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Kentucky moves up in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25

The college basketball prognosticators are prepared for the 2019-20 basketball season.

Aside from a few late movers, like Kerry Blackshear Jr., college basketball rosters are set across the country following last week’s NBA Draft withdrawal deadline. With the return of Nick Richards and E.J. Montgomery, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello moved the Cats up one spot to No. 2, behind only Michigan State.

Kentucky is bidding farewell to four starters, with PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro all leaving early for the NBA and Reid Travis graduating — but the Wildcats received huge news near the NBA draft deadline, when EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards decided to return to Lexington. With those two providing depth up front, John Calipari has plenty of depth and options throughout his roster. Ashton Hagans is an elite defensive guard; five-stars Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney will push for starting jobs; and Bucknell graduate transfer Nate Sestina and late signee Johnny Juzang bring shooting.

Following UK on the list you will find Kansas, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Villanova, Maryland and Texas Tech.

ESPN was one of the last to update their preseason Top 25, but it falls right in line with where the rest of the country believes Kentucky belongs entering the 2019-20 season.



Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

8 Comments for Kentucky moves up in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25

  1. UKinmyblood
    11:08 am June 7, 2019 Permalink

    Of course we play Michigan State right off the bat, we will get an opportunity to avenge the Duke cluster**** and set the tone for season. But it will arguably be our toughest game of the year. Welcome to the big time freshmen !!

    • Han
      1:13 pm June 7, 2019 Permalink

      One thing’s for sure, Cal, Ashton, Immanuel, Nick and EJ all have no excuses if they go into that MSU game and aren’t ready. Duke should’ve wiped that notion from their heads last year.

  2. KYjellyRoll
    11:11 am June 7, 2019 Permalink

    NBC sports has UK at #2

  3. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    11:20 am June 7, 2019 Permalink

    People are sleeping on Keion Brooks!

    11:52 am June 7, 2019 Permalink

    Don’t get the love for UL? Please show me where mack has ever done anything significant? The best he’s ever done ended in the second biggest upset of the tourney. Has Virginia not lost to a sixteen, he’d been this biggest upset of that year. Terrible record against rivals, terrible tourney record, vs top 25 is not real impressive. And seriously, they don’t have a point gaurd or an impact player coming in. Decent class, but no one that can make a huge difference. A hair better than last year when it’s all said and done. They may win some games, but once again, mack won’t make it out of the first weekend.

    • Catsfan1715
      11:58 am June 7, 2019 Permalink

      Not sure if you’ve seen Williamson play but he’s definitely a difference maker. He’s a big guard that can score. Plus they return all contributing players from last year. Not saying they’re deserving of #5 but they will have a much improved team next year. Should give us a quality win at home. Can’t argue with you about Mack, time will tell. I for one am glad they’re somewhat turning around I don’t wanna play a cupcake for a rival every year.

  5. bigbluenationmbb
    12:22 pm June 7, 2019 Permalink

    Hopefully we can get Kerry it makes this team a championship caliber team and Jordan brown is out of the picture going to Arizona

    • Han
      1:15 pm June 7, 2019 Permalink

      Brown was gonna have to sit out anyway.

      This year’s best case scenario is Blackshear, but we could still add a reclassify for depth, too.