Kentucky Basketball: 5 Bold Predictions for Next Season

5 Early Predictions for Kentucky Basketball in 2014-15

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As one of the most followed, loved, hated and successful college basketball programs in the nation, the Kentucky Wildcats are always worth paying attention to. This past season, Kentucky got hot at the right time, reaching the national championship game before bowing out to Connecticut. In 2014-15, the Wildcats should achieve similar success, if not more. Here are five early predictions for next season's Kentucky basketball team.

5. The Harrison Twins Will Dominate

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5. The Harrison Twins Will Dominate

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Kentucky head coach John Calipari's biggest claim to fame is how he works with guards, especially point guards. In Andrew and Aaron Harrison, Calipari has a pair of guards who didn't leave for the NBA after their freshman seasons, and that's a good thing because they weren't ready. While both made key contributions, they needed another year. As sophomores, they will be a force, determined to not only win, but show they belong at the next level.

4. Julius Randle Can't Be Replaced

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4. Julius Randle Can't Be Replaced

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When Julius Randle was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers last week, many commented how professional he seemed in his interviews and how he wasn't wowed by the bright lights of Hollywood. This should be no surprise to Kentucky fans, as he was a man among kids last season, playing at a high level with a professional body type. This can't be replaced easily. Freshman Karl Towns (7-foot-0, 235 pounds) will succeed eventually, but needs time.

3. Kentucky Will Win the SEC Tournament

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3. Kentucky Will Win the SEC Tournament

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While the Wildcats went all the way to the national final last season, one thing Kentucky got shut out from was any sort of hardware in the SEC. That was because the Wildcats were beaten by the Florida Gators three times, including in the SEC Tournament final. With a solid mix of freshmen and veterans (at least by Calipari's standard), UK will flip that script in 2014-15 and win the SEC Tournament, even if the Wildcats aren't the top seed.

2. John Calipari Will Turn Down NBA Jobs Again Next Summer

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2. John Calipari Will Turn Down NBA Jobs Again Next Summer

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It's becoming a rite of summer for Calipari, who was heavily swayed (if rumors are to be believed) by the Cleveland Cavaliers for their head-coaching position this summer. But having just signed a -million extension through 2021, Calipari can stay at Kentucky as long as he wants, winning titles and turning out NBA talent. He'll still be wooed by NBA teams next summer, but Calipari will again turn them down. There's work left in Lexington.

1. Kentucky Will Again Make the Final Four

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1. Kentucky Will Again Make the Final Four

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At Kentucky, Calipari has taken UK to three Final Fours in five seasons, winning the national title in 2012. But this team, given its construction, might actually be his best. With the Harrison twins, Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress staying, and a talented quartet of freshmen entering the program, Calipari has a mix of players perhaps unlike any since he's been at UK. Kentucky won't go near 40-0, but UK will make the Final Four again.





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