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CBS Sports Predicts Kentucky’s Starting Lineup and Bench Rotation

Kentucky basketball
UK Athletics

Like always, the Kentucky Wildcats will have a lot of new faces when they take the floor for the first time during the 2022-23 college basketball season.

But John Calipari does have some firepower and experience returning, led by senior forward Oscar Tshiebwe, better known as the reigning national player of the year in college basketball.

In addition to the anchor in the middle, Kentucky returns senior point guard Sahvir Wheeler, a Cousy Award finalist as a junior.

While Tshiebwe and Wheeler will lead the way for the Cats, Calipari also has experienced pieces to work with that have been in the program for a while.

Lance Ware and Jacob Toppin both return for their third season in Lexington and will play important roles for the team.

While Daimion Collins didn’t play much as a freshman and CJ Fredrick missed his first season in Lexington due to injury, both have a year in the program that will help when they get their opportunity.

While those are all returning players from last seasons roster, the Wildcats did add four new faces, three via the high school route (Cason Wallace, Chris Livingston, Adou Thiero) and one from the transfer portal (Antonio Reeves).

Wheeler and Tshiebwe appear to be the two locks to start but what does Calipari do with the other three spots and his rotation? David Cobb of CBS Sports released his starting lineup projection and his bench rotation for the 2022-23 Wildcats.

  1. Sahvir Wheeler
  2. Cason Wallace
  3. Chris Livingston
  4. Jacob Toppin
  5. Oscar Tshiebwe

Cobb listed Antonio Reeves, CJ Fredrick, Lance Ware, and Daimion Collins as bench options for John Calipari with Adou Thiero providing depth as the tenth man on the roster.

Like I said earlier, Wheeler and Tshiebwe are locked to start at their positions and I’d throw in Wallace and Toppin as locks as well. The question is what does Calipari do with the other wing spot? Honestly, Fredrick and Reeves could be potential options for that starting role, as both have experience starting at their previous stops in college basketball. That said, Livingston has a lot of upside and potential to be a star.

The good news is Calipari will try out different lineups in the Bahamas to give him a look at what he has this season.

Who do you predict to start for the Wildcats this season?

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