Kentucky is expected to lose several star players to the NBA Draft during the next few weeks, but that won’t temper outside expectations for next season.
In the hours after Monday night’s national title game loss to UConn, many national media outlets unveiled early rankings for the 2014-15 college basketball season.
Most of those rankings outright acknowledged that UK is likely to lose sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshmen Julius Randle, James Young, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison to the NBA. Still, all of those rankings pegged the Cats as a top-10 team for next season.
If those five players leave – along with seniors Jarrod Polson and Jon Hood – UK will still have an impressive group next fall.
Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis are expected to return to the frontcourt, alongside incoming McDonald’s All-Americans Karl Towns Jr. and Trey Lyles.
The backcourt would consist of Dominique Hawkins and two more All-Americans – point guard Tyler Ulis and shooting guard Devin Booker.