#10 Kentucky Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Kentucky Wildcats
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #10
Conference Rank: #1 SEC
 Kentucky Logo
Kentucky ended last season right where everybody expected…at the top of the SEC standings and among the best teams in the nation. We never got to see if that would have resulted in a trip to the Final Four or a national championship, but the Wildcats were widely expected to be right in the mix. Heading into the 2020-2021 season, this will be a very different team. Gone are the top six scorers, but Coach John Calipari reloaded with another superb recruiting class.
2019-20 Record: 25-6, 15-3
Coach: John Calipari
Coach Record: 330-77 at Kentucky, 733-215 overall
Key Departed Players:
Immanuel Quickley, Guard, 16.1 ppg
Nick Richards, Forward, 14.0 ppg
Tyrese Maxey, Guard, 14.0 ppg
Ashton Hagans, Guard, 11.5 ppg
EJ Montgomery, Forward, 6.1 ppg
Nate Sestina, Forward, 5.8 ppg
Kahlil Whitney, Forward, 3.3 ppg
Johnny Juzang, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Keion Brooks Jr, Sophomore, Forward, 4.5 ppg
Brennan Canada, Sophomore, Forward, 0.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Dontaie Allen, RS Freshman, Guard
Devin Askew, Freshman, Guard,
Brandon Boston Jr, Freshman, Guard
Terrence Clarke, Freshman, Guard
Isaac DeGregorio, Freshman, Guard
Cam’Ron Fletcher, Freshman, Forward
Isaiah Jackson, Freshman, Forward
Davion Mintz, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Creighton
Zan Payne, Sophomore, Guard/Forward
Olivier Sarr, Senior, Forward, Transfer from Wake Forest
Jacob Toppin, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Rhode Island
Lance Ware, Freshman, Forward
The lone returning impact player is Keon Brooks. As a freshman the 6-7 forward averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in just over 15 minutes per game. Brooks was a 5-star recruit, but just found it difficult to find minutes, and shots, for Kentucky last year. Now we will see what he can really do. The incoming 5-star recruits this year are shooting guards Brandon Boston and Terrence Clarke. Expect those two to turn into double digit scorers from day one. Point guard Devin Askew and wing Cam’Ron Fletcher will battle for major playing time as well. The newcomers in the frontcourt have not gotten quite as much attention as Boston and Clarke, but on any other team Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware would be garnering a ton of buzz. Even on Kentucky those two will play a big role right away. The frontcourt will also benefit from the addition of Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr. The 7-foot senior was a third-team All-ACC honoree last season and averaged 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds. Davion Mintz is the other big time transfer who averaged 9.7 points and 3.0 assists with Creighton back in 2018-2019. Top to bottom this is yet another extremely talented roster for Coach Calipari. As always the question will be whether the lack of experience will keep the Wildcats from reaching their Final Four goals.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.4 (91st in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.1 (80, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (50, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.4 (20, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (336, 14)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.3 (122, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 79.7 (2, 1)
Rebound Margin: 4.2 (58, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.4 (151, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (114, 3)
Madness 2021 NBA Draft Rankings:
#5 Brandon Boston
#13 Terrence Clark
#24 Devin Askew
Madness 2020 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#4 Brandon Boston
#7 Terrence Clarke
#28 Devin Askew
#31 Isaiah Jackson
#40 Lance Ware
#55 Cam'Ron Fletcher