Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky basketball is youngest team for 2017-18, data says

Some Kentucky players joked around during men's basketball photo day held at the Joe Craft Center in Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky., Monday, September 18, 2017. UK opens the regular season on Nov. 10 against Utah Valley University in Rupp Arena. Back row L-R- Hamidou Diallo (3), Jarred Vanderbilt (2), PJ Washington (25). Front row L-R:- Jemarl Baker (13), Quade Green (0), Kevin Knox (5), Nick Richards (4), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (22)
Some Kentucky players joked around during men's basketball photo day held at the Joe Craft Center in Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky., Monday, September 18, 2017. UK opens the regular season on Nov. 10 against Utah Valley University in Rupp Arena. Back row L-R- Hamidou Diallo (3), Jarred Vanderbilt (2), PJ Washington (25). Front row L-R:- Jemarl Baker (13), Quade Green (0), Kevin Knox (5), Nick Richards (4), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (22) cbertram@herald-leader.com

With the usual high turnover on his roster, John Calipari has often claimed to have the youngest team in the country. This year, the numbers actually back up the Kentucky coach.

According to John Gasaway, chief college basketball numbers-cruncher for ESPN, Kentucky will field the nation’s youngest team for the 2017-18 season.

In an ESPN Insider post, Gasaway ranked the youngest and oldest teams for the upcoming campaign. He based his rankings on the percentage of returning possession-minutes (%RPMS) each team has from 2016-17.

Big Blue Madness is Oct. 13 at Rupp Arena. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; event starts at 7 p.m.

Gasaway points out that using his formula, Calipari’s 2012-13 team was younger than the current version. Still, UK is the greenest in all the land for 2017-18.

“None of which is to say this latest group won’t indeed be green to an extreme, with only Wenyen Gabriel back from 2016-17,” writes Gasaway. “Those amazing Wildcat freshmen better be ready. (P.S. They likely will be.)”

The most experienced team for 2017-18?

That would be Southern Cal, according to Gasaway. Bennie Boatwright, Chimezie Metu, Jordan McLaughlin and Elijah Stewart lead team of graybeards for coach Andy Enfield, who also has Duke transfer Derryck Thornton.

Read all of Gasaway’s piece for his inexperienced and experienced rankings, plus the experience percentages for every team.

Kentucky basketball roster 2017-18

No

Player

Pos

Class

Ht

Hometown

0

Quade Green

G

Fr

6.00

Philadelphia, PA

1

Sacha Killeya-Jones

F

So

6.10

Chapel Hill, NC

2

Jarred Vanderbilt

F

Fr

6.09

Houston, TX

3

Hamidou Diallo

G

Fr

6.05

Queens, NY

4

Nick Richards

F

Fr

6.11

Kingston, JAM

5

Kevin Knox

F

Fr

6.09

Tampa, FL

10

Jonny David

G

Jr

6.02

Pittsburgh, PA

12

Brad Calipari

G

So

6.00

Franklin Lakes, NJ

13

Jemarl Baker

G

Fr

6.04

Menifee, CA

14

Tai Wynyard

F

So

6.10

Auckland, NZ

22

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

G

Fr

6.06

Hamilton, CAN

25

P.J. Washington

F

Fr

6.07

Dallas, TX

30

Dillon Pulliam

G

Jr

6.03

Cynthiana, KY

32

Wenyen Gabriel

F

So

6.09

Manchester, NJ

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