The biggest issue with the Kentucky Wildcats this season has been their big men.
I’ll stop short of calling them soft, but for a program whose reputation the last three or four years has been a physically imposing front line of future first round picks, it’s somewhat odd to see the Wildcats with a group of guys that get beat for offensive rebounds and that allow opponents to finish in the paint easily.
Part of that is that Skal Labissiere has further to go in his development than was initially expected. Part of it is that Isaac Humphries is young. Part of it is that Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee just aren’t Karl Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein.
It’s a concern.
But help could be on the way, as the final member of Kentucky’s freshman class — New Zealand big man Tai Wynyard — is set to enroll in school.
“Could he be the answer to the toughness? Then the other guys got to take a back seat? I don’t know until we get him here and we let him get in there and mix it up,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said of Wynyard, who is listed at 6-foot9, 230 pounds.
Wynyard, who was initially expected to redshirt this season, is set to enroll on Dec. 18th, the Friday before Kentucky is set to play Ohio State in New York City. Cal told reporters this week that Wynyard will remain in Lexington after the team leaves for the holidays, working out with UK’s coaches. He’ll have just two full practices before the Dec. 26th game against Louisville, which isn’t ideal.
“He could redshirt,” Cal said, “but the plan is let’s slide him in there and go.”