Depth, or lack thereof, has never been an issue for John Calipari at the University of Kentucky. In the past two seasons, Calipari's rotation consisted of six or seven players. So why might he be looking to change that recipe in 2012-13?
As of this writing, the 2012 recruiting class has added four players to a depleted roster. Only Ryan Harrow and Kyle Wiltjer are returners who stand to gain significant minutes. Those two, plus the recruited four, are in line to receive a hefty amount of playing time—something Calipari may be looking to avoid.
The Wildcats have been in the mix for two top-five power forwards for some time (according to ESPN). Anthony Bennett and Amile Jefferson would bring the Kentucky recruiting class back to the top (or extend their lead, whichever recruiting service you prefer). Another power forward, however, is now in the mix to join the stellar 2012 class.
Check out this tweet from Joe Davis of ScoutsFocus.com:
Kentucky, NC State, PITT, Providence, L'ville, Xavier, Cincinnati & 'Bama are schools expected to make a push for Montrezl post-release.— Joe Davis (@scoutsfocus) April 24, 2012
Of course, there is a chance Harrell sticks with his original school, Virginia Tech. But with Seth Greenberg fired, chances are he will attend another school.
The chances of Calipari landing Bennett, Jefferson and Harrell are slim to none. But without one of these talented three, Kentucky would no longer lack the oh-so-desirable depth that has, thus far, eluded Calipari.
Calipari isn't only focused on adding depth to the frontcourt, however. Mark Lyons has received "preliminary interest" from Kentucky, and 4-star recruit Torian Graham is reportedly back in the mix for the Wildcats, according to Kentucky Sports Radio.
Yet another guard is being thrown into the fray. Mislav Brzoja of Croatia is visiting Lexington this Wednesday. Brzoja has a solid stroke from deep and decent size for a guard, which implies he would be a respectable defender.
This trio of these guards would give Calipari capable bench scorers that he otherwise wouldn't have, unless Twany Beckham or Jarrod Polson have a Josh Harrellson-like improvement.
When we widen our scope to encompass all six (Bennett, Brzoja, Graham, Harrell, Jefferson and Lyons) of these potential Wildcats, it is easy to see one prevailing theme: Calipari is looking for more.
There is no need for any of these six players. Kentucky is already in Dick Vitale's preseason top two, which speaks volumes about what kind of coach Calipari is. He doesn't have depth or experience. But his roster has talent, and he is one of the best at coaching talent.
So what is the best-case scenario for 2012-13? It is unrealistic to think more than three of these players would come to Lexington, but I, for one, would like to see more than six players in a rotation.
Each player has drawbacks. Bennett and Jefferson may have the most talent, but they are likely one-and-done candidates. Lyons only has one year of eligibility remaining, and he comes with a sketchy history.
Brzoja, Graham and Harrell are more likely to stick around after one year, but aren't as talented as the one-year athletes.
All in all, any of these players would be a welcome sight in Lexington. Who would you like to see in Kentucky blue next year?
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