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October 21st, 2019

Ten things we learned during this week’s Mark Stoops Show

While Mark Stoops typically speaks to the media twice a week – once on Monday afternoon for a weekly press conference and another post-practice session on Thursday evening – the Kentucky head coach usually uses weekly call-in radio show on Monday evenings to kick back and relax a bit.

During the hour-long show with Tom Leach, Stoops usually opens up about his team’s performance from the previous week, previews Kentucky’s upcoming opponent, and answers questions via phone and social media from the Big Blue Nation.

This evening, Stoops went in-depth about Kentucky’s recent loss to Georgia, discussed the quarterback situation, and analyzed the Missouri Tigers, among other topics.

Here are the ten things we learned during the Mark Stoops Show this evening:

The team’s first practice post-Georgia went well

In the team’s first practice following their 21-0 loss to Georgia in Athens, the Kentucky head coach said he was happy with how his players responded.

“[Practice] went good. Got into practice before the rain hit, it was a beautiful day out there,” he said. “Always good to get the film cleaned up and work on things on the field. We definitely got some things corrected. We actually got to get into the game prep for Missouri, so that was good.”

Speaking of Georgia, Stoops said a Bulldog position coach approached him prior to their matchup on Saturday and said Kentucky leaves his players feeling the sore year after year.

Though the Bulldogs certainly returned the favor, he was happy to see his players get the respect they deserve in the trenches.

“[That game] was very physical,” he said. “I talked to their offensive line coach before the game, and he was talking about how tough this game was and how physical we were. He said this was always one of the most physical games of the year for them. It’s always a good thing to hear, especially as a defensive-minded coach, that your team [has that reputation].”

Injury updates

As he mentioned during his weekly press conference this afternoon, Stoops said his team was dealing with several minor injuries following the Georgia loss.

He started with the linebackers and pass-rushers.

“[Pass-rusher] Jordan Wright has been doing a good job, but he’s been playing a lot of snaps,” he said. “He’s one of those first-year guys, he’s not used to playing this much and got a little dinged up [on Saturday as a result]. Josh Paschal is a little nicked up, but he’s fine. We’ve been rotating three guys in there. We’re going to work in some new guys, they’ve been right on the cusp as it is.”

A few of the confirmed names being thrown in the rotation? Louisville natives JJ Weaver and Jared Casey.

“That’s the beautiful thing about that [redshirt] rule, the four game redshirt rule really helps,” he said. “Right around this time every year, people start getting hurt. It’s unbelievably physical every week, and everyone needs depth. Around this time of the season, we need some of the other guys to step up.”

In terms of other injuries, running back Kavosiey Smoke has an official diagnosis on his shoulder injury, though he should be okay to play moving forward.

“Yeah, Kavosiey is dealing with an AC joint sprain,” he said. “They are painful, but he can play through it. He’ll be back out there tomorrow playing in a red jersey.”

As for linebacker Kash Daniel?

“Kash is a little dinged up, we need to see how he goes throughout the week [before we know his availability this weekend,” Stoops said.

And the quarterback position? Don’t expect much.

“Nothing new to add,” he said. “Both guys are available and we’ll see where it goes this week.”

Missouri game prep has started

As mentioned in the first section, Kentucky is already moving on to Missouri.

But what has Stoops seen out of Barry Odom’s group?

“They’re a really good football team,” he said. “Didn’t play up to their standards this week, one of those games that just got away from them. They’ve been very, very explosive. Kelly Bryant has done a phenomenal job coming in as a transfer quarterback. Always a tough defensive team. It’s going to be a challenge for us this week.”

Stoops understands that the Missouri offense is going to turn things around this week and give his team all they can handle.

“Kelly can make all the throws,” Stoops said. “They always have fast wide receivers. They like to spread things out. Vandy did a really nice job, took away their bread and butter throws. Really played good in all phases, you’ve got to give it to them.”

Missed scoring opportunities stung on Saturday

As for Kentucky’s offensive unit, he knows they’ll have to play much better this weekend if they want to defeat Missouri.

A big part of that? Converting on scoring opportunities, something they failed to do against Georgia.

“It was really important [to convert on some of those scoring opportunities on Saturday],” he said. “I thought if we could’ve put some points on the board, it would have put a little more pressure on them. We were playing such a phenomenal game on defense. We continued to flip the field with [punter] Max Duffy. Our team really had great field position until that one mis-hit by Max, created a short field for them. Can’t even be too hard on him because he’s been so great all year, one of the best in the entire country.”

Stoops doesn’t feel Logan Stenberg’s penalties are an issue anymore

Senior left guard Logan Stenberg has faced criticism throughout the year for several untimely penalties of varying degrees.

After the Mississippi State game a few weeks back, Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said that some of those penalties were “selfish” and hurt the team in crucial situations.

On a third and six to start the second half, Lynn Bowden scrambled for a tough first down, only to be erased and moved back ten yards following a holding call on Logan Stenberg.

After examining the play on film, Stoops vehemently disagreed with the call during his press conference this afternoon.

“I need an explanation,” Stoops said. “I don’t know. I mean, so it’s just very frustrating. There was some holds later that were no-brainers, they were holding. But the one early on Logan, I need an explanation. And then — because it happens to us all game.”

And then this evening, Stoops followed up on that, saying the criticism was deserved early in the year, but not anymore.

“Logan has gotten a lot of that rectified,” he said. “Some of the early fouls were inexcusable and we’ve addressed that. It’s a mentality with the offensive line, there’s a fine line there. He always wants to win. That wasn’t one of those times where he was being negligent or selfish. It was a questionable call, at best.”

Continued fan support is needed

Yesterday, Lynn Bowden called on the Big Blue Nation to support the Kentucky football program during the team’s final five games of the regular season.

Tonight, Stoops stressed that same notion again, saying he really hopes Kentucky fans come out and support the Wildcats this weekend against Missouri.

“It’s important, fun to get back home, playing in this environment,” he said. “The fans have been so great all year long. We’re going to need them again this week, and we’re going to need them again on Saturday.

Growth of the defense is evident

Following the team’s 21-0 loss on Saturday, Kentucky now holds the longest active streak among FBS schools with 21 consecutive games of 34 points allowed or less.

According to Corey Price of UK Athletics, UK’s impressive defensive outing was also the fewest points allowed (21) by the Wildcats against an AP Top 10 opponent Kentucky since October 4th, 2008 at No. 2 Alabama (17) and the fewest yards allowed (270) against an AP Top 10 opponent since November 29th, 2003 vs. No. 7 Tennessee (270).

There’s no question the defensive unit is improving by the week, and Stoops wanted to show his appreciation this evening.

“I’ve been pleased with them and the way they’re growing,” the Kentucky head coach said. “You can see they’re playing more and more confident. They’re understanding our standards on how hard we need to be playing on every snap. They’re playing physical. Now we need them to remove what Coach [Brad] White calls a “glitch play” where they miss one play here and one play there. We forced six punts and forced a turnover on downs in the first seven possessions. I don’t think they ran a play in our territory for a good portion of the game.”

The quarterback situation is tough

With Terry Wilson out for the year with a torn patellar tendon, Nik Scalzo out for the year with a torn ACL, and Sawyer Smith missing the last two weeks with multiple injuries, Stoops understands that while it’s not ideal to play a wide receiver at quarterback, he’s only playing the hands he’s dealt.

And with that disadvantage, he knows he has to throw the scent off a bit and play it coy in the lead-up to compensate for it, even if it’s inconvenient for the media and fans.

“It’s hard for anyone to be 100% [at this point in the season]. It’s hard for us,” he said. “As I tell the media during my press conferences, it’s not like we’re playing games or trying to withhold information. The quarterback situation is what it is. We have to keep our opponents [on their toes], makes things difficult for them.”

When asked why Sawyer Smith didn’t take any snaps, despite Eddie Gran saying he was “100%” in the week leading up to the game, Stoops said the situation just wasn’t right yet for him, especially given the conditions.”

“Jake Fromm, a Heisman contender going into the year, threw for 35 yards against our defense. Our quarterback threw for 17,” he said. “Given the conditions and [who we were playing] it just wasn’t the best opportunity for Sawyer, we just didn’t want him to potentially get hurt again.”

The secondary is improving

Seen as one of the major question marks going into the season, Stoops is thrilled with how much his secondary has improved from the start of the year to now.

“They did, they played good [against Georgia],” he said. “They had good coverage, they have been playing tighter coverage. They’ve been playing tighter in the pass over the last several weeks, but they’ve been even better in run support. Overall, I’m pleased with their progress. I’m very pleased with the progress of the secondary.”

More specifically, Stoops says sophomore defensive back Yusuf Corker put on a show against Georgia.

“Yusuf played really well, he was our most valuable player, internally,” he said.

Stoops is happy D’Andre Swift is likely headed to the NFL

Following his 179-yard, two-touchdown performance against Kentucky, Mark Stoops is thrilled that Georgia star running back is likely headed to the NFL after this season.

“I sought him out after the game, told him “good luck at the next level. I hope I don’t have to see you no more,” Stoops said tonight.

He also talked about this interaction during his postgame press conference on Saturday evening.

“Give (Georgia) credit— D’Andre Swift is an impressive player,” he said. “I just gave him a ‘congratulations’ after the game and wished him ‘goodbye,’ because he needs to go to the NFL. He’s an elite player.”


John Calipari visits Cade Cunningham on Monday evening

(Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports)

John Calipari paid a visit to 2020 No. 2 prospect Cade Cunningham on Monday evening.

According to Patrick Loney of Big Blue Banter, Calipari visited the 6-foot-7 guard in Florida tonight, just a day after returning home from his official visit to Washington.

KSR has confirmed this news with a source close to the Kentucky basketball program.

Long seen as Kentucky’s top guard option in the class of 2020, Cunningham is considered the consensus No. 2 overall prospect and No. 1 guard among seniors.

A longtime Oklahoma State lean following the hiring of his brother, Cannen Cunningham, to the Cowboy coaching staff, momentum for both Kentucky and North Carolina has picked up over the last several weeks. After the Tar Heels picked up steam as the brief co-favorite with Oklahoma State back in late September prior to his official visit to the school, Kentucky has since surpassed UNC, with the Wildcats and Cowboys seen as the top contenders during the home stretch of Cunningham’s recruitment.

After the five-star guard’s official visit to Kentucky back on October 11 for Big Blue Madness, 247Sports Director of Recruiting Evan Daniels submitted a Crystal Ball pick in favor of the Wildcats, the first among national insiders to do so.

Since then, Kentucky has picked up two more Crystal Ball picks from recruiting experts Jerry Meyer and Chris Fisher.

Cunningham has publicly stated he will likely make a decision in late November, though sources tell KSR that the five-star guard is in the process of ramping up the process and could make an announcement sooner rather than later.


KSR Football Podcast: A Moral Victory?

The KSR Football Podcast is back in action after Kentucky’s 21-0 loss to Georgia. Can we consider it a moral victory? Drew Franklin certainly thinks so. Listen in to hear what Austin, Charles and Nick think. Highlights:

— Is Mizzou a must-win?

— The meat sweats on a red eye.

— Numbers prove UK’s pass defense is very, very good.

— Worst weather ever?

— This weekend in college football was stupid, but in a fun way.

— Attrition is normal, just ask the guys in Chuck’s 2014 class.

Get the podcast delivered to your phone by subscribing to “KSR Football Podcast” on iTunes. You can stream the show online or on your Android phone through Spotify.


Wenyen Gabriel earns roster spot with Sacramento Kings

Photo: @NBA

Wenyen Gabriel is officially a member of the Sacramento Kings.

This evening, the Kings reportedly converted Gabriel’s two-way contract into an actual team roster contract, meaning the former Wildcat officially earned a spot on the team’s final regular season roster.

Clevis Murray of The Athletic was the first to break the news.

After going undrafted out of Kentucky in the 2018 NBA Draft, Gabriel signed a two-year, two-way deal with Sacramento. In his first year with the organization, the 6-foot-9 forward failed to register a single minute with the team, though he impressed during his time with Sacramento’s G-League affiliate. In 42 games with the Stockton Kings, the former Wildcat averaged 10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 20.8 minutes per contest, shooting 49.3 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from three in the process.

During Sacramento’s four preseason games, Gabriel averaged 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game.

At Kentucky, Gabriel averaged a combined 5.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, and nearly one block per contest over the course of two seasons.

As a sophomore, the 6-foot-9 forward improved in virtually every major statistical category, including points, rebounds, blocks, steals, 3-point field goals, field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage, and free-throw percentage. He finished the year second on the team with 42 3-pointers, including 20 over his final 11 games.

Gabriel was also named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team in 2018 after averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks – including a 7-for-7 outing from three vs. Alabama in the SEC Tournament semifinals – during UK’s three-game run to the SEC championship.


The A Block E3: Shocked and Delighted

In the third installment of The A Block, Hayley, Jacqueline and Claire dig deep to discuss mental health issues that do not get talked about enough. The trio is an open book throughout this insightful conversation. The serious talk is accompanied by plenty of laughs and…

— Life-changing pumpkin cold brew coffee.

— Who attended Jennifer Lawrence’s wedding.

— There’s a new documentary on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

— Things are not always as they seem.

— The debut of a dynamite segment: “Our Favorite Things.”

You can subscribe to The A Block podcast feed on iTunes or Spotify to have the latest episodes go directly to your phone or other listening devices.

Thanks to our sponsor:


Your guide on how to listen to the KSR podcast network

KSR has a large network of podcasts. Here is your guide on how to listen and subscribe to your favorite shows.

Enjoy some of the latest episodes now:

Interested in podcast sponsorship opportunities? Reach out to [email protected] A member of our team would love to discuss options with you.


Donations being Accepted Now for “Bluegrass for the Bahamas” Hurricane Relief

Central Kentuckians have the opportunity to provide help to the people of the Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island, which was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian last month. bdG Sports, a Lexington-based sports marketing agency, are now accepting donations of supplies and new apparel at a tractor trailer, donated by Longship, from Oct. 21-27 in the parking lot of the Landsdowne Shoppes in Lexington. The donations are being accepted as part of the “Bluegrass for the Bahamas” fundraiser,  also which will include a charity event on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Malone’s Prime Events.

bdG Sports, which manages numerous college basketball tournaments and professional golf events across North America, has been organizing the fundraising efforts and has already received more than 2,500 pieces of donated apparel, with more on the way. For the past three years, bdG Sports has managed the Great Abaco Classic, a professional golf tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour played each January in Abaco. The PGA TOUR announced this week that this year’s edition of the Great Abaco Classic will be moved to Nassau, while Abaco begins recovery efforts.

“The support for ‘Bluegrass for the Bahamas’ from our networks in college basketball, the professional golf community and right here in Central Kentucky has been humbling,” said Brooks Downing, President and CEO of bdG Sports. “Longship has graciously donated a semitruck for us to collect supplies which we will then transport to South Florida for shipment to the Bahamas. We have thousands of pieces of apparel for those Abaconians that have lost everything due to this storm. We also are starting to collect building supplies, which also can be delivered to the truck. There are thousands of Bahamians who lost everything due to Hurricane Dorian and we want to help them rebuild so that Abaco can be rebuilt.”

As a Category 5 hurricane, Dorian is on record as the worst storm in the history of the Bahamas, with sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts to 225 mph when it made landfall on Sept. 1 in Abaco. More than 56 people died in Abaco and Grand Bahama, the two northern-most islands which suffered a direct hit, and more than 600 are still missing. Marsh Harbour, the main city on Great Abaco, lost 70% of its homes, and the power grid on the island was rendered inoperable. Damage is estimated to exceed $7.5 billion.

Donations will be accepted each day from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. at the truck which will be located in front of The MouseTrap. A full list of needed supplies can be found atwww.BluegrassForTheBahamas.com with building supplies (sheetrock, plywood, roofing materials, tools, etc.) being among the biggest need at this time. All clothing donations should be new.

Malone’s Prime Events will play host to the “Bluegrass for the Bahamas” charity event on Wednesday from 7-10 p.m. Tickets for the event are $100 and includes a sampling of favorite menu items from Bluegrass Hospitality Group, open bar and charity auction. Live auction items include:

  • A 5-day/4-night golf vacation for two at The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, including accommodations in one of the club’s luxurious cabana suites and unlimited golf on its Scottish-style tropical links golf course, rated No. 1 in The Bahamas.
  • A five-bottle collection of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon (10-, 12-, 15-, 20- and 23-year bottles).
  • A trip for two to Las Vegas for the University of Kentucky men’s basketball games vs. Utah on Dec. 18 and Ohio State on Dec. 21 with accommodations at Aria.
  • A 4-day/3-night stay for two at any Sandals Resorts property.

Silent auction items will include a weekend stay at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Fla., golf opportunities at Southern Highlands in Las Vegas and TPC Scottsdale in Arizona, a year-long membership at Lexington Tennis Club, a Kentucky Castle gift package and a speciality bottle from Makers Mark. There’s even a chrome football helmet donated by the Kentucky football team.

Tickets for the evening can be purchased at www.bluegrassforthebahamas.com. The website also features #AbacoStrong tumblers and shirts with proceeds from all sales being donated to the cause. For those from outside the Central Kentucky area that wish to donate supplies, an Amazon Wish List can be found on the website with automatic shipping to bdG Sports.

All funds raised by bdG Sports will be donated to the Abaco-Winding Bay Relief Fund, a charitable organization created expressly for this effort with active 501(c)3 status in the United States. All funds received will be used to provide assistance specifically to the people of Abaco in the form of food, shelter, medical aid and supplies, and assistance in the island’s clean-up and rebuilding efforts.


Mark Stoops doesn’t believe Logan Stenberg should have been penalized for holding

One play completely crushed Kentucky’s offensive momentum and changed the direction of their duel with Georgia at soggy Sanford Stadium.

After recording only two first downs in the first half, Lynn Bowden rushed for three first downs on consecutive plays to start the second half, putting the Wildcats in field goal range. Two plays later on third and six, Bowden scrambled, fought and clawed to get a first down. His heroic effort was all for not as a yellow flag flew from an official’s hand.

Logan Stenberg was penalized for holding. The ten-yard penalty erased the first down run and pushed Kentucky out of field goal range, eliminating the best scoring opportunity for either team to that point. After examining the play on film, Mark Stoops vehemently disagrees with the call.

I need an explanation,” UK’s coach said at his weekly press conference. “I don’t know. I mean, so it’s just very frustrating. There was some holds later that were no-brainers, they were holding. But the one early on Logan, I need an explanation. And then — because it happens to us all game.”

It was not the only comment Stoops had about SEC officials during his 20-minute press conference.

“I could say some things right now that wouldn’t be good,” he said through a clinched jaw. “I’m worried about us getting a call.”

The SEC office probably could reprimand Stoops for questioning the conference’s officials, but they’re too busy dealing with Will Muschamp and the “gutless” officiating in South Carolina’s loss to Florida.


Seven Teams the AP College Hoops Poll Got Wrong

On Monday we got another sign that college basketball is right around the corner – with the release of the first AP Poll of the season. In the least surprising news of all-time, Michigan State is ranked No. 1, and the Spartans are then followed by Kentucky at No. 2, Kansas at No. 3 and Duke at No. 4.

So yes, we will have the top four teams in the country at the Champion’s Classic to open the season on November 5th. Yet despite mostly agreement from me at the top of the poll (I have an almost identical Top 6) there is plenty that I disagree with.

No, this article isn’t about where Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State or Louisville is ranked – the pollsters got that right. But instead, it’s about everyone else.

If you missed my preseason Top 25 a few weeks ago, here are my picks. And below, are seven teams that voters got completely wrong.

No. 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs (Too High): Yes, Gonzaga beat preseason No. 1 Michigan State in a closed scrimmage on Saturday, so they have that going for them. Still, a spot at No. 8 feels way, WAY too high for a team that lost two first round picks (Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke), a fifth-year senior point guard (Josh Perkins) and just found out their best player, Killian Tillie, will miss the start of the season following surgery.

What’s left is a team whose best player (Corey Kispert) will be asked to go from “fifth starter” to star this year. Meanwhile the rest of the roster is filled with grad transfers and good, but not elite freshmen.

The Zags will figure things out by the end of the season. But they aren’t a Top 10 team right now.

No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (Too High): North Carolina has won at least 24 games in nine straight seasons, so I understand the optimism on them heading into the season. But I don’t think people realize just how much they lost off last year’s team. It included two lottery picks (Coby White and Cam Johnson), another first rounder (Nassir Little) and one of the program’s most consistent players in Luke Maye. Overall, their top five scorers are gone.

And unlike Kentucky, Duke and Memphis, they’re not replacing those guys with elite talent outside of Cole Anthony (who might just mess around and win ACC Player of the Year). Instead, North Carolina will be heavily reliant on two grad transfers (Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce) and honestly, I’m just not a believer in the ability of grad transfers to go from low major schools to a place like North Carolina and have immediate success. The jump is way bigger than most realize.

Point being that with so many new pieces and an early schedule that includes an opener against Notre Dame, the Battle 4 Atlantis (which features Seton Hall, Oregon and Alabama among others), Ohio State and Gonzaga, this team could struggle out of the gate.

No. 11 Villanova Wildcats (Too High): Like Michigan State, Villanova lost a preseason exhibition over the weekend. In the case of the Wildcats they have an excuse for losing at USC however: They were without two key players, starting point guard Collin Gillespie and McDonald’s All-American Bryan Antoine.

Still, Antoine isn’t expected to play much to start the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery, which highlights the reality for Nova right now: They’ve lost a ton of talent over the last few years, and the guys that they expected to replace them may or may not be ready right now. In total, Villanova has had five players drafted in the last two drafts and a sixth player (Phil Booth) sign with an NBA team this off-season. And of the recruits they brought in to replace them over the past two off-seasons, one (Jahvon Quinerly) transferred and another (Antoine) will miss time injury.

In the end, that is a lot of talent for any program to lose, and I’m just not quite sure the replacements are ready to step up in their place. Villanova is good. But not “No. 11 in the country” good.

No. 15 Oregon Ducks (Too High): Last year I was hesitant to put Oregon in my preseason Top 25 because I thought it would be a process to blend elite high school talent (at the time, Bol Bol and Louis King) with a veteran core who had all established defined roles within the program.

And for the most part, I was right. The Ducks struggled out of the gate, and at one point were 13-9 before rallying late to win the Pac-12 Tournament and eventually make the Sweet 16.

So what happened this off-season? Well, something pretty similar to last year. A bunch of guys departed either via the NBA Draft or transfer, and what’s left is a weird hodgepodge of like one guy who has played major minutes at Oregon (Payton Pritchard), and a bunch of highly-touted freshmen and grad transfers.

While Oregon probably does have the most talented team in the Pac-12, I’ll believe that Dana Altman can blend them all together when I see it.

No. 21 Arizona Wildcats (Too Low): Then there is Arizona, which, one year after watching the bottom fall out following the FBI investigation into its program, has stability, talent and I believe the best “team” in the Pac-12.

By now we all know the story, but McDonald’s All-Americans Nico Mannion and Josh Green (both with Arizona roots) committed to this program to help the rebuild, and they’ll be joined by veterans who fit what Arizona wants to do, specifically Chase Jeter (yes, he’s still playing college hoops) and Dylan Smith. Grad transfer Stone Gettings gives this team exactly what they need (a big guy who can shoot) and the early buzz out of camp is that sophomore Devonaire Doutrive has been a surprise star.

The loss of guard Brandon Williams to a season-ending injury hurts, but the Wildcats are woefully undervalued at No. 21 in these polls.

No. 22 LSU Tigers (Too Low): The Bad Boys of College Basketball lost quite a bit off last year’s team, but what most don’t realize is just how much they return. Remember that when Tremont Waters got hurt late last season, Javonte Smart stepped up, including a 29-point game against Tennessee, which helped the Tigers clinch the SEC regular season title.

Add in Emmitt Williams, Darius Days, Marlon Taylor and freshman Trendon Watford and this to me, is clearly the third best team in the SEC (behind Kentucky and Florida), and a Top 20 team nationally.

Colorado Buffaloes (Too Low): The Buffaloes are unranked in the preseason AP Poll, and in defense of pollsters it’s hard to blame them since, well, we’re talking about Colorado basketball here. Still, this is a team which returns its top seven scorers off a 23-win club a season ago, a group which finished fifth in the Pac-12. They also return two All-Pac-12 first team members in Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright.

If you’re looking for a program to go from “unranked” to “spending most of the year in the Top 15” Colorado is probably your best bet.