Kentucky Preview Capsule

Kentucky Preview Capsule

Eds: With: BKC--Kentucky Preview

The Associated Press=

Kentucky

Last season: 38-1 (18-0 SEC), lost in NCAA Tournament semifinals.

Nickname: Wildcats. Coach: John Calipari.

Conference: Southeastern.

Key returners: Senior forward Alex Poythress returns from season-ending left knee injury and is expected to be physical presence on both ends of the floor. Junior forward Marcus Lee provides rebounding and shot-blocking, while sophomore guard Tyler Ulis (5.6 points per game, 43 percent 3-pointer) takes over the point after being Andrew Harrison's backup last season.

Who left: Leading scorer Karl-Anthony Towns led seven Wildcats into the NBA draft and became the No. 1 overall pick. Seven-footers Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson, along with 6-10 Trey Lyles also departed from the frontcourt, while twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison and Devin Booker left the backcourt.

The Skinny: Calipari recruited another top-flight class with guards Isaiah Briscoe, Charles Matthews and Jamal Murray along with 6-foot-11 Skal Labissiere and 7-footer Isaac Humphries. Add in the returning veterans and the makings are there for another strong squad favored to win the SEC again, albeit one that could take longer to jell than last year's record-breaking squad. As always, the national championship is the goal.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.