's Guide to KU's Non-Con Schedule

Enough of the preseason exhibition warm-ups -- it's time for the main event and Kansas will kick off the games that really "matter" on Friday at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. is here to provide you with everything you need to guide you through the Jayhawks non-conference schedule.

November 18 – Idaho State

KU kicks off the season with a home tilt against Idaho State and the Jayhawks should have no problem notching win number one. The Bengals will have their hands full with a raucous Phog Allen Fieldhouse crowd hungry for a victory in the first game that “matters”.

Idaho State is experiencing its own version of an “Extreme Makeover” this season with eight new faces and one medical red-shirt added to the roster. The Bengals lost three starters from a team that finished last in the Big Sky Conference and Head Coach Doug Oliver opted to fill in the blanks with seven transfers.

Despite the influx of new faces, the coaches and media again picked the Bengals to occupy the conference cellar this season. Not a good sign for Oliver who’s record is 44 games under .500 in his first seven seasons in Pocatello.

The first area Idaho State will need to improve on is rebounding. The Bengals finished last in the Big Sky in rebounding margin last season. Unfortunately plenty of questions remain up front. 6-8 Antoine “Slim” Millien is a second-year junior college transfer and one of two returning starters Oliver will depend on heavily. Millien led the conference in field goal percentage last season and is projected as a first team all-conference performer. But there isn’t much proven talent around him and the Bengals have yet to show they’re a force to reckon with inside.  

In the backcourt, Big Sky Freshman of the Year 6-5 Logan Kinghorn returns after averaging over ten points a game last season. Medical redshirt David Schroeder returns after spending nearly two seasons on the shelf with a knee injury – but when he left, he was the Bengals leading scorer. Together Kinghorn and Schroeder could form a formidable backcourt.

November 21-23 – EA Sports Maui Invitational

After playing only one regular season game, Self’s young guns will receive a stern test.

Kansas will head to the Aloha State to compete in one of the toughest EA Sports Maui Invitational fields of all-time. The competition contains six of the last eleven national champions, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and the host team Chaminade.

KU’s quest for a tournament title begins with Lute Olson’s talented and deep, Arizona Wildcats, who were one point shy of a Final Four appearance last season. The bad news is Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye now compete in the NBA. The good news is ten lettermen return from last season’s Pac-10 champs. Hassan Adams is the team’s top returning scorer and can play a variety of positions though he’s only 6-4. Adams is Olson’s “do-everything guy”. He’s packed with athleticism and can fill a stat sheet. Mustafa Shakur spent most of last season driving and dishing to Salim Stoudamire on the wing but this season he’ll need to pick up some of the scoring load. Last season the Wildcats went 11-2 in games where he scored in double-figures. He’ll have backcourt help from incoming freshman sensation J.P. Prince, who is the cousin of former Kentucky standout Tayshaun Prince. At 6-7 J.P. could be a nightmare to match up with. 6-4 senior Chris Rodgers is a solid player with the ball in his hands who does not make mistakes and he is the team’s best defender.

Up front, senior Isaiah Fox returns 20 pounds lighter after red-shirting last season due to a knee injury and has increased his vertical leap. 6-10 Ivan Radenovic brings 31 starts and his versatile offensive repertoire back to the lineup. Radenovic is capable of facing up or playing with his back to the basket and don’t forget about “Ivan the Terrific” from three-point range. At the wing position freshmen Marcus Williams heads to Tuscon with the reputation as an outstanding shooter with blow-by ability. Williams comes from Seattle, currently a much-heralded hot-bed of recruiting and he will certainly earn his share of playing time. Jawann McClellan, yet another wing, is currently sitting out with academic issues – his status is still uncertain but the Pac-10 favorites are still loaded.

Expect a lot of balance from this Arizona team and don’t be surprised if Olson’s rotation features up to ten players. The Jayhawks should expect to be pressured for all 40 minutes and handling the basketball will be critical to KU’s success. Olson’s team features speed and athleticism and will have no problem taking a turnover and turning it into a highlight reel dunk at the opposite end. 

Win or lose it won’t get any easier for the Jayhawks with this power-packed field. They’ll either face a Connecticut team that has the tools to win it all or a hungry bunch of Arkansas Razorbacks.

December 1 - Nevada

The rest of the nation is finding out what Kansas fans already knew --- Nevada is a program to be reckoned with on the national level. Over the last two seasons, the Wolfpack compiled 50 wins and authored an incredible storybook run to the Sweet 16 in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. With four starters returning the expectations in Reno remain high. Second-year Head Coach Mark Fox’s team is again favored to win the WAC and return to the Big Dance.

Fox’s backcourt was dealt an early blow last season when Marcelus Kemp went down with a season-ending knee injury. But the backcourt at Nevada has gone from thin to loaded. Ramon Sessions was forced into action and responded by earning WAC Freshman of the Year honors. Sessions is not a deep threat but averaged over nine points and five assists last season. Junior Kyle Shiloh also returns after starting every game last year at shooting guard. Shiloh, Kemp, and Sessions will garner most of the backcourt minutes this season while the speedy 6-3 Lyndale Burleson will attempt to crack the starting lineup. If Nevada has an Achilles Heel it’s three-point shooting. The Wolfpack shot a woeful 27 percent from beyond the arc and finished dead last in three-point field goals for the season (87).

In the frontcourt, Fox will have to attempt to replace Kevinn Pinkney and Jermaine Washington who combined for over 19 points and nearly 13 rebounds a game last season. Pinkney left as the winningest player in school history and Nevada will need to replace his strong leadership abilities. But the frontcourt remains a strength with WAC Player of the Year, Nick Fazekas leading the charge. The 6-11 Fazekas spent the summer competing for the USA 21-Under team and is one of the most talented forwards in the nation. Nick’s 6-11 frame is not the only size Fox has at his disposal. He has a pair of 7-footers on his roster in senior Chad Bell and 7-1 sophomore David Ellis that can hopefully help spell Fazekas who played over 31 minutes/game last season. Second-year junior college transfer 6-7 Mo Charlo will have to make the transition from sixth man to starter up front. Fox has again enlisted the help of JUCO’s with 6-7 small forward Denis Ikovlev, a sharpshooter from the Ukraine, and 6-9 Demarshay Johnson.

Fox has proven that Nevada is a program that plans on competing with the best regularly. Though Nevada was abysmal from long range last season, the Wolfpack led the WAC in scoring defense and rebounding margin. If they continue the stingy play on defense, the dominance up front, and improve their three-point shooting they will be a Top 25 mainstay this season.

December 3 – Western Illinois

Thanks to a talented crop of newcomers and some terrific upperclassmen Head Coach Derek Thomas’s Western Illinois squad improved by leaps and bounds last season increasing its win total by eight. After a second stellar recruiting class ranked by many as the best in the Mid-Continent Conference the outlook is again promising in Macomb. Eight new faces were added to the roster a year ago, this season the Leathernecks welcome four new additions.

Thomas has four starters back on a team that finished in the middle of the Mid-Con last season but he lost senior stat sheet-filler Eulis Baez who was voted Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year. The Florida International transfer led the team in virtually every statistical category. Western Illinois will also have to replace wing Will Lewis and the experience of his 51 starts, and guard T.J. Gray left the program after his second season.

At the guard position versatile 6-4 David Jackson is expected to carry his share of the workload this season but needs to improve his long range shooting (38 percent last season). Defensively he’ll be asked to lockdown the other team’s best perimeter player. With the loss of Baez and Lewis 6-7 forward Fred Oguns is expected to provide leadership and rebounds. 6-9 Eliz Cepeda sat out with a hand injury last season but he’s expected to be a solid contributor for Thomas. Another key returnee is NaVonta Kentle, a 6-8 forward who averaged just over five points a game last season but shot 52 percent from the floor. Kentle can really elevate and is projected to be an impact player in Macomb this season.

Marion Mahorn arrives from Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College and is the nephew of former Detroit Pistons star Rick Mahorn. The basketball genes don’t end there the 6-7 Mahorn is also the cousin of Travis Best and possesses the versatility to play guard, small forward, or power forward. Eze Samuel is coming off a medical red-shirt but has been fine-tuning his game playing for the Nigerian National team. The 6-10 Samuel, who originally signed with Sand Diego State, is a banger and a welcomed addition in Macomb. 6-8 guard/forward Chris Gonzalez brings a long wingspan and terrific shooting ability to campus. Gonzalez missed all of last season due to injuries suffered in a car accident that killed two of his teammates at Navarro (Texas) Junior College.

Sammy Hunter, a 6-3 combo guard, is another talented newcomer who arrived via the JUCO route from Southeastern Illinois College, but Thomas will look to the experience of sharp-shooting Troy Okeson. Okeson connected on over 41 percent of his shots from downtown last season and is the team’s zone-buster. He hit a team-leading 51 three-pointers last season and is again expected to provide punch from the perimeter.

Western Illinois is a team that can go two-deep at every position and can sneak up and beat you if you’re not careful. It will be interesting to see who provides the scoring punch on this team after Baez’s departure. Expect the Leathernecks to score by committee with five to six players in double-figures if Thomas has his way.

December 6 – St. Joseph’s (Jimmy V Classic – Madison Square Garden)

Phil Martelli has upheld a winning tradition at St. Joseph’s by amassing 23 wins in four of the last five seasons. Proving you can never count out a Martelli-coached team, St. Joseph’s went on to win 24 games after starting 3-6. Though the Hawks reached the finals of the NIT they’ll have to overcome the departures of two key players -- A-10 Player of the Year Pat Carroll and 6-10 shot blocker Dwayne Jones. Jones is now a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves and finished fifth in the nation in rebounding and blocked shots.

Carroll was one of the best shooters in the country but Martelli’s backcourt is still loaded. 6-0 senior Dwayne Lee struggled in the early part of last year after taking over for Jameer Nelson but he came on during the second half of the season and looked like one of the best guards in the A-10. Lee ended up leading the conference in assists at over five per game and played tough on-the-ball defense. Together Lee and senior Chet Stachitas will attempt to fill the void left by Carroll. Stachitas showed his range by making 50 three-pointers last season and averaged nearly 11 points and three assists. 6-1 sophomore Abduli Jalloh was a tad inconsistent, but he’s an athletic combo guard capable of helping on the perimeter. Two freshmen are also expected to see significant time at the guard positions. 6-5 Jordan Fowler practiced with the team during the second half of last season and is already familiar with Martelli’s system. 6-4 Edwin Lashley is within range as soon as he walks in the gym! With a year of prep school at St. Thomas Moore Lashley should head to Philly seasoned and ready to make an impact.

While the backcourt has plenty of viable candidates the frontcourt remains a question. 6-8 sophomore power forward Rob Ferguson saw action in36 games last season and will now have the green light on the interior. 6-10 Pat Calathes weighs 205 and actually possesses point guard skills. He’s improved his outside shooting and his agility over the summer. The competition will be closely contested by the rest of Martelli’s frontcourt candidates.  6-10 senior Dave Mallon has been nagged by injuries and missed six games last season with a stress fracture in his foot. Freshman Ahmad Nivins played for Bobby Hurley, Sr. at St. Anthony’s in New Jersey. 6-9, freshman Alvin Mofunanya, Finland’s 7-0 Artur Surov, and 6-9 junior Arvydas Lidzius round out the rest of the Hawks players up front.

His players improve over time, they’re tough and Martelli’s teams always seem to find a way to win. The Hawks ranked first in the A-10 in scoring defense and ninth in the nation – you can again expect a stingy defense. Last season their opponents failed to reach 60 points in 24 games. The Hawks fear no one as evidenced by another tough early season schedule. St. Joseph’s will again be a force to be reckoned with and you can never count out a Martelli-coached team.

December 10 – California (Kemper Arena)

Ben Braun’s team is in the midst of their worst two-year stretch since the early 90’s. In 2004-2005 the Bears could only muster 13 wins overall and went 6-12 in Pac-10 play. Health would go a long way in helping to turn that record around. Last season Leon Powe was forced to the sideline with an ailing knee and the Bears could not overcome the loss of their leading scorer (15.1 points) and rebounder (9.5 rebounds). The 2003-2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year was the first frosh to lead the conference in rebounding but has had to endure multiple surgeries over a six-month span. Powe is apparently back and better than ever and he could be the best player in the Pac-10. 

If there was any good to come out of Powe’s absence it was the experience gained by 6-10 Rod Benson. Benson was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal season for Cal and led the Bears in scoring and rebounding. The third member of Cal’s frontcourt trio is sophomore DeVon Hardin who is the team's best athlete and has the potential to rank among the Pac-10 leaders in blocked shots.

Perimeter shooting was not exactly a strength for Cal last season. 6-2 senior Richard Midgley led the team in three-pointers with 50, no else had even half of that. Midgley is capable of effectively playing either guard position but is coming off a sub-par shooting performance due to a shoulder injury he was forced to play through. He still averaged nearly 13 points and three assists a game and is unquestionably the leader of this team. Midgley’s perimeter performance will be crucial for the Bears or else Powe will see constant double-teams. Braun also welcomes freshman Jordan Wilkes to the frontline. Wilkes is the son of former UCLA and Los Angeles Laker standout Jamaal Wilkes. The staff is thrilled to have Jordan’s talent but the big man lacks strength at the moment.

It will be a family reunion in Berkley for the Wilkes brothers who will be reunited. Kansas fans remember Omar Wilkes and he will attempt to add depth and much-needed perimeter-shooting.

Ayinde Ubaka endured an injury-plagued sophomore season and was ineffective at the point. He broke his foot in November and was never the same but is expected to start next to Midgely. There’s reason for optimism and the 6-3 junior ended up the team’s second-leading scorer on their 5-0 trek through Italy.

Expect Cal to contend for an NCAA berth. How far they go in the league race really depends on Powe. A healthy and improved Powe will be a bear to contend with – no pun intended. Powe will undoubtedly see his share of double-teams until Braun’s squad proves they can get it done on the perimeter.

December 19 – Pepperdine

The Pepperdine Waves won 17 games in 2004-2005 and notched their seventh winning record in the last eight seasons, but it wasn’t all sun and fun in Malibu. The injury bug bit the Waves hard and Head Coach Paul Westphal had to juggle his frontline. This season five players who accounted for 73 percent of Pepperdine' s scoring, 60 percent of its rebounds and 45 percent of its assists are gone. All-conference performer Glen McGowan (19.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg) graduated after patrolling the paint for much of the season. 6-5 guard Alex Acker (16.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.7 apg), another all-WCC selection, departed early for the NBA and is now a member of the Detroit Pistons. Senior forward Yakhouba Diawarra and his 14 points, and nearly six rebounds a game are also gone. So the challenge for Westphal will be blending nine returnees with six newcomers.

At the guard position the Waves will go small with 5-7 sophomore Kingsley Costain(7.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.8 apg) running the show. Costain was a first-team WCC all-freshmen selection last season and has a nice touch from the outside. Marvin Lea will also contend for time at the point and finished second in assists last season behind Acker. 6-2 Chase Griffin is the third guard Westphal plans on rotating this season. Talented 6-0 freshman Michael Gerrity (19.5 ppg, 5.3 apg), who’s a pass-first point guard with loads of experience will also vie for time.

At the shooting guard position Westphal welcomes 6-3 junior Gregg Barlow (19.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.0 apg), who’s a natural scoring guard. Barlow joins the lineup after displaying his versatile game for two years at Mt. Hood (Ore.) Community College. The second newcomer competing for time at two-guard is 6-4 freshman Tomas Pranciiauskas (18.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4.0 apg).  The Vilnius, Lithuania, native is a talented scorer. He played at Walsingham Academy in Virginia, and later earned a spot on the Lithuanian Junior National Team. At the other wing position, 6-4 senior Keith Jarbo (1.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg) provides the Waves with outside shooting and is a physical presence on the perimeter.

Barring more injuries up front the Waves return an abundance of size. 6-11 sophomore Jarrad Henry (0.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg), 6-9 junior Derick Grubb (1.6 ppg, 0.8 rpg) and 7-0 sophomore Russell Hicks (4.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.6 bpg), will form a solid rotation in the paint.

Hicks made the best of the time he earned once Grubb and Henry went down with injuries and was selected to the WCC all-freshman team. The Canadian ended up as the Waves leading shot-blocker and developed faster than expected. Meanwhile, the athletic Henry returns to the lineup after several nagging injuries and will be a force on the defensive end of the floor. His wingspan and shot-blocking ability will make it tough to keep him on the bench. Westphal hopes Grubb, who missed all but five games last season with a bad back, will provide a much-needed scoring presence inside. 

No one including Westphal knows what to expect from this team. If history is any indication, Pepperdine will be quick, athletic and likes to get the ball up and down the floor.

December 22 – Northern Colorado

Northern Colorado is still in the midst of completing the transition from Division II to Division II and has only won 14 games during the last two seasons. It hasn’t been easy for Head Coach Craig Rasmuson’s team who has scheduled some of the nation’s best teams to help prepare for the rigors of Division I basketball. The Bears are currently an Independent but are preparing to officially join the Big Sky conference in 2006-2007.

Northern Colorado returns four of its top five scorers from last year’s 8-21 squad. Rasmuson’s top returnee is 6-9 Kirk Archibeque who was an Independent first-team selection and is expected to repeat the feat. Archibeque was chose by Lindy’s, Street & Smith, and CBS Sportsline as the D-I Independent Preseason Player of the Year. The talented center became the first freshman in school history to lead the team in scoring and rebounding. He also shot 58.1 percent from the field ranking him 23rd nationally and second among freshmen in Division I.

This one caught my attention how about this name -- Thanasi Panagiotakopoulos. He earns the honor of having the longest last name (17 letters) in school history and probably the best name in all of Division I basketball. The Phoenix native of Greek ancestry pronounces his name Thanasi (TH-nah-see) Panagiotakopoulos (Pana-Yo-Toe-CO-PO-los). His real first name, however, is not Thanasi but Athanassios. Growing up his friends and teammates nicknamed him "T-Soup" or "Soup" - short for alphabet soup (since his name was so long).

December 29 – New Orleans

While the people of New Orleans attempt to restore some sort of normalcy to their lives basketball creates a diversion from the devastation caused by Katrina in the New Orleans area. Basketball also gave Kansas the chance to do something to help out relief efforts.

"With everything those coaches and players have gone through we thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase their program," KU coach Bill Self said in a statement released by KU back on September 13.  "The fact that ESPN2 is going to televise it is one way to get word out about what these guys have gone through and yet they still have attempted to have some sort of normalcy."

New Orleans will be forced to play their home games in Tyler, Texas for most of the season, but Head Coach Monte Towe returns all five starters. 6-0 Bo McCalebb had offseason surgery but returns healthy and ready to return to his explosive ways. McCalebb was one of nation’s top scorers (22.6 ppg) a year ago and ranked fifth among Division I players. Bo went 15 straight games scoring 20 or more points last season. McCalebb is one of four players from New Orleans on the roster and is a candidate to win Sun Belt Player of the Year honors.

McCalebb’s supporting cast was lacking last season and no other player averaged in double-figures. But Towe boasts one of the league’s biggest frontcourts in 6-10 Shawn Malloy and Ben Elias who are both expected to start. 6-8 senior Nathaniel Parker was limited to just four games last year due to injury.

New Orleans struggled with shooting last season. McCalebb shot 48 percent from the floor while the rest of the team combined to shoot just 40 percent. The percentages weren’t much better from three-point range New Orleans shot only 32 percent as a team. Jamie McNeilly returns as the team’s best long-range shooter (42.9 percent from three). Towe hopes McNeilly’s experience playing with Canadas 21-Under team this summer pays off. On the wing Towe added 6-5 Jeremie Davis who made 86 three-pointers as a sophomore at Spoon River (Ill.) last season.

January 4 – Yale

The Yale Bulldogs finished 11-16 last season and ended up on the wrong end of some close finishes. Head Coach James Jones’s squad lost three overtime games and another two in regulation by one point.

With three returning starters Yale’s frontcourt could challenge Penn as the Ivy League’s best. 6-10 Senior Dominick Martin (12.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg) leads the trio as the team's leading returning scorer but won’t be eligible until December 18. The Princeton transfer controlled the glass and was Yale’s leading rebounder and should again vie for All-Ivy League honors. The other two returnees are both juniors, 6-7, 225-pound forward Sam Kaplan (8.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.3 apg) and perhaps always-exciting, 6-6 forward Casey Hughes (7.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.1 spg). Hughes is fun to watch and could be the premiere athlete in the Ivy League. Hughes has lacked consistency but has the talent to play the two, three or four positions. Kaplan was hampered by a serious back injury last year but showed his toughness by starting in 26-of-27 games at the power forward spot.

In the backcourt the Bulldogs had their problems. Edwin Draughan and Alex Gamboa combined for 26 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game as seniors and they’re now gone.  Sophomores Eric Flato (5.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.0 apg), 6-1, and 6-6 Caleb Holmes (4.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.2 apg) should take over as starters. Guard/forward Nick Holmes (2.0 ppg), 6-6, who is Caleb's twin, should be the first name called off the bench. Flato committed only 33 turnovers despite playing over 18-minutes a night last season.

Yale’s overall success in 2005-2006 depends heavily on the backcourt and Jones will attempt to blend five new faces with returning experience to contend for an Ivy League title.

January 7 – Kentucky

No school in the country has a better winning percentage over the last three seasons than Kentucky (87-15, .853). The Wildcats are also a mind-blowing 51-6 in the tough SEC over that same stretch.

The Cats are this close to losing all three frontcourt players from last season’s 28-6 team. Senior iron man Chuck Hayes graduated and Kelenna Azubuike declared for the NBA draft but never heard his name called in June. Center Randolph Morris followed suit but did not sign with an agent. Randolph’s playing status is still unknown. Morris is continuing to practice with the team but there’s a chance Tubby Smith’s team will have to go without Morris’s size and athleticism in the paint.

If Morris can’t go Smith has some other options including 7-0 Lukasz Obrzut from Poland. He’s more of a face-up offensive player than a post-up type, but has added muscle and weight during the off-season. The 270-pound Obrzut can be a load to handle down low if he decides to mix it up. 7-3 Shagari Alleyne spent a ton of time blocking shots last season and a lot of time in Tubby Smith’s late-season doghouse. Alleyne missed some study halls and Smith responded by adding plenty of pine time. Alleyne is still a bit raw offensively but his long arms certainly caused opponents to think twice before coming into the lane. Thanks to freshman Jared Carter Tubby Smith now has more 7-footers on his roster than any other in school history. The 7-2 Carter was a first-team all-state selection from Kentucky and set a record for blocked shots (200) in a season but is a candidate to red-shirt his freshman season.

First-team Junior College All-American Rekalin Sims is the likely starter at the power forward position. Sims led Salt Lake Community College in rebounding and scoring last season and is said to closely resemble Tayshaun Prince’s game. Bobby Perry’s game has evolved over time and he’s doubled his PT since his freshman season. Perry’s comfort zone is on the perimeter but he can score down low – he’s also a good passer and possesses a terrific basketball IQ. Perry will help ease the transition to life in Lexington without Hayes. Sheray Thomas will also help fill the void but he’s more inclined to fight his battles on the interior.

The Cats will again be able to go deep at the guard spot. Sophomore Rajon Rondo went to work this summer and returned a much better shooter. Rondo responded by leading the USA 21-Under team in field goal percentage at nearly 66 percent. Rondo’s defense continues to disrupt the opposition and he set a USA Basketball record with 27 steals, an average of 3.3 per game. Remember, Rondo already owned the Kentucky single-season steals record (87) and was a member of the All-Freshman team in the SEC. A consistent jumper is the only thing keeping Rondo from being a solid NBA prospect.

Western Kentucky transfer returns for his second season in Kentucky blue and white. Sparks started all 34 games and was a second-team All-SEC selection. Sparks is tough and he’s a competitor – an asset for any coach. He’s also proved he can deliver in a clutch situation and if he can develop consistency from three-point range the sky’s the limit.

6-4 Joe Crawford left the team in midseason a bit disgruntled over playing time. Smith refused to grant a release and Crawford eventually returned and re-committed to the program. Crawford has the leg up on replacing Azubuike.

Ramel Bradley was stuck in one of the deepest guard rotations in the country last season. Bradley improved as the season went along and in his last 11 games he made 14-of-28 shots from three-point land. He’s versatile and can play either the two or the three for Tubby.

Walk-on Ravi Moss makes his presence known in Lexington. Despite the influx of talent at the guard position Moss has found his niche through toughness and an accurate shooting eye. The career 40-percent three-point shooter reached double figures three times last season, all against SEC teams. He wound up leading the Wildcats in three-point percentage and made 22-of-57 from behind the arc.

For Tubby Smith talented guards are everywhere but will they get the consistent three-point shooting needed? And when or will Randolph Morris return? You can still count on the Wildcats playing suffocating defense, contending in the NCAA and vying for another national title. Top Stories