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Sporting News Has Louisville At No. 7 In Preseason Top 25

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It's October, which means cooler weather, pumpkin everything and lots and lots of preseason college hoops rankings.

The Sporting News kicked off the festivities on Thursday, and has Louisville as a top 10 squad checking in at No. 7.

What's changed since spring: On July 1, the University of Louisville officially became a member of the ACC. 
It appears that change has made a nice difference in recruiting - well, either that or the national title the Cards won not long ago - and the reactions in Pittsburgh and Syracuse last winter suggest it'll mean fans getting really, really super excited when Duke comes to town the first time. 

Notable games on the schedule: Nov. 14 vs. Minnesota (in Puerto Rico); Dec. 2 vs. Ohio State; Dec. 27 vs. Kentucky; Jan. 17 vs. Duke; Jan. 31 vs. North Carolina; Feb. 7 at Virginia. 

What worries us now: Russ Smith was so enormous for the Cardinals the past two seasons that even with able players taking over - Terry Rozier, for instance, has a chance to be a star - it's reasonable to wonder how long the transition to playing without the Russdiculous factor might take. 

Why we still believe: Montrezl Harrell could be the nation's top player. 
He is physically powerful, plays team-first ball, and moves his feet beautifully on defense and rebounds. Plus he can score in a variety of ways. Coach Rick Pitino will put him in good situations. He might be good enough to carry a team at times.

Here's the full top 25, which has four ACC squads in the top 10:

1 Arizona
2 Kentucky
3 Wisconsin
4 Duke
5 North Carolina
6 Kansas
7 Louisville
8 Virginia
9 Florida
10 Wichita State
11 Villanova
12 Texas
13 Gonzaga
14 Iowa State
15 Connecticut
16 San Diego State
17 VCU
18 Michigan State
19 Oklahoma
20 Utah
21 Ohio State
22 Nebraska
23 Syracuse
24 Harvard
25 SMU