Jason King, an ESPN.com writer, has released a preseason Top 25 poll for the 2013-14 college basketball season. He will release another one during the summer, and there will be plenty of other preseason polls to go around. But for now, he has the Cards ranked 2nd heading into next year. Here is what he had to say about the Cards…
2. Louisville Cardinals: Rick Pitino’s squad will be favored to make a third straight Final Four appearance. Point guard Peyton Siva was the only senior on last season’s roster. His leadership will be tough to replace, but Louisville signed two point guards (juco transfer Chris Jones and high school star Terry Rozier) who should more than make up for Siva’s absence. Louisville received a huge boost when Siva’s backcourt mate, Russ Smith, decided to return for his senior season. Smith, who averaged 18.7 points last season, is a big-time scorer who needs to improve his decision-making. Center Gorgui Dieng left school early for the NBA draft, but forwards Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear are poised for breakthrough seasons along with Montrezl Harrell and Final Four MVP Luke Hancock. The Cardinals will be good enough to challenge Kentucky for the NCAA title.
Andy Katz had a response to the preseason poll from Jason King. Here is what he had to say about the Cards, followed by his top 25.
“Louisville did lose Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng, but the return of Russ Smith and the addition of heralded newcomer Chris Jones gives the defending national champs a chance to go for a second consecutive title.”
3. Michigan State
7. North Carolina
8. Oklahoma State
12. Wichita State
15. Ohio State
16. New Mexico