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Kentucky Wildcats 12-Deep and Preseason No. 1

The Kentucky Wildcats are the No. 1 team in the AP Preseason poll in men’s college basketball for the 2014-2015 season. It seems to never change at Kentucky: Star players are lost to the NBA, replaced with another group of one and done who then compete for another national title.

However, this season things were changed slightly. The fabulous group of freshmen who came in is now surrounded by yet another group of former high school All-Americans who played for but lost the NCAA national championship only seven months ago. The team this year is so deep they could be play a platoon system said John Calipari the head coach.

Kentucky was voted as the runaway top choice in the AP preseason top 24 polled released late last week. This is just the fourth time a team has earned the top honor two straight seasons.

Calipari said the No. 1 billing was something for his kids to live up to. He said the bottom line is the players need to play and our coaching staff needs to figure out how to get the best out of the top players on the deep.

Fifty-two of the 65 panelists voted for Kentucky as No. 1. It was the fourth time in school history Kentucky earned the No. 1 spot in the preseason poll.

Kentucky joined UCLA, UNLV and North Carolina as the only schools to be named as No. 1 in the preseason in successive seasons.

Following Kentucky is Arizona at No. 2. The Wildcats had 5 votes for first place, after having a successful recruiting season following a season that saw them just miss a trip to the Final Four.

Wisconsin, which is returning the majority of last season’s team that reached the Final Four, is ranked No. 3, the school’s highest ranking ever in the preseason.

Eight panelist voted the Badgers as the No. 1 team, but they still trail Arizona by 35 points in the poll.
Duke was voted as the No. 4 team as the Blue Devils added a very good recruiting class. Kansas rounded out the top 5.

The top ten was completed with North Carolina at No. 6, Florida No. 7, Louisville No. 8, Virginia No. 9 and Texas No. 10.

Kentucky won the recruiting class competition and hopes to return to the championship game and avenge their loss to UConn last April.

This past spring not all of the superstars packed their bags and left for the NBA at Kentucky. Only Julius Randle and James Young left to play in the NBA, but twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison stayed for their sophomore seasons and Willie Cauley-Stein stuck around as well.

That helped Marcus Lee, Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress all decide to stay.

Add to that the best recruiting class in the nation and the Wildcats are easily 12 deep, confident and loaded with talent.

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