By Taylor Sturm @TSturmRS on April 14, 2014
Although Willie Cauley-Stein’s decision to forgo the 2014 NBA Draft and return to the Kentucky Wildcats for his junior season may have been unforeseen by many, the move makes sense. Cauley-Stein will have been disappointed not to help his team win a National Championship this year, and his decision to return will make Kentucky a 2015 National Championship favorite almost immediately. Here are 5 reasons his return will help Kentucky next season.
Cauley-Stein averaged just around seven points and six boards per game last season despite injuries and averaging only around 24 minutes per game. That consistency is huge for a team to have, especially when a majority of the starters will be freshmen.
When Cauley-Stein gets the ball down low, he knows he’s better than his opposition, he knows he’s stronger than his opposition and he knows he’s going to score. The threat he poses alone will cause defenders to double-team him, leaving others open to make the big plays.
Kentucky is just a better team when they have returning players who decided to forgo the NBA Draft. Both recent National Championship runs were largely in part to veteran players making big plays in big games.
Karl Towns Jr. is the Wildcats’ five-star recruit at Center out of St. Joseph High School in New Jersey. He’s a big, talented player that is expected to be one of the best players in college basketball next season. With Cauley-Stein helping to train him, he should develop a lot faster than if he was on his own.
Cauley-Stein was a leader from the bench when he was injured in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and was also a leader for the majority of last season. By returning, this Kentucky team will already have a clear team leader going into the season.
July 28, 2015 by Taylor Sturm
Virginia will start the season just outside of the top five, but that just takes the pressure off the Cavaliers -- and makes them more dangerous. Read More
July 27, 2015 by Taylor Sturm
The Iowa State Cyclones head into the 2015-16 season as a top five team but not the favorite in the Big 12. Can they exceed expectations and win it all? Read More
Sleeping on the Kansas Jayhawks could be the biggest mistake anyone makes headed into the 2015-16 season. Read More
July 27, 2015 by Tim Letcher
The Kansas Jayhawks are one of the best teams in college basketball every year. Read More
July 26, 2015 by Reed Hunnicutt
With only seven weeks until the start of the college basketball season, here are the early preseason ACC awards. Read More
July 24, 2015 by Reed Hunnicutt
College basketball is just a few months away. Here is an early prediction for the All-ACC Third Team. Read More
July 23, 2015 by Bryan Zarpentine
A list of five way-too-early predictions for the Syracuse basketball team during the 2015-16 season. Read More
July 23, 2015 by Reed Hunnicutt
These players are expected to make a huge impact in the ACC. Here's an introduction to the early preseason All-ACC Second Team. Read More