Jen Smith on Basketball

Cats in the preseason polls

Pretty much all of the major preseason polls predict Kentucky is a top 25 team, but there are still a lot of questions about the Cats.

Kentucky, which was knocked out of the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, will start the preseason ranked No. 18 by the Associated Press. It is the Cats’ lowest preseason ranking since 2010 when they became a regular in the NCAA Tournament.

Other preseason polls have UK similarly situated with the USA Today coaches’ poll listing UK at No. 17. Athlon has UK at No. 19 and Lindy’s has the Cats at No. 18.

The Cats will have an interesting non-conference start with a game at preseason No. 15 Arizona State the second of the season (the first game back for Makayla Epps after her off-season suspension) and then games against No. 8 Louisville and No. 14 Duke at Rupp Arena in December.

Things don’t get any easier when Southeastern Conference play begins with five league teams ranked in the top 25, including No. 2 South Carolina, No. 4 Tennessee, No. 11 Mississippi State and No. 13 Texas A&M.