There are three reasons why Kentucky will win their ninth national championship in 2015, experience, depth and talent.
The Cats were one win away from winning the title in 2014, the run they made to the championship game, as an eight seed, was fit for a Hollywood script. The pre-season number one, the hyped class who was considered “the best in the history of College Basketball.” They were supposed to go 40-0; they finished the regular season with nine losses. A media field day ensued, Calipari’s way is wrong, you can’t win with freshman.
A few tweaks later, and a starting line-up of five freshman down three final four teams from a year ago on the path to Dallas, including undefeated Witchita State. This run, by these freshman, put to rest once and for all the argument that experience beats talent, every time.
What’s going to happen when this talent is experienced?
That same in-experienced talent that came up a game short in April 2014 will be back in 2015. Julius Randle and James Young have already announced that they will forego their sophomore seasons at Kentucky and enter the 2014 NBA draft. Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein have all announced that they will return to Lexington for another chance at a title. If the Harrison twins, Aaron and Andrew, elect to return with them (they must make a decision by Sunday), then Kentucky will have a starting line-up with no freshman for the first time under Calipari.
Experienced talent and ridiculous depth in the front court will surely make the new edition Kentucky team the pre-season favorite to cut down the nets as champion in 2015. Oh, yeah, the freshman class is pretty good too. Ranked as the second best class in the country behind Duke.
The headliner of the class is Karl Towns, ranked as the number two player by 247sports. The 7-foot-1 center from New Jersey is a skilled big man, who has the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the rim, dish it out like a guard and step outside and hit jumpers. The rest of the class includes Trey Lyles, Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker.
Lyles is a 6-foot-9 power forward who possesses a lot of skill, ranked as the 17th best prospect in the class by 247sports. Ulis, is smaller than previous point guards that Calipari has lured to Lexington but the kid has a big game and will most likely lead the team in assists, he is ranked as the 20th best prospect in the class. Booker is a sniper, if you give him an opening he will splash the three ball all day, ranked as the 22nd best player in the 2014 class. A la a Doron Lamb caliber shooter. Something Kentucky didn’t really have in it’s arsenal in 2014.
Talented players returning and veteran leadership who possess the tournament experience of competing for a National Title, combined with a stellar recruiting class will make Kentucky the sure favorite in 2015.