My summer began with the LeBron James Skills Academy and didn’t truly end until I landed in Charleston (for a planned vacation with my wife) to the news that Cougars coach Doug Wojcik had been fired.
Along the way, there were countless AAU contests in several locations, and there were drills and games involving some of the top college players in the country. A few days also were spent at the NBA Summer League and, on TV, seeing a glimpse of a new, loaded Kentucky Wildcats team playing down in the Bahamas.
Here are my 10 college basketball takeaways from the summer, starting with that scary Kentucky team.
1. I’ve watched a decent portion of Kentucky’s games down in the Bahamas -- which were aired on ESPNU -- and this Wildcats team is the deepest I’ve seen in the past decade. It’s not just ordinary depth, either -- it’s quality, insane depth. Marcus Lee, who showed glimpses of what he could do in the NCAA tourney last year, may not find his way into the rotation. Derek Willis, who could start for at least 250 teams around the nation, is the seventh big man on the depth chart. Seventh! These guys are currently without two of their top frontline guys due to injury -- junior Willie Cauley-Stein and skilled freshman forward Trey Lyles -- and they still look deep and overwhelming.
I know the competition in two of the three games has been fairly lackluster, but the fact remains that this team doesn’t lack for much (other than a true small forward) and the difference-maker with this group is diminutive freshman point guard Tyler Ulis. Andrew Harrison was erratic with his floor game and did not set up his teammates for easy baskets nearly as often as Ulis, who also will be a pest on the defensive end due to his speed, quickness and toughness.