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College basketball rankings: Kentucky’s not done recruiting and is No. 3 in the early Top 25 And 1

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It should be no surprise that Kentucky’s John Calipari is doing big things in the late period — but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. According to 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions, the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach is now expected to eventually secure a commitment from 5-star forward Jaden McDaniels. And when McDaniels is combined with the rest of Kentucky’s incoming freshmen, what the Wildcats will have is the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class to pair with Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards and a roster that’ll be among the best in the sport.

It’s why UK is No. 3 in the CBS Sports 2019-20 Top 25 And 1.

As always, I’ve updated these rankings to reflect where 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions currently have any relevant uncommitted Class of 2019 prospects projected to enroll. That’s why McDaniels is now on Kentucky’s projected roster, why 5-star guard RJ Hampton is now on Kansas’ projected roster, and why 5-star forward Precious Achiuwa and 4-star guard Boogie Ellis are now on Memphis’ projected roster. If and when those Crystal Ball Predictions change, these rankings will change again. Then I’ll simply rinse and repeat, as much as necessary, until the season begins in November.

Top 25 And 1 

Top 25 And 1 analysis

Biggest Movers

Michigan St.

Cassius Winston’s decision to return to Michigan State for his senior season was enough to keep Tom Izzo’s team No. 1 in the Top 25 And 1. The Spartans are returning three of the top four scorers from a 32-win team that won the Big Ten regular-season title and Big Ten Tournament title before advancing to the Final Four. 32-7


The Blue Devils are enrolling a top-three recruiting class for the six consecutive season – one that’s highlighted by 5-star prospects Vernon Carey and Matthew Hurt. The return of Tre Jones will give Mike Krzyzewski the type of experience in the backcourt most great teams possess. 32-6


The return of Ashtan Hagans for his sophomore year is massive for Kentucky. He’ll combine with the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class to create what should be the SEC’s best team. 30-7


Jordan Nwora has declared for the NBA Draft but left open the option of returning to Louisville. If he does, he’ll be the leading returning scorer for a program set to enroll a top-10 recruiting class – not to mention graduate transfer Lamarr Kimble, who averaged 15.6 points per game at Saint Joseph’s this season. 20-14


This ranking is contingent on the Jayhawks securing a commitment from 5-star guard RJ Hampton. If they do, they’ll be the clear favorite in the Big 12 once again. 3 26-10


This ranking is based on Memphis securing commitments from 5-star forward Precious Achiuwa and 4-star guard Boogie Ellis. If Penny Hardaway pulls it off, and pairs them with 5-star center James Wiseman, the Tigers will have one of the nation’s most talented rosters and be the obvious favorites in the American Athletic Conference. 1 22-14


The early loss of Bruno Fernando should mostly be offset by the return of Jalen Smith and addition of former 5-star prospect Chol Marial. The Terrapins will be talented, experienced and a real threat to Michigan State at the top of the Big Ten. 1 23-11

N. Carolina

The loss of Coby White after one season stings a little considering he didn’t project as a one-and-done prospect coming out of high school. But the enrollment of 5-star guard Cole Anthony should fill any hole UNC might otherwise have in the backcourt. 1 29-7


The Cavaliers are losing the top three scorers from their national championship team, all of whom are entering the NBA Draft early. But Tony Bennett still has enough to keep Virginia nationally relevant. 1 35-3


Zach Norvell’s decision to remain in the NBA Draft means Gonzaga is losing the top four scorers from last season’s team. That’s among the reasons why it was crucial for Mark Few to secure a top-10 recruiting class and enroll a heralded graduate transfer like Admon Gilder. 1 33-4

Seton Hall

Kevin Willard spoke with Virginia Tech about its opening but ultimately remained at Seton Hall. He has a roster good enough to take the Pirates to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year. 20-14


In a bit of a twist, Villanova will not be the favorite to win the Big East. But the Wildcats, thanks to a top-five recruiting class, should still operate near the top of the sport. 26-10


Jared Harper’s decision to withdraw from school and enter the NBA Draft means Auburn is losing its top two scorers from a Final Four team. Bryce Brown, whose eligibility is exhausted, combined with Harper this season to average 31.2 points and 7.7 assists that must now be replaced. 30-10


Louis King’s decision to enter and remain in the NBA Draft was a blow to Oregon. But three of the top six scorers are still expected back — and they’ll pair with a top-15 recruiting class that should make the Ducks the Pac-12 favorites. 25-13


Sean Miller, even with an NCAA cloud hovering over his program, has secured a top-five recruiting class that should return the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament. The addition of grad-transfer Max Hazzard was a nice late development. 17-15


It appears the Wolverines are losing their top three scorers – most notably Ignas Brazdeikis. But, remember, they lost three of their top four scorers the year before and still managed to earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. 30-7


Tyler Cook is determined to remain in the NBA Draft, which isn’t ideal for Iowa. But the Hawkeyes are still returning two of their top four scorers – most notably Luka Garza. 23-12


Houston reaching a deal on a contract extension for Kelvin Sampson was a massive development for the AAC program. The Cougars will be capable of winning back-to-back league titles. 33-4


The loss of Carsen Edwards is obviously a big deal. But Matt Painter has proven capable of running a competent program even when he loses key pieces. 26-10


Every relevant piece from a VCU team that won the Atlantic 10 by two games should be back. That includes four players who averaged double-digits in points this season. 25-8


If Grant Williams and/or Jordan Bone return, Tennessee will be significantly higher in the Top 25 And 1. But if they both remain in the NBA Draft, as expected, the Vols will have to replace the top three scorers from a team that lost in the Sweet 16. 31-6

Texas Tech

The Red Raiders are expected to lose four of their top five scorers – most notably Jarrett Culver early to the NBA Draft. But, remember, they lost five of their top seven scorers from last season’s team, and that didn’t stop Chris Beard from getting Texas Tech to this season’s national title game. 31-7


The Bears are losing Makai Mason and King McClure. But they’ll get Tristan Clark back and likely make the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in a seven-year span. 20-14


The Bluejays are returning all five starters from a team that closed the season by winning seven of their final nine games. That should be enough to help Creighton advance in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014. 20-15

Ohio St.

Five of the top seven scorers from a team that spent part of last season ranked are expected back – including Kaleb Wesson, who averaged 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds as a sophomore. Those returnees, combined with a top-15 recruiting class, should have Chris Holtmann in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight year. 20-15


The top six scorers from a Davidson team that finished 14-4 in the Atlantic 10 are expected back – including A-10 Player of the Year Jon Axel Gudmundson. As long as Kellan Grady stays healthy, the Wildcats will be good enough to advance in the NCAA Tournament. 24-10
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