Kentucky was the overwhelming choice as the No. 1 team in the preseason Coaches Poll released Thursday.

By SI Wire
October 16, 2014

Kentucky was the overwhelming choice as the No. 1 team in the preseason Coaches Poll released Thursday.

The Wildcats, the defending national runner-ups, received 24 of a possible 32 first-place votes, and no other team received more than three.

They were followed in the top five by Arizona, Duke, Wisconsin and Kansas, and North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Louisville and Texas rounded out the top 10.

Wichita State, which started last season 35-0 before falling to Kentucky in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament, came in No. 11. Defending national champion UConn, which has to replace star point guard Shabazz Napier, is No. 15.

WINN/HANNER: Two Gators top list of projected breakout players

Though Kentucky loses NBA first-round draft picks Julius Randle and James Young off last season's team, the Wildcats bring back every other major contributor, including guards Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison, center Willie Cauley-Stein, forward Alex Poythress and center Dakari Johnson. Head coach John Calipari also brought in another star-filled recruiting class headlined by center Karl Towns Jr.

Arizona loses Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon but returns players such Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley and brings in freshman phenom Stanley Johnson. Duke will feature consensus No. 1 recruit Jahlil Okafor, Wisconsin was recently picked unanimously to win the Big Ten. The Jayhawks were voted into the top five despite losing top-three NBA picks Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid.

The Big Ten has more teams in the poll than any other conference, with six. The ACC is second with five teams, and the Big 12 is next with four teams.

•​ DAVIS: How Midnight Madness was born

The college basketball season begins in November.

Ben Estes

You May Like