New faces, same expectations for Kentucky Basketball in 2015-16

04/29/2015 04:23 PM

New faces, same expectations.

That’s the mantra for the Kentucky men’s basketball team as it prepares for yet another run to the Final Four in 2015-2016.

After losing the team’s seven leading scorers, All-Americans, and the potential top overall pick of NBA Draft from last season’s squad, minutes will not be at a minimum for returning Cats Alex Poythress (senior), Marcus Lee (junior), and Tyler Ulis (sophomore).

On Wednesday, the veteran trio addressed the changes the team is facing but did not surrender to a lowering of the bar.

“Last year, I guess our fans got kind of spoiled,” Poythress said. “We had 10 guys, but you only need five to play, to be honest. So, whatever five we put out there, we can still win games. You don’t need to go 10-deep.

“I know last year was a different circumstance. We had people coming back. But you only need five, and I feel like we have five of the most talented people here already, with people coming in, too.

“So, I feel like we’ll be fine, ready to play from Day 1.”

“It’s their time” is what head coach John Calipari said of his holdover players last week, a comment that can be taken both literally and figuratively.

The reserve trio of upcoming juniors EJ Floreal, Dominique Hawkins, and Derek Willis are also likely to see extended playing time, especially early in the year while the incoming 2015 recruiting class finds its footing.

KSTV’s Mark Krebs and Bradley McKee discussed the expanded roles the returning Cats will receive next season and whether or not they’re capable of leading Kentucky back to the final rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

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