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Kentucky Wildcats Basketball 2021 Team Preview

Wildcats Hope To Learn From Worst Season In 100 Years

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  • The Kentucky Wildcats will be hoping to turn their team around this coming season, after having one of their worst in a century in 2020.

  • Only one Wildcat was selected in the first-round of the 2021 NBA Draft this past offseason, which is almost unheard of for a John Calipari coached team.

  • Kentucky lost a lot of players coming into this season, but still gained some talented ones to help them get back on track. Kentucky is currently +1600 to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

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Kentucky Frontcourt

Forward Isaiah Jackson decided to go into the NBA Draft after seriously considering returning to Kentucky this offseason, which obviously is disappointing for the team. However, they still have some serious talent here that they will be able to build off of and around. Keion Brooks Jr. is now the veteran of the team, and he is an extremely versatile player that can play multiple positions if need be, and provide strong leadership to the young guys.

Then there is five-star freshman forward Daimion Collins, who was the No. 13-ranked recruit in the high school class of 2021 according to ESPN's basketball portal. Collins is a great defender, but he is very young, and has a ways to go on offense before he contributes significantly.

The Wildcats also got West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe, who is a physical presence down below, and will help with defending and scoring in the post. He averaged 11.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game as a freshman, but couldn't quite match that production last year at WV in his sophomore campaign. It will be interesting to see if he can get back to that level.

Jacob Toppin, the younger brother of former National Player of the Year Obi Toppin, is also on this roster. He, along with sophomore forward Lance Ware and freshman forward Bryce Hopkins, will provide additional depth for the team this season.

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Kentucky Backcourt

Five-star high school point guard TyTy Washington and Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler highlight this group of players, after Devin Askew transferred to Texas. Wheeler is the SEC's reigning assists leader, and undoubtedly will be a very valuable asset to the Wildcats in 2021. Washington is a very young player, but has elite talent offensively, and should be able to grow into a role pretty fast.

Davidson transfer Kellan Grady and Iowa transfer CJ Fredrick will be crucial for the team, as it looks to dramatically improve its three-point scoring this season. Kentucky was awful at it last season, and they have never really been a great three point scoring team. Hopefully these two can change that, and usher in a new era of Wildcat basketball.

Davion Mintz is back after leading Kentucky in total points last season, and the team can thank the extra year of eligibility for that due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mintz was one of the few who shot well from beyond the arc last season on the team, hitting at just over a 37% clip.

The one thing about this roster that makes them very dangerous is their versatility. They have several very talented players who can play at different positions, and it wouldn't shock me to see Kentucky back on top in 2021.

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