Arkansas Mr. Basketball is 6-41/2 Archie Goodwin, who leads the Wildcats in scoring with 15.8 points per game, averages a team-high 4.4 assists and pulls down 5.4 rebounds per contest. Back inside, 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein was "only" the 10th-best center on last season's ESPNU list. Also a star wide receiver at Olathe (Kan.) High School, Cauley-Stein averages 7.6 points and 5.1 rebounds and has blocked 19 shots.
Calipari has older stars, too. Kyle Wiltjer, a 6-10 forward, leads the team in 3-pointers (24 made, .414 percentage), Wright State graduate transfer guard Julius Mays leads the team in minutes (33.0 per game), point guard Ryan Harrow is a North Carolina State transfer who is coming back off an injury, and Jon Hood is that 2009 Kentucky Mr. Basketball who chips in with his five minutes a game. He's the lone Wildcat who was around when Calipari arrived from Memphis.
"He's probably their best perimeter shooter at 6-10," Herrion said of Wiltjer. "He can really stretch the floor, which makes it harder to guard because he opens up driving lanes. He's a lethal shooter."
Shoot, the Wildcats even have a Sam Malone from Massachusetts. Doesn't tend bar, though.
Throw in 20,000 or so blue-bleeding fans and it's another basketball party in Lexington. The Herd, still missing its floor leader in DeAndre Kane and struggling in several areas, will have to play its best and more to douse all those cheers.
"We've got to play well, we've got to play strong," Herrion said. "You go out on the road, you've got to do everything better."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.