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Where Kentucky stands in updated preseason rankings after getting Sahvir Wheeler

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Kentucky is fluctuating between a top-10 and top-20 team.

NCAA Basketball: Louisiana State at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats landed Georgia Bulldogs transfer point guard Sahvir Wheeler on Monday, locking up their backcourt for the 2021-22 season. The addition of Wheeler gives Kentucky a true playmaker and distributor at the point guard position. Wheeler led the SEC in assists last season, as well as assist-to-turnover ratio.

Now that John Calipari has added almost every piece to his roster, Kentucky has made its way up the ranks since the additions of TyTy Washington and Wheeler.

Without Washington and Wheeler in the backcourt, Kentucky was seen as a fringe top-25 team, now they’re starting to make their way into the top-10.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium has bumped the Wildcats up to the No. 9 preseason ranking, in which he DOES have Keion Brooks returning but still waiting on the official decisions of Isaiah Jackson and Davion Mintz.

Last season was a disaster for John Calipari and the ‘Cats. Boston and Clarke didn’t live up to the hype and Askew struggled as a freshman point guard. There are still unanswered questions with the roster, but Cal has enough guys back that should take a jump, and he’s bringing in another highly rated group of frosh in addition to a trio of impact transfers in Tshiebwe, Grady and Fredrick.

Gary Parrish is a little more harsh on the Wildcats, as he has them ranked at No. 14. Interestingly enough, Parrish is expecting Mintz to not return to the Wildcats for next season. Parrish has Kentucky ranked behind two other SEC teams (Alabama No. 5, Arkansas No. 10.)

John Calipari has solved Kentucky’s point guard problems by adding five-star prospect TyTy Washington and Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler. Other additions like transfers Kellan Grady (Davidson), Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia) and CJ Frederick (Iowa) are what will give the Wildcats a chance to go from a losing season to a conference title.

Kentucky jumped only three spots with the addition of Wheeler in Parrish’s rankings.

Jon Rostein of College Hoops Today bumped Kentucky up to No. 17 in his preseason top 45 with this projected starting five:

  • G Sahvir Wheeler
  • G Kellan Grady
  • G CJ Fredrick
  • F Keion Brooks
  • C Oscar Tshiebwe

Rothstein also includes Isaiah Jackson and Davion Mintz in the “Expected Losses” group.

Kentucky is still waiting on official decisions from Jackson, Mintz and Keion Brooks. Where it stands now, things have been very quiet regarding Mintz.

Brooks is expected back, but nothing has been officially by Keion or the Kentucky basketball program. Isaiah Jackson is almost 99.9% gone.