In terms of highest expectations for the 2013-2014 college basketball season, this one is a no-brainier.

Talent-wise, there hasn’t been a more loaded team than the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky features a roster that could very, VERY easily have seven players drafted in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft.

We’re talking about a lineup that will not feature a player under 6-foot-6. Even their backcourt, the Harrison (Andrew and Aaron) twins, are as big and dynamic as most forwards in the nation. Add to that, a forward tandem that includes James Young (No. 1 high school small forward in the nation), Julius Randle (No. 3 overall HS player in the nation) and sophomore Alex Poythress (who is going to turn into one hell of a player if he can ever get his head on straight).

To top it all off, lets throw in Will Cauley-Stein, who made the all-conference rookie SEC team; Marcus Lee, the best rim protector in the 2013 class; and the big bully, Dakari Johnson (No. 1 HS center), who is an absolute monster down low.

Analysts are saying that this recruiting class (featuring six McDonald’s All-Americans) is even better than the famed Fab 5 of the Michigan Wolverines in the 1990s (Webber, Rose, Howard, King, Jackson).

The question with this team lies in the lack of upper-class leadership.

The most recent title Cats featured a lineup of many talented freshmen like Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (both went No. 1 and No. 2 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft), but many forget the roles of Doron Lamb, Terrence Jones and Darrius Miller, who willed their younger teammates and rallied them to the title.

The expectations couldn’t be higher for Kentucky, and lot of pressure will lie on the shoulders of Cauley-Stein and especially Poythress. Do they have the maturity and the will to dig down deep and anchor these young Wildcats?

The answer to that question will determine whether the Cats will be cutting down the nets in April, or watching it from their living room sofas.

[Standing O Sports]


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