Still, others don't see any reason to worry nearly that much about Meeks' departure even though he was the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer last year.
Jeff Goodman of Fox.com has Kansas No. 1` in his preseason forecast, but Kentucky is No. 2 and here's why: "Despite the fact that Jodie Meeks decided to leave early for the NBA, the Widcats will still be loaded. Patrick Patterson opted to return to school, the nation's top freshman, point guard John Wall, committed to UK and the Wildcats also added a bunch of talented new faces with DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton up front and Eric Bledsoe and Jon Hood in the backcourt. This team is deep enough that Orton, a fringe McDonald's All-American, may not see the floor for any meaningful minutes."
Goodman has Michigan State, Texas, North Carolina, Villanova, Washington, Purdue, Tennesse and Connecticut completing his preseason top 10.
ESPN.com's Andy Katz has Kansas on top also followed by Michigan State, Texas, Villanova< North Carolina and Purdue. He has Kentucky No. 7. He wrote: "Is this too low? Possibly. But John Calipari would agree with me that the Wildcats still haven't earned anything yet. Look, they have to learn a new system, and outside of Patrick Patterson, the key players on this squad are all new: John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, Darnell Dodson, DeMarcus Cousins and Daniel Orton. I just want to see UK mature a bit before it's anointed."
That's partially how Conley feels. He believes if Wall, Cousins and the other newcomes match their hype, UK could be as good as many are hoping by March.
"I think Kentucky probably should still be the SEC favorite," Conley said. "I probably would have taken Florida if Nick Calathes had stayed (instead of going to the NBA). Kentucky certainly in the SEC Eastern Division favorite now.
"The SEC West has a lot of turmoil, but it is not nearly as good as the East. Auburn will be good after getting it turned around last year. Mississippi State could turn out to be really good."
But so could Kentucky, couldn't it?
"Absolutely. Sometimes you never know talent and team chemistry will go together," Conley said. "John has been great at getting talented players to play in his system. But he has so many new guys to teach and nobody coming back that knows the system.
"Kentucky is going to be good. I just don't know that it is fair or realstic to really think a team with so many young players can be top 10, top five. That's why I think UK fans might want to just scale those preseason expectations down a bit until we see how this team plays out."