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Ridiculously Early Predictions: 2013-14 Leading Scorer

Predictions

Psychic Prognostication: Now with more Dapper Dan.

Did you all see that poll about Louisville being the “#1 Fanbase” in the country?  Pretty ridiculous, right?  Especially when you consider that it values the purchasing of actual tickets less than the purchasing of gaudy snap backs.  But speaking of ridiculous things, let’s do something ridiculously early: make predictions about next year’s basketball team.

Now that Wiggins is officially off the board, we have our team for next year set in stone.  Or at least, very stubborn clay.  So now that we know the roster, why not ask who’s going to be the scoring leader next season?

Please note, the question is NOT “Who will be UK’s best player next season?”  Really, it’s just “Who’s gonna rack up the most points?”  Last season, it was fairly evident that Nerlens Noel was the best guy on the team; look what happened without him.  But leading scorer?  Archie Goodwin, with 14 points per game.  Noel wasn’t even second.  He got third with 10.5 a game.  So with that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s start the speculation.  Which scholarship player is gonna lead the team in scoring next season?

The Returnees:

Alex Poythress
The Case For: Poythress has arguably the most physical potential on the team.  His tools, that he flashed last year, are exceptional, and he has the size to dominate other players in his position (if he plays SF). Throw in a year of experience, and last year’s points runner-up could take the title in 2014.
The Case Against: Alex, like Terrence Jones before him, is something of an enigma. It’s hard to predict whether he’ll show up and dominate, or back off and be abused.  If practice competition toughens him up, look out.  Otherwise, 2nd place would be a dream come true for him.

Willie Cauley-Stein
The Case For: Willie was a little bit raw offensively last year, and only picked up 8.3 points a game.  But he had plenty of time to hone his skills when Noel went down, and showed a lot of improvement.  Keep that up, and he could be the go-to-guy on offense.
The Case Against: Willie’s a defensive player.  Solid rebounder, shot blocker, and presence around the rim.  Plus, his free-throw shooting is just awful.  Can’t lead the team in scoring by making half of your freebies.

Kyle Wiltjer
The Case For: Kyle’s a natural scorer.  His outside range is virtually unlimited, and if the Cats get a lot of transition looks next year with him on the floor, he’s a great option to trail and shoot an open three.  He’s built for that play.  Plus, he makes his FTs.
The Case Against: You gotta be on the floor to score. I just made that up. But, ironically, Kyle’s gotta learn to play defense before he can contend for the top scoring spot.  Plus, he had weird cold streaks last season.  Could be a dark horse favorite, though, if he gets the minutes; he beat three other guys last year that got more time than he did.

Jarrod Polson
The Case For: Uh… he’s a senior?
The Case Against: Too many great guard/wing options next season.

Jon Hood
The Case For: He has great lake hair.
The Case Against: He has great lake hair.

The Newcomers:

Andrew Harrison
The Case For: Andrew has all the tools you need to be a great scorer: size, range, mobility, and tenacity.  Plus, you know he’ll have the ball a lot, so how many shots he gets is really up to him.  He could also clean up with FTs if he’s able to shoot through contact.  Might lead the team in “And 1s.”
The Case Against: Thankfully, Andrew looks like he’s just too good a teammate to score the most points.  As a pass-first playmaker, he’ll try to make sure other guys get looks before he keeps it himself.

Aaron Harrison
The Case For: All he does it make buckets.  He’ll be a solid defender, but really, scoring is his first, second, third, fourth, and fifth priority.  And he can do it.  Take the tools Andrew has, cut out the “pass first” mentality, and you’ve got an arguable favorite for next year’s scoring leader.
The Case Against: He and James Young might be competing heavily for the 2-guard spot, meaning they’d split some minutes.  Not a huge blow, but still a mitigating factor.

James Young
The Case For: I’ve said all along that Young is a better Doron Lamb.  Which is really saying something, because I freakin’ loved Doron Lamb at UK.  He could score anytime, anywhere, on anybody.  James Young is bigger, faster, and stronger.  He’s gonna be scary.
The Case Against: See Aaron Harrison.  These two will fight for minutes, with Aaron maybe picking up some at PG, and Young at SF.  They might expect 25 minutes a game instead of 30.  Plus, Young has to fight Poythress at SF.

Julius Randle
The Case For: Randle will be one of the top players in the country, regardless of year or position.  He really can do everything pretty well, and he’ll have all the minutes he wants at the PF spot.
The Case Against: His first job isn’t scoring, it’s doing everything.  He could very well be the best player on the team next year, but he won’t get as many shots as some of his teammates.  We’ll discuss him more heavily in later “Ridiculously Early Predictions.”

Marcus Lee
The Case For: Lee is a long, athletic freak of nature who can get over almost anybody.
The Case Against: His natural instincts are for shot-blocking and rebounding.  Plus he has Mt. VeJulius standing in his way at PF.  Maybe Wiltjer, too.

Dakari Johnson
The Case For: Johnson has improved drastically since his commitment to Kentucky, and has shot up the recruiting boards.  Plus he’s huge.  Really, he’s a monster.
The Case Against: Dakari is this year what WCS was last year–an offense in progress.  And we have yet to see how he handles free throws, which is always a concern for centers.

Derek Willis
The Case For:
The Case Against: Too much talent around him, not enough minutes.

Dominique Hawkins
The Case For: He’ll have a shot at a decent amount of minutes at the backup PG spot.  He’ll certainly be behind Andrew, but if he can beat Polson for the #2 spot, he could do pretty well.
The Case Against: Hard to pick anybody whose best situation next year is a #2.

 

You have options to consider.  I’m reluctant to commit, but if you make me choose, I’d go with Aaron Harrison.  To me it’s really a toss up between him and James Young; both are so versatile and so smooth.  I just think Aaron is more likely to get early minutes, and especially early passes from his psychically-melded twin brother.  Wiltjer’s a dark horse, and Randle’s a work horse.  And Poythress could make us all look silly if he comes to play.  But who you got?

Article written by Corey Nichols

36 Comments for Ridiculously Early Predictions: 2013-14 Leading Scorer



  1. El Pollo Loco
    4:09 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Take it to the bank, it’ll be Randle. James Young will be 2nd.



  2. NineWillBeFine
    4:12 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    I’m picking Randle. Aaron Harrison to be second.



  3. tncatfan
    4:14 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    You forgot Hawkins – not that he’s a candidate to be the scoring leader, it’s just not good to forget players on our roster.



  4. jcatron
    4:16 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    1. Randle
    2. Poythress
    3. Aaron Harrison



  5. PleaseRead
    4:16 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    At #3. Reread artcile. Hawkins was listed. Try again.



  6. tncatfan
    4:16 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll take Aaron Harrison but it’s going to be 4-5 guys all within tenth’s of points of one another. I expect to see scoring very very balanced with whomever the leader is getting around 15-16 a game.



  7. tncatfan
    4:17 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    #5 whoa – I swear he was there when I posted that. lol

    Guess I overlooked that one.



  8. Jay
    4:19 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Randle



  9. SeaCat
    4:21 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    It better be Randle, Young, and Aaron or
    we won’t be hanging #9.



  10. Twitter Account Denied
    4:25 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Here is my totally correct guess…
    1. Double A Harrison- 14.4 ppg
    2. Randle- 13.6 ppg
    3. Young- 12.5 ppg
    4. Andrew Harrison- 12.0 ppg



  11. Mc
    4:26 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    #5) He wasn’t there originally and was added quickly after this was posted.



  12. Jarrd polson
    4:27 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Hey Corey, you couldn’t out play me on your best day. Pull your bottom lip over your head swallow.



  13. quickneasycat
    4:29 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    No question. Julius Randle! That kid is absolutely amazing. The things he can do with the ball, off the ball, shooting touch for a man his size. He has all the tools to have a hefty average among these superstars.



  14. Here it is
    4:31 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Randle-22 ppg, Aaron Harrison-17 ppg, James Young-16 ppg, Andrew Harrison-15 ppg, Poythress-15 ppg, WCS-12 ppg, Dakari-10 ppg, Wiltjer-8 ppg Lee-5 ppg, Hawkins-3 ppg, Polson-1 ppg, Hood 1 ppg. That’s right, 125 ppg. Ok, maybe not.



  15. PhilUK18
    4:31 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    10.

    No love for Poythress? I think he’s going to have an excellent season. I could see him getting around 12/13 a game



  16. mudcreekmark
    4:39 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    I think Randal will lead the team in points and rebounding. He is going to be one of the best freshmen we’ve ever had. I’m taking Wiltjer as the second leading scorer, if he can get enough minutes. If he doesn’t improve his foot speed and defense, he may be sitting quiet a bit next year.



  17. Mc
    4:40 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    #16) I think Wiltjer will play a similar role to his freshman season, but that’s just my opinion. We’ll see.



  18. Cauts
    4:44 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    This team will be an offensive juggernaut… Wouldn’t surprise me if they average 85 or more a game.



  19. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    4:47 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Aaron Harrison is a safe bet with his brother playing point. I think Young, Poythress, and Randle will be right at his heels though.



  20. General Michael "Rob Lee" Richards
    4:50 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Corey,
    I do not doubt the ability of their scoring, however I fear I’ve learned of a dreadful rumor. I heard they were teaching them to speak surprisingly well and to be literate. I await your correspondence to assure me of this tomfoolery, for I know you share the same sentiments as I.

    Yours,

    General Cosmo.



  21. Corey Nichols
    4:51 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    3&7 – I actually caught that he was not on the list about 20 seconds after it was scheduled to be posted, and fixed it very quickly. I’d overlooked him, and yeah, it’s not a good idea to forget roster players, so I fixed it. You’re not going crazy.



  22. Matt Damon
    5:18 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    I’m wearing a diaper



  23. Bill brasky
    5:20 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    My uncle Hal molested me!!!



  24. bung
    5:28 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    if we dont start running the fast break regularly we will have about 8 guys tied at 7 ppg each…



  25. Uk
    5:36 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    It’s funny how you dips are all about Hawkins. The kid is 5’10 & not as good as jarrod was coming outa HS. Willis has WAY more potential than he does. And no, he’s not a better athlete.



  26. Fake Ramsey
    5:53 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with #1 because it’s so much.



  27. Perspective
    6:07 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    As long as Brian Long can appreciate the fact that he plays on a team with a leading scorer, I am pleased with whoever leads the team.



  28. Derp
    6:33 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    24… You’re an idiot



  29. Duke sucks
    6:57 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    24) I don’t think your that far off. We are so deep that we could have several players averaging around 12 or 13 pts. A piece next year. I think Randle will be the man but he won’t average as much as he could on anther team.
    Next year will be a year were some will sacrifice stats to bring home a championship! Same thing as 1996 that team had about 6 or 7 who could go for 20 at any time!



  30. bung
    7:23 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    last year…looavul 20 fast break points…uk 2…



  31. bung
    7:24 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    28 derp….obviously you don’t know what to do with a defensive rebound either…



  32. Duke Sucks
    8:34 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    IMO if Randle would have went to any other school than UK he probably would average in the low to mid twenties! My guess is he averages around 14 or 15 a game for UK that will probably be tops on this team!



  33. WhiteGuyLove
    9:16 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Why is everyone forgetting that Brian Long is also returning. He’ll have 19.5 ppg



  34. sweetdwillie
    11:31 pm May 30, 2013 Permalink

    Willie is definitely on the mix with turn hook shots and put backs, then Randle,young,poythress,twins… But I agree with the guy above 4-6 players within tenth’s of each other I like tandle for 14-15ppg but if you start poythress and Randle… That could be a seriously dirty combo if they click together… Randle aka baby Bron



  35. Life savings
    8:44 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Would bet it all that it will be a healthy julius randle



  36. tomkat9698
    9:41 am June 2, 2013 Permalink

    I’m going with Randle then both of the Harrisons,switch either Young and Poythress,then throw in WCS and Dakari.Has anyone thought of redshirting Kyle this year to mature and practice against better players? You could also do the same with Willis and Hawkins if needed.It’d be better for them and the team in the long run.