Fan anxiety about recruiting has not spread to Kentucky's returning players, who on Wednesday expressed confidence about next season.
"I guess our fans got kind of spoiled," Alex Poythress said of the 2014-15 season. "We had 10 guys. We only need five to play, to be honest. So whatever five we put out there, we can still win games. You don't need to go 10 deep. ...
"I feel we have five of the most talented people already. With (newcomers) coming in, too. So I feel we'll be fine (and) ready from day one."
The heir apparent at point guard, Tyler Ulis, was succinct when asked if UK would have enough talent next season.
"Yeah," he said.
Ulis said he did not follow social media, so he was not aware of fan anxiety about recruiting. Not every prospect has committed to Kentucky.
"We're definitely not what we had this past season because we had 10 guys," Ulis said. "And, now, we're definitely not going to have that many. It's going to be a lot different, but we're still going to be talented. And we're still going to make a run for this."
Of course, UK had nine McDonald's All-Americans, plus Willie Cauley-Stein last season.
"We were overly blessed with so many players who could play," Marcus Lee said. "It didn't really matter if everybody had a great game or not. This year, everybody has to be on the ball."
'Sky's the limit'
Expecting to be fully recovered from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Poythress spoke expansively about how he can impact Kentucky's basketball team next season.
"I have things I have to work on like everybody else has things they have to work on," he said. "... I feel I'm in a great position to put it all together. So I feel the sky's the limit for me. I feel I can accomplish great things. Just stay on track with the plan."
When Poythress tore an ACL in mid-December, Coach John Calipari was quick to note that the player could enter the 2015 NBA Draft. At the time, it seemed Calipari merely might have been trying to offer encouragement to Poythress.
But Poythress said Wednesday that he considered entering this year's draft.
"I still had an opportunity," he said. "If I wanted to be in the draft this year, I could have been. I was well aware of that, and I still would have been drafted."
When asked if he would have an expanded role next season, Poythress said, "I'll be fine in that role (or) any role I need to play. I feel I can be better than a role player. Play my role. Be a big leader on this team."
As for his rehabilitation, Poythress said he had returned to jogging and "doing some jumping stuff." He still does not cut on the leg, he said. But he expressed confidence that he'll be 100 percent next season.
"I'll be fine before preseason (practice)," he said.
Earlier this spring, Calipari said that next season would be the time for players like Poythress and Lee to take center stage.
"That just means we have to get ourselves right," Lee said. "We have to get our bodies and (minds) right for each game and each practice because we know we have to push each other. We have to push our team to where it needs to be."
Calipari had suggested that Lee's play in 2015-16 would prompt fans to question why the UK coach had not played him more. When asked if he wanted to prove that correct, Lee said, "I haven't left this (practice gym) since we got back. So that's the only thing I've been trying to prove."
Lee stopped short of saying Calipari should have played him more the past two seasons.
"We've had great players," he said. "And when you have so many great players and so little (playing) time, it's hard."
Ulis said he does not monitor social media closely. So he was not fully versed in fan anxiety about UK's recruiting.
"I don't usually check it often," Ulis said. "So it's usually Devin (Booker) or my other friend telling me this guy committed here or committed there."
When asked why he is not active in social media, Ulis said, "Honestly, I'm sleepy a lot. I just don't like using my phone."