LEXINGTON, Ky. – Despite losing 85.9 percent of its scoring production from a season ago, 77.3 percent of its rebounding and seven players to the NBA, the Kentucky men’s basketball team is ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 to begin the 2015-16 season.
The Wildcats picked up 10 of the 65 first-place votes in the preseason poll. North Carolina was ranked the No. 1 team in the country with 1,566 points, followed by UK (1,520), Maryland (1,487), Kansas (1,410) and Duke (1,350).
It’s the fifth straight season the Wildcats have been ranked in the top three of the AP Top 25 to begin the year. Kentucky has been ranked in the preseason top five in six of John Calipari’s seven seasons in Lexington.
UK said goodbye to seven players now playing in the NBA but offset the loss in production with the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class and key returners in Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress and Tyler Ulis.
Four preseason AP Top 25 teams are on the Wildcats’ 2015-16 schedule (No. 4 Kansas, No. 5 Duke, No. 18 Vanderbilt and No. 21 LSU), including two top-five teams.
Kentucky was ranked No. 1 the entire season in the AP Top 25 in 2014-15.
The Wildcats begin their season Monday vs. Ottawa at 7 p.m. in their first of two exhibitions. The game will be available on SEC Network+.
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