That's an impressive starting lineup that Kentucky coach John Calipari could have at his disposal when the Wildcats begin their quest for a national championship Nov. 11 against Marist. Then again, maybe that won't even be the starting lineup. Don't forget Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, considered the nation's top player in his recruiting class by many for several years. Or freshman Kyle Wiltjer, a gifted 6-9 forward with a deft outside shooting touch. They could push their way into the starting lineup.
The good news is that no matter who starts of comes off the bench, Kentucky's first seven should be as good as any in the country, and that's a formula for success just as it was in 2010 when UK?reach the Elite Eight or last year when UK?made the Final Four. It doesn't guarantee a national title, but it's hard to make a case that the Cats won't be one of the prime title contenders when March Madness arrives.
Sporting News college basketball writer Mike DeCourcy was the first to tell me two years ago that John Calipari had the nation's most talented team in his first year at UK,?even though it was freshman-dominated. Duke won the national title, but UK?had the best talent. So what about this year?
"UK might have more talent than North Carolina; it's close," DeCourcy said. "I think Kentucky fans will point to the fact that Mike Kidd-Gilchrist probably won't be a starter; Carolina can make the same case with James Michael McAdoo.