Without having any games even played yet to help make this ranking feel justified, ESPN has put out their final preseason top twenty-five rankings for college basketball. I guess that's what you get when they call it a 'Way Too Early' ranking of the teams, because honestly, these rankings don't matter a bit but they're fun to take a peak at. And it's (finally) basketball news, so let's report it.
With the transfer portal being as active as ever and granting players immediate eligibility when transferring to another program, college basketball is completely turned upside down. It's hard to project what teams will do, hard to rank them correctly, and it leaves many question marks on what they will end up becoming after a few months of the regular season has passed us by. All I know is, one thing you can have a good idea about is the recruiting class rankings, and Kentucky's got No. 1 locked up so that's the only near-definitive measure I'd be comfortable going off of. Looks like these voters disagree with me, because I would have my rankings nowhere near these.
ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top-25
The Cats sit towards the middle of the pack ranked at 15th, right behind the Tarheels and ultimately the last of the blue-blood programs, which isn't a good look. But again, let's not put too much stake into these literal way-too-early of rankings. They are what they are. I could sit here argue for a variety of reasons on how this is laid out, but I think we'd just be wasting our time. I'd like to believe that the reasoning in letting Kentucky drop this low is due to head-scratching postseason turnouts in the past few seasons, even though those has nothing to do with this team.
Kentucky has a loaded group of freshmen coming in and let's not forget, this type of roster is the exact kind of players that Calipari has had his success with here. Then you group in with them veteran superstar Antonio Reeves and an exciting portal addition in Tre Mitchell, I'm feeling pretty secure with who is on this team as we approach the actual season. I won't be losing any sleep seeing Kentucky at fifteenth.
To read the rest of rankings that list 16-25, click here to read ESPN's article. If not, see you at Big Blue Madness this weekend to see what this team actually looks like in person and not by the national media.