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Any chance of a surprise?

Last season when Terrence Jones announced on Twitter that he was going to return for his sophomore season, I think that most of us were surprised. He had an up and down year. When he was good, he was phenomenal. When he was bad, Cal called him a selfish… well you know. The excitement that Big Blue Nation had for his announcement and Doron Lamb’s more predictable announcement melded well with the excitement we had for the incoming freshmen and I don’t think it has quite gone away yet. Now as the deadline to declare for the draft draws ever closer, does anyone predict another surprise this season?

Most people are operating under the impression that every starter will declare for the draft. However, not every player is a lock for the lottery. While it would be silly for Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Terrence Jones to turn down their surefire lottery positions, predictions for both Doron and Marquis Teague are a bit more spread out. It seems highly likely that both players will be taken in the first round, but much like last season do you think we could find ourselves in a Twitter-updating frenzy soon?

If we pulled in both Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad, added Ryan Harrow and kept just one guy from this season’s rotation, they might as well hand us the trophy now because that team would be more talented than any team college basketball has ever seen.

Article written by Matthew Hays

47 Comments for Any chance of a surprise?



  1. Roland65
    6:02 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Who knows. Love them while they are here and then reload when they leave.



  2. Blueaville
    6:07 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    More talented than any team college bball has ever seen??? Slow down big guy……it wouldn’t be as talented as this year’s them or the 2010 team.



  3. Ruppolo
    6:11 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    The main reason Jones came back was the potential of an NBA lockout.



  4. Final Fours
    6:14 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    People continue to say that if MKG leaves we should get Shabazz. I think when MKG leaves we will have a better chance at Shabzz but i think the real key will be if Doron leaves. If we get Bazz he will play the 2 and Archie G will play the three. Shabazz already said he wants to play shooting guard and he is a better shooter than Goodwin. Look for Bazz to commit if Doron opts to enter the draft.



  5. Kevin
    6:15 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    I’m as optimistic as they come, but this statement is more than a bit premature: “If we pulled in both Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad, added Ryan Harrow and kept just one guy from this season’s rotation, they might as well hand us the trophy now because that team would be more talented than any team college basketball has ever seen.” ASK RICK ABOUT HOW PREMATURE IT IS. THIS IS SOMETHING HE KNOWS A LITLE BIT ABOUT ….. GONE IN 15 SECONDS ……



  6. Han
    6:19 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    4) Bear in mind that Bazz said he’d decide the 11th. That was before it was publicly known Cal told his guys they had til the 30th.

    Still, unless both MKG and Lamb came back, Bazz would start over Goodwin (assuming Bazz doesn’t have a bad attitude).

    The real question is what would happen if Teague comes back. Does Harrow have much of an outside shot where you could play him next to Teague, or does he ride the pine/fight Teague for the starting spot?



  7. penncat
    6:23 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t agree that Terrence Jones is a lottery pick–or even a first-round pick. He is a little under-sized for a power forward. And his offensive game is suspect–it was even suspect this year. And he played with 4 offensive threats in the game at all times. Teague also has a suspect jump shot and is somewhat under-sized, but I agree that he would be a very late 1st round pick. I think Jones and Teague will be back. Lamb is the 3rd most likely to come back.



  8. SouthBeachWildcat
    6:28 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Teague is gone……….this point guard class is very weak. He is a for sure first round pick this year where he might not even start over Harrow next year. Jones is gone…….Lamb is probably 60/40 gone.



  9. yargamel
    6:32 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve been thinking about how brilliant Cal’s recruiting strategy has been insofar as bringing in transfers every year. The risk for doing so is low because they will only be at UK for 2 years max, and if they turn into something big, they become the veteran players that this program needs to balance out the incoming freshmen.



  10. mocha
    6:37 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    I think they should all come back and dominate the world.



  11. tyson
    6:38 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    the team that drafts Doron Lamb is going to get a surprise–very underrated player



  12. Han
    6:38 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    7) It’s amazing the way some people have become so used to the talent we get so quickly that they can’t see how talented these guys are. Not to mention the NBA drafts on potential more than college output, even with one-and-done.

    8) Yeah. And Lamb has wanted to go Pro since he got here. He returned because of where he was predicted last year. This year, he was our leading scorer most of the game and was the quiet driving force for us in the tourney. Odds are he’s gone.



  13. Doc
    6:39 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    If lamb is second round he should come back, if Teague can improve 5-10 spots, he should consider coming back. Ad,mkg, and tj cannot improve their business decision by staying.



  14. Dane Brammage
    6:39 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    @7, penncat, right on about Turnce Chones.
    But, I think he’ll take the money and run; he accomplished ‘his’ goal.

    Teague? He should return; unless his bro Jeff says otherwise.

    Lamb? I think he’s ready. But I’d be fine if he came back.

    Of course, CAL will do his job and advise all to seize opportunity.



  15. Big Blue 66
    6:46 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    TJ will be a good pro, and I dont know how 6 9 and 245 ripped is undersized. TJ may go a few spots lower than lottery, but no way he gets our of mid first round area.



  16. TN Cat
    6:51 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    I think everybody needs to sit back and realize how special this year’s team was. I want Bazz and Noel as much as anybody but just because a player has talent doesn’t mean they will be as unselfish as the players this year. I trust Cal getting the right players but some of you are getting ahead of yourselves on just handing us the championship. And some of you think Harrow would start over Teague? smh



  17. bluebloodtoo
    6:51 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    I think Miller is the one who will surprise people. I have a feeling he is going to be another Josh Harrelson surprise story.



  18. BigBlue
    6:57 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Jones, Davis, MKG, Teague go for sure and Lamb 50/50 chance….
    Harrow, Wiltjer, Archie, and Poythress will be great for us next year.
    I believe we NEED to get Noel, and I think he will choose UK….hard to see why he wouldn’t.
    If Lamb goes..hard to see why Shabazz would not choose us.
    This would look damn good..
    – Noel / and the 7 foot Kansas guy
    – Poythress / Wiltjer
    – Archie
    – Shabazz
    – Harrow
    Would be awesome to keep Lamb, but I would say he will go…



  19. average fan
    7:23 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Teague could greatly improve his draft position by coming back.

    Lamb couldn’t really improve his draft position by coming back.

    Jones will be very good in the NBA. Could have averaged 20 a game on a different team. Played very conservative this year but when he was aggressive he was dominant. Cal made him play conservative. He will surprise people next year.



  20. stevie
    7:32 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    #8, you might be right–this could be a weak PG class. However, I don’t believe that next year will be any better. In college oftentimes PG’s are the most important position on the team–AD and MKG could argue otherwise. Next year Teague could be the best PG in the nation, and he would have NT experience. Harrow (I have read this somewhere) would be fine with playing under Teague. Even with the talent we have now Teague could guide this team to the final four. For me, he would be the most important cog in the wheel.



  21. Seeya
    7:39 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Read this > http://bigbluenation1865.webs.com/an-argument-to-stay
    It goes with this. Kinda funny and a cool site too.



  22. Mack
    7:40 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    If Lamb comes back maybe he could be the full time PG ia Teague does not return, should help him in the draft.



  23. J A Brooks
    7:43 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    first off… Goodwin will not start at the 3. ill wager anyone in here that it wont happen. he either starts at the 2 or he’s the 6th man. they may both start but they’ll just bother be “guards”… if bazz is starting at the 2 then poythress or Bennett would play the 3 but I’m betting poythress does regardless.

    and the “Kansas guy” is Willie Cauley.

    I’m always a little surprised at the line up predictions but this year they’re shockingly bad



  24. SagaciousMind
    7:43 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Lamb is being projected in the 2nd round. Unless a team in the 1st round commits to him, he will be back. 22, now way he’d be a full time pg with Harrow being able to play. Davis, Jones, MKG are gone. MKG could surprise us though, but he’s a top 5 pick so Cal will tell him its best if he goes. Teague, he’s one of the top pgs but it wouldnt surprise me if he stayed cuz he’s bein projected in the 20s.



  25. doc
    7:43 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Teague and Kid-Gilchrist are back.., write it down…..



  26. SagaciousMind
    7:45 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    7, you’re crazy if you dont think Jones is a lottery pick. He was last year and he’s a much better player this year. He can play inside and out and would be able to play SF in the NBA. He’s not that undersized, look at Chuck Hayes.



  27. J A Brooks
    7:46 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    see… “teague may not even start over harrow…”

    that has to be the dumbest thong I’ve ever heard. seriously… the dumbest



  28. J A Brooks
    7:50 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    27* dumbest thing … I blame auto correct



  29. Big Blue
    7:51 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Teague and Lamb will not get any better position than they are right now. There is going to be alot better guards coming out next year. To include the freshman one and dones ie, Shabazz. you strike while the iron is hot , bottom line Sullinger and Jones and those carolina kids only came back because of the lock out. And every one of those kids dropped considerbly this draft also. With those players and some others that did not come out enabled Josh Harrleson and Liggins to sneak in with the help of William Wesley.



  30. J A Brooks
    7:55 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    if we don’t get Noel were in serious trouble.

    this is what were currently projected to have.

    harrow
    Goodwin
    poythress
    wiltjer
    cauley-stein

    bench

    Beckham
    Hood



  31. penncat
    8:11 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    26, there is a big difference between college and the NBA. Jones is under 6’9″. Virtually every power forward in the NBA is 6’10 or bigger and everybody is ripped. Jones has trouble finishing at the hoop in the SEC. Do you really think he will dominate in the NBA? Also, his jumpshot is below average. Cal wouldn’t let him shoot 3s regularly in college. Do you really think that an NBA team is going to waste a lottery pick on a guy who can’t hit a consistent 15′ jumper? I like TJ. He was a big part of the team. And he will get drafted, although I would bet a lot of money that he is more like a late first round pick/early second round pick than a lottery pick. BTW, he’s not the only big guy I think would slide in the draft. Jared Sulligner is very similar to Jones. Undersized for a power forward with a suspect jumpshot. Great college players don’t necessarily make great pros.



  32. J A Brooks
    8:14 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    31) if Jones declares he doesn’t slip past 20.



  33. Sheeeeiiit
    8:33 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    27 – funny and I agree. Lets see. Should we play our point guard star who led the team to a record winning season and the NC or the other guy who hasn’t played in two years? Hmmmmmm, yes we will bench Teague he still hasn’t proved himself.
    Also, I think they all go because it was the lockout that tipped the scale towards staying in the first place.



  34. Mudcreekmark
    8:35 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    27) I wouldn’t say that Teague may not start over Harrow is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Reports from the summer was that at times Harrow was the best player on the floor. My son in law and grandson went to the father son camp and they said Harrow was really impressive. That is the first player they mentioned. I think Teague will leave because of this competition.



  35. SagaciousMind
    9:29 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    31, Jones showed that he can play defense and get tough rebounds. No he didnt shoot 3s regularly, but he did hit a pretty good percentage of those 3s. His jump shot wasnt that bad. If Chuck Hayes can make it, he can as well. He’s being projected as a lottery pick.



  36. wolfewiz
    9:32 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Regardless of who stays or who we get, they dont hand the trophy to anyone. They sure didnt hand it to us this year.



  37. in this I believe
    9:59 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Losing these guys after one or two years is awful.
    Then anticipating how good the new players can be is exciting.
    Then feeling a bit disloyal to the leaving players because of excitement for the new……… Damn, what a predicament.
    Only with Coach Cal, the Coach that keeps on giving



  38. [email protected]
    10:31 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    To all these people who don’t like TJ. Are you crazy? No way we are NC with out him. He
    Ike the other 5 Could have whent for 20 any night. Remeber the team thing we all talked about all year. This is exactly why every one hates our fans.



  39. This Guy was Joking
    10:32 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    Next year’s team will be nowhere close to the most talented college basketball has ever seen in almost any scenario unless everyone comes back. The 96 team would beat the team the OP just described by 30 and this years team would win by double digits 9 times out of 10. I was a fan of Nerlens Noel before 99% of BBN had ever even heard of him, but he is not Anthony Davis and expecting the same kind of impact is crazy talk. Noel is every bit the low post shot blocker Davis is(actually even better at the same stage), but lets let the comparisons stop there.



  40. Bleedin'Blue
    11:04 pm April 6, 2012 Permalink

    The predicting line-ups chatter in this thread made me review last year’s KSR chatter about this 11-12 team. Found a link to an article with comments from AD from last year at this time. He was talking NC before he ever wore the uniform…

    http://jeffgoodman.yardbarker.com/blog/jeffgoodman/kentucky_inks_third_straight_top_recruiting_class/4554526

    I hope the boys a pull UF Gator move and all comeback next season. They all seem to enjoy each other and we certainly enjoy them! (I’ll even pitch in for insurance premiums, if needed)



  41. Heshimu Evans' 2nd Grade Teacher
    5:26 am April 7, 2012 Permalink

    38 – I hate fans like you. People saying that they don’t think TJ will get drafted that high, or will be much of a pro, are just stating their opinions. It doesn’t mean they don’t like the kid or appreciate what he’s done here. I agree with penncat, except I think Sully has a much better jump shot than TJ. I don’t see Terrence really having a stellar NBA career. I think it will be a long and very profitable career, though.



  42. CatSinceBirth
    7:06 am April 7, 2012 Permalink

    27…If Teague comes back, and if Cal played the BEST point guard next season, I say Teague comes off the bench. Other than defense, because of his size, Harrow beats Teague in every aspect of point guard play. Teague will be a better NBA player than Harrow because of his size and strength.



  43. Miguel
    8:30 am April 7, 2012 Permalink

    This will be the lineup:
    1.Teague
    2. Muhammad
    3. Poythress
    4. Bennett
    5. Noel
    -Harrow1/2
    -Goodwin 2/3
    -Wiltjer 4/5
    -Cauley 5

    That’s 3 lottery picks in the starting 5(counting poythress,you watch), and I’ve seen enough Cauley tape (athletically blows Harrelson away) to say that lineup holds 9 future NBA players. They would be deeper than last years team, but with zero contributing upper classmen. Also no AD or MKG. But I will definitely enjoy watching this lineup as well.



  44. Tom Blevins
    10:18 am April 7, 2012 Permalink

    Question: Would Michael Kidd-Gilcrist even be elgible for the draft? Don’t you have to be one year out of high school AND 19 years old by the date of the draft? His 19th birthday isn’t until September 26th.



  45. Nathan
    10:43 am April 7, 2012 Permalink

    hmm.. good question,what about it KSR?



  46. Bluegrassking
    2:33 pm April 7, 2012 Permalink

    44-I’m under the impression that the year of college negates the age requirement which is there to enforce the year of college. I’m pretty sure a kid could graduate high school early, play a year in college and not even be 18 on draft day and go. My recollection of the language is that there is an “or” in there but I could be offbase, it has been a few years since I saw it and my memory is far from photographic but I’m thinking it would have been caught by now by draft experts, coaches, and sports writers. There are too many eyes on this for something like that to be likely to slip under the radar.



  47. Carlos
    2:30 am April 8, 2012 Permalink

    I Love TJ..he was a key component to this team. However, I agree with the poster that said he’s not lottery pick material. When I think lottery pick…I’m thinking of “player I can build my team around”. Jones will make a fine pro, BUT..he has trouble going right and has no jumper. I don’t believe he’s a player you build around, so I would would place him outside of the lottery picks. He will have his moments because he runs the floor well and can overpower some of the smaller 3s. I believe his lack of handle will give him problems at the 3 spot…and the fact that he’s a smaller 4 (more like 6’6….they tell lies in his official listing) will give him all kinds of problems. Solid NBA role player? Yes Future NBA star? I don’t see it.