5. Kentucky (9-2)
With talented young pieces in their lineup, Kentucky has the potential to do some fantastic things this season, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready to crown the Wildcats kings of anything. We’re still only three weeks removed from a mind-blowing home loss to UNC Wilmington, though they’ve handled business in nearly every other game this season, including this past week.
The final game before Christmas was the annual rivalry game against Louisville, though this Cardinals program is certainly in a pitiable position these days. Though the game was on the road, the Wildcats had little trouble, pulling out a 95-76 victory over the Cardinals. Antonio Reeves led all scorers with 30 points while Tre Mitchell added 18 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Reed Sheppard continued his stunning start with 11 points and 11 assists off the bench.
This Thursday's win against their rivals also marked Kentucky’s first true road game of the season. John Calipari’s teams tend to get better as the season moves along and the Wildcats certainly look like they have star potential in this lineup. How they handle the true road environments in the SEC will be something to watch in the weeks ahead, though it’s a home game with Illinois State that awaits them next week, giving Reeves a game against his former team.