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Biggest College Basketball Questions Heading Into the Season


If you’re a huge college basketball fan like I am, then you’ve been anticipation this day for months. Welcome to opening day of the NCAA Basketball season.

Many feel like the Kentucky Wildcats are the favorites to cut down the nets next April. But history has shown us, the best teams on paper do not always win.

So what are the major questions surrounding the Wildcats and some of the other teams around college basketball? Here are some of the contending teams and the questions they may face throughout the season (I am not going to go over every team in the top 25, but you can find the official preseason rankings here).


Kentucky Wildcats

Last season, the Wildcats made it to the National Championship game as a No.8 seed before falling to UCONN. This season, Kentucky are almost the consensus favorite to win their nine NCAA Tournament Championship.

Coach John Calipari has his most loaded group of players in Lexington. This 2014-2015 Kentucky team could have 10 future NBA draft picks on its roster.

There hasn’t been a collection of players this talented since the 2008-2009 North Carolina Tar Heels. How is Calipari going to get all of these players minutes and keep them happy?

Calipari has said he will use a system replacing players sometimes by groups of five in order to keep the players fresh. Line changes work perfectly in hockey, but haven’t been used in college basketball. So you can understand why the Wildcats have their skeptics.


Arizona Wildcats

Wildcats head coach Sean Miller might be the best coach to never reach a Final Four. That could change this season because this Arizona team appears to be better than a season ago.

The biggest question in Tucson is can freshman shooting guard Stanley Johnson lead the Wildcats to their first Final Four appearance since 2001?

Johnson is 6’7, 245 pounds (yes I said he is a shooting guard) who has speed and athleticism like a guard and is as powerful as most forwards. Scouts have said he reminds them of a younger LeBron James, who Johnson trashed talked during James’ offseason skills camp.

If Johnson lives up to the hype, the Wildcats could find themselves in Indianapolis in April.


Duke Blue Devils

Jahlil Okafor was was selected as Preseason Player of the Year by, and ESPN analyst Fran Franschilla. So the easy question is, can Okafor live up to all the hype.

Former North Carolina Tar Heel Harrison Barnes, and Kansas Jayhawk Andrew Wiggins also made the AP’s preseason team as freshmen in 2010 and 2013, respectively.Barnes never lived up the expectations at North Carolina and left after two seasons in Chapel Hill. Wiggins was a player of the year finalist.

Duke’s success will largely be determined by the progress of Okafor. If he can live up to the Preseason Player of the Year, Duke could win the National Championship.


Florida Gators

Florida will need to replace four of its seniors from a season ago. While there is a bit of transition in Gainesville, the team returns a lot of talent including Chris Walker.

The 6’10 forward is suspended for the first two games of the season. The question is, how good can Walker be once he returns?

Last season, we just got glimpse of how good Walker can be. This season, he will have to be one of the focal points if the Gators are to return to the Elite Eight and go beyond that.

North Carolina Tar Heels

There’s no way of beating around the bush about the biggest question surrounding the 2014-2015 UNC Tar Heels. While the Heels return arguably the best point guard in the country Marcus Paige, the school’s academic scandal is the black cloud lurking in Chapel Hill.

The investigation will continue throughout the season and coach Roy Williams will continue to get questions from the media about it.

Either the young talent of the Tar Heels will use the court as a sanitary and come together, or this will be an issue that could wreak a possible Final Four team.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gonzaga has a 16 straight NCAA tournament appearances, but the team could be headed for bigger goals in the 2014-2015 season.

Bryon Wesley, a transfer from USC, averaged 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds last season. He will be teaming up with guard Kevin Pangos, who averaged 14.4 points per game last season. The question for the Bulldogs is, can they make a run at the Final Four?

To go along with the talented Wesley and Pangos is 7’1 big man Przemek Karnowski. The junior center averaged 10.4 points and 7.1 rebounds a season ago.

While the Zags may not get a lot of preseason hype, but it is a team that could make a deep NCAA Tournament run. They return a lot of veterans and you know Gonzaga is well coached with Mark Few at the helm.

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