- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

Kentucky

Last season: 27-9, lost in second round of NCAA Tournament.

Coach: John Calipari.

Nickname: Wildcats.

Conference: Southeastern.

Who’s gone: G Tyler Ulis, G Jamal Murray, F Skal Labissiere, F Marcus Lee (transfer), G/F Charles Matthews (transfer), F Alex Poythress.

Who’s back: G Isaiah Briscoe. The sophomore is the Wildcats’ leading returning scorer and rebounder at 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season; F Derek Willis. The senior is coming off a career-best season in which he averaged 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest and became a key part of Kentucky’s rotation.

Who’s new: F Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, a 6-foot-10 McDonald’s All-American who is expected to provide a needed presence on both ends of the floor; F Sacha Killeya-Jones, another 6-10 All-American and big man; 6-9 F Wenyen Gabriel; and 6-3 Gs De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, both All-Americans who can score and play the point.

The Skinny: Kentucky lost scoring and floor leadership with the departures of Ulis and Murray to the NBA Draft but Monk, Fox and Briscoe provide plenty of ball-handling options. Inside presence won’t be an issue this year with Adebayo, who’s already being compared with past Wildcat greats Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. If Kentucky’s big men attack the basket and the boards as expected and the team finds some offense, the Wildcats might reach their fifth Final Four in eight seasons under Calipari.

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Online:

www.collegebasketball.ap.org


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