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UK Shaping Up to Be a 2014 Title Contender [VIDEO]

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With the news that Alex Poythress will join Kyle Wiltjer and Willie Cauley-Stein and return to the University of Kentucky for the 2013-2014 season, UK is looking more and more like a team that will be playing on the final weekend next April at Cowboys Stadium.

Of course, Ryan Harrow won’t be coming back–opting to transfer to Georgia State–but that’s fine. Harrow’s a good kid who never could get it together this year. I think the pressure got to him. That won’t happen next season with the Panthers.

And yes, Archie Goodwin is leaving and wants to play in the NBA, but–fair or not–I think that’s a good thing. I watched plenty of games this season, and Goodwin always seemed to play like he was the only one on the court. Yes, he pulled Kentucky’s fat out of the fire on a couple of occasions, but he never really had a read on what the ‘Cats were and were not capable of doing.

Consequently, he’d show up on the offensive end well ahead of his teammates and be left with nothing other than to try and draw a foul, which didn’t happen nearly as often as he wanted. Maybe that’ll work for him in the NBA. Who knows? I wish him well.

Now Kentucky will get ready for what looks to be a stellar season in Lexington. Cauley-Stein had already showed signs of improvement. Poythress desperately wants to get better and be more aggressive in the post. He can already shoot the three. And Wiltjer has committed to hitting the gym over the summer and really getting himself into the kind of physical condition that will be necessary to get him to the next level. And, really, Wiltjer is at his very best when he as a terrific supporting cast.

And, by all accounts, the best “supporting cast” in college basketball history is landing on campus this fall. Throw in Jarrod Polson–whose role on the team cannot and should not be undervalued–and John Calipari will have the kind of depth he hasn’t enjoyed since coming to Lexington, despite the two Final Four appearances and the title.

College basketball in the Bluegrass State is red hot right now–two Final Four teams at Louisville in the same season, the Kentucky women’s team making the Elite Eight, and the men’s team all set for another remarkable season. With the possibility that Louisville could win the National Championship, the gold trophy will return to the Commonwealth for a second straight year.

If that happens, then could we be looking at a “three-peat?”

One surprising supporter thinks so. His name is Jay Williams, and he is a former DUKE superstar:


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