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SportingNews Tabs Wildcats as Top 10 Position Talents


All this week, the SportingNews has done a position-by-position rundown of the top college players in the country.  Unsurprisingly to a team that hoardshigh-level talent, this compilation has given Kentucky fans plenty to consider: some good, some bad, some confusing.  But author Mike DeCourcy at least gave reasons for his picks, and whether we agree or disagree with them, it’ll be up to the players themselves to prove him right or wrong.  So who made the list(s)?  Allow me.


Got Love:

Andrew Harrison, #2 Point Guard

“Harrison is an elite talent who’ll be surrounded by elite talent. One of the few real questions in where to rank him is how much of the glory will be directed his way.”

Andrew was ranked the highest of all his teammates in getting tabbed as the number two point guard for next season, finishing only behind Marcus Smart.  And that seems about right; he’s going to be the most important player on the nation’s pre-season #1 team.

Alex Poythress, #6 Small Forward

“Poythress still averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds and shot 58 percent from the floor? Those numbers were almost by accident. What if he returns for his second season with confidence and wisdom and a better sense of how to impact the game from the perimeter?”

Poythress at #6 was actually a little surprising, but I gotta say, the argument is pretty convincing.  Poythress was an efficient scorer, even though he had his frustrating patches, and motivational lapses, last season.  I doubt this team’s attitude will be as lackadaisical as last year’s.  That should help Alex.  Plus if P.J. Hairston isn’t able to play, that’d make Poythress the de facto #5 Power Forward.  So there’s that.

Julius Randle, #3 Power Forward

“He will be one of the most important components of their championship drive, a physically overwhelming force along the baseline who remains versatile enough to step away from the basket and make a few jump shots.”

Randle was topped at the PF spot only by Doug McDermott and Jabari Parker, neither of which are keen to play as physically as Randle would want to.  But I’m not complaining; #3 isn’t a bad place to be.  And I can only hope we play Duke or Creighton in the NCAA tournament.


Got Left Out:

A couple of top-ten recruits, and one returning McDonald’s All-American, got left off the list.  For the most part, that’s understandable; in one instance, it’s unexplainable.

Aaron Harrison

Leaving Aaron off the list, while his brother is ranked #2, is probably the greatest travesty of this whole thing so far.  It might have been more understandable if the Top 10 shooting guards didn’t include names like Spencer Dinwiddie (Colorado), Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), and Semaj Christon (Xavier).  No disrespect for any of them, it’s just hard to imagine that Aaron Harrison doesn’t at least deserve a spot alongside those guys.  It’s not like the list shied away from freshment, so the discrepancy between Andrew’s #2 and Aaron’s complete omission is a little baffling.  DeCourcy had this to say as justification:


Not sure if he means on the UK team (which is understandable) or at the SG position (less understandable), but I can only agree to disagree.

James Young

James Young’s biggest strength going into next season might be how underrated he is.  That’s a little uncommon for a top-ten recruit, but with so many writers (and likely, coaches) keying on the Harrisons, Randle, and others, Young might sometimes get overlooked.  And that’s fine, especially when teams have to scramble at half time to stop the bleeding they never saw coming from this guy.

Kyle Wiltjer

We know and love Kyle, but the now-elder statesman needs to be more well-rounded before getting top-ten PF consideration.  Put on a good show this year, and next year is not at all out of the question, though.


Got Hope:

The only position left to run through is Center, which might have some promise for some of our Wildcats.

Dakari Johnson

Dakari’s the most-improved player in the incoming class, and has shot up to #7 (#2 C) in ESPN’s rankings.  Plus, “center” isn’t really a popular designation in college ball these days, with a lot of players preferring the more versatile “forward” tag.  But Dakari is a center, one of maybe only a few elite centers, and could find himself on the list tomorrow.  It doesn’t hurt when you measure in at 7’+.

Willie Cauley-Stein

Returning starter (for the second-half of the season, at least), promising defender, and emerging offensive weapon.  And, like Dakari, 7-feet tall.  The dearth of centers n the league, and wealth of talent and opportunity for WCS, could put him on tomorrow’s Top 10 Centers list with Dakari.  Not bad, right?


So there’s one perspective for you.  Other than leaving Aaron Harrison off, I think it’s pretty fair across the board.  Thoughts?

P.S. Yahtzee.

Article written by Corey Nichols

17 Comments for SportingNews Tabs Wildcats as Top 10 Position Talents

  1. WTF
    6:03 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    Is this serious? We just had one of the biggest pick ups in football, and there is a pointless bball article telling us what we already know. It’s FOOTBALL season.

  2. Ridge Runner
    6:07 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    WCS = Got hope?

    That too is a travesty in my opinion.

  3. Rei
    6:20 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    please go away Corey

  4. Garry rust
    6:26 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    Lets stay with football please.

  5. Big Blue 66
    6:28 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    james Young has some hops….Dakari and WCS will have some absolute epic battles in practice

  6. Ridge Runner
    6:34 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    5, I will feel a bit more confident to see WCS not be out of breath to the point he is gasping. Johnson can give him that needed break and vice-versa so it may not be as important this year. But still…I just want to see Willie get that cardio in check and not take someones word for it.

  7. Wild Turkey 101
    6:35 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    James Young is probably UK’s best slasher. He can get to the rim the quickest.

  8. Ridge Runner
    6:44 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    Please, I am not hating but… To give Poythress props over WCS just doesn’t hang with me.

    I mean, hell someone was going to score for us last year and in the process of elimination on a not so consistent of a team was Poythress. So, to post his numbers as evidence he needs to be over Willie is not cutting it for me. I would love for Alex to make his jump into that level this year and I think he might. But based on last year’s numbers? Nah.

  9. SeaCat
    6:59 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    6) why won’t someone explain WCS’ respiratory problem?
    Cal, KSR, no one will talk about it.
    Very odd to me.

  10. Mark
    7:05 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    9- i don’t know if it’s a real problem or just a matter of him not being ready for playing that many minutes when flat top feller went down. but you are correct as nothing is ever said about it except us fans from time to time who noticed it.

  11. SpellCheck
    7:15 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    freshment …. its what freshman smell like

  12. fandom
    7:17 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    He played harder than anyone when you do that you get winded.. there were no subs for him…so I don’t think it’s an issue.. would you rather him jog to conserve energy instead of going hard?

  13. CatManinFl
    7:23 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    12) You need to wake up. There is winded and then there is sucking enough air for our banners to be vacuumed back when play stopped. This dude was different than just being winded. Damn man, where were you?

  14. Tim
    7:52 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    Is this guy serious? Poythress might not even be starting by the end of the year. He is unproven and for some reason still keeps getting overrated. Was I the only one watching uk play last year? I would like to see young starting because wcs and randle will clean the boards and young can shoot the three with the Harrison’s. And don’t forget lee who possibly could be out most underrated recruit. I feel ethier lee or young will have a break out year and surprise a lot of people

  15. Tim
    7:57 pm June 13, 2013 Permalink

    I just hope wilTjer steps up because if he don’t we have so much depth this year he won’t get a lot of minutes.

  16. DH
    9:26 am June 14, 2013 Permalink

    Doug McDermott seems like he’s been around for 7 years. What makes this even weirder is that they NEVER show Creighton games on tv…

  17. CatsFanFrankfort
    4:05 pm June 14, 2013 Permalink

    #1 & #4. Really? Yes all of the exciting things going on with the football team is worth shouting about right now, but I think its ok to squeeze in one article about basketball. How the hell are you going to bitch about a UK basketball related article on a UK fan site? What the hell are you doing here?