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Kentucky Basketball: UK cracks the top 5 in CBS and ESPN preseason polls

And there could still be two HUGE additions to the roster.

Kansas State v Kentucky Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I know, I know. It’s June. But with college basketball rosters around the country finally starting to settle around Wednesday’s NBA Draft deadline, new NCAA polls are coming out for the 2018-2019 season.

While there is variation in the top 25 in each poll, blue bloods are dominating the top spots. After PJ Washington announced his return, the Kentucky Wildcats seem to have solidified their position in the top 5 across the board, coming in at No. 4 on the CBS poll and No. 3 on ESPN.

Of course, many believe that Kentucky’s roster is not yet complete. 5-star 2019 guard Ashton Hagans is expected to reclassify, and Stanford transfer Reid Travis is rumored to be a near lock to join the Wildcats.

Even without these two studs on the roster, Gary Parrish at CBS has a lot of faith in UK.

“Two of the top five scorers -- specifically PJ Washington and Quade Green -- are back from a team that advanced to the Sweet 16. Combine that with the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class (that will improve if/when five-star Class of 2019 guard Ashton Hagans reclassifies), and the Wildcats are worthy of yet another preseason top-five rating. And if Stanford transfer Travis Reid enrolls, as expected, watch out. A second national title is in play for John Calipari.”

The top 5 on the CBS poll looks like this:

  1. Kansas
  2. Duke
  3. Tennessee
  4. Kentucky
  5. Gonzaga

Myron Metcalf at ESPN is also all-in on the Wildcats.

“The Wildcats remain this high even with so many departures. Why? Calipari added five-star big man E.J. Montgomery. He’ll join PJ Washington, the Wildcats’ leading rebounder, who withdrew from the draft.

Ashton Hagans, a five-star wing, is expected to reclassify to 2018. He would join ESPN’s second-ranked class, which already features standouts Immanuel Quickley and Keldon Johnson, both five-star perimeter players.

And follow the rumors about Stanford’s Reid Travis, a first-team All-Pac-12 selection who could join the Wildcats as a grad transfer. They’re young. They’re talented. That’s Kentucky.”

Metcalf has the same top 5 programs, with a slightly different order.

  1. Kansas
  2. Duke
  3. Kentucky
  4. Gonzaga
  5. Tennessee

Kentucky is often in the conversation for the top spot in preseason polls, and the Wildcats usually hit some growing pains before finding their footing in March. Although, there have been exceptions.

Could this year be different? Could this team with a blend of veterans and young talent stay on top of the polls and compete for a title?

Or is it too soon to get our hopes up?