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Jay Bilas believes Kentucky has the nation’s best frontcourt

Jay Bilas took a break from tweeting Young Jeezy lyrics to rank the five best frontcourts in college basketball this season and coming in at No. 1 on Bilas’ list is the four-headed monster of Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein, Kyle Wiltjer and Alex Poythress at Kentucky. Here is what Bilas had to say about the Cats, followed by the other four teams in his Top 5.

1. Kentucky Wildcats
After losing Anthony Davis, if seems crazy to believe that Kentucky could protect the rim as well as it did in its championship season. Yet, with Nerlens Noel, John Calipari has a rim protector and lane limiter that can be every bit as effective.

Noel is a freak shot blocker with length, crazy athleticism and disciplined timing. He does not have the defensive range of Davis, nor does he have the offensive feel and potential of Davis, but Noel is jet-quick off the floor and a potential No. 1 overall selection in the NBA draft because he can control the lane. Another seven-footer, Willie Cauley-Stein, can play alongside Noel and can also clog the lane, finish plays and rebound. Cauley-Stein played wide receiver in high school, which had to make him the tallest receiver in football. He is a work in progress, but is making tremendous progress.

So, with two true big men leading the way, 6-8 freshman Alex Poythress will have even better opportunities to attack the rim and the glass. Poythress can wind up being the best frontcourt performer on this Kentucky team. And, sophomore Kyle Wiltjer, a top recruit last year that couldn’t crack the lineup, is as good a face-up shooter as you will find anywhere. Wiltjer has a low post game and deep shooting range. All these Wildcats are so young, but so good.

2. Louisville Cardinals
3. Syracuse Orange
4. UNLV Rebels
5. Duke Blue Devils

We’ll get to see Kentucky go up against Duke, Bilas’ fifth-ranked frontcourt, a week from tomorrow. #BeatDuke

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

18 Comments for Jay Bilas believes Kentucky has the nation’s best frontcourt

  1. johnblinkybolton
    3:32 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Duke @ 5? Haven’t heard their name for a while..

  2. Chi-TownCat
    3:36 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Well look at that the great zellar and iu didn’t crack the top five

  3. HillbillyInBC
    3:45 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Duke’s Plumlees-to-ballers ratio is still too high to belong on this list.

  4. wldctky
    3:46 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    they have potential…but there is no way they are the best at this point in time

  5. stmlax03
    3:48 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    4… your fuggin crazy. ill take bilas’ opinion over yours anyday

  6. cdc_uky
    3:53 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Bilas is the man. Nonetheless, I hate the ESPN Duke love!

  7. Pu
    4:02 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    6) I totally agree with both statements. Bilas is one of the few reasons ESPN still has any credibility. For a UK fan to say that about a dookie is saying a lot

  8. big diesel
    4:07 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville is little brother. Evan in Jay Bilas’ eyes

  9. KurtNMia
    4:21 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    It’s amazing how much more I like Bilas with each passing day…

  10. Will S
    4:50 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Duke by 7.

  11. UK_twinning_towers
    4:55 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Louisville is going to lose games they “aren’t supposed” to lose and will fall out of the top 10 just like they’ve done in the past. They get all the praise and then cannot back it up.

  12. grendel007
    5:14 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    I can still hear the Indiana fans cry/screaming

  13. Duke sucks
    5:46 pm November 5, 2012 Permalink

    Look I’m as big a UK homer as anyone. Love me some Cats. But no way is Noel better then Zellar. I’m sory but the facts are the facts. Zellar and AD played about even in both games last year. I due think we will be better the IU we have to many big body’s to throw at zeller, but for anyone to not think Zeller is the best big man in the country is crazy.

  14. اخبار
    6:57 am November 6, 2012 Permalink

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  15. Neil
    9:03 am November 6, 2012 Permalink

    Bilas was making a comparison of the front line not one player. Zeller is a talented player but his front line doesn’t compare and shouldn’t be in the top 5. As for draft picks, it’s about upside and Noel has that. It is going to depend on how well they do during the year. I can remember Jordan being the 5-6 pick behind Sampson and Bowie and look how that turned out.

  16. Garmaster
    9:00 pm November 6, 2012 Permalink

    15. Check that memory. Jordan was the 3rd pick behind Olajuwan and Bowie. Sampson wasn’t even in that draft class, but Kyle Wilter’s dad was in the 2nd round.

  17. Ukrules#9
    10:00 pm November 7, 2012 Permalink

    Noel would eat Zeller up if ever meet in tourney. UKzeller lover what are you thinking? So hope you eat crow?

  18. duwhat?!
    8:33 am November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Helllooo! Maryland!!! Not great as a team but awesome frontcourt.