Calipari has wiggle room on next season's roster

broberts@herald-leader.comMarch 20, 2013 

After Kentucky's loss to Robert Morris on Tuesday night, freshmen Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin all pledged to return for their sophomore seasons. Sophomore point guard Ryan Harrow also said he isn't thinking of a transfer.

Keep in mind that plans made by 18- and 19-year-olds just minutes after their final loss of the season don't always pan out. In other words, any or all of this group could still opt to go elsewhere.

UK will have 13 scholarships to give next season. If all of these players return (and possible No. 1 draft pick Nerlens Noel leaves), this is what the scholarship situation looks like for 2013-14:

LOCKED-UP SCHOLARSHIPS (12)

■ Ryan Harrow, junior

■ Kyle Wiltjer, junior

■ Willie Cauley-Stein, sophomore

■ Archie Goodwin, sophomore

■ Alex Poythress, sophomore

■ Andrew Harrison, freshman

■ Aaron Harrison, freshman

■ Dakari Johnson, freshman

■ Marcus Lee, freshman

■ Julius Randle, freshman

■ Derek Willis, freshman

■ James Young, freshman

OTHER POSSIBLE RETURNEES (2)

■ Jon Hood would be a senior athletically, but he has already spent four years at UK and is on pace to graduate, which would allow him to transfer to another Division I school and play next season without sitting out. If he stays at UK, he would have to enroll in post-graduate courses.

■ Jarrod Polson is on pace to graduate this spring. Polson came to UK as a preferred walk-on who was not guaranteed a scholarship every year. He could still come back for a fourth season and continue his education.

OTHER TARGETS (3)

■ Andrew Wiggins, undecided prospect

■ Aaron Gordon, undecided prospect

■ Dominique Hawkins, undecided prospect

SUMMARY

Even if all three freshmen and Harrow return for next season, John Calipari would still have wiggle room to give out one more scholarship, which could go to Wiggins, Gordon or Hawkins.

Simply put, an available scholarship shouldn't be a problem if UK wants to add one more player.

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