The college basketball season is right around the corner as BBN will get another sneak peek at the team for this season on Friday night for Big Blue Madness.
With the regular season less than one month away, ESPN released their latest preseason top 25 rankings with the road to the Final Four about to begin.
The Kansas Jayhawks held on to the No. 1 overall spot in the updated rankings as they brought in Hunter Dickinson and returned the trio of Dajuan Harris Jr., Kevin McCullar Jr., and K.J. Adams Jr.
Right behind them are the Duke Blue Devils, who returned a ton of talent from last year’s team with Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Mark Mitchell, and Kyle Filipowski all returning.
As for the Kentucky Wildcats, they rose from their previous ranking of No. 17, but not much, as they now sit at No. 15 overall. This is mostly due to the youth and inexperience of this roster entering the season.
“While questions remain over the experience and youth in this season’s Kentucky squad, there are no doubts about the talent level in Lexington. In ESPN’s 2024 mock draft, the Wildcats have two of the five highest-ranked college players (Justin Edwards, D.J. Wagner) and five players (Edwards, Wagner, Ugonna Onyenso, Aaron Bradshaw, Robert Dillingham) ranked inside the top 42 overall. That doesn’t include veterans Antonio Reeves or Tre Mitchell, who should both start for John Calipari this season.”
ESPN also predicted the starting lineup for each of the top 25 teams, and here is who they predict as the starters for John Calipari.
- D.J. Wagner (No. 4 in ESPN 100)
- Antonio Reeves (14.4 PPG)
- Justin Edwards (No. 3 in ESPN 100)
- Tre Mitchell (11.7 PPG at West Virginia)
- Ugonna Onyenso (2.5 PPG)
As for the rest of the SEC, here is who also cracked the top 25.
- Tennessee Volunteers (No. 8)
- Arkansas Razorbacks (No. 16)
- Texas A&M Aggies (No. 20)
- Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 22)
- Future SEC team Texas Longhorns came in at No. 21.
Both the Florida Gators and Auburn Tigers were listed as part of the first five to just miss the top 25.
You can check out ESPN’s entire top 25 and projected starters here.