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Thursday Headlines: Jay Bilas calls Kentucky the fastest team in the country

Bilas has high praise for the Cats.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois State at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Bilas has recently given some praise for the Kentucky Basketball team, but recently, Bilas offered up even more positive comments about this year’s Wildcats squad.

Bilas, ranking the top 68 teams in college basketball in The Bilas Index, Vol II, ranked Kentucky 9th and had a lot of positive things to say about the Wildcats. Most notably, he said he thinks Kentucky is the fastest team in the country when getting out in transition.

If Kentucky defends and rebounds, this is the fastest team in the country. The Wildcats are deadly in transition, whether after a make or a miss. John Calipari has a group of players who can all dribble, pass and shoot, and this young team takes care of the ball like few others Cal has had in Lexington. The Wildcats are second in the nation in assist-turnover ratio and turnover percentage, and they lead the SEC in fewest turnovers and turnover margin.

And Bilas also had a lot of praise for Kentucky’s veteran players, Antonio Reeves and Tre Mitchell, while also noting that this team hasn’t really reached its ceiling as guys like Justin Edwards, Aaron Bradshaw, and Ugonna Onyenso continue to improve and find their footing.

Antonio Reeves has been consistently spectacular, and Tre Mitchell has been Kentucky’s most valuable player. As Justin Edwards improves and becomes more comfortable and big guys Aaron Bradshaw and Ugonna Onyenso get more minutes, Kentucky will contend. The young Wildcats grew up in the second half on the road at Florida, winning a game where most young teams would have crumbled.

Interestingly, Bilas has two other SEC teams ahead of Kentucky. Bilas ranked Tennessee 6th and Auburn 7th. He did, however, place Kentucky one spot ahead of Duke, who comes in at 10th.

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