Daily Dish: How good is Kentucky?

How good is this year's Kentucky team? (AP Photo)

How good is this year’s Kentucky team? (AP Photo)

Pfft. Ahhhh.

The can has been cracked on the 2015-16 college basketball season, and you know what man, it’s already refreshing. Oustide of the Warriors’ 14-0 start, the storylines in the NBA pale in comparison to the college game this year– especially early on– as we get our first looks at freshman sensations Ben Simmons (LSU) and Skal Labissière (Kentucky).

How good can Simmons be? Well, he’s already averaging a double-double (18.7 ppg, 12.7 rpg). He’s scored 45 points in his last two games (Kenesaw State, South Alabama), and although the competition has been weak so far, his performance already speaks to the fact that he’s the real deal.

As for Kentucky, well, the Wildcats are going to be damn good again. They won’t be 38-0-great like last season, but this is a no-doubt top-five team that has the potential to be scary once it gels. The Wildcats have everything you would want in a college team. They’ve got a skilled point guard with excellent decision-making skills in sophomore Tyler Ulis, whose confidence and floor-general experience were on display in his 18-point, 6-assist showing in the Champions Classic win over Duke.

They’ve got plenty of size, in Labissière, Marcus Lee (who you may remember from that ridiculous run in the 2014 NCAAs), Alex Poythress and Isaac Humphries. And they’ve got a breakout star at 2-guard in Jamal Murray, who introduced himself to college hoops fans with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and one filthy behind-the-back against the Dookies (around the 3:34 mark below):

Labissière, the second-most ballyhooed recruit in this class, is a wirey, athletic 6-11 forward who could be the first pick in next year’s NBA Draft. The Haitain native has made an immediate impact at Kentucky, putting up 14 points, 5 boards and 3 blocks per game so far. He scored 26 on 10-of-12 FG’s in UK’s 87-57 win over NJIT, though he put up 7 points in just 13 minutes while battling foul trouble against Duke.

They’re not nearly as deep as last year’s squad (which needed unprecedented platoons just to keep all of its first-round draft pick talent happy), but this year, Kentucky’s starting five might be the best in the nation.

Still pretty refreshing, right ‘Cats fans?

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