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October 21, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Kentucky tops my preseason top 25 list

I’ve been asked to vote in the Associated Press men’s college basketball rankings this season. I’ll try and post my rankings Sunday night in this space.
This is the preseason top 25 list I emailed to AP. It also includes a preseason All-American team.
No. 1 Kentucky
No. 2 Indiana
No. 3 Louisville
No. 4 Michigan
No. 5 North Carolina State
No. 6 Ohio State
No. 7 Kansas
No. 8 UCLA
No. 9 Florida
No. 10 North Carolina
No. 11 Baylor
No. 12 Syracuse
No. 13 Duke
No. 14 Arizona
No. 15 Missouri
No. 16 Memphis
No. 17 Creighton
No. 18 Michigan State
No. 19 Gonzaga
No. 20 Notre Dame
No. 21 San Diego State
No. 22 Wisconsin
No. 23 UNLV
No. 24 Minnesota
No. 25 Murray State
PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
C – Cody Zeller, Indiana
F – Doug McDermott, Creighton
F – DeShaun Thomas, Ohio State
G – Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
G – Trey Burke, Michigan
NOTES: I’m fully aware Kentucky lost six players to the NBA, but the Wildcats are in reload mode. A year ago, they lost three players to the NBA – four if you consider Enes Kanter – and without stars such as Brandon Knight, the No. 8 overall pick in 2011, the Wildcats won the national title. Considering its track record, Kentucky deserves to enter the season as the No. 1 team. However, most college basketball observers believe Indiana is the best team right now. The Hoosiers, which lost to Kentucky in the Sweet 16 last season, return four starters and bring in a top 10 recruiting class.
I’ll admit my All-American team is Big Ten heavy. Heck it might have too many mid-major guys on it. But I have a hard time trying to predict if a freshmen is going to be one of the five best players in the nation, which is why incoming players are absent from my list. McDermott, who averaged 23.2 points last season, is a proven scorer. The same goes for Canaan, who sank 95 three-pointers last season and led the Racers to a 31-2 record. At 7 feet, Zeller looks to be the best big man in the country. Thomas isn’t flashy, but he’s a proven double-double machine. Meanwhile Burke seeks to improve on a season in which he averaged 15 points and five assists.
SUNDAY NIGHT LINKS:
— UCLA’s season begins in less than three weeks and the Bruins still have no idea when the NCAA will conclude its investigations of freshmen Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson.
David Wear, UCLA’s second leading returning scorer, sprained his ankle in practice Sunday.
— Basketball season can’t get here fast enough for Colorado fans anticipating the return of the Pac-12 Tournament champions and bemoaning a 1-6 start by the football team.
Interesting story on Isaac Hamilton, a 5-star recruit from Los Angeles who lists Washington, Baylor, San Diego State, UNLV and UTEP as his top schools. The 6-4 senior is making the switch from shooting guard to point guard. He likens his game to Jamal Crawford and says the former Rainier Beach High standout is his favorite player.
— Freshman Gabe York won the dunk contest while senior Kevin Parrom scored a team-high 17 points to lead his team to a win in Arizona’s Red-Blue Game.
— Star-studded recruit Aaron Gordon visited Arizona this weekend. He’s also considering Washington, Oregon, Kentucky and Kanas.

Comments | Topics: Aaron Gordon, top 25, UCLA

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