Friday, November 30, 2012

Kentucky vs Baylor....A Preview


Kentucky vs Baylor…12/1/12 (Saturday 12:30PM) TV-CBS
UK leads the series 7-0

Baylor

Location: Waco, TX
Enrollment: 15,029
Arena: 10,284

Head Coach: Scott Drew
Career Record: 177-135 (56.7%) 11 Seasons
At Baylor: 157-124 (55.9%) 10 Seasons

2011-12 Record: 30-8
2011-12 Big 12 Record: 12-6
2011-12 Postseason: 3-1 (Lost in Elite 8 to UK)

2012-13 Record: 4-2

Baylor 99 Lehigh 77
Baylor 78 Jackson St. 47
Baylor 84 Boston College 74
Colorado 60 Baylor 58
Baylor 97 St. John’s 78
College of Charleston 63 Baylor 59

Probable Starting Lineup

Corey Jefferson-F 6’9” Jr………………….14.3 PPG
Isaiah Austin-C 7’0” Fr……………………14.2 PPG
A.J. Walton-G 6’1” Sr……………………..5.3 PPG
Brady Heslip-G 6’2” Jr…………………….11.6 PPG
Pierre Jackson-G 5’10” Sr………………….20.3 PPG

Other Key Players

Gary Franklin-G 6’2” Jr…………………….2.3 PPG
Duece Bello-G 6’4” Soph…………………..4.3 PPG
Ricardo Gathers-F 6’8” Fr………………….5.7 PPG

PPG-79.2
FG%-49.7%
3 PT%-34.5%
FT%-68.4%
RPG-39.5 (+8.2)
APG-15.0
TO’s-12.0
SPG-9.2
BPG-3.5

Baylor lost 3 starters from last season and they were good players…Quincy Acy, Perry Jones III  and Quincy Miller, but they return some very solid talent. UK fans got a close up look at Baylor in last season’s NCAA and while the Cats were superior…..Baylor made it to the Elite 8 with some very good athletes and talent.

This season, Baylor is led by Pierre Jackson who is averaging 20.3 PPG. Jackson is an excellent 3 point shooter hitting 39% from long range and leads the team in assists with 40. The Bears two big men…..Corey Jefferson and Isaiah Austin are good scorers and both are solid on the boards averaging 9 and 8.2 RPG respectfully.

Brady Heslip, a starting guard, missed Baylor’s last game due to having his appendix removed. Heslip’s status for the UK game is unknown, however he is likely to play some. Heslip is also a very good perimeter shooter hitting 38.2% thus far this season. In a recent game against St. John’s. Heslip scored 29 points and made 8-12 perimeter shots.

Baylor has athletes and talent…..they are also good at stealing the ball….as they are averaging 9.2 steals per game.

Baylor will likely be looking for some revenge when they come to Rupp arena. Look for the Bears to give UK a good game.

I am writing this before I leave for the Notre Dame game so I will post this preview a bit early since the Baylor game comes right after the ND game.

I’ll predict a UK win by 9 points…..GO CATS!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kentucky vs Notre Dame....A Preview


Kentucky vs Notre Dame….11/29/12
(Big East/SEC Challenge)
(Thursday 7PM) (TV-ESPN 2)
UK leads the series 42-18

Notre Dame

Location: South Bend, IN
Enrollment: 11,733
Arena: 9,149

Head Coach: Mike Brey
Career Record: 359-184 (66.1%) 17 Seasons
At Notre Dame: 260-132 (66.3%) 12 Seasons

2011-12 Record: 22-12
2011-12 Big East Record: 13-5
2011-12 Postseason: 0-1 (NCAA)

2012-13 Record: 6-1

Notre Dame 58 Evansville 49
Notre Dame 84 Monmouth 57
St. Joseph’s 79 Notre Dame 70 (OT)
Notre Dame 78 BYU 68
Notre Dame 65 George Washington 48
Notre Dame 69 St. Francis (PA) 52
Notre Dame 76 Chicago St. 55

Probable Starting Lineup

Jack Cooley-F 6’9” Sr……………..14.3 PPG
Scott Martin-G 6’8” Sr……………..8.2 PPG
Eric Atkins-G 6’1” Jr………………10.3 PPG
Jerian Grant-G 6’5” Jr………..……13.0 PPG
Pat Connaughton-G/F 6’5” Soph…..8.0 PPG

Other Key Players

Garrick Sherman-C 6’10” Sr………11.0 PPG
Cameron Biedscheid-F 6’7” Fr…….7.7 PPG

PPG-73.7
FG%-49.0%
FT%-63.3%
3 PT%-37.1%
RPG-39.6 (+7)
APG-19.0
TO’s-11.9
SPG-5.4
BPG-5.4

Notre Dame returns all 5 starters from last year’s team that finished 2nd in the Big East. Coach Brey is playing 7 players mostly with 5 of the players being seniors and juniors. The Irish are a well coached veteran team with 4 of the 7 players scoring in double figures.

The Irish are led in scoring by senior Jack Cooley who is averaging 14.3 PG while grabbing a team high of 11.3 RPG. Although Cooley is not very athletic…he is a tough hard working player that uses his 244 lbs. very effectively in the paint to rebound and score. Cooley’s weakness is at the FT line where he is hitting only 58.7%.

Eric Atkins is a very good perimeter shooter hitting 45.0% and also leads the team in assists with 6.7 PG. In addition, Scott Martin also shoots well from the 3 point line hitting 42.1%. Importantly, the Irish have several good perimeter shooters and are hitting a solid 37.1%.

Notre Dame has always been tough at home…..they had a 45 home game winning streak in recent years. The arena is small, under 10,000 and has lots of students who make it difficult on visiting teams. Bottom line….this Notre Dame shoots well and plays well at home…..and the team and student body will be more than jacked up when the Cats come to South Bend.

Importantly for UK, Ryan Harrow is back with the team, but will not likely start for a while. Hopefully, Ryan is able to contribute some productive minutes off the bench at Notre Dame. Thus far, the Cats are shooting at a very good 55.8% clip and an outstanding 46.2% from the perimeter.

UK still needs to work on their overall rebounding, especially on the offensive boards where they have done a poor job. Free throw shooting is another area that needs improvement with the Cats hitting only 67.7%. The season is only 5 games old and while there has been improvement by this very young UK team…..there is still a lot of improvement needed on both offense and defense.

Notre Dame will present a very tough challenge for these young Cats…..it will be their first away game in a very difficult environment. UK brings more talent and more athletic ability to South Bend, but the Irish have the advantage in experience and Notre Dame is not without talent. This should be a very good game. I like UK by 5 points……GO CATS!

Monday, November 26, 2012

AP Top 25/USA Today/ESPN - 11/26/12

AP Top 25

1. Indiana (47)
2. Duke (18)
3. Michigan
4. Ohio St.
5. Louisville
6. Syracuse
7. Florida
8. Kentucky
9. Arizona
10. Kansas
11. Creighton
12. Gonzaga
13. Michigan St.
14. North Carolina
15. Oklahoma St.
16. Missouri
17. Cincinnati
18. N.C. State
19. Colorado
20. Georgetown
21. Minnesota
22. Illinois
23. San Diego St.
24. UNLV
25. New Mexico

Dropped Out:No. 11 UCLA, No. 19 Memphis, No. 21 Connecticut, No. 24 Baylor

Others Receiving Votes:Alabama 108, Wichita St. 99, Connecticut 93, UCLA 85, Pittsburgh 55, Oregon 44, Notre Dame 42, Memphis 23, Butler 20, Wisconsin 16, California 12, Florida St. 10, St. Joseph's 9, Ohio 8, Marquette 7, Temple 5, Murray St. 5, Baylor 4, Tennessee 3, VCU 1, Colorado St. 1

USA Today/ESPN

1. Indiana (27)
2. Duke (4)
3. Michigan
4. Ohio St.
5. Syracuse
6. Louisville
7. Florida
8. Kentucky
9. Arizona
10. Kansas
11. Creighton
12. Gonzaga
13. North Carolina
14. Michigan St.
15. Missouri
16. Cincinnati
17. Oklahoma St.
18. N.C. State
19. Colorado
20. UNLV
21. San Diego St.
22. Illinois
23. New Mexico
24. UCLA
25. Georgetown

Dropped Out:No. 17 Memphis, No. 21 Baylor, No. 23 Connecticut, No. 24 Wisconsin

Others Receiving Votes:Minnesota 48, Pittsburgh 41, Connecticut 38, Alabama 38, Notre Dame 36, Florida St. 26, Wisconsin 24, Wichita St. 16, Memphis 16, California 14, Murray St. 13, Kansas St. 12, Oregon 12, Ohio 10, St. Joseph's 10, St. Mary's 8, Butler 5, Tennessee 5, Marquette 4, Baylor 3, Maryland 2, VCU 2, Mississippi 1, Davidson 1, Colorado St. 1, Texas 1

UK's Archie Goodwin Named SEC Player of the Week 11/26/12

SEC Freshman of the Week-11/26/12

Kentucky’s Archie Goodwin, a 6-foot-4, 198-pound freshman guard from Little Rock, Ark., was named SEC Freshman of the Week after averaging 25.0 points 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in wins over Morehead State and LIU Brooklyn. Goodwin logged a career-high 28 points in a win over Morehead State to begin the week. It is the seventh-most points in a game for a UK freshman in the history of the program and the most by any UK player this season. He then followed that performance by nearly charting the second triple-double in school history. He posted a team-high 22 points to accompany career-highs in assists (9) and rebounds (9).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kentucky vs Morehead St.....A Preview

Kentucky vs Morehead St….11/21/12
 Barclays Center Classic
(Wednesday 7PMEST/6PMCST)
TV-Fox Sports South
UK leads the series 9-0 

Morehead St. Eagles

Location: Morehead, Ky.
Enrollment: 11,000
Arena: 6,500

Head Coach: Sean Woods
Career Record: 50-80 (38.5%) 4 seasons
This is Coach Woods 1st year at Morehead

2011/12 Record: 18-15
2011/12 OVC Record: 10-6
No Postseason

2012/13-Record: 3-1

Morehead St. 77 LIU (Brooklyn) 74
Maryland 67 Morehead St. 45
Morehead St. 101 Alice Lloyd 50
Morehead St. 88 Lafayette, Pa. 74

Morehead St. Stats

PPG-77.8
FG%-46.1%
3 PT.%-33%
FT%-57.1%
RPG-41.2 (+7.8)
APG-17.3
TO’s-17.8
SPG-13.0
BPG-3.8

Probable Starting Lineup

Drew Kelly-F 6’7” Jr…………………5.0 PPG
Milton Chavis-F 6’6” Sr……………17.3 PPG
Jason Holmes-F/C 6’9” Sr……………4.8 PPG
Devon Atkinson-G 6’1” Sr…………..7.8 PPG
Angelo Warner-G 6’3” Soph…………7.5 PPG

Other Key Players

Bakari Turner-G 6’4” Jr…………….8.5 PPG
Kahil Owens-F/C 6’7” Sr……………7.5 PPG

Sean Woods takes over the reins at Morehead St. this season after successfully improving the Mississippi Valley St. program over his 4 years including an NCAA trip last season. Of course, Cat fans will forever have a warm spot in their hearts for Woods as a former “Unforgettable”. Who could ever forget the incredible shot Woods made to give UK a 1 point lead over Duke with 2.1 seconds left!

Coach Woods has indicated that his goal is to turn Morehead St. into the Gonzaga of the South….that is a very lofty goal, but who knows…..Sean Woods might make some magic at Morehead in the future.

Right now, Woods must deal with the hand he has been dealt and it is a weak hand. Woods has a lot of work to do on the recruiting trail. This season, the Eagles will be playing mostly juniors and seniors with the best player being senior Milton Chavis. Chavis leads the team in scoring with an 17.3 PPG average and thus far has hit 50% from long range. Also, Chavis leads in steals with 13 thus far. Devon Atkinson leads the Eagles in assists with 20 while 6’7” 250 lb. Kahil Owens leads in rebounds with 6.5 PG.

Morehead St., thus far, has not been a good shooting perimeter team and a very poor FT shooting team. Also, they have not handled the ball well committing 17.8 TO’s PG.

While Morehead St. should present much more of a challenge to UK than Lafayette, Pa. did….the Eagles simply don’t have the talent to match up with the Cats.

Coach Cal will use the Morehead St. game to hopefully improve UK’s offense and defense…..while continuing looking at different combinations. There is no doubt regarding the outstanding talent on this very young UK team….but, the over coming the inexperience of this years UK team and getting them to master the offense and defense is a real challenge for Cal and the coaching staff. However, these young kids seem to have great attitudes and are working hard to improve their skills everyday….and that is a huge plus.

Now, UK fans wait to see if Ryan Harrow will be healthy enough to be the Cat’s PG….hopefully, we soon see Harrow on the floor playing PG. One cannot over estimate the importance of the PG position for any team and especially for these young Cats. For UK to have a successful season and advance deep in the NCAA…..UK must have an effective PG….hopefully it’s Harrow….if not, then Goodwin will likely assume that role mostly with help from Polson.

I see a solid UK win over Morehead St. by 20-25 points….again depending on how much Cal decides to use his bench. GO CATS!

Monday, November 19, 2012

UK's Alex Poythress Named SEC Player of the Week 11/19/12

SEC Men's Basketball Freshman Player Of The Week


Kentucky’s Alex Poythress, a 6-foot-7, 239-pound freshman forward from Clarksville, Tenn., was named SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring 21.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in games against 9th-ranked Duke and to Lafayette. Poythress had 20 points and added a team-high eight rebounds in a loss to No. 9 Duke. He then topped that performance with a 9-10 night from the field for a career-high 22 points. He became the first freshman since Brandon Knight in Feb. 2011 to have consecutive 20-point efforts.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Photos 2012 UK Men’s Basketball: Duke

Kentucky vs Lafayette, Pa....A Preview

Kentucky vs Lafayette, Pa.…
11/16/12..Friday 7PM..TV-FS SOUTH
(First meeting)
Barclays Center Classic 
(Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.)


Lafayette Leopards

Location: Easton, Pa.
Enrollment: 2,406
Arena: 3,500

Head Coach: Fran O’Hanlon
Career Record: 239-260 (47.9%)
17 Seasons all at Lafayette

2011-12 Record: 13-18
2011-12 Patriot Record: 7-7

2012-13 Record: 1-1

St. Francis 76 Lafayette 65
Lafayette 98 LIU-Brooklyn 94 (OT)

PPG-70
FG%-45.8%
3 PT %-43.5%
FT%-65.3%
RPG-34
APG-12.5
TO’s-12.5
SPG-4.5
BPG-7.5

Probable Starting Lineup

Dan Trist-F 6’9” Soph……………PPG-23.0
Levi Giese-F 6’9” Sr……………..PPG-4.5
Seth Hinrichs-G 6’7” Soph………PPG-16.5
Bryce Scott-G 6’2” Fr……………PPG-2.0
Les Smith-G 6’0” Jr……………...PPG-4.0

Other Key Players

Tony Johnson-G 6’0” Sr…………PPG16.5
Joey Ptasinski-G 6’2” Soph……...PPG-9.5

Certainly, the primary focus for Lafayette is to be competitive in their Patriot league….and they hope that scheduling the likes of UK, Maryland, Minnesota and Stanford will help toughen the team up….even though they know they will be losses.
Lafayette was one of the top 3 point shooting teams last season….ranking 24th nationally hitting 38.5% and averaging 9.1 perimeter shots made. Although, the Leopards lost a couple of their perimeter shooters, they return two very good long range shooters in Seth Hinrichs and Joey Ptasinski. Of course, Lafayette hopes that by having a great night shooting the 3 ball, they might catch lighting in a bottle and upset one of the big boys on their schedule.

UK returns to Rupp arena after defeating Maryland and losing to Duke. Importantly, the coaching staff and players learned a lot regarding their weaknesses by playing both good teams. These young Cats now must focus on correcting those weaknesses and improve their overall game. UK did show improvement in the 2 games, but still have a long way to go to make a serious run in the NCAA tourney.

Hopefully, Harrow will be healthy enough to return to the court as PG. Otherwise, Goodwin and Polson will have to run the point until Harrow returns. While it’s OK for Goodwin to play some at the point, Cal would likely prefer him to play mostly at the 2 guard where he is most effective.

Coach Cal and the coaching staff have their work cut out for them because of the youth and inexperience on this team. However, in both early games, UK fans got to see the great talent on this team and their obvious potential.

The PG is the most important position and whoever plays it…..must get the Cats in their offense and look for the open man. UK has two very good long range shooters in Wiltjer and Mays….somehow there must be some plays and screens to free these two for some decent looks. At the same time, both need to work hard to get open…..it definitely hurt UK in the Duke game that Wiltjer got only 5 shots and only 2 from the perimeter. The Cats must establish a solid perimeter game.

The Lafayette game will be important for these young players to work on improving various aspects of their overall game. Certainly, they will need to defend the perimeter against Lafayette. This game should be another step toward correcting problem areas.

I see UK defeating Lafayette by 25 points…..however, the final margin will likely be determined by how much time the bench gets in the game. GO CATS!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Video: Coach Calipari Pre-Duke Press Conference

Kentucky vs Duke....A Preview

Kentucky vs Duke….11/13/12 
(Tuesday 9:30PM) ESPN 
Champions Classic (Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.)
UK Leads the series 11-8

Duke

Location: Durham, NC
Enrollment: 6,526
Game played at Georgia Dome in Atlanta

Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
Career Record: 927-291 (76.1%) 37 Seasons (32 at Duke)

2011-12 Record: 27-7
2011-12 ACC Record: 13-3
2011-12 Postseason: 0-1 )Lost in 1st round of NCAA

2012-13 Record: 1-0

Duke 74 Georgia St. 55

Starting Lineup

Mason Plumlee-F/C 6’10” Sr…...PPG-19
Ryan Kelly-F 6’11” Sr……….….PPG-8
Tyler Thorton-G 6’1” Jr…………PPG-13
Rasheed Sulaimon-G 6’4” Fr……PPG-6
Seth Curry-G 6’2” Sr……………PPG-15

Other Key Players

Quinn Cook-G 6’0” Soph……….PPG-8
Josh Harrison-F 6’7” Jr…………PPG-0
Amile Jefferson-F 6’8” Fr………PPG-5

Duke is a veteran club this season with 3 seniors in the starting lineup. The Blue Devils only real loss from last season was Austin Rivers going pro after one season. As always, Duke remains Duke….that is they always have good talent and a great coach in coach K.

Mason Plumlee is one of the best big men in college basketball. Last season Plumlee averaged 11.1 PPG….lead the team in rebounds ave. 9.2 RPG….but does have a weakness in his FT shooting hitting only 52.8%. In the opening game this season against Georgia St….Plumlee scored 19 points….pulled down 14 rebounds and had 4 blocks. Certainly, containing Mason Plumlee will be a challenge for UK’s big men.

Ryan Kelly, the other big man on Duke’s frontline averaged 11.8 PPG last season and shot 40-98 from the perimeter for a very good 40.8%.

Seth Curry averaged 13.2 PPG last season…shot 64-167 from long range for a solid 38.3%….let the team in assists….and hit an eyepopping 87.3% from the FT line. Curry scored 15 points in Duke’s opening game this season hitting 3-7 from the 3 point line.

Tyler Thorton also likes to shoot the perimeter shot and was 3-6 in the opening game this season.

The Blue Devils will go at least 7 deep and likely 8….expect to see meaningful minutes from soph Quinn Cook and freshman Amile Jefferson.

Duke in their opening win over Georgia St. shot 11-24 for an excellent 45.8% from long range. The Blue Devils had 15 TO’s in that game and surprisingly were outrebounded 33-31 by Georgia St.

This season’s Duke team will be on a mission to make up for their embarrassing loss to Lehigh in the NCAA. Coach K is obviously fielding a very experienced veteran team….a team that has a terrific inside presence in Plumlee and an array of very good long range shooters. The Blue Devils also have solid depth coming off the bench. All in all, this is a top 10 team that will very dangerous in the NCAA tourney.

In contrast to Duke, UK fields arguably the most inexperienced team in college basketball, but they also field an extremely talented team. These young Cats got their taste of college basketball against a determined talented Maryland team and hung on for a very rewarding first win of the season. UK demonstrated their great talent in the game and also revealed their inexperience…..but, their was much to be optimistic about. UK took a real beating on their offensive boards so you can bet that coach Cal is spending a lot of time in practice trying to correct this lack of rebounding.

The coaches will be looking for a well Ryan Harrow to play effectively as PG. Also, UK needs Alex Polythess to play smarter and with more effort. Everyone will need to improve and a sure focus against the upcoming Duke team is guarding the perimeter. The Cats can ill afford for Duke’s sharpshooters to get easy looks from long range. UK’s two big men must do a good job of containing and minimizing Plumlee’s effectiveness in the paint….and this won’t be easy.

This will be a very interesting game for UK….it may be coming a bit early in the season for these young Cats, but the Cats have the talent to match any college team. Duke will likely be the favorite because they are a veteran talented team ranked in the top 10. However, I would not be surprised to see this young Cats upset Duke in a very close game…Cats by 2 points. GO CATS!


AP/ESPN Top 25 Poll 11/12/12

AP Top 25

1. Indiana (46)
2. Louisville (18)
3. Kentucky (1)
4. Ohio St.
5. Michigan
6. N.C. State
7. Kansas
8. Syracuse
9. Duke
10. Florida
11. North Carolina
12. Arizona
13. UCLA
14. Missouri
15. Creighton
16. Baylor
17. Memphis
18. UNLV
19. Gonzaga
20. Notre Dame
21. Michigan St.
22. Wisconsin
23. Connecticut
24. Cincinnati
25. San Diego St.

Dropped Out:No. 25 Florida St.

Others Receiving Votes:VCU 75, Murray St. 64, Minnesota 58, Pittsburgh 36, Saint Louis 32, St. Joseph's 30, Butler 22, Texas 20, Marquette 18, Tennessee 18, Kansas St. 12, Miami (FL) 9, St. Mary's 8, New Mexico 7, West Virginia 7, Florida St. 7, Ohio 6, Alabama 5, Stanford 4, Northern Iowa 4, Davidson 4, Georgetown 1, Maryland 1


USA Today/ESPN

1. Indiana (25)
2. Louisville (4)
3. Kentucky (2)
4. Ohio St.
5. Michigan
6. N.C. State
7. Kansas
8. Syracuse
9. Duke
10. Florida
11. North Carolina
12. Arizona
13. Creighton
14. UCLA
15. Missouri
16. Memphis
17. Baylor
18. UNLV
19. Gonzaga
20. Wisconsin
21. Notre Dame
22. Michigan St.
23. San Diego St.
24. Cincinnati
25. Texas

Dropped Out:No. 24 Florida St.

Others Receiving Votes:Connecticut 58, VCU 54, Murray St. 34, Kansas St. 19, Pittsburgh 15, St. Mary's 13, Marquette 11, New Mexico 11, Tennessee 8, Saint Louis 8, Minnesota 7, Santa Clara 6, Colorado St. 4, Stanford 3, Iowa St. 3, Florida St. 3, St. Joseph's 2, Maryland 2, Colorado 2, Georgia 2, Bucknell 2, South Alabama 1, Middle Tenn. St. 1, Ohio 1


Photos UK Women’s Basketball 2012: Delaware

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Kentucky vs Maryland....A Preview


Kentucky vs Maryland
11/9/12..Fri. 8:30 (ESPN)
Barclays Center Classic (Brooklyn, NY)
(UK leads the series 7- 5)

Maryland

Enrollment: 37.631
Playing at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn,NY
Seating: 17,734

Head Coach: Mark Turgeon
Career Record: 267-175 (60.5%) 14 Seasons
At Maryland: 17-15 (53.1%) 1 Season

2011-12 Record: 17-15
2011-12 ACC Record: 6-10
2011-12 Postseason: None

2012-13 Record: 0-0
Maryland 73 Indiana University (PA) 61 (Exhibition)

Coach Mark Turgeon has the challenge of following Gary Williams as the Terrapins coach. Last year Turgeon's 1st at Maryland resulted in a winning season...barely. Solid recruiting and transfers are being counted on to bring Maryland back to the national stage. This season should be an improvement, but next season is being counted on to show great success.

The Terps lost their 2 top scorers from last season.....Terrell Stoglin who led in scoring with a 21.6 average.....and Sean Mosley who averaged 10.2 PPG. Importantly, however, Maryland does return two solid starters in Nick Faust and James Padgett.
Nick Faust, a 6'6" soph guard averaged 8.9 PPG last season and was voted to the ACC Freshman Team.

A very important addition to the Terps roster is transfer Dez Wells from Xavier who has been cleared to play by the NCAA.
Wells is a huge pick up for Maryland and at 6'5" can play guard or the 3 position.

Possible Starting lineup (as it is very early)

Nick Faust-G 6'6"Soph
Dez Wells-G/F 6'5" Soph
James Padgett-F 6'8" Sr.
John Auslander-F 6'7" Jr.
Alex Len-C 7'1" Soph

Other Key Players

Pe'Shon Howard-G 6'3" Jr.
Logan Aronhalt-G 6'3" Sr.
Shaquille Cleare-C 6'10: Fr.

Although Maryland is not ranked, they are not without talent and certainly the addition of Dez Wells makes the Terps a dangerous opponent.

UK enters the season as arguably the most inexperienced in UK history, but they also have one of the most talented UK teams. As coach Cal has said, this young team is a work in progress and while they have improved in their practices and exhibition games....they still have a long way to go. Frankly, I would have liked to see an easier opponent to open the season, but it is an honor to play Maryland in the new Barclays Center.

It has been reported that Ryan Harrow is questionable for the game as he apparently is recovering from the flu. Also, Julius Mays is questionable because of his recent knee injury. Both may or may not play. Obviously, not having one or both available would be a huge hit for this young UK team and leave UK with only Polson and Hood to go along with Goodwin at the guard positions.

This opening game will be very interesting and a definite challenge for these young Cats. Lineups are still being shuffled, so we need to see who starts and importantly....who finishes.

I'm picking UK by 7 points over the Terps.....GO CATS!

Video: Coach Calipari Pre-Maryland Press Conference