Junior Reggie Hanson will be a key for Kentucky's front line.
will vie for playing time in the backcourt, A third, freshman Henry Thomas, was lost for the season with a knee injury shortly before school began.
Up front, the Cats will be led by junior forward Reggie Hanson. The 6-7 Somerset native averaged 9.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season and is consistently recognized for his defensive skills. Hanson is joined by a trio of sophomores, including 6-7 Deron Feldhaus, 6-7 John Pelphrey and 6-6 Johnathon Davis. Feldhaus may have the early lead on a starting spot following several strong performances last season, in which he averaged 3.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Still, Pitino says all his players will enter practice with a clean slate on October 15. "I haven't really seen any of them play, I've just evaluated them from a conditioning standpoint," he says. "I did not want to hold anything against the players, so I did not watch any film on them. I want to just go in with a clean slate, and see what they can do on October 15."
With just eight scholarship players on the roster, Pitino predicts playing time for several walk-ons. "In a program such as ours, you have to play 10 people per game," he says. "We need at least two or three walk-ons to play, and another two or
three to round out the squad. They'll be of great importance to us, and the significance of it all is that a young man just attending the University of Kentucky will have the chance to participate in the richest tradition in all of basketball."
Although doomsayers predict a second straight losing season for the Wildcats, Kentucky has not softened its schedule. "It's probably, if not the premier schedule in the country, one of the most
competitive ones I've seen in a long time," Pitino says.
Kentucky's scheule includes the likes of Indiana, Louisville, Kansas, North Carolina and Notre Dame, in addition to the 18-game SEC round-robin.