With the departures of Doron Lamb and Darius Miller, Kentucky hopes freshman Archie Goodwin can be the heir apparent who rushes into the vacuum.
But as Goodwin readily acknowledged a month ago, he first must improve a critical component of the role: the jump shot.
"It's getting better as I go along," he said then. " ... I need to get more consistent. That's just something everybody wants to do because you can never be too good at anything."
Goodwin, who planned to "shoot and shoot," said he needed more consistency in how he shot.
"Sometimes I might shoot it at a different point," he said. "Or my head might move."
UK Coach John Calipari also noted the need for consistency in Goodwin's shooting motion.
"It doesn't mean you make every shot. ... ," he said. "It means every shot you shoot is in that range. You look at it. That's the same shot. Whether you're running. Whether it's in transition. Whether it's a three. Whether it's a free throw. You have the same look to your shot. He doesn't have that right now."
The difference between college and high school basketball necessitates a more consistent shot, Calipari said.
"In high school, you can miss the first 12. You're getting 12 more, 15 more," he said. "Now, you can't do that. (Not) If he's going to shoot a lot of balls for us,"
A highly regarded prospect, Goodwin described his game as versatile and effective.
"I'd say I'm an attacker," he said. "I can shoot. I can drive. I play good defense. Work hard on both ends. Just listen. I'm a great listener."
Even at this early stage, Goodwin has gained a reputation as a leader.
"Just being that guy who speaks up at practice," he said. "Not so much to try to tell people or instruct people in what to do. ... More of an encouragement-type thing to make sure everybody is focused."
Goodwin cautioned against seeing his attempts at leadership reflecting a pre-eminent role.
"We all lead in different ways," he said. "It's just a little small thing I do. Everybody does their own thing."
Goodwin also shied from the label of shooting guard or point guard, the latter a possibility, Calipari said. Goodwin sounded eager to play any role the UK coach had in mind.
"If he needed me to move to 'five' (center), I'd play the 'five,'" he said with a smile. "I probably wouldn't do a great job at it. ... "
But lack of effort would not be an issue.
Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com