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UK Hoops ranked 11th in preseason top 25 poll

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Rhyne Howard looks to lead the Wildcats to a deep NCAA Tournament run.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 07 SEC Women’s Tournament - Kentucky vs Mississippi State Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The attempt at getting sports back to “normal” is fully underway. The College Football season has kicked off, and other than a few hiccups, it’s been quite a successful start.

Now, it’s college basketball’s turn. There’s still a lot up in the air, but both the men’s and women’s season will start on November 25th.

This should be a really good season for the Lady Cats. While they did lose 5 seniors, they still have arguably the best player in the country in Junior Rhyne Howard. Howard averaged 23.5 PPG last season as a sophomore, having her way with defenses.

ESPN dropped their “Women’s college basketball’s Way-Too-Early Top 25” and they have the Cats ranked at 11th. Here’s what they had to say about the team:

“In a year of uncertainty, Wildcats coach Matthew Mitchell has one thing he can count on: having the best player on the floor in nearly every Kentucky game. Junior Rhyne Howard is a leading candidate for national player of the year after finishing second in the country in scoring (23.4 PPG). She also averaged 6.5 rebounds and made over three 3-pointers per game. Most of Howard’s offensive help will come from Chasity Patterson, who averaged 11.5 points per game after sitting out the first semester following her transfer from Texas. Kentucky lost five seniors, so Mitchell likely will have to get some production from the No. 14-rated recruiting class, headlined by top-30 recruit Treasure Hunt. Whatever success the Wildcats achieve this season, they could still be a year away from even bigger things. Transfers Robyn Benton (Auburn), Olivia Owens (Maryland) and Jazmine Massengill (Tennessee) all become eligible in 2021-22. — Creme”

This is one of the more exciting times we’ve seen for these Lady Cats in quite some time. Howard could potentially be the #1 pick in a future WNBA Draft, and the team was looking great before the NCAA Tournament got canceled last year.

There’s still a lot to be decided on both the men’s and women’s season, but, it’s looking more and more like things are going to work out for everyone.