The Kentucky Wildcats head into the 2016-17 college basketball season as the overwhelming favorite to win the SEC. Elite incoming freshmen like Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo will be more than capable of leading this team to the top of the conference and a deep run in the tournament, but the season looks even brighter for the Wildcats thanks to the return of Isaiah Briscoe.
Briscoe averaged 32.2 minutes per game last season with 5.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steal and 9.6 points. Briscoe was not one of the marquee players for the Wildcats like Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray, but he did a little bit of everything, which is absolutely necessary for a team to win big games. His return will be absolutely massive for a team with so much young talent incoming, and he will take the Kentucky team to the next level.
While I believed Kentucky to be an Elite Eight team heading into the season, I now believe this team is practically a lock for the Elite Eight and should be one of the clear favorites for the national title. Head coach John Calipari has done a phenomenal job bringing in a group of freshmen who should mesh better than those from a year ago, and Briscoe’s return is just icing on the cake.
It will have been hard for Briscoe to pass up an opportunity to make a ridiculous amount of money, but his return should up his draft stock and make sure that his first check is much larger than it would have been by going into the draft this year.