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Kentucky ranked in the top 5 of ESPN’s way-too-early 2020-21 rankings

The Cats have another loaded recruiting class coming in, and possibly several returning veterans.

A Sea of Blue

With the college basketball season over, we are all looking forward to next season and next season’s Kentucky Wildcats squad. However, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding next season’s team, such as who will stay and who will go? And also, will we even have a college season next year?

ESPN’s Jeff Borzello released his way-too-early rankings for next season and Kentucky comes in at No. 5:

5. Kentucky Wildcats

This might be the team with the most up in the air in terms of the NBA draft. As a projected lottery pick, Tyrese Maxey is likely to go pro. But Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards and Immanuel Quickley are all ranked in the Nos. 45-60 range in ESPN’s NBA draft rankings — so all three could go either way. Richards and Quickley were two of the best players in the SEC this season, with both enjoying breakout campaigns. Hagans is an elite defensive point guard who had some offensive inconsistencies late in the season. And here’s a surprise: John Calipari is bringing in the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Five-star wings B.J. Boston and Terrence Clarke could start immediately, and five-star point guard Devin Askew will step in if Hagans leaves. Four-star Isaiah Jackson will provide some rim protection. Kentucky could theoretically be the preseason No. 1 if everyone returns, but there’s a lot left to play out in Lexington.

If Kentucky gets a surprise EJ Montgomery or Immanuel Quickley return, or even both, they could easily start the season as the preseason No. 1 team. Either way, Kentucky is one big man away from bringing back a dangerous team next year and competing for yet another national title.

Ahead of Kentucky was (1) Villanova, (2) Creighton, (3) Gonzaga, and (4) Baylor. Duke falls just one spot behind Kentucky at No. 6, and (7) Iowa, (8) Virginia, (9) Michigan State, and (10) Kansas round out the top-10.