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Thread: Wildcats Preseason Ranking/Discussion

  1. #1
    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Wildcats Preseason Ranking/Discussion

    Wildcats Ranked Tenth in ESPN/USA Today Preseason Poll

    The Kentucky menís basketball team is again ranked among the nationís elite programs, coming in at No. 10 on the seasonís first ESPN/USA Today Coachesí poll, released Thursday.
    Duke was voted first in the preseason poll with 28 first-place votes. Connecticut was ranked second, while Kentuckyís potential Guardianís Classic opponent Texas was No. 3. Villanova and Michigan State rounded out the top five. Alabama was the only other Southeastern Conference school ranked in the poll (14th).

    The Wildcats, who went 28-6 in 2004-05 and lost a heartbreaking double-overtime to game to Michigan State in the Elite Eight, return the nationís top backcourt in guards Patrick Sparks and Rajon Rondo. Sparks is the Wildcatsí returning leading scorer, averaging 11.0 ppg in his junior season. Rondo, who set the school steals record (87) as a freshman, was named a preseason All-SEC first-team selection in the media vote Thursday.

    In addition to Sparks and Rondo, UK returns an arsenal of guards with experience. Seniors Ravi Moss, Brandon Stockton and Preston LeMaster join sophomores Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley and freshman Adam Williams looks to get in the mix this season as well.

    Kentuckyís frontcourt boasts three seven-footers in juniors Shagari Alleyne and Lukasz Obrzut and newcomer Jared Carter. Joining the big men on the front line are junior forwards Sheray Thomas and Bobby Perry and junior college transfer Rekalin Sims, who has the ability and experience to make an immediate impact for the Wildcats.

    The Wildcats will be without the services Kelenna Azubuike, UKís leading scorer with 14.7 ppg in 2005, and Chuck Hayes, the teamís leading rebounder for the past three seasons. The status of last yearís starting center Randolph Morris is still up in the air as Kentucky waits for a ruling on his eligibility from the NCAA. Morris declared for Juneís NBA Draft and failed to take his name out. He went undrafted and returned to UK in August. Morris has been participating in practice with the team since school began.
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  3. #2
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Wildcats Preseason Ranking/Discussion

    It seems that every season UK is somewhere around 10th-12th in the preseason poll, and then they manage to finish the season in the top four and with a #1 seed. When will the pollsters ever learn?

    Oh, and is it not Duke's birthright to be ranked #1 preseason? Could it ever be any other way?

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Wildcats Preseason Ranking/Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by WilyMoROCKS
    The Wildcats will be without the services Kelenna Azubuike, UKís leading scorer with 14.7 ppg in 2005, and Chuck Hayes, the teamís leading rebounder for the past three seasons. The status of last yearís starting center Randolph Morris is still up in the air as Kentucky waits for a ruling on his eligibility from the NCAA. Morris declared for Juneís NBA Draft and failed to take his name out. He went undrafted and returned to UK in August. Morris has been participating in practice with the team since school began.
    Until the NCAA gets off their collective backsides and rules on this matter, UK's ranking has a margin of error of (+/-) 5 spots in the poll. Most insiders think Morris will be back with the team in early December. I am not so sure. IMO, the longer they delay, the more punititive the NCAA will be with his reinstatement penalty.

    The NCAA has all of the information they need to issue a ruling. They have had this info since the summer; yet, it appears they are content to let Morris and UK simply twist in the wind.

    My guess is that Morris will be back on the squad by Christmas--essentially missing 10-12 games.
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    Re: Wildcats Preseason Ranking/Discussion

    Tubby has never had much luck with McDonalds All Americans. Prince and Bogans had the best impacts, but Marvin Stone turned into one of the biggest busts in recent memory. The jury is still out on Morris, but I see him being an improvement on last year just enough to get into the NBA Draft.

    Say what you want about Duke, but this IMO is the best Duke team to date, coming from a UK fan. This is the best mixture of veterans(JJ Redick, Sean Dockery, and Shelden Williams), and youth(Greg Paulus, Josh McRoberts, and Demarcus Nelson).

    Texas is a team that if everybody stays next season could be special. PJ Tucker, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Daniel Gibson are going to be great, but they are a year away. Add in Kevin Durant next year and they are my pick to win it all NEXT year.

    On a side note, UNC has loaded up in the class of 2006 with commitments from Tywon Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Brandan Wright, who are the top PG, SG, and PF in the nation respectively.
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    Re: Wildcats Preseason Ranking/Discussion

    This is about right for UK. They have some questions marks especially with the uncertainty over Morris. Plus they are still kind of young relying on sophomores for the bulk of their scoring.
    I think Texas is really loaded and I would vote them number one. UK could play Texas if they both win out to the finals of the Guardians Classic. Also Texas plays Duke December 10th in New Jersey in what could be a great early season game!
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Re: Wildcats Preseason Ranking/Discussion

    Just a reminder to fellow UK fans, they play Northern State on Wednesday, and it will be on Fox Sports Ohio live at 7pm.
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