CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein is the latest national media member to weigh in on how stacked the Cats will be next season. Rothstein wrote last night that while Kentucky has “talent on top of talent and depth on top of depth,” he’d still take Arizona’s starting five:
Sean Miller’s team has a fifth-year floor general in T.J. McConnell who has been through the gamut, along with a blue chip shooting guard in freshman Stanley Johnson who will be elite from day one on both sides of the ball. Arizona’s front court is seasoned and talented as well. Six-foot-7 lefty Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is primed to take a major step forward as a sophomore and Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski will form arguably the best power forward-center combination in the sport.
However, Rothstein adds that “no one can compete with Kentucky’s bench”:
No one can compete with Kentucky’s bench. Calipari will have four — yes, four — high level first-year players in reserve in Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, and Karl Towns along with a valuable defensive specialist in Dominique Hawkins. There is no team in America that has depth like Kentucky, but as of right now there’s not a team that looks like it’s as complete as Arizona in terms of the first five players it will put on the floor to start a game.
Of course, one of the problems with Rothstein’s argument is that no one knows what Kentucky’s starting five will be. There are endless possibilities. Will Cal do the unthinkable for him and start a lineup without a single freshmen? With the Harrisons, Alex, Willie, and Dakari, it could happen. Or, will Karl Towns or Trey Lyles make their way into the starting lineup?
Leave your best guesses for the starting lineup in the first game in the comments.