NCB On The Trail: Willie Cauley--Stein

In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Kentucky and its chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick references:
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Possible 2014-15 starting five:
G: Andrew Harrison
G: Aaron Harrison
F: Alex Poythress
F: Trey Lyles
C: Willie Cauley-Stein/Dakari Johnson


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#AskCoachB: Cauley-Stein comparison

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.



I like that comparison because Cauley-Stein is tall and runs and finishes at the rim much like Chandler. They are very similar with their shot-blocking abilities. Both protect the rim by blocking shots and helping from the weak side. This comparison is fair, but don't forget Chandler came straight out of high school and really blossomed as an NBA defensive-player-of-the-year talent. Plus, he has the ability to post double-doubles at times. Cauley-Stein has a lot of work to do on his offense and his rebounding to become like Chandler.
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.

1. Kentucky
Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle, Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress make up the most powerful frontcourt in the game. They can score, block shots and rebound with anyone.

2. Arizona
Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski, Aaron Gordon.
This threesome is strong, long and explosive, and they use those gifts on both ends of the floor.

3. Syracuse
C.J. Fair, Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Baye Keita.
This bunch has both length and girth while protecting the basket and finishing inside.

4. Florida
Patric Young, transfer Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech) and Will Yeguete.
If Freshman Chris Walker becomes eligible in December this group could do serious damage together. They are extremely productive and could be dominant on the inside if Walker is playing.

Player of the Year
Marcus Smart. Nothing seems to faze this All-American. When you easily could have walked away from the college game and you come back, that means you are extremely confident in your ability. He has put up terrific numbers across the board, dominated the action at times and makes his team win -- that's what a POY does.

Kentucky should be just fine 

September, 12, 2013
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Six months ago, John Calipari seemed virtually invincible on the recruiting trail. He was riding a wave of momentum fueled by his 2012 national championship, incredible recent success in the NBA draft, and being on the verge of delivering one of the top recruiting classes in the history of college basketball.

But then, unexpectedly, a few breaks went against Kentucky. Top-ranked Andrew Wiggins capped the 2013 class by picking Kansas, and then Calipari lost out to his former mentor, Larry Brown, as his top point guard target of 2014, Emmanuel Mudiay (Dallas/Prime Prep Academy), picked SMU last month.

So have Calipari and Kentucky lost a step?


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