Michigan State tops the preseason Top 25 poll in the 39thedition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, which will be available the last week of September in tablet form and by mid-October in its two printed versions.
Blue Ribbon’s staff—along with some expert college hoops analysts who were consulted to help select our Top 25—loved coach Tom Izzo’s Spartans, as this passage from the Blue Ribbon Analysis in our 5,000-word preview of Michigan State suggests:
“The Spartans have depth. They have experience. They have high expectations. They have the high-profile schedule to help them reach their lofty goals.
“Michigan State never takes the easy road, but always seems to wind up at its planned destination. It’s certainly possible to envision the Spartans celebrating the 20thanniversary of their last NCAA title with another one.”
Right behind Michigan State in Blue Ribbon’s poll is Kentucky, once again fortified by a loaded recruiting class but also having the rare benefit of not one but two returning point guards—Blue Ribbon preseason All-American Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley; Kansas, which stocked its roster with a late recruiting burst; Duke, which also has a sophomore Blue Ribbon All-America point guard, Tre´Jones, to lead a young but talented team; and Florida, which returns a strong sophomore class that will join with, among others, the off-season’s most coveted graduate transfer, 6-10 Kerry Blackshear, formerly of Virginia Tech and yet another Blue Ribbon preseason All-American.
The rest of the Top 10 includes No. 6 Louisville, No. 7 Maryland, No. 8 Villanova, No. 9 Virginia, and No. 10 Gonzaga.
Several conferences are well represented in the poll, including the Atlantic 10 (No. 17 Davidson and No. 25 VCU) and the West Coast (Gonzaga and No. 20 Saint Mary’s).
The Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, and Southeastern conferences lead the way with four teams each.
Blue Ribbon is available for pre-order at blueribbonyearbook.com.
BLUE RIBBON COLLEGE BASKETBALL YEARBOOK
PRESEASON TOP 25
- Michigan State
- Texas Tech
- North Carolina
- Seton Hall
- Utah State
- Saint Mary’s
- Ohio State