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Kentucky named Preseason No. 1 in coaches poll for first time since 1995

Oct 17, 2013, 12:18 PM EDT

SEC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals - Vanderbilt v Kentucky Getty Images

The first installment of the USA Today Coaches Poll was released on Thursday afternoon, and it shouldn’t come as a shock to many of you that Kentucky was named the Preseason No. 1 team in the country. Believe it or not, that’s only the second time in program history that Kentucky has been named Preseason No. 1 in the coaches poll. The last time was in 1995-96, the year that Rick Pitino led the wildcats to a national title.

Back to this year’s poll, it also shouldn’t come as a surprise that Michigan State was slotted at No. 2 or that reigning champions Louisville checked in at No. 3.

Duke and Arizona round out the top five, while Kansas, Syracuse, Florida, Michigan and Ohio State make up the rest of the top ten.

None of those rankings are out of the ordinary.

In fact, I’d say the most shocking thing about the poll is that there’s really nothing all that shocking about it.

Sure, Oregon is probably slotted a bit too high at No. 18, especially when you consider that Cal checks in at 34th, Arizona State only got two votes for the top 25 poll and Stanford was no where to be found in the rankings of any of the 32 coaches who voted.

Four teams from outside the seven power conferences (I’m including the Big East and the AAC in that conversation) made the top 25: Gonzaga, Wichita State, VCU and New Mexico. Ironically enough, that’s the same as the number of former Big East teams currently ranked: Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame and UConn. Marquette is the only current Big East member in the top 25.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Oct 17, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Screw that noise. CU should be in there.

    • program33 - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Who?…LOL

      • jcmeyer10 - Oct 17, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        You are going to find out who this season.

  2. shockertalk - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:39 PM

    If Kentucky is in there, why isn’t Robert Morris? hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    • bcwildcat24 - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      At least one person found that funny.

      • dexterismyhero - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        Looks like 34 to me at this time!!!

  3. 1976 bucs paper bag look in 2013 - Oct 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    GO CATS…

  4. shafted1 - Oct 17, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Same school, same coach with the #1 recruiting class in the nation again; just like last season but they failed to reach the NCAA tournament and got eliminated in the first round of the NIT. One would think coaches have a very short memory!

    • ukcatsfan - Oct 18, 2013 at 7:13 AM

      Seems like everyone that hates UK has a short memory……2012 national champs had the same coach with the #1 recruiting class. What school was that again?

      • bcwildcat24 - Oct 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        Hey now, you stop stating facts this minute! You know the UK haters don’t like when you do that.

      • dexterismyhero - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        Haters! what are you in the 5th grade. God that term is awful.

      • shafted1 - Oct 18, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        I don’t ‘hate’ UK. I simply disagree with ranking any team at #1 when said team is made up of ‘unproven’ high school talent at the collegiate level. I merely made reference to last season’s record as an example of why doing so is unwise. As disappointing as it may be, UK’s success in 2012 does not apply since UK was not ranked #1 in the 2011-12 preseason polls which is the issue at hand.

        Rehashing past accomplishments every time a discussion about UK takes place merely exposes UK fans for living in denial. It is senseless to label folks as ‘haters’ simply because they don’t worship UK basketball. In fact it’s downright childish!

  5. kingghidora - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    shafted1, you did not “merely” make reference to last year’s record. You made a stupid joke designed to insult Kentucky’s basketball program. That’s a childish thing to do. UK is “the” college basketball program whether you like it or not. And insulting jokes are a clear sign that you do not like the program and in fact you probably do hate the program despite your denials.

    I’ll tell you what. You take any team in the US and have them lose what may have been the best college basketball player last season in the middle of the year and see how well they do without that #1 player. Of course you know that. But you want to make out like the pre-season predictions were no indication of how the team was going to do. I’m pretty sure that if UK didn’t have Noel at the beginning of the season there is no way they would have been picked to do so well.

    Add to this the fact that the point guard was blindsided by a very serious family issue that totally distracted him from even thinking about basketball and you have your explanation for why the team had “one” less than stellar season. That pg’s father had a stroke and there was no one to take care of him except his son, the UK PG. That PG missed several games as a result of that and he was clearly not tuned into the game during the rest of the season. I’m sure you would ignore your family’s needs in a time of crisis in order to play a game. You’re just that way aren’t you?

    Like every other UK basher you ignore these issues as if they didn’t happen and claim that UK was just overrated. Dream on.

    You do realize that the same bunch of haters was claiming that UK didn’t have the experience to be a great team in 2011-2012 as they were expected to do, right? UK has proven it does not take extensive experience to win the title. That’s just true whether you like it or not. But I suppose when the only thing you have to buck up your ego is cheap shots then you just have to shoot your mouth off, don’t you? What team do you support? How many decades do you figure it would take for them to become what UK “is”? Most wins, most titles without blatant cheating, etc. etc. etc.. Your team is going to fall even further behind rather than catching up as long as Cal is the UK coach. And all you will have will be the very rare cheap shot about a season ruined by injury and personal issues. Now that’s funny. If you can’t beat ‘em, cheap shot ‘em, right? Putz.

    • shafted1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:05 AM

      To the contrary, I merely stated facts pertaining to their 2012-13 men’s basketball season. My opinion of UK has not been offered and there isn’t any part of my statement that can be construed as inaccurate or be taken as a joke. The statement made about coaches having a short memory was in reference to the coaches casting votes in the ‘Coaches Poll.’ That had absolutely nothing to do with UK.

      You are simply trying to read into my statement something that just isn’t there! I pointed out that I am opposed to any team being ranked #1 in the nation based upon the ‘unproven’ talents of a bunch of freshmen whom have never played at the collegiate level. I used UK’s 2012-13 season as an ideal example of why it is unwise to do so. My comments are limited to the issue of ranking a team at #1 in the preseason without the benefit of experience at the collegiate level. Thus, I did not address their 2011-12 season at all because UK was not ranked #1 in the preseason polls that year.

      The remainder of your post doesn’t even address the topic at hand. Quite frankly, I’m not impressed with UK and I do not worship their basketball program. My position is simply that of indifference because Kentucky is not important to me.

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