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Rankings not Rivals' strong suit

Sea of Blue ran across this little nugget while surfing for UK hoops coverage:

8. Duke (61) 32-4

How could the young Blue Devils jump from No. 16 to the top ten? Look no further than incoming recruit Gerald Henderson. The prep star from the Philadelphia suburbs showed he had the makings of a star at the McDonald's All-Star game and will give coach Mike Krzyzewski the athletic wing he has been missing the last few seasons.

So which Duke is this bunch of 'experts' watching? The one with no true center except freshman stiff Greg Zoubek? Or maybe the one with a bench one deep?

Sorry, reading more you'll see it's yet another example of prognosticators -- in this case, the Rivals recruiting site, so they can be slightly forgiven -- overemphasizing the impact of incoming players.

This isn't to say that North Carolina's class doesn't put them in contention for early top 3 honors; ditto Ohio State. But every year the desire to translate high school All-American success into immediate collegiate success is too great. No one is worse at this than the Baldinator, Dick Vitale.

Duke will struggle initially to find its soul. You don't lose two All-Americans and not have troubles, especially when your replacements are not exactly of the same caliber.

Same goes for Texas and UCONN. It takes time to fill holes, generally speaking, so early season success really shouldn't be assumed.

This list isn't all bad, but it makes me itchy to compile my own, so I'll get back to you on that one ...

(By the way, Kentucky clocks in here at #25 ... which isn't necessarily wrong, but I'm guessing the lack of a 'name' recruit probably influences this more than any actual Rivals insight into the UK team.)