Five Key Questions Facing Kentucky Going Forward | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / April 22.
  • Five Key Questions Facing Kentucky Going Forward

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    Cal-RandleARLINGTON, Texas — As there is every year with Kentucky, there will now come a flood of questions about who stays and who goes. Here are five questions facing the Wildcats in the aftermath of the NCAA championship game loss to UConn here on Monday night:

    1. Will John Calipari return as coach?

    Immediately prior to the game, an Internet report surfaced that Calipari-to-the Los Angeles Lakers was a done deal. The story hung over the game and Cal was asked about it as soon as the game ended. He denied it and said he wouldn’t dignify it with an answer. Still, with Calipari, the NBA rumors will always be there. Read more here.

    2. Where will Julius Randle and James Young get drafted?

    It seems virtually inevitable that these two freshmen will head to the NBA Draft. Randle is projected as a top-five pick and had helped his stock in the tournament prior to this game, when he managed just 10 points on 3-for-7 shooting with 6 rebounds. DraftExpress.com has Randle at No. 4 and Young, who went for a team-high 20 points on 5-for-13 shooting, at No. 25. Said one NBA exec on Young: “15-22. Maybe a bit higher if he does better in workouts than [Nik] Stauskas, [Gary] Harris, [Zach] LaVine] or [Rodney] Hood.”

    3. Is there a chance Willie Cauley-Stein returns?

    The 7-foot sophomore sat on the bench in a very loud shirt and missed the entire Final Four with a foot injury. Who knows how things might’ve turned out had he been able to play? Asked afterwards if he might return next season, he said according to Kyle Tucker, “Definitely. To me, there’s still emptiness to fill…Why not stay until they make me leave?” If he does leave, the NBA exec said. “Mid-late first. All on upside. His goofy act post injury didn’t help the questions about his maturity issues.” Added one veteran NBA scout: “Lottery at best, will not get past 20.”

    4. What about the Harrisons? Do they stay or go?

    As I wrote in this story on Sunday, they face perhaps the most interesting choice of all the freshmen because they are projected as late-first or second-round picks and second-round picks don’t get any guaranteed money. Said the NBA exec after the final in which Andrew went 3-for-9 for 8 points, 5 assists and 4 turnovers: “If he’s this shook by [Shabazz] Napier and [Ryan] Boatright, wait till he encounters Bledsoe, Wall, Lawson, Westbrook, Teague, Lowry, Parker, Dragic, Conley, etc.” Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen both chimed in on the twins. Hamilton: “The NBA is a different game now. They got big size, they’re probably one of the top point guards in the league. I definitely think so [they can play].” Said Allen: “They certainly have the talent. Would they benefit from being in college another year? It’s really hard to say.”

    5. Will they dare start the 40-0 talk about next year’s class?

    With a four-man incoming class of Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles and Karl-Anthony Towns, does Big Blue Nation dream of a second straight Final Four run and third in four years? The 7-foot Towns said his goal was to win the New Jersey Tournament of Champions and then a NCAA championship at Kentucky. He’s half way there.

    “I just worry about winning a National Championship,” Towns told SNY.tv. “My only focus for next year is winning a title at Kentucky. Nothing else matters.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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