Former ESPN and CBS Sports writer (and John Calipari superfan) Jeff Goodman has a new home at Stadium, and one of his first acts as a member of their staff was to create a 2018-2019 preseason basketball ranking.
While Kentucky fans do not always agree with his takes, they have to be pleased with this particular ranking as the Kentucky Wildcats come in at No. 1. Goodman’s top 25 also includes 3 SEC teams listed in the top 10.
Stadium College Basketball Top 25 Poll
- Kentucky Wildcats
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Duke Blue Devils
- Gonzaga Bulldogs
- Virginia Cavaliers
- Nevada Wolf Pack
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Villanova Wildcats
- Tennessee Volunteers
- Auburn Tigers
Most polls agree that Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, and Gonzaga are the top teams in some order with the Jayhawks and Wildcats being the most common No. 1 selections.
While he has great things to say about all four of these programs, Goodman likes the Wildcats as the No. 1 team.
We’ll start with the point, where Green stuck around despite the addition of a pair of heralded frosh: Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans (who reclassified and committed late). PJ Washington and Nick Richards both return. They will be joined by EJ Montgomery and Reid Travis, a grad transfer who could be the difference-maker for the ‘Cats due to his experience and toughness. There are options on the wing for Calipari as well with a pair of freshmen: Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro. UK should also benefit from its preseason trip (and the added 10 practices) to the Bahamas.
As Goodman notes, this is one of the rare instances where Kentucky has a blend of strong returning players and uber-talented newcomers. Kansas has a similar makeup, but Kentucky’s diversity of talent will allow this Wildcats team to succeed in any style of play.
It is also important to recognize that Kentucky will play 6 games against the teams on this top 10 list, including two match-ups with Tennessee.
This UK team can certainly be a special group. The only other certainty is that they will have every opportunity to show exactly how special they can be.