He hasn’t even played a minute for the team yet, but Kentucky Wildcats four-star recruit Charles Matthews already has lofty expectations. Matthews tweeted out that not only would Kentucky contend next year, but that the Wildcats would win a championship.
Kentucky will be 2016 National Champs. Best believe it.
— Charles Matthews (@1CMatthews) May 7, 2015
That’s quite a bold statement, considering how Kentucky is about to lose seven players to this year’s NBA draft: Karl-Anthony Towns, Trey Lyles, Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Devin Booker, and twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison. That core group helped the Wildcats to an overall record of 38-1 (18-0 SEC), and many pegged them as the team that would win this year’s NCAA tournament before they ran head first into Wisconsin in the Final Four.
This means that Kentucky is essentially going to be starting from scratch in the 2015-16 season, with the only significant returning players being guard Tyler Ulis and forward Alex Poythress.
Considering how the Wildcats landed four last year (Towns, Lyles, Booker and Ulis) and six in 2013 (Aaron and Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle, Johnson, James Young and Marcus Lee), battling for top position in an SEC that’s only getting more competitive in basketball could very well be an uphill battle.
John Calipari is a great coach and if there’s anyone that can get the best out of next season’s Kentucky team, it’s him.
However, for Matthews to say that next year’s team will win a title is kind of jumping the gun.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Jon Lopez/Nike