To tip off CBS Sports’ annual Candid Coaches series, Gary Parrish asked over 100 coaches who will be the best team in college basketball this year; considering all of the buzz in recent weeks, the answer might surprise you. Kansas came in first with 38 percent of the vote, followed by Kentucky at 18 percent and Duke at 15 percent.
One coach said this (anonymously) of the Cats.
“I just got a chance to watch Kentucky [play exhibitions in the Bahamas]. It looks like their talent-level is off the charts. And I think the world of [John Calipari] as as basketball coach. I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. He gains notoriety in a lot of ways. But nobody talks about him as a top-level tactician.”
Parrish believes Kansas and Kentucky are the safe picks over Duke right now thanks to — wait for it — experience, a rarity for the Cats in the Calipari era.
“Needless to say, the Wildcats have another stellar freshman class filled with five-star recruits. But the key, I think, is the likelihood that three of their top six players will be non-freshmen who have already averaged more than 9.0 points per game at the high-major level — among them Stanford transfer Reid Travis. The last time John Calipari had that — again, three non-freshmen on his roster who have already averaged more than 9.0 points per game at the high-major level — was in the 2011-12 season. The result was a national title.”
Let’s hope history repeats itself.