With the offseason in full swing and recruiting basically over, all that is left for the Kentucky Basketball fans of the world is to sit back and speculate about the season to come. Hey, at least we are good at football now. Watching our entire lineup get picked at the NBA Draft every year is rewarding and depressing all at the same time. We’re proud, but wish that at least one of them would stay another season. Luckily, we get a new batch of ballers every single year and watch the process repeat itself.
So, as I wait for my cats to hit the hardwood again, it is time for me to jump to conclusions like Perry Stevenson jumping to block a free throw. Here is what the starting lineup should be for the 2019-20 season. As always, I am here to argue. Let me know what you think on Twitter and throw us a follow @soft7sports and me @soft7wic.
Projected Starting 5 for Kentucky
PG– Brad Calipari
I’m totally kidding, but you’re lying to yourself if you think Ellen Calipari hasn’t thrown out the idea at least once. Maybe on senior day if he wasn’t dead set on transferring.
The REAL Projected Starting 5 for Kentucky
PG- Ashton Hagans
SG- Tyrese Maxey
SF- Kahlil Whitney
PF- EJ Montgomery
C- Nick Richards
Ashton Hagans proved last year that he can do much more than just run an offense. He was one of the best on-ball defensive players we have seen since DeAndre Liggins. Hopefully, he has developed a jumpshot.
Tyrese Maxey has an uncanny ability to get to the rim. Think of John Wall with the ability to shoot outside of 15 feet. He’s going to be a special player and I can see him assuming the starting role at point guard if Hagans is underperforming.
Kahlil Whitney is the player I am most excited for next season. After watching hours of his highlights, he reminds me of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the jumping ability of Hamidou Diallo. Expect two alley-oops a game and several players’ careers being ended by getting dunked on.
EJ Montogomery has major expectations to live up to. After a rather disappointing 2018 season, his decision to return to Lexington for his sophomore year will make or break his future. A 6’10” versatile forward that can step out and hit a mid range shot consistently looks great on paper. Now, he needs to prove it this season.
Nick Richards has had one of the more mediocre careers of Cal’s Kentucky bigs. Better than Skal, but average nonetheless. When he decided to come back to Kentucky for his junior year, Calipari told him that he expects him to be the best big man in the country. Something like that may have given him all the confidence he needs to finally make something of his college career. Some guys are just late bloomers, like Willie Cauley-Stein. It may take more than a year, but they can still be lottery picks when it is all said and done.
The starting 5 is never static and it could change multiple times throughout the year. The power forward position is the most uncertain. EJ would be the best option, but Nate Sestina will be breathing down his neck all season. As will Keion Brooks and Dontaie Allen. According to Coach Cal, Johnny Juzang has been playing out of his mind so far in practice. If he keeps it up and proves to be as good of a shooter as Tyler Herro, then he will be a very real possibility as the starting small forward or shooting guard. Don’t forget about Immanuel Quickley either. He will jump at any opportunity to take the starting role from Hagans.