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Mike DeCourcy thinks Louisville has more elite players than Kentucky

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The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy recently ranked the 50 best players in college basketball by position, and interestingly, Louisville had the most of any team, including Kentucky, with five. Kentucky came in second with four. Here’s his breakdown:

Chane Behanan
Luke Hancock
Montrezl Harrell
Chris Jones
Russ Smith

Willie Cauley-Stein (#3 center)
Andrew Harrison (#2 point guard)
Alex Poythress (#6 small forward)
Julius Randle (#3 power forward)

Aaron Gordon
T.J. McConnell
Kaleb Tarczewski

Rodney Hood
Jabari Parker
Rasheed Sulaimon

DaJuan Coleman
C.J. Fair
Jerami Grant

Now, I understand the hesitancy to put freshman on preseason lists because they haven’t played a college game yet, but considering the star power in UK’s freshman class, I’d put Aaron Harrison and maybe even James Young on that list as well. Something tells me this list will look MUCH different come April.

Check out DeCourcy’s full rankings here:

[Sporting News’ college basketball player rankings: Who has the most elite players?]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

59 Comments for Mike DeCourcy thinks Louisville has more elite players than Kentucky

  1. trey
    12:04 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    I find it hard to believe that Luke Hancock is that good. I’d say this is just another article to get more clicks.

  2. UpperSectionStudent
    12:04 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Luke Hancock? Chris Jones? Wut?

  3. M
    12:04 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    If James Young gets a chance to guard Hancock, let’s see how elite he is.

  4. Trollin
    12:06 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    If there ever was such a thing as an author troll this is a fine example… Dude cant’t be serious. Whatever we’ll see how “elite” they are when they’re cryin in the visitor’s locker room at Rupp because 8 freshmen and 2 sophomores ran them out of the gym… (let alone what the white boys will do to them when UK is up 30)

  5. anonymous
    12:07 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Luke Hancock has a torn achilles…hasn’t been reported. Look into it. I PROMISE

  6. M
    12:07 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    LH averaged 8 points, 2 boards and an assist last season shooting 40% from 3 and 42% overall. Yes he made a few big shots in the tournament, but to call him elite is an absolute joke. If James Young wants to lock him down, he will.

  7. Jesus
    12:10 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    After reading this article all I can think is [insert cliched ‘Billy Madison’ response here]. May god have mercy on your soul, Mike DeCourcy.

  8. M
    12:11 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    To add to this, Chris Jones played JuCo ball. Let’s slow our roll a bit on him. Young, Lee, Dakari, and Aaron were all rated much higher than him coming out of high school. Granted he may have improved, but still, how was the competition he was facing?

  9. psht
    12:15 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    You mean to tell me Hancock made this list and not polson? What a joke.

  10. Mike DeCourcy
    12:16 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    LOL! Luke Hanc ock, and elite. Ok. Good way to get clicks from UK fans, so I added him and Chris Jones to the list.

  11. Awaiting Moderation
    12:17 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    It’s funny that the name Hanc ock triggers moderation.

  12. AnthonyBBN
    12:23 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    I really do believe the Mich State, Louisville, and UNC games are going to be the only 3 games before conference that will be decided by less than 15 points (I believe UK is favored in all but Mich ST, if that game happens in Dec it would be the other way), and of course same with FL at FL, UK beats them by 25 in Rupp.

  13. Teachable Mo'
    12:27 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Artificial controversy. Don’t be a sucker.

  14. Please
    12:30 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    This dude hates the Cats

  15. Well there is only one explanation...
    12:36 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    …Mike DeCourcy is on high on drugs

  16. James
    12:38 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    This is a joke. Luke Hancock? Chris Jones? That’s a crock.

    Aaron Harrison, James Young and Dakari Johnson aren’t elite? I like Decourcy usually, but c’mon man!!!

    Hancock had a sreak of lucky games. Wait until he has players with size AND speed guarding his a$$

  17. Oogie
    12:38 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Luke Hanckock elite? Chris Jones – he hasn’t played a college game. Looks like Mikey is just fishing for some BBN hits today.

  18. facts
    12:44 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Julius Mays hit more threes last year than both Russ Smith and Luke Handcock. For UL, Harrell is elite, the rest are 2nd and 3rd tier talent

  19. jpg
    12:44 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Luke Hancock and elite? That makes 0 sense! Chris Jones is elite as well? Is it not known by now that new PG struggle in Pitino’s system (look at history)? UK actually has 2 great bigs at the 5. Who is UL’s 5? I have heard that 6’7”-8” Harrell will be.

    DON’T CLICK ON IT. The dude is TROLLING!

  20. trey
    12:53 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    *another comment about Luke Hancock being awful and in no way deserving of this list*

    DeCourcey could be projecting him as a top 50 player based off supposed improvement from the tournament. But likely will not happen.

  21. BPM
    12:53 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Decourcy doesn’t hate the cats and is one of Calipari’s few, close friends in the media. The only problem I have with his rankings is him having Luke Hancock as an elite player. The guy was less than mediocre until March last year.

  22. Smurf Killa
    12:54 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Luke Hancock: ’13 Final Four MVP, big east regular season & tournament champ > Alex poythress: beat florida once, NIT appearance, choke artist

  23. Dave
    1:05 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    “Something tells me this list will look much different in April.”

    Just like you said after UK lost to Duke this year, “we know who the better team will be in March.”

    LOL.. How did that work out for ya, sandwich artist?

  24. Smurf Killa
    1:08 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    How does Alex poythress and wille cauley-stein get put on this list? They were mediocre up until…..well they were mediocre in the NIT too…

  25. Clifford the Big Red Dog Killa
    1:10 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Luke Hanc ock has a good final 4 against Wichita State and Michigan and is elite after averaging 8 points and 2 boards for the entire season? Ok, lol. Adding that they were Big East regular season and tournament champs means nothing. Seriously, if I was a UL fan, I’d still think this was dumb. Sometimes you have to remove the blinders.

  26. Han
    1:10 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Oh how I wish refs would call the non-stop hand checking and holds on Louisville that they get away with. Do that, and we’ll see how elite they are.

    Once our guys start flying to the rim, we’re gonna see hard fouls, especially from a team like UL. It’s on the refs to actually enforce the rules in place to protect players.

  27. Clifford the Big Red Dog Killa
    1:15 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Wow, one of Louisville’s best teams of all-time beat an NIT bound UK by 3 at home. Crazy. Then UL fans make fun of UK, (which I get), while conveniently forgetting that Pitino has taken them to 2 NIT’s. I’m sure there were plenty of UK fans making fun of them back then so maybe this is their chance for redemption. Just a few more weeks left to use it though.

    Can’t wait for the game agains them in December.

  28. Tsnmike
    1:16 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Hmmm … Was I also hating on Kentucky when I helped pick them No. 1 in our preseason top 25?

  29. jpg
    1:16 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    23, Luke Hancock: 8 points and 2 rebounds a game last year. Not Elite!

    24. UK actually has a bench with some experience this year. Last season it was all new comers, with no bench and a season ending injury to UK’s best player (Nerlens Noel).

    25. How many NIT’s has UL been to under Pitino? How about 1st round exits? It took UL 12 years to get that championship under Ol’ Ricky.

  30. Toothy Birds Don't Exist
    1:17 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Lol, Louisville finally beats us once after we beat them 4 times in a row (including tossing them from the FF) and all they can do is come here and talk about last year like they’re some sort of dynasty and we’re NIT regulars. Oh it just makes our Dec meeting that much better…after we smack them around Rupp they won’t be able to come around here again until football season.

  31. Smurf Killa
    1:21 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    #26 so when does winning when it COUNTS on the BIGGEST stage not count? That’s when you separate the men from the boys, and Luke outshines them all. So until you kitties can prove otherwise, your still the losers who got beat in the NIT to a cigarette company..

  32. jpg
    1:26 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Louisville1Cal4 = L1C4…..UL beat our lowly UK team last year, that lost to Robert Morris, by an amazing 3 point at the YUM Center.

    How many NIT’s has UL been to under Pitino?

  33. Wildcats with a shlong tongues are very real
    1:28 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Russ Smith has forgotten about more big games than the entire UK team has played..

  34. Louisville1Cal4
    1:35 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    @32 It does count, but elite players don’t just shine on the biggest stage & the biggest stage only, they shine essentially every game. Luke didn’t come close to that, for more than half the season Card fans said Pitino may have made a mistake since he was inconsistent offensively & couldn’t defend at all.
    Luke got hot, that’s about all you can chalk if up to.
    You’ve went to two NITs with Pitino there genius & you have another 26 years at minimum to wait for your next title.
    Stop being ignorant & talking to your superiors as if you have more titles, cause 8 is much greater than 3 incase you have a hard time with numbers.

  35. Nuff Said
    1:35 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink


    Ok here is my thing….when you to saying someone is good is one thing….calling them ELITE is completely different. ELITE to me means Lottery/1st round pick in the NBA Draft…. so lets compare ELITE Players….

    Kentucky: NBA Projections
    Randle- Top 2
    Andrew Harrison- Top 5
    Aaron Harrison — 1st Round
    Dakari Johnson — Lottery Pick
    Willie Cauley Stein — Top 12
    James Young — Lottery Pick
    Alex Poythress — 1st Round

    Louisville NBA Projections:

    Chane Behanan — Late 2nd Round
    Luke H — No projection
    Montrezl Harrell — Late 1st round, Early 2nd
    Chris Jones — No Projection
    Russ Smith — 2nd Round

    How exactly does that translate to UL>UK?

  36. Brian
    1:40 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Lets wait until the NBA draft and then we will see who has the most elite players!

  37. Tsnmike
    1:43 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    It was stated quite clearly in the article that it was not about NBA draft evaluation. Also, UK was rated No. 1 in our preseason top 25 and UL was No. 3. Both clearly stated.

  38. Louisville1Cal4
    1:45 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    @36 Harrell will most likely be a lottery pick unless he has a bad year or Pitino holds him back for his own selfish benefit (as he’s done with so many).
    Behanen should go in the 2nd but that’s about it.
    Smith’ best chance at going to the pros ended when he decided to come back, the draft will be too talented for him to find a spot this season sadly unless he’s literally one of the last picks.

  39. L1C4 is Lame
    1:48 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Luke hancock???? Worst mop ever!!!! Dude is a scrub!!!!

  40. jpg
    1:52 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    The 1 player I will say is elite by NBA draft possibilities is Harrell. I like the kids motor, and he is athletic with a great frame. Russ also has the New York street ball gun slinger mentality.

    After that, though, they are not that elite. Chane Behannan is going to have fun playing against a taller and more athletic Randle.

  41. Mc
    1:54 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t think most people think you’re completely biased against UK in anyway. Many sites have UK ranked #1. I think people are more surprised that a player that is below average on defense, that shoots a decent clip from 3 (40%), many while being wide open, that is mediocre in basically all areas of the game other than shooting (which I’ll consider 40% to be solid not great) is considered elite.

    I want you to pay close attention to how well he does when James Young is locked up on him in December. Young will shoot 40% from 3 this season, is a good rebounder for his position, can play solid defense, and is extremely athletic. Using Luke Hanc ock and elite in the same sentence doesn’t bring much credibility.

    Also Chris Jones was a 4 star player ranked in the 40s out of high school. I know ratings don’t really matter, but he hasn’t played D-1 talent yet. We’ll see how he does in December.

  42. Smurf Killa
    2:02 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    #42 I love how you just know what the kids field goal percentage before he’s even played a game. And how are you really gonna say “he hasn’t played D-1 ball yet” with a straight face? You just predicted a guys stat line before he’s even played in college? You are hypocritical to say the least..

  43. STEVE!
    2:05 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    36 Nuff Said. Stop trying to use logic and facts to argue with Card fans. It’s unfair and like dueling with an unarmed man. Shame on you.

  44. I wonder how this will effect K. Ware’s progress?

  45. Mc
    2:17 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    I think Young is very well capable of shooting 40+% from 3 next season. That’s not some crazy, out of this world prediction. DeCoursey is projecting players out based on guesses for next season too. I know Young is more athletic, and a better rebounder and passer than Hanc ock.

    Chris Jones was a 4 star, ranked in the 40s that played against teams called:
    Iowa Western Community College, Vincennes University, New Mexico Junior College, USC ,Salkehatchie, Albany Technical College, Snead State Community College, Chipola College, Gadsden State Community College…and he’s elite based on this? Come on now.

  46. Mc
    2:20 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    I’d think with his quickness against scrub teams like that, that he could shoot over 40% but I guess not lol.
    I hope his post defense is good too, because Cal said that Andrew is decent in the post. Being 7 inches taller than Jones, I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes.

  47. Louisville1Cal4
    2:30 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    @43 Because JUCO isn’t D-1 & he hasn’t been at at D-1 university until now? Lmao

  48. BPM
    2:36 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    I will say this, with the schedule UL plays this year all of their players will seem elite.

  49. MustangCat
    3:29 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Well, i got my laugh for the day!! UL wins the title in 2013. Ok?! Can we say (all together now) “THE FIX WAS ON!!!!”. Pitino and company BOUGHT AND PAID FOR that title last year. That was painfully obvious. Wichita St had them on the ropes, and the refs came out of a TO, and CALLED A FOUL FROM THE REPLAYS!??? Not to mention it was so shocking of a call that UL FANS where i was were stunned in disbelief!! Van Treese should have been ejected on the spot, and WSU should have had 4 ft’s and the ball. Kid that got fouled was an 80%+ ft shooter, and they were under 4 minutes to go i think?! Or thereabouts. That was one of the most blatant, obvious fixed game calls that i have EVER SEEN!!! Period! They call a foul to offset, because the kid has his arm across of VT’s back?! I’d bet anyone any amount of money that they couldn’t re-enact that scene and the kid gettin almost DECAPITATED wouldn’t have both arms react that way, out of purely REFLEX ACTION. Replays showed clearly that VT hit the kid square in the face – intentionally. Roy Williams first title at NC was almost as bad as far as the fix is concerned. Not quite, but almost. The powers that be wanted Pitino to win last year, for obvious reasons, and I’m sure Ricky paid them handsomely for that title.

  50. FatBlueKid
    4:00 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Just something by DeCourcey to get us riled up. Yes like an above poster metioned. Mafia scum is hiding the fact that Hancock may never play another game. He tore up his knee pretty bad. IT would not matter anyway. Trust me without Dieng. They are a fringe Top 20 team. They have zero inside presence. It would be disturbing if we don’t beat them by 20+ this year at home. I hate City Scum more than anything on the dace of this earth but Dieng was good and I liked him and Siva as people. Now all they have is ghetto thugs like they usually do. Trust me they ain’t no good

  51. mr self destruct
    4:17 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Smurf Killa probably tucks it, dresses in his mamma’s clothes and trolls the Italian restaurants around Louisville hoping Ricky 15 sceonds will pick him up. Oh, and anyone who seriously thinks Luke H. is elite is not very intelligent, and should not be analyzing anything and writing about it for a living. That is all.

  52. jrc
    4:34 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    I’m ok with McDermott ranked ahead of Randle as the best power forward because he’s proven himself. But Jabari Parker?? A. He’s not better than Randle and B. He’s not even a Power Forward

  53. pr
    5:16 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Someone please tell me this isn’t decourcy that played for uk back in the horrible days. Curly head boy? If so, why would we care what he thinks. This dude barely even played at uk. Please like he knows…

  54. BigBlueVein
    5:26 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Mustang cat……I like the way you think.

  55. HahaSmurfKilla
    7:21 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Haha please continue to display how much of an idiot you are. Everybody laughs at tard fans. Please check in after we whoop that stupid a**.

  56. KT
    8:24 pm September 25, 2013 Permalink

    Louisville, REALLY?! Not a chance. I’m fine with comments like that, let them get bigheaded thinking they are something they aren’t we’ll expose them in December. Besides, it will be more fun crushing them after months of listening to stupid statements like that.

  57. bigcatstanding
    1:35 am September 26, 2013 Permalink

    just some really good bulletin board material, put this on the board along with the rest from hate UK USA, and the beatdown on December the 28th will only prove to these idiots how stupid they are. sounds like he has little man syndrome, along with every little man he name from Louisville. BBN IS CBB. PS. I do also agree that this is just to help with having more hits!!!

  58. bigcatstanding
    1:40 am September 26, 2013 Permalink

    one more thing to add, it’s great they are picking Louisville to have the better talent, because it won’t allow them to say how great rick has done while at the same time how poor a coach Calipari is.

  59. Dylan
    8:51 am September 26, 2013 Permalink

    Mike Decoury was also higher than a kite when he ranked the players.