Timothy Wyatt is a sports media/communications major at the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky. Wyatt has been a die-hard Kentucky fan his entire life and writes for a Lexington-based website dedicated to Kentucky sports. Wyatt began writing for quadrust.com in August 2012, and on Oct. 23, he took the time to answer some questions about the Kentucky Wildcats and the upcoming college basketball season.
What makes Indiana a legitimate No. 1 team to start the 2012-13 season?
Indiana has a lot of upperclassmen returning this year, which is key for them. On top of that, they have several ESPN 100 players suiting up for them this season, including one in the top-25. As far as conference schedule is concerned, they’re only real competition seems to be Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. It’s a shame that the UK/IU game won’t be happening this year.
Does Louisville deserve to ranked higher than Kentucky?
It’s hard to not be slightly biased about my answer here, but no, I don’t agree with it. Sure, Louisville has the edge experience-wise, but last year Anthony Davis and company proved that raw talent can win out. Don’t get me wrong, from a purely objective look at these two teams, Louisville looks poised to do great things this year. I just don’t see them being good enough to not be the state’s second best team though.
Kentucky lost all their starters from last season. What new players are key to keeping them in the title hunt?
To be completely honest, I believe they all are. There are a lot of holes to fill and last year’s team will be a hard act to follow, especially at Kentucky. Big Blue Nation is a different kind of beast when it comes to fan bases. I can relate it to the New England Patriots. Tom Brady recently said that he thought fans were spoiled by past success and that winning in the NFL is hard. It holds true with college hoops too.
Kentucky fans are a little spoiled. We know that. But if I were forced to choose one player that I think will make the biggest impact this year, I would have to go with Kyle Wiltjer. While he never started last year, he played a key role coming off the bench. He knows what it’s like to play for a championship team. And just from what I saw out of him at Big Blue Madness, it is obvious that he has rounded out his game a lot. Look for him to step into this team’s leadership role.
Missouri joins the SEC after a successful run in the Big 12. Can they compete in their new conference?
I think so. Missouri went 14-4 in conference games last year landing them just two games behind Kansas for second place. Also, Baylor and Iowa State both had good years, so the competition was pretty stiff. I definitely see them being in the top-5 of the SEC this year.
What early season game are you most looking forward to?
This one really is a toss-up between a couple of games. The Duke game on Nov. 13 for the Champion’s Classic is definitely a big one. That rivalry never gets old. I am also looking forward to the season opener with Maryland. After the Harrison twins commitment to UK, I am eager to see the kind of reception Coach Cal and the Cats will get from Terps fans.
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