CBK Roundup: Hoosiers voted No. 1, Kentucky's top recruit 'good to go'

The Sports Xchange

The Indiana Hoosiers took the top spot in the preseason USA TODAY Sports men's basketball coaches poll.

The Hoosiers earned 21 of 31 first-place votes to capture its first No. 1 ranking since the end of the 1992-93 regular season.

IU coach Tom Crean embraced the challenge.

"I think it'd be crazy to try to shy away from it," he told USA TODAY Sports. "If we were, our kids would look at us and roll their eyes. We don't talk about it much. We talk about living up to the standards that we need to live up to on a daily basis to have it that way at the end of the year.

"I think it says a lot about our fan base and how they've stuck with us."

Louisville comes in at No. 2 spot, followed by defending NCAA champion Kentucky. Ohio State is No. 4 and Michigan No. 5, giving the Big Ten three of the top five teams.

---The University of Kentucky has no official update on the status of No. 1 incoming recruit Nerlens Noel, but coach John Calipari said Wednesday on ESPN's SportsCenter that the 6-foot-10 center is eligible and "good to go."

In an interview on the program with Hannah Storm, Calipari said the freshman can participate effective immediately.

"He has been cleared to practice, cleared to play games," Calipari said. "Everything is good to go."

Kentucky issued a statement immediately that said "No update on Nerlens Noel. We will not confirm eligibility of any student-athlete until the first day of competition."

Noel, who attended multiple high schools and had his amateur status questioned, faced an NCAA inquiry that prevented him from participating in games.

Last week, Calipari said Noel will practice and "if we played today, he would play." The Wildcats won the national championship in April but lost all five starters from that team, including national player of the year and No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis. Some recruiting experts compare Noel to Davis because of his natural ability, though his offensive game isn't as advanced, according to Calipari.

Kentucky opens the season Nov. 9 at Barclays Center against Maryland and plays Duke on Nov. 13 in Atlanta.

NCAA rules state "student-athletes shall receive a final certification of amateur status based on activities that occur prior to his or her request for final certification or initial full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I or Division II institution." However, the loophole, provision on temporary certification, grants Noel a 45-day window to practice but not compete.

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