Jul 11, 2011 8:44 PM by Mary Jo Perino
The Los Angeles Times is already talking college basketball. It's basically a consensus opinion that Kentucky and North Carolina will start the season as the top two teams in the country. In the case of the LA Times, it puts the Tarheels at number one for now.
Here's what they had to say:
1. North Carolina: Some thought Zeller needed more time in the weight room. Others offered Henson had work to do facing the basketball. No one had anything for Barnes to work on, which makes the trio's complete return a surprise to the nation and a salivating prospect for Tar Heel nation. By year's end, Barnes was one of the nation's top players and a surefire top-3 NBA pick, but his return speaks to the head on his shoulders and his desire for team greatness.
Overshadowed is the man in charge of distributing the wealth, Kendall Marshall, who took over the point guard duties from Larry Drew last season and ran with the opportunity. A loaded roster added even more depth with freshmen James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston, leaving Williams in prime position to win his third championship since 2005, which would tie him with last season's winner, UConn's Jim Calhoun, and behind just Duke's Mike Krzyzewski on the active title list.
2. Kentucky: The loss of Brandon Knight was to be expected, and the departed DeAndre Liggins was the team's glue and father figure on the court, but Terrence Jones returns with a year of seasoning and Darius Miller can fill Liggins' void. Add in a typical John Calipari recruiting class (Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague) and the Wildcats should be Final Four- worthy again.
Other teams of note the LA Times ranks in its top 15, defending national champs UConn at number four, SEC foe Vandy at six and Louisville at number 15.