Kentucky's biggest challengers in the SEC
August, 12, 2014
By Jay Bilas | ESPN Insider
Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY SportsFlorida guards Kasey Hill and Michael Frazier II form one of the nation's top backcourts.I've been here in the Bahamas watching the Kentucky Wildcats as they play six games in eight days, and my jaw has been on the floor. John Calipari brought his team (and his Big Blue Nation donors) to the tropical paradise to get some early practices in, and for some competition against a few international pro teams. In doing so, he has sent an early signal to the rest of the basketball world: The Wildcats are national championship good, and they have a roster you could split in half to make two ranked teams.
First, Kentucky has more non-freshmen than freshmen, an anomaly under Coach Cal in Lexington. The Wildcats also have a record nine McDonald's All-Americans on the roster, a number that would be impressive for a conference, let alone a team. (Only Duke can match that number this season.) Calipari has the No. 2 recruiting class in the country, featuring Karl Towns Jr., Trey Lyles, Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker. Kentucky is athletic, long and really big. Of the top 10 players in the rotation, Kentucky has nine players 6-foot-5 or taller, six players 6-8 or taller and four players 6-10 or taller. It's an embarrassment of size and riches -- one that has to create major cause for concern for the Wildcats' challengers in the SEC.