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12 > Image 12 of Basketball, 1955

Part of University of Kentucky Basketball Media Guides (Men)

the group are Gerry Calvert, 5-11 guard; and Sonny Corum, 5-10 guard. With the personnel available limited in experience and the losses greatest suffered by any team in the country, Coach Rupp foresees a big re-building job ahead this season. "We can't possibly be as strong this winter as we were last year," he declared. "I doubt that we will ever be that good again and probably nobody else will be either. That was my idea of an ideal team in every respect. We had a great first team, plus enough reserve power to carry on when we needed to make substitutions." The transplanted Kansan, who has moulded championship calibre teams with amazing regularity since he took over Kentucky's cage dynasty 24 years ago, observed that the '55 Wildcats "may run into early-season difficulties because our team will lack experience at the start. However, I think we could have a very fine team by the middle of January with a little luck. "I am not at all gloomy over our prospects," he continued, "despite the fact we lost the best three men in America and must play possibly the strongest schedule of any team in the nation. We apparently are not very highly regarded and we are not picked to be among the best in the country by any of the pre-season polls I have seen. But I suspect our boys will be getting more than an average share of mention when all the shouting is over." Exactly how this year's edition of the Wildcats will line up for the opening gun is a problem that the Kentucky mentor may not fully decide before mid-season. Capt. Evans, who operated at forward last season, probably will be shifted to a guard post to make room for more rebounding height on the back line. Once this key fits into place, the rest of the lineup might see Grawmeyer and Bird at forwards, Burrow at center and either Puckett or Rose at the other guard location. However, sophomore Mills could break into the starting group at forward if Bird beats Burrow out for the pivot spot. And there are seemingly endless other combinations available too, all of which leads Kentucky's opponents to fear that Coach Rupp may prove as poor a prophet as he was last season in reiterating a previous prediction that no school playing a major schedule could go through a season undefeated. 12