For a few months now, almost the entirety of our attention has been centered around one burning question: Where will Andrew Wiggins go? That was the question heard ’round the Bluegrass and heard ’round the college basketball world. After months of speculation, flip flopping of predictions, reading of tea leaves and pretending to care about Florida State…we turn our attention to the summer in Kentucky Athletics. The summer can often be a boring and rather uneventful time, but many questions remain to be answered as we head into the heat of the summer months. Here are 10 burning questions to ponder over the summer:
1) Who will win the quarterback competition?
The spring game provided a bit of a surprise to most when Jalen Whitlow had the strongest performance on the field among the quarterbacks. With that said, Maxwell Smith and Patrick Towles are both still very much in the running and Neal Brown has admitted that the decision has still not been made, and probably won’t be made for a while. As the players arrive on campus for summer workouts and summer camp, the picture might become clearer as to which quarterback will separate himself from the rest.
I’m still sticking with my prediction that Jalen Whitlow gets the starting nod for Game 1.
2) Who will be the two main leaders on next year’s Kentucky basketball team? Will there be more?
Once upon a time we had John Wall and Patrick Patterson. Then we had Brandon Knight and Josh Harrellson. Then we had Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Darius Miller. Last year, as Calipari put it best, the team struggled to find an alpha male leader to take the team by the reigns. If Calipari’s press conference comments from the other day are any indication, Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison (though both freshman) appear to be the most likely candidates for the job.
Will any of the returning players step into the role that evaded them last season? Kyle Wiltjer? Alex Poythress? Willie Cauley-Stein?
3) How does Cal talk about this team at the end of the summer?
With the team that won the national championship in 2012, John Calipari couldn’t contain the giddy nature in his voice when talking about them. Although he tends to sometimes downplay his teams, you could just tell that we were all in store for something special. And I think Cal has an inkling as to whether or not a season can be truly special by the time school starts. If 40-0 and a national championship are truly in the cards, you’ll hear it in his quotes…if you can sift through the banter about what book he is reading and what ice cream flavor he’s eating.
4) What will Kentucky’s starting line-up look like?
Although this question might not be any closer to being answered at the end of August than it is now, we might have a better idea of who a few of the “sure fire” starters will be. At this point, Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison are the only two who I would without question place my money on being in the starting line-up.
The beauty of this question is that the answer might not even be all that important. With 8-10 players with the ability to contribute and bring something different to the table, it might just depend on the game and the situation.
5) Will Kentucky’s basketball roster undergo any more changes before the first game?
Last season Kentucky added Julius Mays very late in the game. The only potential area this team might still be looking to fulfill is another outside shooting threat. If a guy like Mays became available late, perhaps with a year of eligiblity left, would Kentucky put itself in the mix?
6) How will the 2014 Kentucky basketball recruiting class shape up?
The list of names has been narrowed to about 15, with about half of that number having already received a scholarship offer from Calipari. With summer recruiting events and some players narrowing lists by the end of summer, we might have a better idea of what the 2014 class might look like.
7) Can Mark Stoops keep up the momentum?
Not only was Drew Barker a HUGE pick-up for the coaching staff, but Barker has also immediately gone to work to put together some strong pieces around him in the 2014 class. Kentucky is already in the thick of the top 15 recruiting classes for 2014, but it’s still early. Can Kentucky stay in that range, or…dare I say, move up?
8) Will the newly arriving Stoops recruits make an impact right away?
JoJo Kemp, Javess Blue, Jason Hatcher, Za’Darius Smith, Ryan Timmons, etc. These are some of the names that might determine if Kentucky is able to sneak into a bowl game next season even with the tremendously difficult SEC schedule that awaits them. All of these players are either incoming freshman, or JUCO transfers. Will they be able to make an immediate BIG impact on the field? Guys like Kemp, Hatcher and Timmons might not see much playing time at a bigger and more established program until later in their careers. At Kentucky, they will have the opportunity early. Will they be ready?
9) Will we still be talking about Andrew Wiggins?
10) What the hell is that new Sandra Bullock movie Gravity going to be about? Are we really going to watch her float around space for 2 hours?
If you haven’t seen the preview, please watch below and tell me you aren’t as confused as I am. I don’t even want to know anything more about it. The producers did a great job of putting together the preview, because even though it looks terrible– I WILL see it just to see if we are really just going to watch Sandra Bullock float around space for 2 hours. And if so, will this turn into a romantic comedy along the way? Will she meet another space floater and almost screw it up, before blissfully pulling it together at the very end?