The Kentucky Wildcats have completely reloaded for next season and the Cats were recently named the most improved team in 2021 according to CBS.
However, CBS isn’t the only national media high on the Cats as ESPN’s Jeff Borzello believes the Cats are a top 10 team.
In his latest Way-Too-Early top 25, Borzello has the Cats a No. 9 in the country even with Davion Mintz’s decision up in the air.
“John Calipari will have plenty of different lineups to play with next season, especially if Davion Mintz opts to return to Lexington for another season. Without Mintz, though, I still think Calipari will look to go with the two-headed playmaking backcourt of Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler and five-star freshman TyTy Washington. Wheeler is an excellent distributor who can also get his own shot, while Washington has good size and likes to get into the lane to score. The two can certainly coexist in the backcourt together.”
He continued, “With shooting an issue last season, Davidson transfer Kellan Grady should get the nod on the wing, but Iowa transfer CJ Fredrick was one of the elite shooters in college basketball last season and will have an extensive role. Up front, Calipari has the most returning experience, with Keion Brooks a double-figure scorer and Jacob Toppin and Lance Ware seeing minutes late in the season. On top of that, West Virginia transfer Oscar Tshiebwe was the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year last fall before struggling, while five-star Daimion Collins will provide a defensive spark and Bryce Hopkins will get minutes as well. Talent and depth won’t be an issue.”
As for Borzello’s projected starters, he predicts Sahvir Wheeler, TyTy Washington, Kellan Grady, Keion Brooks, and Oscar Tshiebwe.
However, the possibilities of Mintz returning and Jalen Duren reclassifying to 2021 and coming to Kentucky would no doubt move the Cats up in the rankings and mix up the projected starting lineup.
You can see Borzello’s entire Way-Too-Early top 25 here.