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Mark Story: UK Basketball is the “World’s Team” this season

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – AUGUST 14: Jamal Murray of Canada controls the ball against Slobodan Jovanovic of Serbia during the FIBA U17 World Championships Quarter-Final match between Canada and Serbia at the Hamdan Sports Complex on August 14, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - AUGUST 14: Jamal Murray of Canada controls the ball against Slobodan Jovanovic of Serbia during the FIBA U17 World Championships Quarter-Final match between Canada and Serbia at the Hamdan Sports Complex on August 14, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

John Calipari’s UK teams have had their fair share of geographic diversity. Being the stellar recruiter that he is, Coach Cal has attracted talent from all across the USA in his six years at Kentucky. Among the many different states his players have originated from, some include Kansas (Willie Cauley-Stein), Washington (Terrence Jones), Florida (Brandon Knight), and New York (Dakari Johnson).

This year Cal and his staff have taken things a bit further, putting together a roster of players from around the globe. Sure, Karl Anthony-Towns – hailing from the Dominican Republic – kicked things off last season. And Kyle Wiltjer (Canada) brought a bit of international flair in 2011. But this year’s group features an unprecedented amount of global flavor.

5 different countries are represented on this season’s roster (assuming Tai Wynyard suits up next semester). Along with all of the players from the good ole USA, we’ve got representatives from Australia (Humphries), Canada (Murray and Mulder), Haiti (Skal), and New Zealand  (Wynyard).

As Story puts it, we’ve come along way since the days of Adolph Rupp:

In 1957-58, when the Fiddlin’ Five won the fourth and final of Adolph Rupp’s NCAA championships, the Cats featured 12 native Kentuckians on a roster of 14.

This is not your grandpappy’s UK basketball.

Indeed.

It will be fun to watch such an eclectic group come together over the season, and if the team can manage to put together a run in the tournament, surely we can come up with a fitting a nickname.

The Worldwide Wildcats? The Multinationals?

… Yeah, I’ll leave it to someone else.

 

Article written by Caleb Epley

Vanderbilt student, Kentucky fan. Skilled at using big words and telling bad jokes. Twitter: @CalebEpleyKSR

3 Comments for Mark Story: UK Basketball is the “World’s Team” this season



  1. Dusten
    6:14 pm November 8, 2015 Permalink

    The Worldcats.



  2. leon singleton
    6:23 pm November 8, 2015 Permalink

    Grandpappy Rupp played a lot of players returning from war overseas.



  3. tvor03
    9:42 pm November 8, 2015 Permalink

    The League of Nations