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Dick Vitale raves about the Wildcats

There is a lot to like about this Wildcats team, as Dickie V points out.

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

We are just six weeks away from Big Blue Madness, and as excited as fans are about this year’s Kentucky Wildcats you can add one more voice to the hype train: Dick Vitale.

Vitale wrote about the Wildcats on Wednesday for ESPN, raving about the Wildcats’ potential. In context of how strong the SEC will be this season, Dickie V broke down the rosters of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Auburn who he believes will be top 10 teams this preseason.

What did Vitale like about this Kentucky team? Everything.

“John Calipari is reloading once again,” Vitale wrote. “Yes, he lost a lot of talent with Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel gone. He has experienced players returning like Quade Green, Nick Richards, PJ Washington, to name a few.”

But of course nobody can talk about a Calipari team in this era without discussing his new recruits.

“Point guard Ashton Hagans was a late addition to the recruiting class and he will be an impact performer,” he added. “In addition to Hagans, the Wildcats’ group of newcomers includes Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, E.J. Montgomery, walk-on Zan Payne and Immanuel Quickley. Herro and Johnson were impressive on an exhibition tour.”

While it seemed at times like Vitale was simply listing out the Wildcats’ roster, there is one player that he expects to contribute in ways the others cannot. That player is Reid Travis.

“The biggest addition is former Stanford standout Reid Travis, who should be a leader with vast experience. Travis is a force on the boards, a proven scorer and one of the premier All-Marco Polo transfers in the sport.”

Dickie V went on to say that Kentucky is a “national contender,” standing out as the best of what the improved SEC has to offer. And after the Wildcats’ performance in the Bahamas, it is tough to disagree with him.