Boasting the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, signing the No. 1 transfer on the market in Olivier Sarr, and returning former five-star prospect Keion Brooks Jr. are just a few reasons why Sports Illustrated has listed Kentucky as the No. 1 team in its SEC Summer Power Rankings.
Releasing its list of top schools in the conference on Friday, the Wildcats came in at No. 1 overall, finishing ahead of the likes of Florida, Tennessee, LSU and Arkansas.
Here is what Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo had to say about Kentucky in the update:
This season will bring Kentucky’s biggest roster overhaul in years, with only Keion Brooks expected back from last year’s rotation, and six freshmen and three transfers inbound. This, of course, guarantees nothing, but the talent alone gives the Wildcats a leg up on most of the conference. Expect newcomers B.J. Boston and Terrence Clarke to have the most responsibility out of the gate, before joining the one-and-done ranks. John Calipari was recently optimistic that grad transfer Olivier Sarr would be immediately eligible, which would be a huge boost to the rotation up front. In terms of talent, Kentucky sits in this top spot for now, but this may be a race that fluctuates heavily all season.
When asked just how well UK’s pieces fit together, Woo continued to stress that the roster turnover will be difficult for John Calipari and the UK coaching staff, adding that he has his questions about the unit as a whole.
Overall, though, it would be “hard to see this group totally falling flat.”
“John Calipari reeled in yet another big-time recruiting class, but it’s been a while since he dealt with this type of roster turnover, and his two most promising freshmen—B.J. Boston and Terrence Clarke—are both scorers used to having the ball in their hands,” Woo wrote. “Much was made of adding grad transfers Davion Mintz and Olivier Sarr, but it’s not like either player was dominant at his previous stop, and both have more to prove. If Devin Askew hits the ground running, his playmaking could do a lot for this group. The other freshmen—Isaiah Jackson, Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher—are further off from making serious contributions. At a glance, it’s unclear what this will look like, beyond Boston and Clarke taking turns hoisting jumpers. But it’s also hard to see this group totally falling flat.”
What does he feel about the other SEC schools? Check out the complete rankings below:
- South Carolina
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
- Mississippi State
What do you think of Sports Illustrated’s analysis of the young Wildcats?