Sports Illustrated calls UK a ‘wild card’

Sports Illustrated did not include Kentucky in its pre- pre-season top 20 poll for 2009-10. But the magazine recognized UK’s chances of making a big splash under first-year coach John Calipari by designating the program as a “wildcard.”

Here’s what Sports Illustrated wrote about Kentucky:

“In their current state, the Wildcats shouldn’t be near the top 20. But how will they look once new coach John Calipari is done building his first-year roster? The best-case scenario in Lexington could yield a team capable of chasing a national title. If lethal scorer Jodie Meeks, who plans to test the draft waters as a junior, can be convinced to return along with sophomore Patrick Patterson, and Calipari can reel in elite recruits John Wall (who had been considering Memphis) and DeMarcus Cousins (who previously committed to Memphis), then Kentucky will be scary. Landing Wall, the top prep point guard in the country, is the key, because there’s no one on UK’s present roster who can make Calipari’s Dribble-Drive Motion offense run in high gear.”

Here’s the Sports Illustrated top 20:

1. Michigan State; 2. Kansas; 3. Syracuse; 4. Connecticut; 5. Villanova; 6. Duke; 7. Purdue; 8. North Carolina; 9. West Virginia; 10. Oklahoma.

11. Texas; 12. Gonzaga; 13. Washington; 14. UCLA; 15. Missouri; 16. Butler; 17. Minnesota; 18. Clemson; 19. Dayton; 20. Xavier

7 comments ↓

#1 K fund donor on 04.08.09 at 12:09 pm

These guys that are being discussed are amazing, but I hope everyone remembers that they are still going to be freshmen in a new system and that they will be treated with the respect and class which should represent UK and its fans

#2 LouCat on 04.08.09 at 2:17 pm

Cousins has landed in Lexington. Wall will be in Louisville for the Derby Festival game and will hopefully point to the CATS soon thereafter!!

#3 Topics about Sports » Archive » Sports Illustrated calls UK a ‘wild card’ — Jerry Tipton on UK … on 04.08.09 at 7:21 pm

[…] Jerry Tipton added an interesting post on Sports Illustrated calls UK a â […]

#4 toineson on 04.08.09 at 11:03 pm

so true about Wall. Besides bringing back rhythm and bruise, he is really the key to 09-10.

#5 ODLSCHOOL777 on 04.09.09 at 2:40 am

Here comes UK SO WTCH OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#6 JEFF AMBURGEY on 04.09.09 at 6:10 am

How can you not put a John Calipari team not in the top 20. You know he will bring in the recruits.

#7 Kentucky News - 4/9/09 | MrSEC.com on 04.09.09 at 10:18 am

[…] Illustrated didn’t include a single SEC team in their year-ahead basketball Top 20, but they do believe Kentucky is a wild card… depending on what their roster looks like when Calipari is done with it.In this spring practice […]