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By LARRY VAUGHT
ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes believes Kentucky freshmen Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin should both be difference makers in Southeastern Conference play for UK.
“With Poythress, I love how he uses his size and strength. He is very aggressively offensively,” Dykes said. “He needs to shoot better, but he has the ability to get the ball off the backboard and make plays off the rim. He’s built to be a very good defender.
“Goodwin is the closest player to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as far as being a warrior and attacking the basket. Goodwin might be the guy that sets the bar for the rest of the Kentucky players in terms of having an edge and mean streak about him. That needs to be infectious and transfer to everyone.”
He believes senior guard Julius Mays, a transfer from Wright State, was also a valuable addition for UK.
“He is a good combo guard with good size. He’s more than a reliable 3-point shooter. He’s an older kid that could be a vocal voice on the team even though he is going through everything for the first time,” Dykes said. “I think Calipari can lean on him to be a voice of experience if he proves to be trustworthy. He’s a guard that can score and shoot, and Kentucky needed a shooter to go with Kyle.”
Dykes gives UK only a “slight edge” as the best team in the SEC based on the team’s overall talent.
“I look at Florida that has really good talent and experience. Kentucky is talented but not quite as experienced,” Dykes said. “I think Tennessee is right there below Kentucky and Florida. They have got a lot of guys back. Missouri will make a quick transition and will be one of the top two or three teams in the SEC this year. They will have no problem fitting in and battling for the SEC title. Then you have Alabama and Arkansas.”