Coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in his career, coach John Calipari of Kentucky is ready to get things rolling in 2013. Even though his team did not make the NCAA tournament last year, they have been ranked number 1 in the NCAA college basketball polls.
The reason for this high ranking after the disappointing last season is because of Calipari’s excellent recruiting skills. Although we have not seen much yet, this freshman class he has recruited should stand up to be nothing short of great. Calipari brought in eight fantastic athletes to try again for the National Championship in 2014. Six of these eight were McDonald’s All Americans, while two were finalists for Mr. Basketball in Kentucky.
These recruits mean that Kentucky has a hold of the number 1 player at four of the five positions on the court. Along with the returning players, Kentucky will boast the number 1 power forward, number 1-point guard, number 1 shooting guard, number 2 center, and number 3 small forward. Hopefully this class can learn that talent and s
kill does not always lead to success, however, as last year’s team can explain. These guys are going to need teamwork, determination, and heart on top of their amazing skills to get them into that final game.
Michigan State comes in at the number two ranking, bringing back six of its top seven players from last season. State made it to the sweet sixteen last year where they lost to Duke, but plans for better in the future. Two players that will help reach that goal are Gary Harris and Adreian Payne, who passed on the NBA to return to East Lansing. The strong squad went 27-9 last year, and with new freshman just might have what it takes to win their tough Big Ten conference, and even take down the favorite Kentucky. The team this year boasts an impressive resume, filled with three McDonalds All Americans, a Big Ten regular season championship, a Big Ten tournament title, and 20 NCAA tournament games. Teams like Kentucky may have more talent than this Michigan State group, but not many teams have the lethal combination of talent and experience that they bring to the table.
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