Kentucky basketball dominates 2015 season



This year’s Kentucky Wildcats basketball team could go down as one of the best teams in the history of college basketball. Tribune News Service

Nolan Imsande

There is a very good chance this version of the Kentucky Wildcats could go down as one of the best teams in the history of college basketball. John Calipari’s squad, which features a number of future first-round NBA draft picks, could probably beat a couple of the lesser NBA teams. The undefeated Wildcats have eight games remaining with only one against a ranked team. The Wildcats beat three teams who were ranked in the top 10 at the time of the game, including a 72-40 victory over then-No. 5 Kansas.

The most obvious reason for the Wildcats success has to do with the depth of their roster. None of their players average more then 12 points a game and only Aaron Harrison and Devin Booker average double digits. They do, however, have seven guys averaging more then seven points a game and early in the season, they had the ability to play two separate groups, the blue and white squad. The team’s depth has been tested recently with the loss of star freshman Trey Lyles, who has missed the last three games, and Alex Poythress’ season-ending injury earlier this season.

Another reason for the team’s success is its obvious talent. The Wildcats restocked in the offseason with four five-stars, according to Add them in with Poythress, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison and Dakari Johnson, five-stars who were already at the school, plus Willie Cauley-Stein, a four-star recruit in 2012 who is now one of the best players in college basketball and this team has more talent than any other in the nation.

Finally, look at the team’s height. The Wildcats have seven players who are listed at six-foot-eight or taller and two of them are seven-footers. There are plenty of NBA teams that don’t have that kind of height. They also have three guards who are listed at six-foot-six. The height of the team makes it nearly impossible for opponents to do anything in the paint.

If Kentucky can finish the season undefeated, which is very possible, it will be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Despite the team’s struggle with some smaller schools this year and the postseason tournament is where those teams shine, the Wildcats would be in prime position to finish the season without a loss.