It is impossible to know who all will or won’t return to school for the Kentucky Wildcats in 2016. However what is known is with the addition of Malik Monk, the Wildcats will be loaded and have all the ingredients of a special team.
Though it is far from a lock, it is extremely possible that Kentucky will return Tyler Ulis, Isaiah Briscoe, and Marcus Lee to next year’s roster. While it might be unlikely, and it is also possible Calipari would feel it would make things too crowded, one of that trio is extremely likely to be back along with players like Isaac Humphries, Charles Matthews, and Derek Willis.
That three to five player mix will give Kentucky some experience and depth, which is extremely helpful when trying to win a national title.
The other thing that is helpful is bringing in super talented future pros, and that is also what Kentucky is doing. The backcourt duo of De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk will be one of the best in the nation, and if Ulis or Briscoe return, then it is off the charts as a trio.
Up front Kentucky has a dominant low post player in freshman Edrice Adebayo, a versatile power forward in Sacha Killeya-Jones, and another high upside and high motor freshman in Wenyen Gabriel. Those three will join big space eater Isaac Humphries as well as New Zeland native Tai Wynyard who should be a good contributor.
If there is one spot where UK doesn’t have a ton of depth it is on the wing with a big traditional small forward, but look for Gabriel to fill that role some and also for the Wildcats to play a lot of three guards with some combination of Fox, Monk, Ulis, Briscoe, and Mathews being on the court playing the one through three.
While there is no doubt Duke and Michigan State, and potentially even Kansas, will all be loaded as well, Kentucky might have as much if not more talent than the 2014-15 team which went undefeated before losing in the Final Four.
At this point the exact roster isn’t known, but what is known is the optimism and the pressure will be high in Lexington, and that is just the way John Calipari likes it.