- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1.Texas coach Rick Barnes has been somewhat prophetic lately with his newcomers. If he’s convinced they’re going to be major contributors, then he doesn’t hold back promoting. Well, Barnes is extremely high on his freshmen class that should bolster a rising sophomore group led by Myck Kabongo and Julien Lewis. Cameron Ridley is in shape and Prince Ibeh has developed his game well. The two 6-foot-10 centers are sure to be game-changers inside. The Longhorns also added 6-10 Connor Lammert. Barnes said the biggest surprise so far in workouts has been DeMarcus Holland, a shooting guard out of Garland, Texas. Barnes said Holland is an “every-day guy,’’ someone who Barnes knows what he’s going to get every day. And that means quality production if he can adequately get into the rotation.
2.BYU coach Dave Rose said Tyler Haws came back from his two-year Mormon Church mission in tremendous shape. He said his work ethic has been terrific so far in workouts. “He’s looking really, really good,’’ said Rose. Haws has a legitimate chance to be an All-WCC player in his first season back in Provo. Meanwhile, credit Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg for actually agreeing to a true home-and-home series. The Cougars have had decent success securing home-and-home series with power six conference schools but have had the return game played in Salt Lake City, in the shadow of the Utah Utes' home court. But Iowa State will return a series that will start in 2012 in Ames to the Marriott Center in 2013 in Provo.
3.Kentucky doesn’t have a traditional upperclassmen who will be a legitimate rotation player. But that’s fine. Kentucky coach John Calipari said Wright State senior transfer Julius Mays will fill that void. Mays played one season at Wright State (14.1ppg, 2.5 apg and 42.4 percent on 3s) after transferring from NC State. Calipari attended a Monday workout of the Wildcats and remarked about Mays’ shooting and overall experience. He also was extremely pleased with NC State transfer guard Ryan Harrow. But Calipari said Harrow and Mays could be coming off the bench. He said he fully expects at least two freshmen -- guard Archie Goodwin and forward Alex Poythress -- to start. The question is does he start both freshmen centers -- Nerlens Noel and/or Willie Cauley -- if he wants to go big? I would be stunned if Noel isn’t in the starting lineup. The question will be Cauley. Kyle Wiltjer, Mays and Harrow will be in the rotation and likely at times starters during the long season.
1.Texas coach Rick Barnes has been somewhat prophetic lately with his newcomers. If he’s convinced they’re going to be major contributors, then he doesn’t hold back promoting.