Despite the decisions Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon to return for their senior seasons, Arkansas is not getting much love in the "still way-too-early" preseason rankings.
When the deadline for underclassmen to withdraw from the NBA Draft passed Wednesday, many publications published or updated their top-25 polls. Here is a look at several of them, beginning with the lone one to include the Razorbacks:
A regular guest on local sports talk radio shows, Aaron Torres of Fox Sports has been higher on Arkansas than most national pundits.
That remains to be the case, as he has the Razorbacks at No. 22 in his updated top-25 poll released Thursday. Here is what he said about them:
Things were already trending upwards for Razorbacks hoops (a third place finish in the SEC regular season, a trip to the conference tourney title game, a near upset of eventual national champion North Carolina in the second round of the tournament) and they were made even better when second- and third-leading scorers Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford both withdrew their names from the NBA Draft a few weeks ago. Add them in with a loaded recruiting class and the Razorbacks should get back to the second round of the NCAA Tournament — and possibly beyond.
Torres also has Kentucky (No. 3), Florida (No. 12), Alabama (No. 16) and Texas A&M (No. 24) from the SEC in his poll, while Arizona tops the list.
CBSSports college basketball insider Jon Rothstein shared his preseason top 25 on FanRag Sports Network.
He not only left Arkansas out of his top 25, but also out of the "five on the cusp" section.
Kentucky (No. 4), Florida (No. 12), Texas A&M (No. 20) and Alabama (No. 24) cracked the list from the SEC. Michigan State is at No. 1.
Long-time college basketball columnist and analyst Gary Parrish updated his "Top 25 (and one)" on Thursday. Arkansas was not among the 26 schools mentioned.
The SEC schools he did rank are Kentucky (No. 5), Florida (No. 10) and Alabama (No. 20). His No. 1 team is Arizona.
ESPN's updated "way-too-early top 25" came out Thursday and also did not include Arkansas. It did, however, feature the Razorbacks' SEC rival to the north: Missouri.
The Tigers checked in at No. 25, largely because of their signing of top recruit Michael Porter Jr. Other SEC teams in the top 25: Kentucky (No. 4) and Florida (No. 8).
Arizona is No. 1.
Michigan State tops College Basketball Talk's preseason top-25 poll that came out Friday morning on NBC Sports.
Kentucky (No. 4), Florida (No. 7) and Alabama (No. 21) are the three SEC teams ranked.
The No. 1 team in Yahoo! Sports' "no-longer-way-too-early preseason top 25" is Arizona.
The list includes Kentucky (No. 4), Florida (No. 11), Texas A&M (No. 19) and Alabama (No. 22). Arkansas was not among the top 25 teams or the 10 "almost famous" teams that missed the cut.
College basketball will be interesting in the 2017-18 season because there is no clear-cut No. 1 team. Arizona got the top spot in four of the six preseason polls listed above, while Michigan State was the top team in the other two.
To get a better idea of how teams are perceived four months away from the season, we compiled these six preseason polls and meshed them into one using a system where the No. 1 team gets 25 points, No. 2 gets 24 and so one until the No. 25 team gets one point.
Here are the results:
1. Arizona - 148 points
2. Michigan State - 143
3. Kansas - 138
4. Kentucky - 132
5. Duke - 124
6. Wichita State - 115
7. Villanova - 108
8. Louisville - 104
9. USC - 100
10. Florida - 96
11. West Virginia - 83
12. Cincinnati - 72
t-13. Miami (FL) - 71
t-13. Minnesota - 71
15. North Carolina - 66
16. UCLA - 60
17. Xavier - 53
18. Notre Dame - 43
19. Northwestern - 41
20. Seton Hall - 37
21. Gonzaga - 35
22. Alabama - 27
23. St. Mary's - 21
24. Texas A&M - 15
25. Virginia Tech - 14
Receiving votes: Butler (11), Baylor (8), Purdue (6), Arkansas (4), Texas (2), Missouri (1), Rhode Island (1)