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November 1, 2013

CardGame: I'm not buying UK hype yet




Lots of writers and analysts putting their credibility on the line in the pre-season Associated Press basketball poll, making the University of Kentucky their No. 1 pick for the 2013-14 season.

They're making their picks based on a bunch of recruits who have never played college basketball.

The University of Louisville, the defending national champion, is picked No. 3, returning most of the players from last season's team. Something's not right with this equation.

Not that UofL fans should mind because it takes some of the pressure off Rick Pitino's team, giving the talented newcomers time to blend into the program. A No. 1 ranking places enormous pressure on a team, creating unrealistic expectations. Better to earn the respect than otherwise.

I'll have to admit I haven't seen any of the new Kentucky players in action yet, and I doubt that many of the voters have either. One has to seriously question the collective wisdom of a group of sportswriters and analysts who pick a team to be No. 1 based upon what the players did in AAU or high school.

They really don't have much respect for the college game if they believe a bunch of untested and unproven rookies could have such a colossal impact on a major sport. Best recruiting class in history or no.

Not surprising really. Many of these same so-called experts picked Kentucky last season for the same reasons. We saw how that turned out, with UK being bounced from the NIT by Robert Morris in the first round of post-season play.


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