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11 Kentucky
Seth Devis
November 15, 1999
The Wildcats are contenders thanks to one pivotal player's decision to return to school
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November 15, 1999

11 Kentucky

The Wildcats are contenders thanks to one pivotal player's decision to return to school

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Tayshaun Prince



5.8 ppg


Jules Camara



3.2 rpg


Jamaal Magloire



1.9 bpg


Desmond Allison



4.7 ppg


Saul Smith



5.0 ppg

1998-99 record: 28-9 Final rank (coaches' poll):No. 5 (tie)

Returning Starter

With just one starter back from last year's Elite Eight team and only three players with more than one year of experience, coach Tubby Smith is hoping a touch of wizardry will bolster him for the coming season. " John Wooden said he'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent," Smith says.

Make no mistake: This team has a lot of talent. Inside there is 6'10" senior Jamaal Magloire, who declared for the NBA draft before changing his mind and returning to Lexington. Surrounding him are promising sophomores Desmond Allison, Jules Camara and Tayshaun Prince. The 6'9" Prince, in particular, seems bound for stardom. He is a much better long-range gunner than his 28.7% three-point shooting a year ago would indicate. He still has a bad taste in his mouth from last season, not from his erratic shooting but from the protein shakes he has had to drink to add bulk to his reed-thin frame. "The goal was to drink nine a day," says Prince, who at 215 pounds is 30 pounds heavier than he was at this time last year. "They taste terrible."

To that talented nucleus, add two recruits who were McDonald's All-Americans, 6'5" Keith Bogans and 6'10" Marvin Stone, and put them all under the direction of Smith's son, Saul, a 6'2" junior who has the unenviable task of replacing Wayne Turner at point guard. (Saul has already been branded a beneficiary of nepotism by some of Kentucky's notoriously fickle fans.)

Magloire, however, is this team's pivotman, in every sense of the word. As such, he must learn to better keep his emotions in check. Last season, for instance, at the end of the first half of Kentucky's NCAA tournament win over Miami of Ohio, Magloire plowed into the Redbirds' mascot on his way to the locker room. "He stayed on the other side of the court the rest of the game, flapping his wings," Magloire says proudly. "He didn't want no more of that." Such bravado might better be reserved for opponents who stand in the Wildcats' way this year.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]