Tread Gently with Kentucky
Kentucky had a successful 2018-19 campaign, putting together a 30-7 record en route to an Elite Eight berth before falling to Auburn in overtime. Undoubtedly head coach John Calipari will have the Wildcats playing in a high degree, but he’ll need to enter the season with quite a different look. Four of Kentucky’s starting five are very likely to graduate or be drafted into the NBA since Reid Travis is a senior and P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro will likely be going pro.
All isn’t lost, however, as the Wildcats have already done a fantastic job recruiting for the upcoming season, securing two 2019 McDonald’s All-Americans, shooting guard Tyrese Maxey and small forward Khalil Whitney. I expect sophomores Immanuel Quickley and E.J. Montgomery to lead the charge and will work well with the incoming freshmen. With their new appearance, I would be hesitant to put a wager on this bar in +500 at this point.
Kansas Could be Well-Balanced and Experienced
Kansas had a very interesting 2018-19, showing flashes of brilliance along with being ranked in the top five at the AP survey for eight months, including two weeks at the top place. Overall, the Jayhawks ended with a 26-10 record, falling to Auburn. Kansas was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde team when it arrived to house and away splits, going a perfect 16-0 at Allen Fieldhouse but only 3-8 in true road games — quite confusing results.
The Jayhawks had to battle through accidents, losing protect Lagerald Vick for the season in February. He is a senior and will not be back next year. Additionally center Udoka Azubuike played with nine games . But Kansas, despite those holes in the frontcourt and backcourt, still had a Round of 32 look. The Jayhawks should be feisty this forthcoming season as I do not anticipate Azubuike to be drafted and Vick will be their only loss, so chances of +2000 provide decent value.