Kentucky may have the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, the top-ranked incoming transfer in Olivier Sarr, a Big East transfer who started 79 games at Creighton in Davion Mintz, and a returning player former Cats and current coaches expect to explode next season in Keion Brooks Jr., but the Wildcats will be lucky to be a fringe top-25 program in 2020-21.
That is, of course, if you believe Stadium college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman.
In his updated rankings – yes, the ones following Olivier Sarr’s commitment – Goodman listed Kentucky at No. 24 in the nation going into the upcoming season.
In fact, this comes after Goodman listed the Wildcats at No. 23 overall in his previous rankings, meaning he believes UK somehow got worse after adding Sarr.
Here was his ranking and roster breakdown:
Last Season: 25-6, 15-3 in SEC
Lose (8): G Immanuel Quickley* (NBA Draft, 16.1 ppg), G Tyrese Maxey* (NBA Draft, 14.0 ppg), PF Nick Richards* (NBA Draft, 14.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg), PG Ashton Hagans* (NBA Draft, 11.5 ppg), PF EJ Montgomery* (NBA Draft, 6.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg), C Nate Sestina (5.8 ppg), F Kahlil Whitney (NBA Draft, 3.3 ppg), SG Johnny Juzang (transferred to UCLA, 2.9 ppg)
Starters Back: None
Other Returners (1): F Keion Brooks Jr. (Soph., 4.5 ppg)
Redshirted (1): G Dontaie Allen (RS Fr.)
Eligible Transfers (1): G Davion Mintz (Creighton, Grad, DNP)
Potential Sit-Out Transfers (2): C Olivier Sarr (Wake Forest, Jr., 13.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg), F Jacob Toppin (URI, Soph., 5.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg)
Add (6): SG-SF BJ Boston (No. 6), SG-SF Terrence Clarke (No. 8), PG Devin Askew (No. 25), PF Isaiah Jackson (No. 30), PF Lance Ware (No. 40), SF Cam’Ron Fletcher (No. 58)
In his previous update that had Kentucky listed at No. 23, Goodman said he would be more willing to move the Cats up a bit if they added an instant-impact piece in the frontcourt, but the pre-Sarr roster didn’t do much for him in the slightest.
“Big Blue Nation probably won’t be happy about my placement of the Kentucky Wildcats, but they have just one returnee from this past season, and that’s Keion Brooks and his 4.5 points per game,” he said. “They can move up if they can add a frontcourt grad transfer, but the current roster isn’t worthy of a top-20 ranking.”
To drive his point home even further at the time, Goodman said Kentucky fans should have been “ecstatic” that he had the Wildcats ranked where they were originally.
Honestly, with the current roster, Kentucky fans should be ecstatic that I have them at 23 right now. https://t.co/qcDfTM1n3E
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 23, 2020
Here is Goodman’s latest top-25 rankings heading into the 2020-21 season:
- Michigan State
- Texas Tech
- Arizona State
- West Virginia
- North Carolina
- Florida State
If you’re somehow dying to see the rest of the rankings, you can find them here.
(I won’t hold it against you if you’re not.)