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Kentucky falls just outside top 10 of first 2020-21 KenPom rankings

KenPom isn’t very high on the SEC overall.

Devin Askew UK Athletics

We are less than a month away from the beginning of the 2020-2021 college basketball season. What will it look like once we get into it?

That remains to be seen. But for now, we should all just be happy to have Kentucky’s favorite sport on the horizon.

Looking ahead to the season, preseason rankings and ratings are starting to firm up as rosters are pretty well set. Earlier this week, the preseason KenPom rankings were released. The Kentucky Wildcats will begin the year at No. 11.

KenPom Preseason Top 10

  1. Baylor Bears
  2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  3. Duke Blue Devils
  4. Villanova Wildcats
  5. Kansas Jayhawks
  6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  7. Wisconsin Badgers
  8. West Virginia Mountaineers
  9. Texas Longhorns
  10. Ohio State Buckeyes

The KenPom rankings are based on analytics that factor in strength of schedule, advanced offensive and defensive ratings, and it is based on predicting outcomes against “average” Division I teams.

Some are staunchly loyal to the KenPom ranking system, where others believe that it does not capture the full picture of a team’s ability and potential. Comparing that with standard polls that mostly rely on the eye test, though, at least there should be less bias in an analytics-based system.

But the Cats aren’t the only SEC team that KenPom is undervaluing compared to other preseason rankings. Kentucky is joined in the top 25 by Tennessee (No. 20) and Florida (No. 24) to represent the SEC. The next conference representative is LSU at No. 37.

Do you put more value in poll rankings, or do you appreciate rankings based on statistical performance?