A common refrain among the coaches and the media is that Maryland is the third best team behind North Carolina and Kentucky. This marks the first time in 10 years that Maryland has been ranked in the Pre-Season AP Top-25, and also the first time since 2001 they’ve been ranked in the Top 10.
Why does Kentucky continue to get the nod over Maryland?
I’m not quite sure why those in the college basketball world consider Kentucky a Top two team right now. The Wildcats have no identity, particularly after losing their entire starting five to the NBA. The freshman are uber talented, yes, but they aren’t presently better than the Maryland’s returning or incoming players, especially Melo Trimble.
Don’t get me wrong, Maryland will have to integrate their newcomers like Robert Carter and Rasheed Sulaimon, but they have more continuity than Kentucky’s roster. Nevertheless, both teams will battle for top spots all year to see who’s the better team.
Virginia ranked #6
The Cavaliers received just one first place vote and just missed out on being included in the Top five. Tony Bennett and his team return key veteran players such as London Perrantes, Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill, Evan Nolte, and Mike Tobey–good enough to be one of the nation’s best units.
The team’s defense will lose some of its oompf with Justin Anderson and Darion Atkins gone, but the Cavaliers still register as a stout defensive team. What remains to be seen is if Coach Bennett will tweak the offense a bit to aid scoring a bit–something which cost last year’s team.
Georgetown shut out of the Top 25
The Hoyas did not receive enough votes to be in the top quarter of college basketball. With 23 votes, however, the Hoyas are in position as the #33 team, which is not a bad ranking. Georgetown has a chance to suprise some across the nation, especially with the talented trio of D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Isaac Copeland, and Paul White.