Last season, Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils took him the ultimate prize in college basketball. Led by Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones, they were able to overcome Frank Kaminsky and Wisconsin. But like all good things, they at one point come to an end. As the month of October slowly winds down, we are graced with our first USA Today Rankings. Let’s get to know the Top 5.
Sitting at number 5 is the Kansas Jayhawks and Coach Bill Self. Coach Self and the Jayhawks dropped a matchup with instate rival Wichita State, a long awaited matchup for any fan of the Shockers. This Jayhawks team will look to veterans in Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden, along with some others to look to make an impact.
Duke comes in at Number 4, what is a top 5 poll without Coach K’s team. Remember Grayson Allen? The unsung hero of the National title game, yeah Coach K has him coming back alongside Matt Jones. Duke also added a number of big time recruit. So surprise surprise, they land inside the top 5 once again. The ACC will be tough, but nothing really surprises us more than a Duke team out of the top 5, and well there is no surprise here.
At Number 3 is the Maryland Terrapins, coached by Mark Turgeon. This Terps team has proved a lot over the past few years, but just came up short in the Tourney last season falling to Bob Huggins and West Virginia. The Terps added 5 star recruit Diamond Stone, as well as former Duke Guard Rasheed Sulaimon. These two should complement Jake Layman and Melo Trimble. I really like this Terps team.
We have co-number 1s, so there is already some controversy among the ranks. Somewhere Dick Vitale is screaming one of his absurd catchphrases.
At one of the top spots are Roy Williams and UNC. The Tarheels are a solid team, led by the outstanding point guard Marcus Paige. Paige, alongside Kennedy Meeks, a strong forward, keeps the Tarheels a strong threat. But they have a number of unproven players making them a risky team to have up so high. I’m unsure about this UNC team, but they did have a good run last year, and Roy Williams knows all about momentum. He and the Heels will be riding it hopefully all next year.
Kentucky and Coach Cal is the final number 1 team. Is this a surprise to anyone at this point? After a disappointing no-title last season. Coach Cal has Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Alex Poythress coming back this season. And I hear this freshman Isiah Briscoe is supposed to be the real deal. But what Kentucky team defined as is unproven. They may have a superstar three down low, especially with Ulis. Only time can tell.
A solid 5 teams are right here, and there are still teams like Iowa State, Virginia and Villanova in the top 5. Those three are also suitable teams but like I always say that’s why we play the game.