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UK Basketball Preview by KYForward

Will John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats be able to repeat their national title win from last season? RCN partner KY Forward's Jon Hale has tons of previews for the upcoming season.

Abundance of length has Calipari pondering potential lineups, even playing both Big Men

 

Five of the 12 Wildcats are 6-foot-7 or taller. Three of the 12 are 6-foot-10 or taller.

Freshman Willie Cauley-Steintops the list at 7-foot. FreshmanNerlens Noel and sophomore Kyle Wiltjer follow closely behind at 6-foot-10. Junior Jon Hood and freshman Alex Poythress are both listed at 6-foot-7.

All that size has players identifying one area where the current Cats are already better than the 2012 national championship team.

“There’s different ways we can do it, but we could be longer than we were a year ago at times,” said UK head coach John Calipari in a preseason roundtable interview with local media.

For that full story: KY Forward

What pressure? Calipari, Wildcats downplay goal of repeating as national champs

 

“It’s not like, ‘OK, they won and now how are you going to guard against complacency?” Calipari said in a preseason roundtable interview with local media. “How about we change the whole team and no one’s on the team (again)? How about that one? There’s one way of changing it.”

The six leading scorers from the 2012 national championship team are gone. Just one player — sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer — saw significant minutes last season, and he averaged five points and 11.6 minutes per game.

Wiltjer was on the court for just three minutes of the national championship game and averaged 5.8 minutes per game in the NCAA Tournament.

In place of the six NBA draft picks lost from the championship team — including the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the draft — UK features four new freshmen and two transfers.

“There’s not any more pressure,” Wiltjer said in a preseason interview with KyForward. “We do a great job as a coaching staff and players of just paying attention, staying in the current moment. Coach does a great job of saying this is a new team, and we’ve got new goals.”

For that full story: KY Forward

SEE ALSO: Calipari previews 2012-13 season KY Forward

Nerlens Noel aims to break Anthony Davis's shot-blocking record

Ask UK head coach John Calipari to compare his current freshman forwardNerlens Noel to his 2012 National Player of the Year and No. 1 NBA draft pick Anthony Davis, and he will say that comparison is not fair.

But mention Davis’ single-season SEC block record, and Noel has no trouble reciting the number.

“186, I think it was,” he said in a preseason interview with KyForward.

Shot-blocking is where the comparisons between Noel and Davis begin. It took Davis just 22 games to break the previous school record for blocked shots in a single season, but some outside observers have already anointed Noel as an even better shot-blocker.

Noel isn’t shy about his shot-blocking prowess either.

For that full story: KY Forward

MORE GREAT UK PREVIEWS FROM KY FORWARD: New summer workouts gave Calipari early look at new team, raised questions

Freshman Willie Cauley-Stein overcoming confidence issues

Freshman Archie Goodwin ready for leadership role

PHOTO: Nerlens Noel

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