Originally Posted by Scrap Irony
Six, IMO. Wiltjer will come back to start at PF. At PG, Harrow will have a year in the system. That leaves three starting spots for freshmen.
I suspect Noel and Muhamed will sign with UK, and signees Goowin and Poythress will fill out the starting five and slide to the six man role, with C Cauley and G/F Hood rounding out a thin (what's new?) eight-man bench.
Depending on who comes back for other teams, this could be a Cat team that really struggles early, but could be (again, depending on selfishness and ability to play together) a tough out in the tournament.
SF Goodwin/ Poythress
You hit the nail on the head. I also wouldn't be shocked if they get Anthony Bennett to mix in with Wiltjer. Bennett is undersized but would be more of a defensive presence than Wiltjer and they could move Kyle to SF even in some situations.
My problem with next years team is that there is no veteran leadership. In the Indiana game (Sweet 16), when Kentucky started to play up-tempo and kept pushing at a ridiculous rate, Darius Miller was the calming influence. They won't have that next year.
As of right now, I'd say they are losing five to the draft. Davis is for sure gone. MKG said he was coming back but he is likely a top 5 pick and Cal won't let him turn that down. Jones will likely be a lottery pick. Lamb and Teague will be mid to late first round. Darius Miller will go in the second round and I wouldn't be surprised to see Eloy Vargas get an invite to a NBA camp.
I think the team will be better than people expect, especially once they hit SEC play. I'll hit on this more in the Ohio State thread, but this year is going to be the mass exodus not just for Kentucky, but everybody. Last year the NBA lockout had kids spooked into going back to school (Terrence Jones, Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes), but this year with the labor situation settled, its going to be a LOADED NBA draft and a likely bare college basketball scene. I see Kentucky being a top 5 team next year due to parity and nothing else if they get Bazz and Noel.