Times Staff Report
November 1, 2013
LEXINGTON – The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team is ranked at the top of the Associated Press Top 25 for the third time in the John Calipari era.
Kentucky, who received 27 first-place votes, officially begins the fifth season of the John Calipari era as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation after hauling in its fifth consecutive top-ranked recruiting class. The Wildcats last started at No. 1 prior to the 1995-96 season.
“It’s a nice honor, but it’s way too early to figure out who’s the best team in the country,” Calipari said. “We may be very talented, but I can’t imagine us being the best team in the country at this point.”
Kentucky owns a 171-26 all-time mark as the top-ranked team (AP) in the country and has won 18 of their last 19 games as the AP’s No. 1 team.
UK head coach John Calipari is one of just two coaches (Frank McGuire) to lead three teams to a No. 1 ranking. Calipari is 62-8 as the top-ranked coach in the country. He tallied a 32-4 mark at UMass when the Minutemen were No. 1, and he was 9-1 at Memphis when he had the Tigers at the pinnacle of the rankings. He’s won 21 of 24 when his team is at the top as UK’s head coach.
In addition, Calipari has guided four of his last six teams to the No. 1 ranking and this year marks the sixth time he’s led his team to the top ranking. He guided his 1994-95 and 1995-96 UMass teams to the No. 1 ranking, as well as his 2007-08 Memphis team and his 2009-10 and 2011-12 Kentucky teams.
The Wildcats’ will be in action on Friday, hosting in-town rival Transylvania in the first exhibition of the season for the Cats. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be televised live on Fox Sports South.