How UK replaces Anthony Davis

Kentucky has Elite Eight potential if it can fill the void of the No. 1 pick

Originally Published: October 2, 2012
By Matt Giles, Paul Biancardi, Jay Bilas | ESPN Insider
WiltjerJamie Rhodes/US PresswireKyle Wiltjer will play a large role in replacing Anthony Davis' offensive production.

Leading up to Midnight Madness in October, ESPN Insider's "Countdown to Madness" series is previewing the top five seeds in each of the four regions in Joe Lunardi's preseason 2013 NCAA bracket. To read about the key stats and freshman impact for each team as the previews are published, plus get expert predictions from Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla and Lunardi, click here. This is the entry for the Kentucky Wildcats, No. 1 in the South (Arlington, Texas).

The key: Limit turnovers

Stat to know: 62.1

This is the first season coach John Calipari will have a returning point guard on his roster. John Wall, Brandon Knight and Marquis Teague all stayed only one season in Lexington before bolting to the NBA, but Ryan Harrow, the North Carolina State transfer who sat out last year, will direct the Wildcats' offense in 2013.

"I would have rather been out there playing, but sitting out last season allowed me to get stronger and learn coach's system," Harrow said.

The perception among college basketball fans is Kentucky runs continuously and employs a 94-foot offense. However, since Wall left, the Wildcats have been very judicious with their possessions. Kentucky's pace has seemed Big Ten-like during conference play the past two seasons: 66.3 possessions per game in 2010-11 and 62.1 last season (courtesy of kenpom.com). "Coach let us have our freedom, but he also wants us to set up a system and take it slow if we can't score," Harrow said.


To read the full 2012-13 Kentucky preview, including the Wildcats' season outlook from Jay Bilas, you must be an ESPN Insider.