It's almost that time of year again. The always anticipated, basketball time in the Bluegrass.
The Kentucky Wildcats are back this season, not only with new uniforms, a second year head coach in Billy Gillispie, All-American Patrick Patterson, but also plenty of new names and faces on the roster.
This position is wide open with the loss of Derrick Jasper and Ramel Bradley. Juco transfer Kevin Galloway, heralded true freshman Deandre Liggins, and returning junior Michael Porter are in a battle for the starting PG spot.
Kevin Galloway and Deandre Liggins will be the main two guys. Porter will play a lot early, and probably even start the first few games in the season just until Galloway and Liggins get UK offensive scheme down. Liggins, standing at 6'6, and Galloway, standing at 6'7 all bring size to UK's backcourt.
My prediction: Kevin Galloway, but rotate Liggins in evenly.
A healthy Jodie Meeks will be UK's best player in the backcourt. Meeks, a junior, missed pretty much all of last season with injuries.
Also, true freshman and Kentucky's Mr. Basketball Darius Miller and even Kevin Galloway will rotate in some if need to be.
My prediction: Jodie Meeks
Ramon Harris, Darius Miller, and AJ Stewart will be battling it out for this starting spot. Ramon Harris had a great off-season and really played well for the Cats down the stretch.
True freshman and Kentucky's Mr. Basketball coming out of high school, Darius Miller, will be in the running and will see quite a bit of minutes.
Also, AJ Stewart will rotate in and get quite a bit of minutes. If he gives the effort in practice, which is something has hasn't been doing according to Gillispie.
My prediction: Ramon Harris
The Cats return a very good front line. Perry Stevenson is a blocking machine down low. He played absolutely perfect last season at the center position down the stretch when Patterson went down with his ankle fracture.
I'll explain why Patterson could be playing the 4 spot as well, coming up later in the article.
My prediction: Perry Stevenson
The Cats return All-American big man Patrick Patterson for his sophomore season. Also, Juco transfer John Harrellson will be seeing a lot of time down in the paint this season as well.
The reason as to why Patterson could be playing the 4 spot, is because of Josh Harrellson. He is a monster down low in the paint and could be starting in no time.
If Harrellson gets the starting nod at the 5 spot, then Patterson will move up to the 4 spot(power forward) and start over Stevenson.
Stevenson will also see a lot of minutes at the 5 spot.
My prediction: Patrick Patterson, as of right now. But don't be surprised to see Josh Harrellson to eventually get some starts and see Patterson move up to the power forward position and start(which is his true position).
So here it is. My lineup and rotation in order for the Cats.
5. Patterson/Harrellson/Stevenson(don't be surprised if Harrellson gets some starts in the season and see Patterson move to the 4 spot over Stevenson.)
So there you have it. This is my prediction on the Kentucky Wildcats starting lineup as of right now. Gillispie has a reputation in starting multiple lineups to find the best one. This, in my opinion, will be the best lineup/rotation for the Cats in 2008.
The return to excellence, begins.
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