Kentucky Basketball: Top 5 Storylines for Wildcats' 2013-14 Season
With its two exhibition games over with, Kentucky basketball heads into the 2013-14 season still as one of the most intriguing teams in the country.
With a talented group of freshmen coming into Lexington and the potential of a player to turn into an All-American in Alex Poythress, the possible stories come from all over for the Wildcats.
Every season at Kentucky is exciting and full of expectations , but it's arguable that this season the excitement has never been higher.
Let's take a look at the top five storylines for Kentucky this season.
Andrew Harrison's Health
Andrew Harrison sat out the second half of the Blue-White scrimmage and Kentucky's two exhibition games due to a knee injury that is not expected to be serious.
However, it's something to keep an eye on, because Harrison is Kentucky's most indispensable player. At every other position, the gap between starter and backup is minimal; however, at point guard the Wildcats don't have a backup who could be a starter.
Harrison's injury is a knee contusion that had been bothering him for a couple days leading into the Blue-White Game, and due to precaution, head coach John Calipari left Harrison out of the exhibitions.
Again, while it's a minor injury, this is an important storyline to follow. If it continues to bother Harrison during the year, he may have to be held out of a game or two throughout the season.
James Young is going to be one of the more interesting players in college basketball during the 2013-14 season.
It's been noted before, but NBA scouts have said Young might be the best player in the country. With a combination of speed and size at 6'7", Young has the ability to cause a mismatch no matter who is guarding him.
Young's speed allows him to blow by most defenders and is more than capable of finishing at the rim. However, that's not all Young can do. He is also arguably the best three-point shooter on the team, forcing defenders to respect his shot as well.
However, the storyline will be what his role is on the team. He has started both exhibition games, but that also was without Andrew Harrison available to play. With Harrison taking a starting spot from someone, it will be up to either Young or Alex Poythress to start at the small forward position.
Who Takes the Last Shot?
This is one of the more interesting questions that we may only see a couple times during the season. In a close game, who does the ball go to for the last shot?
With a team this balanced and deep, the answer could simply be whoever John Calipari thinks has the best matchup advantage. However, don't be surprised for it to be James Young or Aaron Harrison more times than not.
The other option could be a two-man game including Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle. While the options are endless, it will be interesting to see who Calipari calls on to bring home the victory for the Wildcats.
How Long Will It Take This Team to Jell?
This team is comprised with plenty of talent, but the real challenge and question is when this team will jell.
While it's hard to believe it could happen again, last year's version of the Kentucky team never jelled despite having a roster filled with McDonald's All-Americans and future NBA players. While that was one of the biggest downfalls of the 2012-13 team, the opposite happened in 2011-12.
The team that won Kentucky's last national title had similar expectations as the 2013-14 version. The 2011-12 team had four McDonald's All-Americans joining players like Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones and Darius Miller.
If this year's Kentucky squad can jell quickly in the season, there's no question that the Wildcats will be top-ranked in the polls for most of the season.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari has said numerous times throughout his tenure at Kentucky his goal is to have a team go 40-0 because it's been said to not be able to be done.
If there's a team that can complete the challenge of not losing a game, this is the year Calipari has been waiting for. Loaded with talent and depth and a schedule that could be favorable to Kentucky, there's been debate if these Wildcats can win 40 games.
While it wouldn't be any sort of disappointment if Kentucky loses a game throughout the season, unless it's the national championship game, it will be an interesting storyline for college basketball fans to follow.
Every win early in the season will lead to the debate, especially if Kentucky takes care of business by beating up on the teams it should.