Pretty much every year under John Calipari, the Kentucky Wildcats begin the season as a top-five team.
One would think that’d be the case again this year with the roster Calipari has assembled, which includes:
- A top-five recruit in Brandon Boston Jr.
- A top-10 recruit in Terrence Clarke
- An All-ACC performer in Olivier Sarr
- A former five-star recruit returning for his sophomore year in Keion Brooks Jr.
- Former Creighton point guard Davion Mintz, who’s started 79 career games
- A five-star point guard in Devin Askew
- A five-star forward in Isaiah Jackson
- And most importantly, a Hall of Fame head coach averaging 30 wins per season at Kentucky with seven Elite Eight berths, four trips to the Final Four, and the 2012 National Championship.
So yeah, you’d think Kentucky would once again be, at worse, a preseason top-10 team.
Don’t tell Gary Parrish that.
Over at CBS Sports, Parrish updated his preseason Top 25 and 1, where the Wildcats came in at 13th overall. Among the teams he has ahead of Kentucky include Tennessee, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Creighton, Illinois and Iowa.
Could all of those teams end up being better than Kentucky?
Based on track records and just the sheer amount of talent on the Wildcats’ roster, should we expect all of them to be better?
Here’s what Parrish has to say about Kentucky:
The Wildcats are losing the top six scorers from a team that won the SEC by multiple games - most notably SEC Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley and projected first-round pick Tyrese Maxey. That’s rough. But if any program is built to overcome these departures, it’s the one that has enrolled the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class featuring five-star guards Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston and Devin Askew. So UK will look very different, sure. But John Calipari still has the talent necessary to compete for what would be his seventh SEC regular-season title in 12 years in the league.