John Clay: UK men's starting fives

jclay@herald-leader.comNovember 5, 2012 

Kentucky guard Archie Goodwin made a move past Northwood guard Mike Newton in the second half of the Wildcats' 93-61 exhibition win over Northwood on Thursday.. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff

LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

Five reasons why Kentucky will repeat as champs

■ John Calipari is the ruler of the college basketball universe

■ Though young, the Cats have the nation's best five starters

■ The first step to winning the title is expecting to win the title

■ No one is better at molding a young, talented team than Calipari

■ Kentucky has never won an NCAA title in Atlanta; this is a good time to start

Five reasons why Kentucky won't repeat as champs

■ The last school to repeat was Florida in 2006-07, with basically the same team

■ While talented, this team lacks holdovers like Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones and Darius Miller

■ An Anthony Davis is rare, rare indeed

■ Last year's team had a toughness this team doesn't have (yet)

■ Kentucky has never won a title in Atlanta

Five newcomers for the Cats

■ Nerlens Noel, rated the No. 2 overall prospect for 2012

■ Alex Poythress, a top-10 forward from Tennessee

■ Archie Goodwin, a rookie from Little Rock, who can shoot the rock

■ Julius Mays, a transfer from Wright State who is immediately eligible

■ Willie Cauley-Stein, a 7-footer from Kansas with tremendous upside

Five holdovers for the Cats

■ Kyle Wiltjer, the sophomore who figures to play a larger role this season

■ Ryan Harrow, the point guard transfer from N.C. State who sat out last year

■ Jon Hood, a junior forward who missed last year after tearing an ACL

■ Jarrod Polson, a junior walk-on who hopes to earn more playing time

■ Twany Beckham, a senior from Louisville who has had a year-and-a-half in the UK program

Five top challengers to stop a Kentucky repeat

■ Indiana, which returns nearly the entire team that beat UK in the regular season last year

■ Louisville, which has its best, deepest roster since Rick Pitino took over 11 years ago

■ Ohio State, which lost Jared Sullinger but returns Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft

■ Michigan, which is not just a football school anymore, thanks to Coach John Beilein

■ Duke, which gained addition by subtraction thanks to Austin Rivers going pro

Five things to love about this UK team

■ Nerlens Noel's flat-top

■ Ryan Harrow's multitude of shoes

■ Watching the underrated Alex Poythress

■ The return of Jon Hood

■ The wit of walk-on Sam Malone

Five guesses on what's in the salad Ellen Calipari sends with her husband on recruiting trips

■ Pecans; think we saw pecans in there during ESPN's All-Access Kentucky

■ A dab of Orange Leaf

■ Something he ordered at Wheeler's

■ Ingredients picked up at restaurants during the Trophy Tour

■ Italian dressing

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