Dick Vitale has been saying throughout the entire offseason that Louisville was his preseason number one team in college hoops. Dickie V made it official yesterday afternoon when he released his preseason number one on ESPN.com.
Below is an excerpt from the article. Vitale will reveal his full top 40 at the beginning of next week.
My friends, my choice as the best of the best for the 2012-13 campaign is in the same region of the country as the Hoosiers and Wildcats.
My pick to cut down the nets in Atlanta is the Louisville Cardinals. I will reveal my full top 40 at the beginning of next week.
Why am I going with the Cardinals? Let me count the ways.
The Cardinals had a taste of the Final Four last year before falling to Kentucky. Having a veteran like Peyton Siva back to run the offense in so important. There is a nucleus returning that came so close last year. I look for big things from Chane Behanan and Gorgui Dieng as well.
2. Blackshear a breakthrough star
Wayne Blackshear missed most of last season with a shoulder injury but he has the potential of stepping up big-time. He can do it all as a difference-maker with tremendous talent.
3. New faces will help
Luke Hancock averaged double-figure scoring at George Mason before transferring.Montrezl Harrell is a highly-regarded newcomer from Hargrave Military Academy who should contribute. Louisville has the depth to win it all.
4. Dieng is a factor in the middle
Having a shot-blocker in the paint can make a difference. Go ask Kentucky how important Anthony Davis was in the middle last season.
5. Pitino is a winner
He should be in the Hall of Fame and winning it all would add a big feather in his cap. His outstanding leadership skills will help get this team to the winner’s circle.
I know Louisville’s depth took a hit when veteran Mike Marra tore his ACL and was lost for the season.
I believe he will eventually end up becoming a leader as a coach, possibly even with Pitino. It is a blow to the team.
I still give the nod to Louisville to put it all together and win the national championship. I cannot wait for the season to tip off, baby!