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14 Predictions for 2014

(Kate Martin, maybe)

It’s never too early to make predictions… but why not push the envelope and make some predictions as early as possible in the year 2014? As we get ready to dive right into the 2014 action, here are a few semi-educated predictions for what the next year has in store for the University of Kentucky…

(In no particular order)…

1. Willie Cauley-Stein will get a triple-double

Cauley-Stein has flirted with a triple-double on a number of occasions already this season. Cauley-Stein is the most likely candidate to be the first player since Chris Mills (also, the only player in UK’s storied history) to record a triple-double. Cauley-Stein is the one player who consistently puts up strong numbers in 3 categories: points, rebounds and blocked shots. At some point during the SEC schedule, probably on a day we least expect it to happen– the elusive triple-double will be achieved by Cauley-Stein– etching him into the Kentucky basketball history books forever. *Side note/Prediction: I think the blocks and rebounds will be the easy part on that day/night (whenever it happens). The 10-point mark will be the hardest part…

2. Andrew Harrison will finish the season in similar fashion to Marquis Teague

Remember the first 2/3 of Marquis Teague’s season as Kentucky’s freshman point guard? Teague’s up and down play was the cause of many a headache for Kentucky fans. Luckily, Teague had a core group of veterans and two improbable freshmen (Davis and MKG) to surround him and allow him plenty of time to grow up into a championship caliber point guard. By the time the SEC tournament rolled around, Teague was the player and point guard Kentucky needed as the final piece of the puzzle to win the national championship. Andrew Harrison has continued to make big strides, especially over the last few weeks. With the talent Kentucky has on its roster, Andrew does not have to be the best player on the court– much like Teague did not have to be the best player on the court. But he does have to run the team and be a constant and reliable piece, stepping up in big moments when needed. When it’s all said and done, I think Andrew Harrison becomes the championship caliber point guard we all hoped he would be upon his arrival in Lexington.

3. The UK Hoops team will make the school’s first ever Final 4

The UK Hoops team has been knocking on the door for 4 years now, coming up just short of reaching the school’s first women’s basketball Final 4 on 3 occasions. Kentucky has taken a 2 seed into the tournament at best, never able to grab one of the important 1 seeds in women’s basketball. Perhaps more so than in any other sport, that #1 seed is a huge deal in the women’s game. With a handful of teams each year who are nearly impossible to top (UCONN this season), it’s important to draw as far away from those teams as possible. Securing a #1 seed would almost certainly ensure that Kentucky would not meet one of those teams until the Final 4. Not to say that Kentucky couldn’t beat a team like UCONN, but the road would be much better for Kentucky if they could avoid that match up until as late as possible. I think this is the year. The Cats have already proved to be one of the top teams in the country, with big wins over Louisville and Baylor. Kentucky also has a nice path lined up, especially should they get the #1 seed. Kentucky could host the first and second round games in Lexington, and likely will. Louisville has also been chosen as a regional site for the tournament. If ever a year for Kentucky to do it…this could be the one.

3. Kentucky will put 2 players in the NBA’s Draft Lottery, POSSIBLY 3…

I know, I know. That seems like a long shot at this point. Julius Randle is the only definite player to hear his name called in the lottery portion of this year’s NBA draft. Randle will likely be a top 5 pick, barring something crazy happening. I also think that Willie Cauley-Stein will find his way into the top 13 picks. A 7-footer who can defend the perimeter the way he can, as well as be a shot blocking presence around the basket, isn’t a skill set you see every day. His offensive deficiencies will be the only thing to potentially hold him back, but don’t be surprised if a team takes a chance on the 7-footer with unique talent. As for the third player? Don’t count out a 6-5 point guard in Andrew Harrison or an offensively gifted (and now potentially great rebounding guard) James Young. If Young gets hot down the stretch, it’s not out of the question to think he could slip into the lottery.

4. Matt Elam will pick Kentucky

We’ve talked about this a lot here on KSR lately, but the tide has shifted in favor of the Cats. It’s hard to imagine at this point that Elam will make any other decision.

5. Kentucky football will win at least 2 SEC games next year and knock on the door of a bowl game

Kentucky hasn’t won an SEC football game in 2 seasons. The streak will not only end next season, but Kentucky will pick up at least 2 SEC wins. Couple those wins with a couple of non-conference wins, and Kentucky will be knocking on the door of a bowl game. I still think 2015 is the year for that to happen, but Kentucky will be much closer in the hunt this year than last.

6. Jarrod Polson will have at least one more memorable game for Kentucky

Jarrod Polson came up huge for Kentucky against Belmont, but didn’t see the court against Louisville. Match-ups and speed of the opposing guards will likely dictate when and how Polson will be used. Throw in the fact that Dominique Hawkins has essentially locked up the back up point guard position, and Polson’s minutes just don’t look promising on a consistent basis. I predict though that at another point this season, Kentucky will face a team with guards Polson can defend, on a night when the other guards are struggling. And Polson will come in and provide one last hoorah as one of the most beloved Wildcats to wear the jersey. When it’s all said and done, Polson’s career at Kentucky won’t be one to make any of the all-time great lists, but his experience, composure and work ethic carried Kentucky at times last season and saved a potentially disaster of a loss against Belmont.

7. Kentucky football will finish with a top-15 nationally ranked recruiting class

The Matt Elam commitment would help, but Kentucky will be close no matter what to completing a top-15 nationally ranked recruiting class. That class should put them somewhere closer to the middle of the pack in the SEC.

8. Someone will continue to complain in the comment section of KSR’s “Funkhouser” that we are not talking enough about UK sports

Some people will never understand… And those people will always find a keyboard and a comment section.

9. Rick Pitino will suspend at least one more player “indefinitely”

I don’t know who it will be…and it won’t really matter because it won’t last long. But rest assured that at some point this year, another player will be suspended indefinitely. Definitely count on them playing soon after.

10. Kentucky will win the SEC regular season title in men’s and women’s basketball

I don’t know if Kentucky can quite measure up to the “Year of the  , seriously, I just can’t say it… But I think Kentucky will have a big year of its own in 2014. I think both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will make strong runs through regular season SEC play, bringing home the crown in both.

11. Julius Randle, James Young and Aaron Harrison will each have a 25+ point game in SEC play

I almost went with 30 points, but decided to play it more conservatively. All 3 of these players have proved that they are capable of explosive offensive performances. Throughout SEC play, all 3 of these players will have AT LEAST one monster game. The question is, who will end up being the leading scorer for UK at the end of the season? It will be one of those 3 guys…

12. Kentucky will make a run to the Elite 8… and possibly more

Without knowing how the seeding and bracketing sorts out, it’s nearly impossible to predict such things. With that said, I think Kentucky AT LEAST makes a run to the Elite 8. Best case scenario? National championship. Worst case scenario? Elite 8.

13. Kentucky will see Michigan State again at some point…

For some reason, I just have a gut feeling that the NCAA selection committee will try to pit these 2 teams on a collision course in the NCAA tournament. The story line would play out nicely, allowing for a re-match of the highly anticipated opening game in the Champions Classic. The story line will be whether or not the young Kentucky team was able to close the gap throughout the course of the season, or does experience win out in the end?

14. I’ll let you fill in #14… What is your prediction for 2014?

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

38 Comments for 14 Predictions for 2014

  1. Rei
    1:09 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    I can’t be the only one who thinks the women’s UConn team are cheating in some manner and the NCAA just turn their heads from it, can I?

    • mashburnfan1
      1:42 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      yea you can. How are they cheating? He recruits the best players and naturally they want to play there. Plus he can coach, his players and teams get better as the year moves on. The big difference in womens bball is there are not many contenders. The talent level from a top 5 team to a top 15-20 team is quite large. Teams like UK are making it a bit more challenging but on most days UConn beats us by 20-30 plus. UConn gets 4 or 5 great players each year while other teams may get 1 or 2 and can’t keep up. Cal recruits the best as well but can’t coach, our players don’t seem to get much better, in some cases they get worse.

  2. Indiana sucks
    1:10 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Indiana will continue to suck

    • Dennis Rodman
      2:36 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      ……………….Crean will go back wit me to Norf Crea.

  3. UK56Always
    1:36 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    UK will meet UL again in the tourney and Chane Behanan will be scoreless again!

    • dismissed
      2:33 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      im afraid the chances of that are slim to none considering he isn’t on the team anymore

    • ahem
      5:23 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      dismissed, I think UK56 was probably taking that into account when he said that…just a hunch on my part.

  4. lonnieb
    1:42 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    If polson has to play and step up and have a big moment….then all the hope surrounded by last game and us starting to “figure it out” is wrong…..Well, after i looked up his play for that game….21 min with a bucket and 1 assist. Okay if thats what we are calling stepping up big he may be able to do it again. Look, I like the kid and he is a hard worker…..but im so tired of all the nonsense on here about him being a factor….if he is playing something is going really great or really bad. PERIOD end of story

    • Brad
      2:03 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      He played a heck of a game against Belmont! I think he pulled us through with great leadership and a calming affect that day. Dismiss it if you like but we would have 4 losses had he not settled the troops that day.

    • hendoblue
      6:17 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      Brad… offensively he did ok… on the defensive end, whoever he was guarding took him to the basket for lay ups. On more than one occasion.

  5. prediction
    1:42 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Prediction: at least 3 bloggers from KSR will complain about the free food at the ball games for the media members.

    1:46 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Matt will continue to have a nose whistle!

  7. Ferd
    1:48 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Prediction #14- Kevin Ware will never play another game for Louisville. Write that down.

  8. BlueRedNeck
    1:57 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Teddy Bridgewater will go pro. Wait, that was an easy one – reports are already out on ESPN that he is leaving. Also, reports are circulating that Charlie Strong was interviewed for the Texas job at an “undisclosed location”. Is the “year of the Cardinal” finally over? Thank God! 😉

  9. UKNation
    2:01 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    There are two #3’s. Sorry to point it out but my CDO is kicking in.

  10. Linda Taylor
    2:06 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    I will guess #14 won’t be “Ally finally learns to write creative articles”.

  11. Derbygal
    2:07 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Victory over UL next November…Teddy’s gone and Charlie’s next!

  12. Bob
    2:24 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    #14 Cal will finally get caught

    • Karen Sypher
      2:42 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      ……………….Pitino will get caught again……’poking’ around……..paying for abortions…….visiting Mayo Clinics……suspending indefinitely his favorite player (His Johnson)…….

    • Bob
      3:19 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      With each post, I reveal a new layer of my ignorance.

  13. HazardCatFan
    2:25 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    UK football has at least a .500 or better record next year!!

  14. BurnerTurner5
    2:36 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    #2 Cal can’t coach? He out coached your lover this past Saturday.

  15. Delk for 3
    3:07 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Worst case scenario is the Elite 8? Talk about being extremely optimistic.

  16. big d
    3:09 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Charlie Strong is already gone to Texas. I think it’s a perfect fit for him. He already has a pipeline for Florida recruits and there he would have Texas as well. More money with his own T V station and he should win the big 12 with a legitimate shot at national championship every year. Also the perfect time to leave louisville with all the early exits they are having.

    • Come on
      3:40 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      Don’t see Strong to Texas. Too strong of a conference to compete in on the field and in recruiting . Even with the bagman Hurt, no neighborhood ties like in Fla.
      I see Bobs ‘ head voices are back. He’s on a collision course with a embolism .

  17. Shelbyjoe
    3:55 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    Football Cats will beat UL in papa johns next year.

  18. Ukcatzfan
    4:06 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    a KSR writer will write how UK can pull off an upset of an SEC team

  19. Cal
    4:14 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    I promise to give a white player meaningful minutes in 2014.

    • Josh Harrellson
      4:27 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      I enjoyed playing @ UK for Coach Cal despite certain inbred members of the fanbase.

    • hendoblue
      6:21 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      Josh..that IS humorous.

    • Really?
      12:12 pm January 3, 2014 Permalink

      Ur an idiot. What a stupid comment. As a coach you play whoever is playing the best;, black, white, indian, whatever and our best players just happen to be black. Go on somewhere racist. <— White guy

  20. Buckets
    4:24 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    14. Louisville fans will continue to troll KSR like the losers they are.

  21. Bob
    4:27 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    0 basketball players will graduate…

    • Chicken
      4:29 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

      0 players will get kicked off the team for being thugs….

    • hendoblue
      6:23 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink’ve met your matches on here. Refer to your 2nd post on #12.

  22. ralph
    5:58 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    There are already 14… There are two #3’s….. Idiots

  23. bluetooth
    7:55 pm January 1, 2014 Permalink

    BOB ; your dr. just called , please get to his office asap ! your lithium level is whacked .

  24. Bluecat
    12:56 am January 2, 2014 Permalink

    Ricky Pee, retires after thirteen seasons in loserville. Tommy Turtle, replaces him with Larry Eustacy.
    After Strong takes Texas job, Jurich hires Joker Phillips.