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Kentucky is poised for a big season with the nation's No. 1 recruiting class coming to Lexington.
This one is not going to surprise a whole lot of college basketball fans, so it only makes sense to get it out of the way first. Most schools would love to win 21 games and finish fourth in their conference. The Kentucky Wildcats are unlike any other program in the country in terms of expectations, though. It is an NCAA title or bust.
Last year's tumultuous season, which ended with a first-round exit in the NIT, had to feel worse than walking on glass to Wildcat fans.
Haters should get all the Kentucky jokes out of their system now, because come November no one is going to be laughing at John Calipari's group.
Rising stars Willy Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress will bring experience and motivation to the Wildcats' locker room. Those are two things Kentucky seemingly did not have much of in 2012-13. Cauley-Stein and Poythress will be responsible for helping the nation's No. 1 recruiting class adjust to the pressure of donning the blue and white uniform.
This crop of freshmen seems to be dealing with the hype better than its predecessors. Five-star prospects Julius Randle, Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison already appear capable of assuming leadership roles for the Wildcats.
Fellow 5-star recruits James Young and Dakari Johnson will make an immediate impact as well.
Whether or not Kentucky should be ranked No. 1 when the preseason polls come out is very debatable. Projecting the Wildcats to miss the NCAA tournament for a second straight year would just be plain foolish, though.