The Kentucky Wildcats should start the season as the No. 1 team in the preseason poll but does that mean that they’re good futures play on the college basketball odds? Here’s our preview.
Who’s Out, Who’s In?
With John Calipari running the show in Lexington, we all know that Kentucky reloads, not rebuilds. The same should be the case for the 2014-15 season as the Wildcats will be welcoming in four of the best freshmen in the country. This is a team that’s chock-full of athletes and nine McDonald’s All-Americans and that’s after Julius Randle and James Young were drafted in the top 17 picks of the 2014 NBA Draft.
In comes Tyler Ulis, who is a pass-first point guard, Devin Booker, who is expected to be the team’s best shooter, Trey Lyles and Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns could end up starting at center as he’s more of a scorer than Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson, but in any situation, this team is ridiculously loaded at the position. And that’s who the Wildcats look from top to bottom. At power forward, the team is stocked with Lyles, who will likely started, Alex Pythress or Marcus Lee. As for the guards, there’s Aaron and Andrew Harrison, who are elite, and then Ulis, who could probably start for most teams at point guard, and Booker.
In short, remember those old Florida Gators teams under Billy Donovan where he’d literally rotate five guys at a time? The Wildcats can do just that if they want. This team can withstand multiple serious injuries and still win the title. They’re that deep, that versatile and that talented.
The SEC should be a breeze for the Wildcats as there isn’t much competition. Their biggest concern will be the Gators but Donovan’s crew did lose quite a bit. Four starters are gone, although three very talented freshmen will be infused. The Arkansas Razorbacks will probably be a top-three team in the conference but they’re a distant third. Bobby Portis is back and so is a lot of their core, but that’s probably not enough. Teams like Auburn, Ole Miss and Alabama won’t be much of a threat at all.
To put it in perspective, Kentucky is 5/1 to win the NBA Championship at 5Dimes. Florida is at 18/1, Arkansas is at 100/1, Ole Miss is at 150/1 and Auburn is at 350/1 college basketball odds. If Kentucky doesn’t win the SEC, it could be the sign of the apocalypse.
March Madness Outlook
This team could be historically good. Although Calipari is always recruiting great talent, they are typically one-and-done guys and he is having to rely on a lot of inexperience. Usually, he’s also counting on young teams to come together very quickly. However, this team has a lot of quality returning with the Harrisons, Johnson and Cauley-Stein. This is a roster has what appears to be 10 future NBA players.
After losing in the March Madness Championship game, look for this ridiculously talented team to take it one step further.
College Basketball Pick: Take Kentucky Wildcats as your college basketball pick to win NCAA Basketball Championship