Kentucky Basketball: Who Will Be Kentucky's Go-to Guy on Offense in 2012-13?
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The Kentucky Wildcats will retain exactly 6.3 points per game from their 2012 championship squad. That means a whopping 91.9 percent of the scoring that made the Wildcats so formidable on offense this past season has been lost.
With Kyle Wiltjer being the only returning player that averaged more than one point per game last year, holes will need to be filled. The potent attack of the 2011-12 squad had no "go-to" scorer, but you could always count on senior Darius Miller to make a clutch basket.
In 2012-13, there will be no "Miller Time," but there may not be a drop off at all in the scoring department for John Calipari. Four (possibly five) talented freshmen and one transfer will rejuvenate a roster that lost its top six scorers.
Ryan Harrow, a transfer point guard that was actually ranked ahead of guards like Kendall Marshall and Shabazz Napier in Rivals' position rankings in 2010, will no doubt pick up some of the scoring slack that was left behind.
Julius Mays, another transfer guard out of Wright State, averaged 14.1 points per game last season and should contribute right away. One Horizon League coach told Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports that Mays "should be a solid third or fourth option at Kentucky," removing him from contention for a "go-to" scorer role for now.
Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress mark two wing players that are inconsistent with their outside shots but can drive to the hoop and score. Both are capable of creating their own shot and scoring 15-plus points per game.
Down low, Kentucky will have Wiltjer along with two freshmen centers, Willie Cauley-Stein and Nerlens Noel. Wiltjer returns with his deadly outside shot and could step into a lead scoring role for the Wildcats, if his confidence is willing to match his talent.
Who do YOU think will be the Wildcats' go-to guy next year?
Cauley-Stein and Noel are two lanky big men that need to work on their post play. Noel may step up and lead the Wildcats in scoring like Anthony Davis did, but chances are neither of these players will end up being a "go-to" player late in the game.
With so much uncertainty dealing with this roster, we may not see a "go-to" guy emerge until later in the season. However, one thing is for certain: Harrow will have the ball in his hands to end the game.
Harrow is a flashy point guard, one that can create his own shot and get to the rim at will. He's undersized, but that doesn't stop him from attacking.
Chances are Harrow will be quicker than whoever is on the opposite side of the ball. He'll be tasked with breaking down the defense late in a game, and either setting up a Goodwin/Wiltjer three ball, an alley-oop to Noel down low, or creating a shot for himself.
As great as Goodwin and Poythress are at breaking down defenses, no one knows the success they will see at the college level. Harrow is far from proven, but has the experience of practicing alongside a national championship (and NBA-ready) team.
There may not be one specific player that scores down the stretch for the Wildcats, but you can bet that it will be Harrow handling the basketball. He'll be the go-to guy on the Kentucky offense to create an open look during crunch time.
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