Kentucky Basketball: Where Wildcats' Projected Starters Rank vs. SEC Competition

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Kentucky Basketball: Where Wildcats' Projected Starters Rank vs. SEC Competition
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

You'll be hard-pressed to find a prediction for the forthcoming SEC basketball season that doesn't put the Kentucky Wildcats in first place. Those who dare to downgrade the talented Cats are quickly deluged with feedback berating them for trying to be "shocking" or "controversial."

Of course, that same feedback was plentiful last year, and it was Florida, not UK, that steamrolled the rest of the conference. Evaluated on a piece-by-piece basis, it's unlikely that the Gators would have been picked to dominate as thoroughly as they did.

We've all learned by now that teams will frequently add up to more or less than the sum of their parts, but it's still fun to break the projected starters out by position and weigh them against a group of their peers.

This sort of project has two steps: 1) Identify the potential starters for each team in the conference; and 2) rank each group by position. We're well aware that some players may be listed out of position (e.g. a natural shooting guard in with the small forwards), but as three-guard lineups become more and more prevalent, these guys have to be listed somewhere.

At the end, we'll total the rankings for a purely unscientific look at the relative strength of each team's starting lineup. While there are so many more moving parts in the SEC season, these rankings may just resemble your expected final standings.

With a team as talented and as deep as Kentucky, there are countless potential lineup combinations. This writer's bounced between at least half a dozen already. 

Therefore, this sort of exercise can be repeated over and over with your chosen players and positions.

Feel free to volunteer other possibilities in the comments.

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