As we inch closer and closer to the season’s start, the national media is reevaluating their Top 25 rankings. After having Kentucky third behind Duke and Villanova for the majority of the offseason, ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan moved the Cats up to #2 to reflect the news that Villanova’s five-star freshman Omari Spellman is ineligible this season.
2. Kentucky Wildcats
Duke hoovered up the Nos. 1, 3, 10 and 16 prospects in a loaded incoming class … and ended up No. 2 in the ESPN Recruiting Nation rankings. That shouldn’t be possible, but such is life in the John Calipari era. The names change (goodbye Jamal Murray, hello to Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk!), but the pattern remains the same: Future pros show up, Calipari gels said future pros into a formidable unit in mere months, rinse, repeat. Which is why a team with so little left from last season’s roster (save Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis and Isaac Humphries) can be conservatively penciled in as one of the nation’s best four or five squads — if not by November, then by March.
The rest of the top ten:
6. North Carolina
10. Michigan State
Louisville and UCLA, UK’s other opponents in the top 25, come in at no. 14 and no. 24, respectively.