Kentucky’s No. 18 spot in the latest AP poll is a far cry from the Wildcats’ status as preseason championship favorites with a No. 1 ranking. The gap between projections and reality is bigger for Kentucky than for pretty much any other team in college hoops, and the discrepancies come in all shapes and sizes.
James Young, for instance, has actually looked better than what seemed likely before the year began. Instead of scratching out playing time from the bench behind Alex Poythress, the freshman forward leaped into a starting role immediately and has become the top long-range threat in Kentucky’s offense.
Herein, a closer look at Young’s ascension and four more ways the preseason image of the 'Cats turned out not to reflect the real thing.