(CBS) With most of its core coming back from a national runner-up finish, Kentucky has been tabbed as the preseason No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, it was announced Thursday.
After falling to the UConn Huskies in the national championship last spring, the Wildcats return the likes of Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison. They added a recruiting class that is headlined by highly touted big men Karl Towns and Trey Lyles.READ MORE: Elderly Cab Driver Shot In Roseland Carjacking
“I never expected my guys to return like they did,” Kentucky coach John Calipari told USA Today. “I’ve never had to coach this way, playing so many guys. It’s the only way to do it right so these kids get the chance they deserve. But there’s a real challenge here. They have to become great teammates. Can they share? Can they sacrifice? Can they handle adversity together?”READ MORE: Belmont Cragin Carjacking Leads To Fiery Crash, Multiple Other Parked Cars Struck
Six Big Ten teams made the top 25, led by No. 4 Wisconsin.
Here’s the full top 25, with first-place votes in parentheses.MORE NEWS: CPD: Woman Accidentally Shot, Killed By Boyfriend In McKinley Park
1. Kentucky (24)
2. Arizona (3)
3. Duke (2)
4. Wisconsin (3)
6. North Carolina
11. Wichita State
14. Iowa State
17. San Diego State
18. Michigan State
20. Ohio State