How UK replaces Anthony Davis
Kentucky has Elite Eight potential if it can fill the void of the No. 1 pick
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.
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game