The Kentucky Wildcats' 2012-13 season went up in flames after they were passed over for a chance to defend their title in the NCAA tournament and subsequently upset by Robert Morris in the opening round of the NIT.
Despite this ugly finish, UK will be back and better than ever next year.
Aside from Nerlens Noel, a consensus top-five pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Wildcats could be returning all of their starters from 2012-13. This is a star-studded cast that includes Alex Poythress, Ryan Harrow, Archie Goodwin and Willie Cauley-Stein. Kyle Wiltjer, a steady presence off the bench, should also be back for his junior campaign.
While all of those players—with the exception of Harrow and Wiltjer—could presumably get selected in the first round this June, their initial comments make it seem that they will be returning to Lexington for another chance at a title.
Let’s not forget that Julius Randle, one of the top players in the 2014 class, has recently committed to play for coach John Calipari at Kentucky. This PF phenom joins top PG recruit Andrew Harrison, skilled swingman James Young, elite SG Aaron Harrison and star center Dakari Johnson in what may become one of the best recruiting classes of all time.
How far will Kentucky go next season?
It’s going to be difficult for the Wildcats to find playing time for all of these young stars, but if anyone can manage an immense stable of talent, it’s coach Cal. The most talented players will get the most minutes, but this bench unit could become the best in Division I and practically guarantee UK a title after the 2014 NCAA tournament concludes.
Even if a few of the star freshmen from this year decide to disappoint the Big Blue Nation and make an early jump to the NBA, there’s no doubting that Kentucky is going to be a contender to win it all in the near future.
Coach Calipari did a great job bringing in some extremely talented high school recruits and will have Kentucky basketball back to its winning ways in no time at all.
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