#13 Kentucky Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Kentucky Wildcats
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #2 SEC
 Kentucky Logo
You have to go a long way back to find a season in which Kentucky was as bad as they were in 2020-2021. It has been since the Eddie Sutton era when the Wildcats last finished below .500. The last time Kentucky finished with fewer than nine wins was in 1926-1927. That was also the previous time Kentucky finished below .500. But this is a different world than in 1989. Coach John Calipari hit the recruiting trail and the transfer portal and now this group has the talent to immediately return to their old ways of being one of the best teams in the country.
2020-21 Record: 9-16, 8-9
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: John Calipari
Coach Record: 339-93 at Kentucky, 742-231 overall
Key Departed Players:
Brandon Boston Jr, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Olivier Sarr, Forward, 10.8 ppg
Terrence Clarke, Guard, 9.6 ppg
Isaiah Jackson, Forward, 8.4 ppg
Devin Askew, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Davion Mintz, Senior, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Keion Brooks Jr, Junior, Forward, 10.3 ppg
Dontaie Allen, Sophomore, Guard, 5.4 ppg
Jacob Toppin, Junior, Forward, 5.2 ppg
Lance Ware, Sophomore, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Daimion Collins, Freshman, Forward
CJ Fredrick, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Iowa
Kellan Grady, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Davidson
Bryce Hopkins, Freshman, Forward
Oscar Tshiebwe, Junior, Forward, Transfer from West Virginia
TyTy Washington Jr, Freshman, Guard
Sahvir Wheeler, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Georgia
Davion Mintz returns after leading the Wildcats with 11.5 points and 3.1 assists per game. The combo guard will have plenty of competition in the new look backcourt though and it is very possible that he be relegated to the bench for his senior season. Sahvir Wheeler, TyTy Washington and Kellan Grady will make a dynamic starting backcourt. Wheeler spent last season dishing out 7.4 assists per game with Georgia. Washington is a superb playmaker and all-around scorer. He was widely considered a top 20 recruit in this class. Grady was a four-year starter at Davidson and averaged between 17.1 and 18.0 points per game in each of those four campaigns. Along with the addition of CJ Fredrick from Iowa, Coach Calipari now has a team that can shoot the ball from long range extremely effectively. The frontcourt welcomes back Keion Clarke who averaged 10.3 points and 6.8 rebounds last season before suffering a season ending injury. Oscar Tshiebwe only played in ten games last season at West Virginia before transferring, but back in 2019-2020, the 6-9 forward averaged 11.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks with the Mountaineers. The frontcourt has a five-star freshman of its own in Daimion Collins, a 6-9 Texas native. Coach Calipari is used to reloading and putting a lot of different pieces together. This season will be no different and once all these pieces come together and the staff finds the right roles for everybody, this will be one of the best teams in the country.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.4 (193rd in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.2 (175, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.7 (277, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (59, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.4 (255, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.5 (177, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.9 (94, 6)
Rebound Margin: 1.8 (126, 8)
Assists Per Game: 12.6 (218, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (221, 7)
Madness 2022 NBA Draft Rankings:
#10 Daimion Collins
#36 TyTy Washington
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#11 TyTy Washington
#12 Daimion Collins
#32 Bryce Hopkins