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Where Kentucky stands in ESPN’s way-too-early top 25

Kentucky basketball can’t get here soon enough.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 17 Kentucky at Vanderbilt Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2020 sucked. And for Kentucky Wildcats basketball fans, that carried over into 2021. So all members of Big Blue Nation are so ready to move on to another season.

And despite the horrible performance in the 2020-2021 season, ESPN still has faith in the Wildcats going into next season.

Jeff Borzello released his way-too-early top 25 over on ESPN on Thursday. And although the Wildcats drastically under-performed this season, he seems to like the makeup of the 2021-2022 roster, ranking them 19th overall going into next season.

“Kentucky is used to big changes every spring and only three or four players are still locks to return to the roster next season,” Borzello wrote. “But this has felt different to past rebuilding and reloading efforts. John Calipari hit the portal early to land West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe and Davidson transfer Kellan Grady, both of whom should start immediately. But there’s also been changes on the coaching staff, with Tony Barbee leaving for the head job at Central Michigan and Joel Justus becoming Bobby Hurley’s top assistant at Arizona State. There has been some buzz surrounding Illinois assistants Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman as possible replacements; what would that mean for Kentucky’s pursuit of Illinois transfer Adam Miller? Devin Askew’s departure means Calipari needs another point guard and he’s been recruiting nearly every available high-level guard. UK is also in the mix for Iowa transfer CJ Fredrick, the best shooter in the portal. Then there’s the players in limbo: Davion Mintz and Isaiah Jackson. Kentucky’s roster is still very much in flux.”

There is a lot to be hopeful about for next season. But with so much uncertainty still surrounding the roster, and as we have seen uncertainty with performance, nobody knows what next season holds. But with so much talent already on the roster and John Calipari at the helm, you have to believe the program will get back on track sooner rather than later.

Read the rest of Borzello’s preseason rankings here.