Scouting Kentucky's new-look roster
While working at Kentucky coach John Calipari's "Fantasy Basketball Experience" earlier this month, I had a chance to watch the Wildcats in two open gyms. A great deal will be expected from a recruiting class that most rated the best in recent history. This group of freshmen is physically stronger and has a different vibe than last season's class. Kentucky's backcourt will be much improved and Julius Randle is the dominating frontcourt player the Wildcats lacked.
The Harrison twins -- Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison -- were very different than I expected. Despite their reputation of being aloof, I found them to be engaged and connected to their teammates. They were very much part of the group. I think oftentimes they are prejudged by their body language as opposed to their actions.
Here is a personnel report from my two days in Lexington (note: Alex Poythress missed practice due to an injury, so I didn't include him here), looking at what each player brings to the table heading into the 2013-14 season, in addition to my take on what needs to happen for this team to live up to its potential.
Willie Cauley-Stein, Sophomore center
Cauley-Stein is bigger and stronger than I remember him last season. He should be a dominating defensive player in 2013-14. Cauley-Stein not only can protect the rim, but he has the athletic ability to rebound out of his area. My concern is on the offensive end. He can finish dump-offs and lobs in the dribble-drive system, but he must develop a go-to move. He has a nice touch, though he releases the ball low. I expect the Kentucky coaching staff to work with him on a jump hook from the left block.
To read Seth Greenberg's full scouting report of Kentucky's roster for 2013-14, including what you can expect out of each player and the team as a whole this coming season, sign up for Insider today.