Just about a week after he declared Kentucky his pre-season favorite, CBS’ Gary Parrish has slammed his foot on the brake pedal and his Kentucky-love train has come to a screeching halt. Parrish now ranks UK at #2. The departure of Meeks bumps the Cats back behind Kansas in Parrish’s eyes, although he admits that he’s still giving them more love than what they’ll likely get in the pre-season.
Here is what he had to say:
I was going to make Kentucky the preseason No. 1 if Jodie Meeks returned to school.
But he didn’t.
So now I must drop the Wildcats all the way down to No. 2.
Yes, that is probably higher than you’ll find Kentucky in most preseason polls, but let me ask this: Where should a team with three probable first-round picks in next year’s NBA Draft be ranked? That’s an important question to consider because — in John Wall, Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins — that’s what Kentucky has, three probable first-round draft picks.
Only Kansas can argue that it might have better talent.
That’s why the Jayhawks are No. 1.
But Kentucky is No. 2.
Which means I’m predicting that on the first Monday in April, Bill Self and John Calipari will battle for the national title for the second time in three years. And I’m also predicting that if Calipari finds himself up three points in the final seconds, John Wall is going to foul Sherron Collins so hard that Mario Chalmers will feel it all the way down in Miami.
I’d prefer the Woody Hayes treatment, but I get what Parrish is saying. Despite what you might have read on the comments section of this very site yesterday, this is still a very good team and likely one that will be among a handful of teams with legitimate national title dreams. Jodie Meeks or not, I think UK should probably improve over last year’s 19-12 regular season record.