I'm going to pre-empt my SN column lead today: Kentucky is going to win the NCAA hoops title next March. They should be the preseason No. 1 team in the country.
Why? Because UK reportedly just got super-prospect John Wall, who instantly becomes the best player in college basketball. Wall isn't just a lock as the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft -- he could have been in the mix for the No. 1 pick THIS year.
But it's not just Wall. It's the return of Patrick Patterson, the best post player in the country. It's the collection of a recruiting class that was arguably No. 1 in the country BEFORE Wall joined. It is the possibility that super-guard Jodie Meeks may come back to UK for a one-year title run.
And, of course, it is because of Coach Calipari, whose presence instantly brough cachet to UK -- not to mention this recruiting class, the decision of Patterson to stay, a hot new offense, etc.
Normally, I'm of the opinion that Calipari is a great in-season coach, but I would NEVER pick him to win the national title. But Wall and the rest have changed my mind.
Kentucky will be young (but not that young, given Patterson and, perhaps, Meeks), but they will be very very good. Good enough to be preseason No. 1. Good enough to be THE marquee team to watch on TV. Good enough to win the national title.
Kentucky is SO back. (I'm not happy about it, but I am fascinated by it.)