We’re still about an hour and a half from the 2017-18 National Champion being crowned, yet we’ve already seen our first series of preseason rankings for the 2018-19 basketball season.
NBC Sports is the most prominent name to release their way-too-early rankings, and the Kentucky Wildcats are sitting pretty in the top five.
They expect Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, and Jarred Vanderbilt to leave, with everyone else returning. They obviously recognize the moving parts with this roster when it comes to NBA decisions, and they still don’t even recognize the potential recruits possibly added a bit later in Ashton Hagans, EJ Montgomery, Brandon Williams, etc.
Nonetheless, check out their analysis:
3. KENTUCKY WILDCATS
- Who’s gone: Kevin Knox*, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander*, Hamidou Diallo*, Jarred Vanderbilt*
- Who do they add: Immanuel Quickley, Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro
- Projected starting lineup: Immanuel Quickley, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, Wenyen Gabriel*, P.J. Washington*
As always, there are so many moving parts with this Kentucky team’s roster and who will end up leaving school. Everyone from Kentucky is going to declare, and at this point, I’m going to set the over-under for the number of players that leave at four: Knox, Gilgeous-Alexander, Diallo and Vanderbilt. We’ll see how that all plays out, but regardless of what happens, I think the combination of incoming backcourt talent and the remaining front court veterans is going to be a fun combination for Kentucky fans to watch.
Other notable rankings:
No. 1 Kansas
No. 4 Duke
No. 5 Tennessee
No. 7 Auburn
No. 11 North Carolina
No. 12 Louisville (lol)
No. 16 Mississippi State
No. 24 LSU
Five SEC teams listed, and four rivals beneath the Cats? I’ll take it.
You can check out the entire list and NBC’s analysis here.