In the time after Olivier Sarr and Jacob Toppin received their immediate eligibility waivers for the 2020-21 college basketball season, almost every major outlet and analyst moved Kentucky into the top ten of their latest preseason rankings. Dick Vitale listed UK at No. 5, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello said the Wildcats were a top-five team, Jon Rothstein of College Hoops Today moved Kentucky up to No. 6, and Jeff Goodman – who previously had UK at No. 24 – moved the Cats up 14 spots to No. 10.
A significant jump for all parties involved, proving just how massive Wednesday evening’s news was for the Kentucky program.
But not everyone is as high on the Wildcats following the official additions of Sarr and Toppin.
In Gary Parrish’s latest update over at CBS Sports, Kentucky climbed just two spots in the rankings, moving from No. 15 overall to No. 13.
Ahead of the Wildcats? Gonzaga (1), Baylor (2), Villanova (3), Virginia (4), Iowa (5), Illinois (6), Kansas (7), Duke (8), Creighton (9), Wisconsin (10), Michigan State (11), and Tennessee (12).
“So now the 7-foot, 255-pound forward from France who averaged 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game last season at Wake Forest is officially eligible at Kentucky — as is Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin,” Parrish said of Kentucky. “That’ll give John Calipari two experienced pieces to pair with his latest heralded recruiting class. As a result, his Wildcats are up to No. 13 in Version 27.0 of the 2020-21 CBS Sports Top 25 And 1.”
Parrish added that Kentucky will have to replace its top six scorers from the 2019-20 campaign, a key reason for his placement of the Wildcats.
“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 wrote. “But if any program is built to overcome these departures, it’s the one that has enrolled the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class featuring five-star guards Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston and Devin Askew. So UK will look very different, sure. But John Calipari still has the talent necessary to compete for what would be his seventh SEC regular-season title in 12 years in the league.”
Here is Parrish’s entire Top 25 And 1:
- Michigan State
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- Ohio State
- Texas Tech
- Arizona State
Where do you think Kentucky should be ranked?