The more distance the present puts between itself and the first Monday of April the more it becomes apparent that this will be the most exciting college basketball preseason this area has ever seen. Why? Because talk of who should be the No. 1 team heading into the 2012-13 season has been almost universally limited to Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana.
The latest evidence comes from CBS, which today asked its three main college basketball writers to give and then defend their pick for the top dog heading into next season. Gary Parrish went with Kentucky, Matt Norlander took Indiana, while Jeff Goodman (What?) chose the Cards.
This year's team has talent, experience and depth.
Kentucky cannot boast all three of those attributes. And while Indiana can, Crean is not Pitino.
Pitino will be 60 years old when the season begins. He'll also have more than 600 career D-I victories under his belt, a half-dozen Final Four appearances and one national title.
He'll have a point guard in Peyton Siva that has three years of experience -- including the last two as a starter. He'll have a pair of talented wings that no one truly saw last season: Wayne Blackshear was a heralded freshman who was coming off two shoulder injuries and didn't make his college debut until mid-February; and Luke Hancock will vie for a starting spot after sitting out a year ago following a transfer from George Mason.
I can only assume that this is a direct result of Goodman not being included in the LCPT for the first time since its inception.
Peep Goodman's chart for further evidence:
Dark Slime would like a word.