10 team in the 2024 season.”

The thought surrounding this season all comes down to the return of the front-court players. How long does it take for Aaron Bradshaw and Ugonna Onyenso to return from their foot injuries? How long does it take for the NCAA to clear Zvonimir Ivisic?

Without the three seven-footers, front-court depth and size in the middle is going to play a serious role in the success of the team early on.

It should be a fun season to follow along.

Be sure to check out the rest of the article at The Herald-Leader here.