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Comparing the 2 teams with 9 McDonald’s All-Americans next year


Some of you, myself included, have probably asked yourself at some point during the last couple of weeks: “Who is going to be able to compete with our team next year? We have 9 McDonald’s All-Americans on our roster… and 5 of them are returning with experience.” It’s a logical question. But honestly, there’s a logical answer as well. Which team might be able to compete with a roster stacked with 9 McDonald’s All-Americans? Well, perhaps another team who enters college basketball next season equipped with a roster filled by 9 McDonald’s All-Americans as well. As if the storyline didn’t already ooze with potential, that team just happens to be Duke… a bitter rival of Kentucky.

Kentucky and Duke. Two of the most recognizable names in college basketball. Two of the bluest of the blue bloods. Two programs spoiled with more national titles than most other schools could ever dream to have… Calipari. Coach K. The two teams who participated in arguably one of the best college basketball games of all-time (we won’t mention the details).

Next year will be fun. College basketball might be blessed with two juggernaut teams, loaded with an absurd amount of talent. How do the two stack up though? Let’s check it out…


Who does each team return from last year?

Kentucky: 3 starters, 2 players who played 18+ minutes per game, 2 role players

Duke: 3 starters, 2 role players



Aaron Harrison:  13.7 ppg, 1.9 apg, 32.6 mpg

Andrew Harrison: 10.9 ppg, 4.0 apg, 31.7 mpg

Willie Cauley-Stein: 6.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 23.8 mpg

Alex Poythress: 5.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 18.4 mpg

Dakari Johnson: 5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 14.1 mpg

Marcus Lee:  2.4 ppg, 6.3 mpg,

Dominique Hawkins: 0.8 ppg, 8.6 mpg



Quinn Cook: 11.6 ppg, 4.4 apg, 29.8 mpg

Rasheed Suilamon: 9.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 25.6 mpg

Amile Jefferson: 6.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 22.7 mpg

Matt Jones: 1.8 ppg, 7.3 mpg

Marshall Plumlee: 1.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 8.5 mpg


Advantage: Kentucky



What each team lost from last year:

Kentucky: Kentucky lost its top 2 scorers and arguably its best 2 players to the NBA draft (Julius Randle, 15.0 ppg, 10.4 rpg and James Young 14.3 ppg)

Duke: Duke lost its top 2 scorers from last season to the NBA draft (Jabari Parker, 19.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg and Rodney Hood, 16.1 ppg), and an experienced guard in Andre Dawkins.


Advantage: Push


What each team brings in from the 2014 recruiting class:

*Rankings according to’s Final 2014 rankings



#4 Karl Towns (7-0 Center)

#11 Trey Lyles (6-10 Power Forward)

#20 Tyler Ulis (5-9 Point Guard)

#29 Devin Booker (6-5 Shooting Guard)



#1 Jahlil Okafor (6-11 Center)

#9 Tyus Jones (6-1 Point Guard)

#12 Justise Winslow (6-6 Small Forward)

#22 Grayson Allen (6-3 Shooting Guard)


Advantage: Duke


These two teams won’t meet in the regular season, but what a classic we would have on our hands if these two teams met in the NCAA tournament… especially late in the tournament.

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

35 Comments for Comparing the 2 teams with 9 McDonald’s All-Americans next year

  1. jus sayin
    2:54 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    Anybody who watched the Jordan Brand game knows that Devin Booker as better than Grayson.

  2. Mrice
    3:07 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t see how Grayson Allen is 22 overall. He seemed completely overwhelmed and outmatched in all of the all star games I saw him in.

  3. TampaCat
    3:10 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    Nice post Ally!

    • C...A....T....S...CATS!
      3:49 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink


      I agree with you TampaCat…

      However, TampaCat, I would take exception with ONE OF Ally’s POINTS:


      While the ranking say this is TRUE, there is an additional issue one should take in to consideration about these incoming FRESHMAN. I would also add and consider:


      Case Closed!


    • Dusten
      5:48 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Calm down there, crazy. Overzealous comes to mind.

  4. harry
    3:11 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    Well at least its not a comparison involving thorobreds

  5. DCS195
    3:20 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    I really don’t see how you give the incoming recruiting class advantage to Duke. There is no clearcut advantage to either team in this class. Duke does have the slightest ranking advantage, but the difference is so small as to make this really a push. Duke in particular filled big holes in its team with this class. UK on the other hand did have as many, or as large of holes returning to fill, but definitely added some much needed skill sets to the team. Given the total skill set of both classes, I am happy to have UK’s recruits over Duke’s.

    I would rate your three questions as: Players returning–Kentucky advantage; Players lost–Push; and incoming recruiting class–Push.

  6. Hoptownukfan
    3:25 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    Well that’s an awful take. To say duke is returning what uk is returning is absolutely nuts.

    • sdcro
      3:36 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      the opinion was push for players lost, as in both lost top two scorers. advantage kentucky for returning more

    • ukbradstith
      12:55 am May 4, 2014 Permalink

      Doesn’t say that, so epic fail on your reading comprehension skills.

  7. Han
    3:28 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    Better Overall Coach: K
    Better Coach of Young Talent: Cal

    People act like Cal and K both having equalish recruiting classes means both classes will have a similar impact, but all you have to do is look at the success Cal has had with one-and-done players here at Kentucky and compare it to the lack of success K has had with his one-and-dones.

    Losing experienced starters hurts K more than Cal because he isn’t as accustomed to getting young players to play to their potential and as part of a team in one year. Okafor and crew are going to be good, but Duke’s returnees didn’t exactly have a comparable year to ours last year.

    • pr
      6:17 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Totally agree.

  8. Gator Chomp
    3:42 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    One school recruited with ethics and the other uses runners, pimps, rappers and bag men to get players.

    • bmt22033
      3:46 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Now I don’t necessarily disagree but I doubt you could get Duke to admit it!

    • wildcatinOH
      3:47 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Aaron Michael Hernandez is that you??? Didn’t know you guys get to access KSR in the

    • C...A....T....S...CATS!
      3:58 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Perhaps Coach Will Muschamp better seek out some runners, pimps, rappers, and bag men….

      The SWAMP ain’t what it used to be….


    • wildcatinOH
      4:13 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Can you imagine what would happen the day UK beat UF for once on the football field? Maybe the gator fans will start a petition to send Muschamp packing. I know it’s still a long shot at this point. But it doesn’t hurt to dream…ha

    • Rei
      4:15 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Gaytard Chump is a UL troll obviously.

    • Wow...How Very Cool of You
      4:15 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      “Runners, pimps,rappers and bag men..”? You should be writing fiction. Perhaps in the style of Elmore Leonard You are obviously very cool and witty. So very talented to grace us with your gifts. Are we worthy? Though basketball knowledge is obviously not your forte…

  9. Jatt Mones
    4:29 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    Blah blah blah duke being overrated as usual gonna leave in the first round again

    This blog sucks.

  10. Kentucky Derby Winner Of The Past: Secretariat

  11. Matt Jones
    4:43 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    I sucked my first dong at the 1999 Kentucky Derby.

    • UL Fan
      5:36 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink



  12. John Ellis
    5:15 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    UK and Duke played TWO of the handful of greatest games of all time. The Tubby win was as extraordinary as the Pitino loss. CBS may not show the clinching three UK hit every year, but that’s no reason for UK fans to ignore it. That Duke team had the most pro prospects on it in college history. May be topped by UK this year, but it was a huge upset – and without major NBA talent, which all left when Pitino did. Still the best coaching job for a title of any UK coach, including Rupp.

  13. Al Black
    5:59 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    Duke is going to be good, but on paper they are outclassed by UK at just about every position and the bench:

    • Brow
      6:25 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Duke has the edge in coaching.

    • cincicat
      7:37 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      dUKe’s edge in coaching and their 6 mickee dee’s should have gotten past 1st round and Mercer. That edge seems pretty dull to me.

    • Ben
      10:42 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

      Duke has the edge in coaching. If you hop in your Delorean and go back to 1992.

      Big ol’ LOL at the people who still say Cal can’t coach after this year. Coach K loses in the first round (AGAIN). Pitino is now 1-6 against Cal at UK. Come on, trolls, you’re not even making our dicks hard at this point.

    • Wow...
      1:13 pm May 4, 2014 Permalink


      You only bring up our BIG BROTHER LOUISVILLE because you know they are going to wipe the floor with us. They arent even in this article. why are you so obsessed… go root for them if you cant get them off your mind.

  14. Harry
    6:31 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    And why does this matter now?????????

  15. RP's Facelift
    6:54 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    Marshall Plumlee isn’t on par with any of the UK bigs.

  16. Rixter
    10:08 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    So, the X factor is coaching.

    Coach Cal is pretty good.
    I once saw Coach K get out-coached by Tubby Smith.

    Advantage UK

  17. Mc
    10:12 pm May 3, 2014 Permalink

    I’m going to predict it now. Okafor gets in foul trouble in the sweet 16,and Duke loses. Grayson Allen will barely see the court. Winslow’s a nice defender. Jones is overrated.

  18. Megan
    10:02 am May 4, 2014 Permalink

    “arguably one of the best college basketball games of all-time”?

    Are you kidding, Ally? How can you possibly qualify it like that? I’d understand the expression “one of the” as a writer just trying to be careful. But the addition of “arguably” is diminishing and, frankly, offensive. There’s no arguably about it.

    This is the game that Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News calls The Greatest Game Ever Played. Sports Illustrated, no less, calls it the greatest college basketball game of all time. USA Today (not as authoritatively) calls it the greatest game in NCAA tournament history. And ESPN ranks the buzzer beater alone as the 17th most memorable moment in ALL OF SPORT over the last 25 years.

    I’m guessing you’re too young to remember and too naive to appreciate what happened that day.

  19. bradsd
    6:36 pm May 4, 2014 Permalink

    Plumlee reminds me of the Cable Guy playing basketball. He isn’t any where close to UK’s bigs.