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Musings: Tyrese Maxey impact, John Calipari on a mission, and a UK Football outlook

Maxey helped UK in 2018 and 2019, get out of Cal’s way, and concerns with the football team.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a while since I have sat down at the ole laptop and banged out one of these Musings posts and a great deal has happened since then.

Let’s get to it.

Tyrese Maxey is helping Kentucky in more ways than one

It was no surprise when 2019 five star point guard Tyrese Maxey picked the Kentucky Wildcats as his college team. All of the suspense was balled up in whether or not he would stay in the 2019 class or reclassify for 2018.

Maxey ended up staying in 2019, and that’s good for UK on multiple levels. For starters, Cal already has his point guard and another guy to help him recruit James Wiseman. Maxey is the second-ranked point guard in the 2019 class, so the kid is a stud. He also has a friendship with Wiseman, and it’s going to take all hands on deck to pull him away from Penny Hardaway.

Maxey staying in 2019 is also important for this year’s roster. With the chance of a logjam at guard, it was almost unavoidable for Calipari to have someone unhappy with his playing time if Maxey had joined the class.

With Ashton Hagans (we think) joining the class, Kentucky would have had three point guards on the roster. With Maxey opting for playing his senior season in high school, Cal now has Hagans and Immanuel Quickley at the position.

The only way we see Maxey in 2018 is if Hagans is unable to reclassify. In that case, Cal would just swap Maxey and Hagans from 2018/2019 and he’s still in great shape.

Cal continues to impose his will on recruiting

I’m not declaring the Duke Blue Devils and Coach K dead in the water, but the old sheriff is back in town.

John Calipari got the ball rolling with DJ Jefferies declaring for 2019. After that, he got E.J. Montgomery and Ashton Hagans in a matter of days, and then Maxey this week. That’s three players in the 2019 class and one of the best remaining recruits left in the 2018 class.

If only one of the three players in the combine without an agent — PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel, Jarred Vanderbilt — then Calipari has an ace up his sleeve in Reid Travis. Travis will be a grad transfer from Stanford. He averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds a game in the PAC 12, so he will come in already competing for a starting job.

Cal is shoring up his game in every phase.

Kentucky Football expectations

Even though Mark Stoops has just about all of the important pieces from back-to-back bowl season except the quarterback, the preseason procrastinators are still down on the Cats.

While many fans are crying foul, I’m actually going to agree with them and not because I don’t think Kentucky won’t be better. The issues I am looking at are the brutal schedule and the complete unknown at QB.

Kentucky has to travel to Florida, to Louisville, to Texas A&M, to Missouri, and to Tennessee. Missouri and Texas A&M both should be better than they were last season, and College Station is somewhere this Kentucky team has never been.

Louisville will most likely take a big step back, so that could be a win. And while neither Florida nor Tennessee look to be much improved, it’s not like Kentucky has had much success playing in Knoxville or Gainesville.

While fans think there will be a talent upgrade at quarterback with either Terry Wilson or Gunnar Hoak taking over for Stephen Johnson, do we really know that? Johnson brought a lot of leadership, toughness, and other winning intangibles to the table. Can Hoak or Wilson replace that?

I usually am over-optimistic when in comes to Kentucky football but I think I am going to lowball it when it comes to official prediction time.