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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Are We Trending Towards Normal New/Returning Player Ratio?


Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just the yearly grind at Kentucky to watch as the roster overhauls.  The only year where that really didn’t occur was in 2014-15, when eight players decided to return to Kentucky to join the 4-man recruiting class.  This summer has not been like that one.  A bunch of players have either decided or will be deciding about the NBA Draft, we’ve had players transfer or consider transferring, and the recruits keep rolling in.

So just how “normal” is the roster currently looking in terms of new/returning ratio compared to the other years of the Calipari era?

A breakdown:

(These lists do not count walk-on players like Jarrod Polson or Twany Beckham, even though those players may have been given scholarships year to year)

2010-11
(60%) NEW: 6 (Knight, Jones, Lamb, Vargas, Poole, Kanter)
(40%) RETURNING: 4 (Miller, Liggins, Harrellson, Hood)

2011-12
(44%) NEW: 4 (Davis, Gilchrist, Teague, Wiltjer)
(55%) RETURNING: 5 (Lamb, Jones, Miller, Vargas, Hood)

2012-13
(75%) NEW: 6 (Goodwin, Poythress, Noel, Harrow, Mays, Cauley-Stein)
(25%) RETURNING: 2 (Wiltjer, Hood)

2013-14
(73%) NEW: 8 (Randle, Harrison, Harrison, Young, Johnson, Lee, Willis, Hawkins)
(27%) RETURNING: 3 (Cauley-Stein, Poythress, Hood)

2014-15
(33%) NEW: 4 (Towns, Booker, Lyles, Ulis)
(66%) RETURNING: 8 (Harrison, Harrison, Cauley-Stein, Johnson, Lee, Poythress, Willis, Hawkins)

2015-16
(55%) NEW: 6 (Murray, Briscoe, Labissiere, Humphries, Matthews, Mulder)
(45%) RETURNING: 5 (Ulis, Poythress, Willis, Lee, Hawkins)

2016-17
(55%) NEW: 6 (Monk, Fox, Adebayo, Gabriel, Kileya-Jones, Wynyard)
(45%) RETURNING: 5 (Briscoe, Willis, Mulder, Hawkins, Humphries)

2017-18
(70%) NEW: 7 (Knox, Gilgeous-Alexander, Washington, Diallo, Green, Vanderbilt, Richards)
(30%) RETURNING: 3 (Gabriel, Kileya-Jones, Wynyard)

So, in the previous years under Calipari, we have had rosters comprised of 47 NEW players and 35 RETURNING players.  That comes out to a 57% new player ratio compared to a 43% returning player.  How is next year looking:

(55%) NEW: 6 (Johnson, Quickley, Herro, Montgomery, Baker, Hagans)
(45%) RETURNING: 5 (Green, Washington, Vanderbilt, Richards, Gabriel)

So, as it stands right now, next year’s roster is actually right on track for the trends of the Calipari era.  A slight edge to the new players but not significant.  Of course, a lot of decisions still have to be made.  Will Hagans officially reclassify?  Will Washington and/or Gabriel go pro?  Will Green transfer?  Will Calipari get more players?

I know sometimes it feels like the most recent thing is the worst or best.  I know social media acts as if the roster turnover this year is the worst of the Calipari era.  That’s just not true.  Whether or not you like the way the roster is formed year to year under Cal, what has been happening this year is par for the course.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

20 responses to “BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Are We Trending Towards Normal New/Returning Player Ratio?”

  1. 9IsNext

    Forgot Dodson in 2010.

    1. SuperTroy18

      I don’t think Dodson returned in ‘11. I think he left the program.

    2. TomEcaster

      We all have

  2. ukcamel

    I think it is far more informative to see what percentage of your minutes or points are returning. Big difference between Jones and Lamb returning for 2012 or Ulis coming back for 2016 and Wynyard and SKJ returning this past year.

    1. Jiminy Crickets

      Thank you. 2012 was special because We had 2 starters return to join AD and MKG, plus a senior leader in Miller. No comparison to SJK and Tai Wynard, two guys who never played and ended up transferring

  3. SuperTroy18

    Baker is more a “returning” player than a “new”. He might be new to us when we get to see him the first time, but his scholarship counted last season, so he’s technically “returning”. That tilts it to 5 new, 6 returning.

    1. makeitstop

      Exactly. He may not have played but he probably had almost as many minutes as Willis Wyntard or Hood in real game situatiions as Freshman, i.e. not trash time up 20.

  4. LexWildcatFan15

    Interesting observation:

    The two most dominant teams we’ve had under Cal (2012 and 2015 that each won 38 games) had over 50% of their players return (55% and 66% respectively).

    The most underwhelming team (the 2013 NIT team) had only 25% of players that returned.

    Now yes, the 2014 team had only 27% of the team return, and yes they made the National Championship game, but they weren’t a strong dominating juggernaut. Part of that tournament was luck.

    1. Jiminy Crickets

      Although it’s not “in the cal era”, the 2010 team also returned several key players from year before. Yes 2010 had wall cousins and Bledsoe, but they also had Patterson, miller, Ramon Harris, liggins and Perry Stevenson.

    2. SuperTroy18

      Yeah, I wondered why Cal’s first team wasn’t on here. Wish we could’ve kept that one returnee that got away, Meeks.

  5. Jiminy Crickets

    The last teams to have mass exodus to the level we possibly see this year were 2012 and 2015.

    2013 was a disaster with NIT loss in first round
    2016 was a double digit loss team that lost to average IU team in round of 32.

    Time will tell, but Washington is reportedly staying in draft even if mid second round is projection, Gabriel, Hami, vando and Green decisions are all coin flips. Watching this team all year, as much as they were frustrating to watch, there was always the thought we would get most of them back, and we still might, but may only return Richards a guy that was only a “starter” by name.

    1. UK Big Board Update

      …and if we get Washington, Gabriel, Vando, Green and Richards back, you’ll still find something to bitch about…

      And I think you’re confusing Washington with Hami in your post.

    2. SuperTroy18

      Washington is rumored to actually be leaning toward leaving due to the BBN treatment after his FT performance in final game. Could be false, but that’s the rumor.

    3. Megan

      This is what comes from speculation: bitchin’ and counter-bitchin’.

      Don’t borrow trouble. Let it play out. Then we can decide whether it’s bitch-worthy. At this point, we just don’t know.

    4. UK Big Board Update

      SuperTroy18 – wouldn’t surprise me, and I wouldn’t blame him. And he heard that negativity from the people who wish **really badly** that he’d return now.

      Stupid people: Its why we cant have nice things.

    5. dballrb

      Couldn’t agree more Big Board..The really harsh treatment Washington got was absolutely amazingly stupidity stupid…The players/recruits very much look at that.Haters quit hating on “OUR” guys!!

    6. runningunnin.454

      Absolutely; I’ve said many times, I hope players and recruits never read these comment sections. And, I can only imagine what twitter is like.

  6. kybirdieman

    If Washington, Green and Vanderbilt don’t return we can hang another sweet 16 banners. If you haven’t noticed the last couple of tournaments it’ men playing against boys.

    1. UK Big Board Update

      We don’t hang Sweet 16 banners, bruh.

      Indiana does….

  7. ukcamel

    I guess two years ago I noticed our boys lost in the Elite Eight, on the last possession, after dealing with questionable fouls, to the eventual champions.

    Did you notice something different?