On Wednesday, USA Today released its preseason coaches poll and the defending national champion Kentucky Wildcats check in at No. 3. John Calipari loses his top six scorers and all five starters, but UK still received five of 31 first-place votes based on its fourth straight top-ranked recruiting class.
This is also the fourth straight season UK has been ranked in the preseason top 10 under Coach Cal. A season ago, the Cats were second.
Kentucky will hold its annual Blue-White Game at Rupp Arena on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.
The coaches poll has a decidedly local flavor, as Kentucky is behind only No. 1 Indiana and No. 2 Louisville. UK defeated both the Hoosiers and Cardinals in its path to the title last season.
Joining Kentucky in the poll from the Southeastern Conference are No. 10 Florida and No 17 Missouri. UK will face Florida twice in the final month of the season, traveling to Gainesville, Fla., on Feb. 12 and hosting the Gators in the regular-season finale on March 9. Missouri will visit Lexington on Feb. 23 for a game that will be featured on ESPN College GameDay.
In addition to traveling to archrival Louisville on Dec. 29, UK's nonconference schedule features games against No. 8 Duke (Nov. 13), No. 18 Baylor (Dec. 1) and No. 23 Notre Dame (Nov. 29).
Here's the complete poll:
UK opponents in bold. First-place votes in parentheses.
1. Indiana (21)
2. Louisville (5)
3. KENTUCKY (5)
4. Ohio State
6. North Carolina State
12. North Carolina
14. Michigan State
20. San Diego State
23. Notre Dame
24. (tie) Florida State
24. (tie) Texas