NBA scouts flood into Rupp Arena to see the six or seven future lottery prospects in UK's rotation. Kentucky is led by Julius Randle, oft compared to a Paul Pierce or Grant Hill, a skilled 6'8" combo-forward with incredible athleticism and versatility. Aaron and Andrew Harrison guards blessed with size and flexibility to play multiple positions on the floor. After an underwhelming freshman season, stuck in the rotation behind several of the 2013's Wildcats' draftees, Alex Poythress is a unique combo-forward, seemed poised to breakout, much like former UK-er Terrence Jones from a few seasons ago. James Young and Dakari Johnson have received some first-round buzz as well.
Flying under the radar is sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein. After a quiet rookie season in Lexington, Cauley-Stein had scouts drooling over his rangy 7-foot frame. Athletic and agile enough to play the 4 or the 5, Cauley-Stein will not put up gaudy offensive stats on this loaded roster, but he may be just as impact to Kentucky's success as freshman Julius Randle.
In just 18 minutes in UK's season opener, Cauley-Stein tied his career-high in assists (4) and steals (3), while logging 4 blocks, which is the second-best mark of his brief career. The key to Cauley-Stein's NBA prospects will be his aggressiveness. Can he demand the basketball on offensive, take it strong the rim and finish with contact? Can he alter shots on defense without fouling? Those will be crucial in his development as a lottery prospect.