Kentucky Wildcats College Basketball Predictions with Futures Odds and Betting Picks
by Aaron Smith - 11/2/2010
The Kentucky Wildcats were a top seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament thanks to their terrific freshman class. However, most of their stars have already moved on to the NBA. John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins made their one year in college special, but now the school is left with the tough task of replacing them. There was certainly some disappointment when the Wildcats were beaten by West Virginia last year, but Kentucky had a terrific season overall. John Calipari was rumored to be leaving for an NBA coaching job, but he is still here to guide this basketball team in 2010-11.
Kentucky Wildcats Basketball: Offseason Changes
You could make a solid argument that Kentucky lost more talent than any other team in the nation. Wall was the top pick in the NBA Draft, and Cousins went fifth overall. Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton, and Patrick Patterson were also drafted in the first round. Everyone knows what a star Wall was at the point, but Cousins and Patterson formed a great duo down low, and they will be greatly missed as well.
What is the good news for Kentucky basketball fans? Calipari and his staff have brought in the top-ranked recruiting class in the nation once again this year. Brandon Knight gives this team a speedy point guard with a very complete game. I expect him to be a leader from the first day he steps foot on the court at Rupp Arena. Terrence Jones is a 6-8 power forward that can handle the ball effectively and pass the ball as well as any big man in college basketball. Doron Lamb is a versatile shooting guard who has a great midrange game. Stacey Poole is a small forward with an explosive first step and great body control around the basket.
The wild card for this class will be Enes Kanter. He has the ability to be the best player on the team if he is ruled eligible, but he reported received benefits from a professional team in Turkey, and the NCAA hasn’t yet ruled on his status for 2010-11.
Kentucky Wildcats College Basketball Predictions: Outlook
There will be new faces all over the court, but this Kentucky team won’t be a bit short on talent. Knight has been extremely impressive in offseason workouts, and he prides himself on taking good care of the basketball. He may not quite have the impact of a player like Wall, but he will be great from Day 1. Darius Miller will be a junior this season, and he will be counted on for his amazing shooting touch from the outside. One of the very few names you might recognize from last year is DeAndre Liggins. Liggins played a reduced role last season, but his ability to get to the basket will keep him on the court more this year.
I expect Kentucky to be a quick team that is capable of forcing turnovers in bunches once again this season. There are a number of slashers on this roster, so getting to the hoop shouldn’t be a problem. If there is one thing that might be a concern, I think it has to be their ability to rebound the basketball. Last year this team was great on the glass, but they could struggle at times this year, especially if Kanter isn’t able to play.
Kentucky Wildcats College Basketball Futures Odds
The books are respecting the Kentucky Wildcats once again this year. Sportsbook.com lists Kentucky at +2,000 to win the NCAA Championship in 2010-11. What about the Wildcats chances in the SEC? Bodog lists Kentucky at 1/1 to win the SEC East this year.
Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Schedule
The Kentucky Wildcats will play in the Maui Invitational at the end of November. On Dec. 4, the Wildcats will travel to take on North Carolina in what should be an interesting matchup. The game most Wildcats fans will look forward to is their New Year’s Eve battle with Louisville. In late January and early February, the Wildcats play a stretch of four out of five games on the road in the SEC. The final game of this road trip will be in Florida.
Kentucky Basketball Predictions and College Basketball Picks
There are a lot of pundits who want to predict someone other than Kentucky to win the SEC East, but I just think this team will be too talented for the rest of the league again. This will be a deep team, and they could make some noise in the NCAA Tournament, especially if Kanter is eligible.
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