DORTCH: Carolina preseason number one

As the debate continues about who should be No. 1 going into the college basketball season, I turned to my most knowledgeable source — Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook (www.Blueribboninsider.com) editor Chris Dortch

As the debate continues about who should be No. 1 going into the college basketball season, I turned to my most knowledgeable source — Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook (www.Blueribboninsider.com) editor Chris Dortch.

Queston: Will you have North Carolina, Ohio State or Kentucky No. 1 in your preseason Blue Ribbon poll?

Dortch: "North Carolina."

Vaught's comment: With North Carolina's returning talent and experience, makes sense.

Question: Will there be a better non-conference matchup this season than the Kentucky-North Carolina game and your early instinct on who you think will win that game?

Dortch: "I can't think of a better pre-conference game. The annual UK-UNC game is good for college basketball. My instinct says UNC will win because of its experience at point guard and in the post."

Vaught's comment: It's easy to understand Dortch's logic. However, this will be THE GAME OF THE YEAR in Rupp Arena. Normally, it would be Louisville. But not this year and that's why I think the Rupp Arena magic will turn the game into a win for Calipari's Cats.

Question: Who is your early pick to be the SEC Player of the Year?

Dortch: "Terrence Jones."

Vaught's comment: Sound logic there. Jones was one of the league's better players last year and figures to be even better this season. His only problem could be that he'll have to adopt a Patrick Patterson-like attitude — sacrifice individual stats for more team wins — and that could hurt him in Player of the Year voting.

Question: Who will have a bigger impact for Kentucky this season — Jones, Doron Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Anthony Davis?

Dortch: "I'm placing a lot of stock in Jones. He's going to be a first-team preseason All-America in Blue Ribbon and will also be on the cover with the other four All-American picks." Vaught's comment: Myself,?I am going with Davis because he needs to have a big impact inside and will get plenty of chances to do so.


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