The way-too-early preseason basketball rankings are coming in hot, with the latest update coming from Gary Parrish of CBS Sports.
In Parrish’s new edition of his Top 25 And 1 – version 16.0, to be exact – Kentucky moved up a spot to No. 14 overall, good for second in the SEC behind only Tennessee (No. 12).
In his analysis, Parrish acknowledged the mass exodus the Kentucky program saw this offseason with all five starters leaving for the NBA Draft, but feels the top-ranked recruiting class led by five-star guards Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, and Devin Askew will be enough to “overcome these departures.”
He also didn’t mention Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr as a key addition and noted that they could jump back into the top 10 with “some solid reinforcements,” meaning this No. 14 ranking is solely based on UK’s six high school signees, Creighton graduate transfer Davion Mintz, and returning Wildcats Keion Brooks Jr. and Dontaie Allen.
“The Wildcats are losing the top six scorers from a team that won the SEC by multiple games – most notably SEC Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley and projected first-round pick Tyrese Maxey. That’s rough,” Parrish said. “But if any program is built to overcome these departures, it’s the one set to enroll the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class featuring 5-star guards Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston and Devin Askew.
“Exactly what John Calipari will do to further enhance his roster remains unclear. But it’s possible the Wildcats could creep back into the top 10 of the Top 25 And 1 before the season begins if the UK staff secures some solid reinforcements.”
Notable players definitely gone: Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Nate Sestina, EJ Montgomery, Johnny Juzang
Notable players expected to also leave: N/A
Notable players expected to return: Keion Brooks
Expected additions: Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, Devin Askew, Isaiah Jackson, Lance Ware, Cam’Ron Fletcher, Davion Mintz
Here is CBS Sports’ latest Top 25 And 1:
- Michigan State
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- Ohio State
- Texas Tech
- Arizona State
- Florida State
What do you think of Kentucky’s ranking? Fair?