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Exactly How Will 2013-14 Season Be Different?


“I don’t hate you.”

A friendly gentleman over at Bleacher Report decided to take a look at not just the actual changes to Kentucky’s roster next year, but instead on the effect those changes are likely to have on the overall program.  It was an interesting idea (and you can read about it here), so in this otherwise slow news week leading up to the Wiggins announcement, let’s go through and see what we can glean.

1) One Less Elite Defender

The loss of Nerlens will hurt, sure, but expect this to be a replacement by committee.  The author correctly points out that, while there probably won’t be a single defensive player as good as Noel next year, the discrepancy between the top few defensive players will be much smaller.  This sounds a lot more worrisome than it actually is; would you rather have one elite defender, or three excellent defenders?  Reasonable minds could differ, but this probably won’t be as bad as people think.

2) No Vocal Leader

Much like the shot-blocking stat in the old box score will miss Nerlens, the “intangible” aspect of the game, apparently, will miss Julius Mays.  We saw how the team last year relied on Uncle Julius to help them pull together as a team, but last year was interesting insofar as there actually seemed to be a struggle with team chemistry.  Not that the players disliked each other at all, there was just always a disjointed nature to the team; fans never knew what to expect come game time.  Next year, though, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Most of these guys have already played a great deal together, so hopefully chemistry, and leadership, won’t be a problem.  Plus, anybody that’s paid attention to Andrew Harrison can see that he could take over the leadership spot as a freshman, just like MKG two seasons ago.

3) Abundance of Wings

Next year’s team looks like happy hour at B-Dubs with the amount of wings the Wildcats will have.  And there’s the possibility of adding one more.  Contrast that with last season, where the wing position was one of many where the Cats just seemed undermanned.  The increase in depth, with the addition of Aaron Harrison and James Young to help out Alex Poythress, makes this a pretty straightforward idea.  Author got it right on this one: expect wings to be one of UK’s biggest strengths next season.  Too much scoring ability.

4) Point Guard Surety

Speaking of Andrew Harrison (I was just a couple bullet points ago), next year’s point guard question will be super easy; in fact, it won’t exist.  There’s no question that when Andrew Harrison commits to your team, you have effectively made your point guard decision.  While last season saw PT split between Harrow, Goodwin, and Polson, next year you can expect to see a much more stable reliance on Harrison.  When it comes to the PG spot, consistency and predictability for teammates is key.  Harrison can provide those in spades.

5) Hope

Last year’s team started out with lofty aspirations for a championship, which is really what you’d expect from any of Calipari’s Kentucky classes.  But losing the second game of the season, and the first at home under Cal, really put a damper on the 2013 squad’s expectations.  This class comes in with a shiny new coat of paint, though, without all the dings and scratches that last year accumulated.  While there were questions in ranking Kentucky in the top three last preseason (which was ultimately far too high), there are no such questions this year.  Kentucky is the clear-cut number one team, and might get even better.

Overall, Bleacher Report raises some pretty good points re: the changes to next year’s squad.  But you don’t have to take my word for it; you can read it through yourself if you have, like, a half hour.  Seriously, it’s so much words.

Stick around for the radio show, where we’re sure to talk Andrew Wiggins and maybe breakfast foods.  You just never know.

Article written by Corey Nichols

18 Comments for Exactly How Will 2013-14 Season Be Different?

  1. Dale Scudder
    9:10 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Depth. This team will have tons of Depth.

  2. Big Mike in The Wood
    9:12 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    KSR with a Portal reference. Matt Jones won’t understand.

  3. Archie goodwin falls alot
    9:12 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Really!!! were gonna miss “uncle julius’ and his vocal leadership!! thats laughable.. i’m pretty sure Julius Randle will handle that along with andrew harrison.. I think we will be fine without “uncle julius”

  4. Greg Burchett
    9:13 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Nice post Corey. “Happy hour at b-dubs” funny.

  5. Dusten
    9:14 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    On this day, I don’t hate you, Corey Nichols.

  6. asdf
    9:17 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Randle has leadership written all over him. Not literally. You know what I mean…

  7. Syrin
    9:24 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Any dead on three point shooters? I’m getting a feeling outside shooting might be a weakness.

  8. bung
    9:25 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    will we learn how to run or do we volunteer for the half court offense again…

  9. Dumbledore
    9:33 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Tell me, what good is a vocal leader who’s three steps slower than his man? Or one who disappears entirely on offense in the month of March?

    Uncle Julius was an affable character, but not the crucial component to success as KSR presumes. The proof is in the pudding.

  10. RahRah
    9:42 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    I’m expecting Marcus Lee to be a pretty elite defender.
    We had NO leader last season. Enough said.
    The chemistry has to be better. Please God, let the chemistry be better.
    Andrew Harrison. A team is only as good as its point guard. This kid gets it.
    WCS with experience and hopefully confidence.
    Kids that want to be coached and hopefully love the gym.
    Randle, Randle, Randle!

  11. tom
    9:49 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    looking at last year’s results “Uncle Julius” didn’t pull the team together that much. lol

    and #6 I agree completely with you on Randle.

  12. Steady
    10:05 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Uncle Julius… cue *eyeroll*

  13. Bobbum man
    10:06 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah I have to agree with the others, while Julius may have been the only vocal leader on the team, he just wasn’t good… At all. I think we’ll be just fine

  14. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    10:13 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    If Uncle Julius was that good of a leader we would have won more games. Get off his nads.

  15. Duke sucks
    10:18 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    You guys can stop all the hate on Uncle Julius. Mays was never brought here to be a starter, he was brought in to be a bench player and to provide some leadership. The early entries by Lamb and Teague left UK with a huge void at the 2 plus with Archie’s struggles Mays was forced into a position he wasn’t capable of.
    I think Cal thought Lamb and Teague would be back. When they decided to leave it was so late in the recruiting process combine with missing out on Shabazz Cal had to take what he could get. If Mays could have come of the bench and played in situations more suited to his skills his legacy at UK would be totally different!
    The big difference in the 2 teams will be next years team will not suck like this years did. It’s that simple!

  16. jmfatz47
    10:48 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    Mays wasn’t even supposed to start last year….everyone billed him as a player who would come off the bench and provide some three pointers here and there. If anything, he overachieved. If not for Julius Mays, we would have sucked even more than we already did.

  17. imactastic
    11:59 am May 8, 2013 Permalink

    love the portal refrence… i just finished portal 2 last night… what a coincidence… great game

  18. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    2:49 pm May 8, 2013 Permalink

    15- Yes you’re right. Uncle Julius was so much of a “leader” he led us to a first round NIT loss posting 5 points in 38 minutes. Give me a break.