Kentucky tabbed No. 5 in ‘Blue Ribbon’ preseason rankings

The 2017-18 preseason college basketball rankings are beginning to trickle in, and the Kentucky Wildcats are ranked No. 5 by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook.

In addition to the Wildcats being ranked in the top five by the magazine for the seventh straight season, freshman guard Hamidou Diallo was named to its preseason All-America fourth team.

Kentucky is one of two teams from the Southeastern Conference to be ranked in the magazine’s top 10, joining Florida, which checks in at No. 8. Alabama is ranked No. 24, giving the SEC three teams to crack the preseason top 25.

Kentucky freshman guard Hamidou Diallo was named to Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook’s preseason All-America fourth team. (photo by Chet White, UK Athletics)

In addition to the Gators and Crimson Tide, other teams in the top 25 on the Wildcats’ 2017-18 schedule include No. 4 Kansas, No. 6 Louisville, No. 9 West Virginia, No. 22 UCLA and No. 25 Virginia Tech.

Arizona, Michigan State, Duke and Kansas make up the magazine’s top four, followed by UK at No. 5. Louisville, Wichita State, Florida, West Virginia and North Carolina round out the top 10.

Diallo is joined on the All-America fourth team by Texas A&M sophomore forward Robert Williams, Seton Hall senior center Angel Delgado, Cincinnati senior forward Gary Clark and Wichita State sophomore guard Landry Shamet.

Diallo, who enrolled in January, did not play during the 2016-17 season and tested the NBA Draft waters last spring before ultimately deciding to return to school, played well for USA Basketball during its trip to Cairo for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup. The 6-foot-5 Diallo averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals in seven games.

After posting an absurd 44.5-inch max vertical leap at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, Diallo figures to be one of the most athletic and exciting players in all of college basketball this season.

You can check out Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook’s entire preseason rankings and All-America teams by clicking here.

Kentucky No. 6 in Athlon Sports’ season preview

Athlon Sports also released its preseason magazine recently, and the Wildcats are No. 6 in its preseason top 20.

Like Blue Ribbon, Athlon has Arizona and Michigan State at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Athlon then has Kansas at No. 3, followed by Duke at No. 4 and Louisville at No. 5. After Kentucky, USC, Villanova, Wichita State and West Virginia round out the back half of the top 10.