What does this 2017- 2018 Wildcats team do? Who stands out? Who starts? Find out from our writers

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@KentuckyMBB

Here we are, the basketball season is here. On November 10th, the Wildcats tip off for their first official regular season game. So, with all of the buzz going around John Calipari’s youngest basketball team ever, where do will this team finish? Who will be the pieces that take us there? Everyone has their own opinion but here at UKfansallday we have some as well.

 

Lori Mills 

Starting Lineup: Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, Quade Green, PJ Washington, Nick Richards.

We’ll be very young to start the season of course and without Vanderbilt early on it might get a little shaky but I think they’ll mature to where they need to be come March as usual. PJ Washington for me would have to be the player that I see being a break out star. He’s a monster guy, and the type that Cal loves to have on his team. Kevin Knox along with PJ are at the top of my list for being break outs. Granted, I think Knox is going to be able to do whatever, whenever he wants. Leading scorer will most likely be Diallo, I think he and Quade will mesh together and be the voice of the team. I think Gabriel will step up and be a dominate figure for this team also. Shai is going to be a nightmare on defense and will turn NBA heads.

Final Destination: My heart says #9 because it’s been quite a while and I’m dying to see another banner raised. But my head says Elite Eight/Final Four unless all the cards fall correctly with seeding then it could be number 9. This team has it in them do be something very special. They are an amazing group of guys.

 

Colton Covington

Starting Lineup: Quade Green, Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, Wenyen Gabriel, Nick Richards

Impact Player: Nick Richards and our success depends on how well Nick anchors us in the post

Final Destination: Hard to tell where they end up. Their ceiling is obviously a title. Floor is a sweet 16.

 

Ty Buck

I think the starting lineup will consist of Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, Quade Green, Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya- Jones. Key is leadership of Killeya-Jones and Gabrielle as “vets” as only sophomores. Compare Kevin Knox to Towns and Diallo to Murray in terms of changing the game. How they go, we go. Green will be Vanderbilt back till Jan. and hopefully will add power. Think we finish one or two in SEC with 2nd or 3rd seed in NCAA. Think Killeya-Jones could surprise a lot of people, he was so young last year and now has a year under his belt. Diallo will impress as well. PJ Washington may be a sleeper too that surprises some folks. Don’t miss out on Nick Richardson. A really young yet talented team. Think they’ll get off to a slower start than most Calipari teams but pickup as season goes on and finish strong.

Credit to: Kendra Harvey

Final Destination: Elite 8

 

Jay Hazze

Everyone who is a Kentucky basketball fan likes to think of hanging the next banner. NUMBER NINE! So, its that time again where we are all talking about this year’s basketball team. Who’s next? Who’s the play maker? Who is starting? How far will we go?

Here is what I think. We are really, really, young but talented. Kentucky will rebound the ball really well, our defense will be on point, which is huge. Kentucky’s offense will struggle at first, but everyone on this team is capable of being a huge playmaker. Quade Green is a pass first guard, who sees everything. Gabriel is a hustle hard player who is ready to lead. Knox is long and can shoot lights out, very gifted. PJ Washington is strong and versatile who plays hard on both sides of the ball, he is a big time player who never quits. Richards, “the rim protector”, can run the floor, he is very athletic and fast. I think he will be “BIG” on both sides of the ball as well. I named those players first because I think they will be this year’s starting . But please don’t sleep on Alexander nor Baker, both big time players that will contribute huge for the Cats. Jones and Wynyard will be coming off the bench to prove themselves, both very talented, and my belief is we will see them playing their roles strong.

Final Destination: As to how far we will go, my heart says number nine, but my brain says elite 8, so there is only one thing left to say, LETS GO BLUE!

 

Jacob Deaton

Well, here we are. Another year and more predictions for a very young and unpredictable young Calipari team. This year more than others, BBN fans will need to be patient as this team will be his youngest challenge so far. Even with this, I do believe this team will be march ready, but don’t be surprised if we drop a few along the way. I do believe that this team has the potential to defy the odds and do something very similar to the Karl Towns team and finish the season nearly undefeated, but not quite. I do believe that they will find an opponent hot one night early in the season.

If I had to give a starting five, from the very limited view I have had of this team, the following is my prediction for it, PG: Quade Green – SG: Hamidou Diallo – SF: Kevin Knox –  PF: PJ Washington – C: Nick Richards 

Yes, an all freshman starting five is what we will have. Yes, I do believe Gabriel has vastly improved but he will not beat out Knox for the SF spot and he is not built enough to play the PF position. This is good news for Kentucky because this means we will have Baker, Alexander, Gabriel, Jones, Wynyard coming off of the bench. I do not believe Vanderbilt will play this season but if he does he will create an even deeper Kentucky bench. Almost every position has someone to back it up. This will allow players to stay fresh and get the rest they need for a long season filled with challenges.

Final Destination: With all of this being said, I think that we have the potential without a doubt to hang another banner. I know that this fanbase deserves it. I also know that the ceiling is a title but the worst that this team can do is the sweet 16. If I had to predict a safe bet for this team I would say the Final Four. I do believe it is going to be a very good and exciting season. This season also hinges on whether or not Vanderbilt comes back this season, we are very poised to win if he was to return, Vanderbilt is believed to be the most versatile player on the team per Calipari himself. But, we will just have to wait and see, GO BLUE!

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