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While the media narrative about John Calipari's teams seems to always begin with how they have to "completely reload" with young players each season, there's another aspect that tends to get overlooked.
Each year, Calipari brings back a few veterans that not only provide experience on the court, but also help their freshmen teammates to keep a level head when the pressure gets turned up.
Playing the Duke Blue Devils in the second game of the season is the very definition of a "baptism of fire" for this year's young Wildcat team. While UK (hopefully) won't need sophomore Kyle Wiltjer to lead the team in scoring, it will need him to provide leadership and a calming presence in what figures to be a circus-like atmosphere inside the Georgia Dome.
Ryan Harrow, who played against Duke twice during his freshman season at NC State, will also be looked to for stability when the veteran Blue Devils try to intimidate the Wildcats and force them out of their offensive game-plan.
Polson also emerged as an unlikely veteran hero against Maryland, which will hopefully carry over into this game, as well.
Duke will have a huge advantage in years of experience on the court; its starting five includes three seniors. If Wiltjer, Harrow and Polson can help make up some of that ground by getting their team to stay calm and communicate to each other, the Wildcats' superior talent could (and should) take care of the rest.
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