The Kentucky Wildcats started the 2013-14 college basketball season No. 1 overall but fell to the Michigan State Spartans, Baylor Bears and North Carolina Tar Heels to find the Wildcats ranked No. 15 with a disappointing 10-3 record going into SEC play. The Wildcats were favored at the beginning of the year to win the SEC, but can they still do it?
Kentucky has four players — Julius Randle, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison and James Young — who average at least 11 points a game. Randle also averages nearly 11 rebounds per game, and Willie Cauley-Stein averages close to nine points and nine rebounds per game. The Wildcats have one of the most talented college basketball teams in the entire country on paper and will only continue to get better as they play more games.
There is no doubt that Kentucky will face tough competition. The Florida Gators and Missouri Tigers have already proven themselves in non-conference play, and the Tennessee Volunteers, LSU Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels and Arkansas Razorbacks have all shown that they have the talent and quality to pull off upsets. However, the Wildcats have the talent and are finally gaining the experience to be able to fight off these teams and win the conference.
Kentucky has the most talent of any team in the conference with none of the experience, so it’s not the worst case scenario if the Wildcats don’t win the SEC. The SEC is such a difficult and deep conference that Kentucky’s young squad is going to be even better at the end of the year having played in it. However, don’t expect the Wildcats to lose a lot of games. Kentucky looks like they have finally found out how to play as a team; expect their win over the Louisville Cardinals to help push the Wildcats to a promising finish in conference play.