The wind gets a little chilly, the leaves are gone from the trees, and the anticipation is here. Basketball is here again. If you’re like me, you’ve read so much about the 2015-16 Wildcats that you might fall victim to paralysis by analysis. So I’ll hold it to 10 predictions for the season:
1) Jamal Murray will lead the team in scoring. Enjoy him, he’s a one-year lease.
2) Alex Poythress (pictured) will be the team’s most important player, and they’ll go as far as he leads them. Considering that Alex has tended to lack the killer instinct anyway, how well he rebounds from horrific injury is a gigantic question mark. But if Calipari can help Josh Harrellson become an NBA player, Poythress will be fine.
3) UK will lose three games in the pre-conference schedule. So there. No 38-0 with this team. Which is okay. It will be fine.
4) UK will lose at least two more games in the SEC. I know, you’ve forgotten what that feels like. Don’t freak out on me.
5) The SEC will be much better, but UK will still end up with a No. 2 seed on Selection Sunday.
6) This will be Calipari’s highest scoring UK team yet. It may also be his biggest challenge. Cal tends to end up with defenders who he teaches to score. Not this year. But it may be harder to teach defense than one would think.
7) Don’t be shocked if Charles Matthews ends up taking Briscoe’s starting spot. Not a knock on Briscoe, but Matthews is a glue guy, and is the best perimeter defender on the team.
8) Pitino, Jurich, and Ramsey will not last until the 2016-17 season at Louisville.
9) UK will be back in the Final Four again.
10) After the season, Poythress, Ulis, Labissiere, and Murray will go pro. We might also see somebody transfer out. And it will all be fun. Count on that one.
Joe Cox is contributing editor for KySportsStyle.com magazine. He grew up in Letcher County and Bell County, and has written four books involving UK sports, and the newest one "The Kentucky Wildcat Fans’ Bucket List" (with Ryan Clark), is on sale now. Joe is an attorney and lives in Logan County with his wife and children. You can reach him at email@example.com
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