Kentucky basketball is being disrespected by the national media

Kentucky is one of the most slept on teams in college basketball.
University of Kentucky’s new men’s basketball coach Mark Pope applauds as Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart introduces him to the thousands of fans in Rupp Arena for his press conference on Sunday, April 14, 2024.
University of Kentucky’s new men’s basketball coach Mark Pope applauds as Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart introduces him to the thousands of fans in Rupp Arena for his press conference on Sunday, April 14, 2024. / Clare Grant/Courier Journal / USA TODAY
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The 2024-25 college basketball season is going to be an interesting one as there was a lot of shake-up head coaching-wise, especially in the SEC. John Calipari left for Arkansas, and Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart hired Mark Pope to be Kentucky's new head basketball coach.

Coach Pope had to rebuild the roster this offseason as last year's roster, and almost all of the recruiting class is gone. He did this by adding experienced veteran players from the portal.

When looking at teams that make Final Four runs over the last few years, these teams often have a lot of older players who have played multiple years of college basketball. Coach Pope took this blueprint, putting together his first roster as Kentucky's head basketball coach, as his transfer portal class is full of players who have played a lot of college hoops.

This is why it makes little sense that Kentucky isn't a team that ranked in many way too early top 25 lists. This is a top 25 potentially top 15 roster, but most ranking lists don't even have the Wildcats listed.

This should not concern Big Blue Nation, as this team has the perfect mix of offense, defense, and depth that will help them compete in the SEC and hopefully make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

Preseason rankings lists don't matter, especially to the players. It could be used as bulletin board material for Coach Pope's team when the season rolls around. This team will be ranked much higher at the end of the season.


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Andrew Stefaniak

ANDREW STEFANIAK