After a 35-3 season which saw the Kentucky Wildcats make the NCAA Tournament’s Elite 8 as well as lose five players to the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft, you might expect the ‘Cats to be in a state of disarray going into the 2010-11 seasons.
That’s not the case however, with head coach John Calipari at the helm for his second season with the Wildcats.
Calipari brought in the No. 1 rated recruiting class for 2010 while bringing back some solid contributors from last season’s. Calipari will rely heavily on a set of talented freshmen yet again, while looking to veterans Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins for proven leadership.
Freshmen Brandon Knight is the talk of the town and rightfully so. He’s been spectacular this summer—as the ‘Cats made a trip north of the border for three exhibition games in Canada—as well as Kentucky’s Blue-White game that took place last week and the Wildcats exhibition against Pikeville College.
Along with Knight is European sensation Enes Kanter who is still awaiting word on whether he’ll be eligible for the upcoming 2010-11 seasons. Kanter is a proven low-post talent that could give the Wildcats an inside force that was lost from the team when DeMarcus Cousins was selected with the fifth overall pick in June’s NBA Draft.
The aforementioned Miller and Liggins will be counted on to provide not only veteran leadership, but both offensive and defensive results as the season begins. Both players are extremely talented, showcased by their performances this summer and during the early portion of the upcoming season.
With Kanter, Kentucky becomes a legitimate Final Four contender with the potential to hoist their 8th National Championship banner. Without Kanter Kentucky loses that inside presence, but could very well still compete well into March.
Don’t expect a 35-3 season this year, but you can expect to see some great games and spectacular highlights as the season moves forward.