3 Kentucky Wildcats Make CBS' Preseason All-American List; Are Rankings Accurate?

By brianlewis
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

CBSSports.com has released their Preseason All-American lists for the 2013-14 season. Julius Randle made the cut as a first-team All-American. Andrew Harrison and Willie Cauley-Stein are named as third-team All-Americans. Kentucky is the only school in the SEC to receive any All-American nominations.

Here is what CBS said about Julius Randle:

“Randle projects as the best player on what projects as the nation’s best team. He’s big, strong and super-aggressive — a matchup nightmare in the frontcourt who just might lead Kentucky in points and rebounds while leading the Wildcats to a second national title in three years.”

At first glance, I believed the CBS guys had Harrison too low. However, they have Ohio State’s Aaron Craft and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart ranked ahead of him. I think that’s fair, especially due to Harrison not even playing a single college game yet. Smart surprised everyone after he decided to return to school. He was projected as a top-5 pick, but instead returned for his sophomore season. The only knock on Craft has always been his shooting and offensive production. He’s a super-tough kid and plays some serious defense. The intangibles that Craft brings to Ohio State is the reason why they have been a constant threat for the Final Four. Harrison’s impact on the Wildcats will be huge as their point guard, but I could never rank him above Smart or Craft at this point.

Willie Cauley-Stein’s placement is also fair, but I believe he could have a better year than Michigan’s Mitch McGary, who is ranked ahead of him. McGary has always been viewed as a bit of a bust since being ranked so high coming out of high school. Granted, he is still a very nice low-post player for the Wolverines. He was a definite factor for Michigan on their way to the national title game last season. Cauley-Stein could have the same kind of impact, but he is so much more athletic. I really believe this is the year that Cauley-Stein really breaks out and becomes much more dangerous than last season. His size at 7-foot, combined with his athletic ability will be a matchup nightmare all season long.

Brian Lewis is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. You can add him to your network on Google for more of his work.

You May Also Like