Kentucky is Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook’s preseason No. 1 in its 38th edition, which will be available in print by mid-October and by tablet version in late September at blueribbonyearbook.com.
The upper echelons of Blue Ribbon’s poll have been a familiar place for the Wildcats in the John Calipari era. In the last seven years, starting in the 2011-12 season, they’ve been ranked No. 2, No. 3, No. 2, No. 1, No. 1, No. 4, No. 5, and now No. 1 again.
This season, Blue Ribbon’s team of editors and writers thought the acquisition of Stanford graduate transfer Reid Travis, a 6-8, 240-pound forward who averaged 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds last season, coupled with another top-rated recruiting class and the return of sophomores Quade Green, P.J. Washington and Nick Richards, gives Calipari one of his more talented teams during his time in Lexington. Calipari is entering his 10th season.
Still, Kansas, with its own excellent recruiting class and talented transfers (notably former Memphis star Dedric Lawson, a 6-9, 235-pound forward who averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds two seasons ago), wasn’t far behind the Wildcats in Blue Ribbon’s voting.
The rest of the top five includes No. 3 Gonzaga, with its blend of size and experience, No. 4 Duke, which has a recruiting class that includes Blue Ribbon preseason first-team All-American R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson, and No. 5 Tennessee, a program that’s been masterfully rebuilt by coach Rick Barnes.
The Atlantic Coast Conference dominates Blue Ribbon’s Top 25 with seven teams, followed right behind by the Southeastern Conference, with six.
Blue Ribbon, considered for nearly 40 years as the “bible” of college basketball by fans, coaches, NBA scouts and electronic and print media, is available for pre-order at blueribbonyearbook.com.
BLUE RIBBON COLLEGE BASKETBALL YEARBOOK PRESEASON TOP 25
- Michigan State
- Mississippi State
- North Carolina
- Kansas State
- Florida State
- West Virginia
- Virginia Tech