68 Storylines to Follow in College Basketball This Season

With the college basketball season getting underway this week, here are 68 storylines to follow — from Coach K’s swan song to Paolo and Chet and everything in-between.

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1. One Last Ride: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski announced that this is his swan song and the big question is whether he has enough talent alongside stud freshman forward Paolo Banchero to make a Final Four run. Remember, Duke didn’t make the NCAA tourney a year ago and the Blue Devils haven’t been to the Final Four since they won it all in 2014-15. Duke will need strong point guard play in order to make a deep run.

2. Who Will Be the Face of College Hoops? It was Iowa’s Luka Garza last season, and while Gonzaga big man Drew Timme enters the season as the favorite to win National Player of the Year honors, it’s unlikely he’ll be the face due to his game and also the fact he plays in the WCC. Who will emerge this season? Could it be Banchero? Kentucky freshman TyTy Washington? This one is tough to predict.

3. Wide Open: A year ago, it was Baylor and Gonzaga, then everyone else — that shouldn’t be the case this season. The Zags may be the de facto preseason No. 1 team in the land, but there isn’t a gap between Mark Few’s team and everyone else this year. Whether you’re going coast to coast from Villanova to UCLA, the championship window is wide open for talented teams from multiple conferences across the country.

4. Must-See in the WCC: Chet Holmgren might be the most intriguing player in the country. The 7-foot-1 frosh only weighs about 200 pounds, but he brings a unique combo of length, skill, toughness and shot-blocking to the table. He and the talented Drew Timme will be a heck of a frontcourt duo, and Holmgren will be fun to watch because of his impact at both ends.

5. Freshman Phenom: Make sure you check out Duke forward Paolo Banchero. He’s 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, athletic and versatile. He’s a beast — think of Chris Webber with his size and skill. Banchero and Holmgren will be a pair of must-watch frosh this season, and they could wind up going 1-2 in June’s NBA Draft.

6. Let’s Get Wild: Will John Calipari’s new-look Wildcats once again be a factor nationally this season? Freshman TyTy Washington can be a star, but it’s going to be the added experience, and also the much-needed shooting ability, from transfers Kellan Grady (Davidson) and CJ Fredrick (Iowa) that could be the difference. This team may not have the upside and high-end talent that normally comes through Lexington, but their floor should be much higher.

7. Keeping Up With the Cardinals: There’s seemingly always drama around this program. Louisville struggled on the court last season and now Chris Mack will sit the first six games of the season due to a fairly ridiculous suspension that occurred because he didn’t have a compliance staffer in attendance when he fired assistant Dino Gaudio. Now the big question becomes whether Mack has enough talent to get back to the NCAA tourney. He’s got a couple of transfers who can shoot it with Matt Cross (Miami) and Noah Locke (Florida), and he also brought in an offensive coordinator in assistant Ross McMains.

8. Welcome Back: Fans will be back in the stands, and it’ll be a welcome sight for everyone. There’s not much better than a completely packed Cameron Indoor Stadium, Rupp Arena or Allen Fieldhouse. That will also revive home-court advantage, especially for the teams with passionate fanbases.

9. Can Baylor Defend Its Title? Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators were the last ones to go back-to-back in 2006 and ’07. Scott Drew lost a ton of talent with lottery pick Davion Mitchell, Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Mark Vital, but he still brings back Matthew Mayer and Adam Flagler. He also added Arizona transfer James Akinjo and a star-studded freshman class led by Kendall Brown. This will be far from a rebuild in Waco.

10. Transfer Point Guards: Texas added Marcus Carr (Minnesota), Baylor picked up James Akinjo (Arizona), Kansas went with Remy Martin (Arizona State), Kentucky grabbed Sahvir Wheeler (Georgia) and Indiana added Xavier Johnson (Pittsburgh). Michigan went the mid-major route with DeVante’ Jones (Coastal Carolina), while Michigan State did the same with Tyson Walker (Northeastern) and Louisville added both Jarrod West (Marshall) and Mason Faulkner (Western Carolina). This isn’t the complete list, but you get the idea: Transfer point guards are all the rage this season, and may determine quite a bit for these teams and their success.

11. NCAA Decisions: Does the NCAA finally make decisions with regards to Kansas, Memphis, Arizona, NC State, Auburn and LSU? What does upholding Oklahoma State’s postseason ban mean for everyone else in limbo? Do any of the coaches get fired? The bottom line here is that whatever the NCAA opts to do, if they do it after the semester has started at that school, the penalty should not take effect until the following season. It’s also important to be consistent with the rulings.

12. Zags’ Final Step: Mark Few has gotten to the final Monday of the season twice in the last five years and come up short. Once again, he has another team fully capable of winning the NCAA Tournament. With Timme and Andrew Nembhard back, and the addition of No. 1 frosh Holmgren, Gonzaga will have a chance to finally get a win on the last night of the season.

13. Super Seniors: The NCAA gave everyone an extra year of eligibility and there were plenty of guys who took advantage, including a pair of Villanova Wildcats in Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels. Remy Martin opted to come back and spend his last season at Kansas, Fatts Russell went from URI to Maryland for his “extra” year, Kellan Grady is headed from Davidson (where they don’t have a grad program) to Kentucky and Trent Frazier returned to Illinois. These are just a few of the hundreds of Super Seniors across the sport this season.

14. Penny for Your Thoughts: Let’s face it, Penny Hardaway hasn’t gotten it done at his alma mater as the head coach… yet. But in his defense, he only had James Wiseman for three games. He told me there’s no excuse for this group — which returns three veterans in Landers Nolley, DeAndre Williams and Lester Quinones, and adds a talented freshman class led by reclassified buddies Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren. Penny also added Larry Brown and Rasheed Wallace to his coaching staff.

15. Emoni: Memphis freshman Emoni Bates needs his own section because of the praise and scrutiny he has received over the last few years and will continue to garner. The former SI cover star has a lot on his plate as a youngster, trying to learn a new position at the point. But who better to learn from than another long and versatile floor leader in Penny Hardaway. Bates will need to get used to the physicality of the game, but he could wind up staying two years in college since he’s not old enough to be draft-eligible after this season.

16. Who’s Next? Two of the best college coaches in the country, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger, hung it up after last season. Coach K is done after this year. Who is next? Syracuse’s 76-year-old Jim Boeheim is the elder statesman remaining, but he told me he has no plans to call it a career just yet. I’d bet on Miami’s 72-year-old coach Jim Larranaga to be next to retire.

17. Hot Seat: The names to watch for this season are Frank Martin (South Carolina) and Tom Crean (Georgia) in the SEC, Chris Collins (Northwestern), Bruce Weber (Kansas State), Mike Hopkins (Washington), Brad Brownell (Clemson) and Tim Jankovich (SMU). There are more, but these are the most prominent who will need to win games in order to keep their jobs.

18. Man of Steele: Josh Pastner took himself off the Hot Seat last season, and I expect Xavier’s Travis Steele to do the same this season. Steele has yet to take the Musketeers to the NCAA tourney in his first three seasons, but he brings back veterans Paul Scruggs and Zach Freemantle, and this should be the year that Xavier breaks through.

19. Woody Back Home: I wasn’t a huge fan of Indiana’s hire of 63-year-old former IU standout Mike Woodson. Why? Check the track record of NBA guys in college. But Woody hired a quality staff, inherited enough talent and did a nice job adding necessary pieces through the transfer portal. Woodson wants to return IU to the glory years; Hoosiers fans just want to get back to the NCAA tourney — for now. I think this group has enough to go dancing this year.

20. Westwood Repeat: Can Mick Cronin pick up where he and his UCLA Bruins left off last season? UCLA barely snuck into the tourney, but went First Four to Final Four, brought just about everyone back and added a terrific frosh in Peyton Watson. And it’s not just whether UCLA can pick up where they left off, but also whether we’ll see the March Madness version of Johnny Juzang again. This team has top-10 talent for sure, but it’ll be interesting to watch how they respond to success.

21. Big Ten Bigs: It’s insane how many traditional big men are littered throughout the Big Ten. Illinois has Kofi Cockburn, Michigan boasts Hunter Dickinson, Indiana will roll with Trayce Jackson-Davis, Ohio State has a mini-big in EJ Liddell and Purdue has a pair with Zach Edey and Trevion Williams.

22. Ivy League: After the league opted to take a pass and sit out due to COVID-19, the Ivy is back this season. Coaches haven’t coached in nearly two years, and players will be rusty. Yale, Harvard and Princeton will be the favorites this year, but there’s a lot of uncertainty due to the layoff.

23. Best Early Season Event: The Champions Classic has been an awesome way to start things off for college hoops in recent years, and this year we’ve got amazing matchups in Duke vs. Kentucky and Kansas vs. Michigan State at Madison Square Garden.

24. Best Early Season Event, Part II: Head over to the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut the weekend of Nov. 20-21 and you’ll catch four top-20 teams. Villanova plays Tennessee on Saturday, followed by Purdue against North Carolina. Then the winners play Sunday at 1 p.m. ET prior to the consolation contest. This will be a heck of a weekend for me of watching games and playing blackjack.

25. The Mid-Major Recruit Who Snubbed K: Yes, there’s a kid named Patrick Baldwin Jr. who actually chose to play at Milwaukee over Duke. Seems insane, right? But there’s a legit reason for the decision. Baldwin’s father is Milwaukee coach Pat Baldwin. The younger Baldwin is a sweet-shooting 6-foot-9 wing who should be in the NBA a year from now.

26. Abmas’ Return: Baldwin Jr. may go higher in the NBA Draft, but Max Abmas is the top returning mid-major player in the country. His former teammate, Kevin Obanor, transferred to Texas Tech, but the nation’s scoring leader a year ago opted to stay at Oral Roberts for another shot at the NCAA tourney. ORU was the ultimate Cinderella story a year ago, and Abmas will try for a repeat performance. I commend him on sticking at ORU, where he’s been plenty successful.

27. Enter Tommy Lloyd: It’s not often that an assistant coach takes over one of the elite programs in the country, especially with him having no ties to the program. But that’s exactly what happened when Gonzaga coach-in-waiting Tommy Lloyd was tabbed to succeed Sean Miller in Tucson. The good news is that he inherits talent; the bad is that there’s still uncertainty with the NCAA investigation hanging over the program.

28. Boeheim Boys: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim will now get an opportunity to coach both of his sons, Buddy and Jimmy. Buddy has turned into a potential All-American and NBA prospect, while Jimmy comes over from Cornell, where he led the team in both scoring and rebounding two years ago. The Orange will have no shortage of shooters thanks to the Boeheims, Cole Swider and Joe Girard, but the key will be whether ‘Cuse has enough guys who can put it on the floor and make plays.

29. Beard’s Return to Lubbock: The date is Feb. 1, and that’s when Chris Beard, who quickly went from Lubbock’s favorite to most hated, returns to the place where he had a national title appearance and also made the Red Raiders nationally relevant. Beard’s reception in Lubbock as the head coach at rival Texas could get ugly, and he’ll go against his former assistant Mark Adams. The fans in Lubbock are pissed and want a win.

30. UConn Post-Book: With James Bouknight gone, who will step up for Dan Hurley in Storrs? The frontrunner to emerge as the Huskies’ “guy” is sophomore big man Adama Sanogo, who averaged 7.3 points and 4.8 boards last season. This is UConn’s second season back in the Big East, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Huskies fare without the star power of Book.

31. Pac-12 Fluke? The league came out of nowhere last season and wound up getting four teams in the Sweet 16. It was the fourth time in league history (1997, 1998, 2001) that’s happened, but no one saw it coming last March. UCLA went from the First Four to the Final Four, and Oregon State was a 12-seed that finished 10-10 in league play. Now we’ll see if the conference can pick up where it left off.

32. Hubert Leads UNC: Roy Williams stepped down in the offseason and was replaced by assistant and former UNC guard Hubert Davis. It’ll be interesting to see if Davis can get the Tar Heels back among the elite after a couple of down years. Davis went the transfer route — especially to fill the losses of big men Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler — and picked up Dawson Garcia from Marquette and Brady Manek from Oklahoma. The key, though, might be the backcourt of RJ Davis and Caleb Love.

33. Valley Power: The Missouri Valley might have a trio of NCAA tourney teams with Drake, Loyola and UNI. Drake is coming off a 26-5 campaign, and the Bulldogs return Roman Penn and ShanQuan Hemphill. New Loyola head coach Drew Valentine brings back just about everyone except for big man Cameron Krutwig. UNI returns former MVC Player of the Year AJ Green (who missed all but three games last season).

34. Belo: Illinois sophomore point guard Andre Curbelo should be must-watch TV because of the excitement and passion he brings to the court. Sure, he’ll have his share of turnovers, but he’ll also have some incredible no-look passes that should make him one of the most entertaining players in the country. I’m not sure there’ll be a more fun-to-watch player in the country than Curbelo.

35. Count on Kansas? Bill Self may not have a first-round pick on the roster, but he has enough overall talent and plenty of experience. He also added some speed with transfers Remy Martin (Arizona State) and Joseph Yesufu (Drake). This team should have a chance to make a Final Four run because of the sum of its parts, but that will depend on point guard play and whether Martin can be more of a pass-first player who doesn’t always need the ball in his hands.

36. Purdue’s Problem: Matt Painter has two terrific big men, and it’ll be difficult to play them together. Trevion Williams averaged 15.5 points and 9.1 boards last season, but 7-foot-4 sophomore Zach Edey may be even better. His numbers per 40 minutes as a freshman? 23.6 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. What does Painter do here, and is which player who comes off the bench okay with it?

37. K’s Swan Song at Cameron: Mike Krzyzewski will say goodbye to Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 5 against rival North Carolina. It’s basically a bucket list game, and should be the toughest ticket the sport has had in a long, long time. K’s record at Cameron heading into the season is 557-73.

38. Texas Transfers: Chris Beard has done it before. He tossed in some transfers and led Texas Tech to the national title game. But now he’s at Texas, where he just revamped the roster with six impact transfers. Can he figure out the chemistry quickly enough to make a deep tourney run with a roster that lacks March Madness experience in certain spots?

39. Wright Stuff: Villanova’s Jay Wright has won two of the last five national titles (2016 and ’18) and with four starters back from a team that went 18-7 and lost in the regional semifinal, the Wildcats could legitimately make a run at a third championship. The key will be up front, where Wright lost versatile big man Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to the NBA.

40. The Bonnies: St. Bonaventure head coach Mark Schmidt was passed over at his alma mater, Boston College, last year in favor of Earl Grant, but Schmidt will be fine. He has all five starters back from a team that won both the regular-season and tourney titles in the A-10. This team has the experience, chemistry and talent to be a national threat this season. Remember the name Kyle Lofton — he’s so underrated.

41. Juwan’s Jump: When Juwan Howard left the Association to take over for his alma mater at Michigan, I figured he’d be the latest in the line of guys who failed to make the transition from the NBA life to college coaching. But Howard hired a quality staff, inherited enough talent, can sell a strong brand and has the work ethic to keep Michigan nationally relevant. The Wolverines do have Hunter Dickinson, but the key this season will be their heralded freshman class (in addition to Coastal Carolina transfer DeVante’ Jones).

42. Will the Tide Turn? Nate Oats has crushed it since his arrival in Tuscaloosa, but he did lose a lot from last year’s team in Herbert Jones, John Petty and Josh Primo. He brings in two talented freshmen in JD Davison and Charles Bediako, but the key to whether the Tide have a chance to win the SEC is the play of point guard Jahvon Quinerly. Overall, can this group sustain the defensive intensity of last year’s squad?

43. Cougars on the Mark: Kelvin Sampson took Houston to the Final Four last year, but the Cougars lost four starters, including Quentin Grimes. However, don’t expect much of a drop-off with Marcus Sasser and Fabian White back. For my money, one of the biggest surprises this season will be sophomore Tramon Mark. Expect Houston to contend with Memphis for the AAC title.

44. Sparty Party? Tom Izzo struggled last season without a point guard, and the big question is whether Northeastern transfer Tyson Walker can be nearly as effective in the Big Ten as he was in the CAA. If Walker can be a top-tier guy, Michigan State will be fine. If not, the Spartans could finish seventh in the league. It’ll likely be up to Walker and freshman wing Max Christie to prove whether the Spartans can be a legit factor come March — because the frontline, although underwhelming, will be solid.

45. Tony Bennett’s ACC Dominance: Virginia’s roster looks underwhelming with ECU transfer Jayden Gardner potentially as the team’s top player, but you just can’t count Bennett and the Cavaliers out. The guy has an insane 117-28 conference mark the last eight seasons. Coach K’s ACC record is 101-45 over the same span.

46. Brey Watch: Everyone loves Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, and the guy had it going in South Bend for a long stretch. He took the Irish to the Elite Eight in 2015 and ’16, but the last four seasons haven’t been up to “Brey Expectations.” The league mark over those four seasons is 28-46 and there’s probably a little pressure on the 62-year-old to get back to the NCAA tourney, especially with a team capable of doing so. I think everyone is hoping Brey gets the Irish back to national relevance.

47. Mark Adams in Top Spot: Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt promoted Chris Beard’s assistant Mark Adams after Beard left for Texas. Adams is 65, a defensive mastermind and has been a head coach before at schools like Wayland Baptist (NAIA) and Texas-Pan American (to name a couple). But the big question is whether Adams can keep this program nationally relevant. He and his staff did a nice job retaining Terrence Shannon Jr., Kevin McCullar and Marcus Santos-Silva, and also adding transfers like Kevin Obanor (ORU), Bryson Williams (UTEP), and Sardaar Calhoun (Florida State). This will be a critical year for Adams and the program.

48. Topple the Catamounts: Can Geno Ford and Stony Brook, with Elijah Olaniyi back from his one-year leave to South Beach, knock off Vermont? The Catamounts have just nine league losses over the past five seasons, but this could be the year when someone else wins the outright America East crown.

49. Huggs’ Point Guard: Bob Huggins and West Virginia watched Deuce McBride leave for the NBA. Now the Mountaineers need to figure out who can play the point this season, or else it could be a down year in Morgantown. Maybe it’ll be ODU transfer Malik Curry, but this will obviously be key for West Virginia this season.

50. The Johnnies: With Julian Champagnie and Posh Alexander back, Mike Anderson has a chance to get St. John’s to the NCAA Tournament for just the fourth time in the last 20 years. Champagnie and Posh are both all-league guys, but the key will be the new-look supporting cast. St. John’s fans are hungry, and this could be a make-or-break year for Anderson in Queens.

51. Hoya Paranoia: Patrick Ewing enters Year 5 as the head coach, and fortunately for him, he does so with an NCAA tourney berth on his resume after a surprising Big East tourney title last season. Georgetown’s 26-44 in Big East play with Ewing at the helm, so we’ll see if the Hoyas can build on the tournament appearance or instead return toward the bottom of the league.

52. Pitino Power: Iona took a chance and hired Hall of Famer Rick Pitino prior to any finality with Louisville’s NCAA investigation, and it didn’t take long for Pitino to show he’s still one of the best in the game. Pitino took the Gaels to the NCAA tourney, and I wouldn’t bet against him going again this year. There’s a reason why many coaches feel he’s the best X’s-and-O’s guy in the game.

53. Mountain West Magic: It looks as if the MWC could have a trio of teams battling for the top spot between Colorado State, San Diego State and Nevada. Niko Medved has a pair of stars in David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens, the Aztecs will rely heavily on Cal transfer Matt Bradley and Steve Alford may boast the best player in the league in Grant Sherfield.

54. Bruce Pearl’s Point Guards: Auburn’s frontcourt should be terrific with UNC transfer Walker Kessler and freshman Jabari Smith. The Tigers also brought back wing Allen Flanigan and added Georgia transfer K.D. Johnson. The big question is at the point guard spot, where it’ll be a battle between EKU transfer Wendell Green Jr. and College of Charleston transfer Zep Jasper. I’m just not sure these guys are good enough to get Auburn back to fighting for an SEC title.

55. Howland’s Transfers: Few had a better offseason in the transfer portal than Mississippi State coach Ben Howland. The Bulldogs added Garrison Brooks (UNC), Rocket Watts (Michigan State), Shakeel Moore (NC State) and D.J. Jeffries (Memphis). Throw those four guys with guard Iverson Molinar and big man Tolu Smith, and the Bulldogs have a chance to make some noise in the SEC.

56. The Pope: Can BYU coach Mark Pope and the Cougars challenge Gonzaga this season? BYU has a veteran backcourt of Alex Barcello and Milwaukee transfer Te’Jon Lucas, and an emerging star with sophomore forward Caleb Lohner. They may not push the Zags, but they should still be one of the best teams in the West and a lock to make the NCAA tourney.

57. Belmont Ball: If you haven’t been paying attention, yes, Rick Byrd retired. But Casey Alexander has kept this thing going in Nashville, and the Bruins could make the Top 25 this season with the veteran duo of Grayson Murphy and Nick Muszynski. This will be one of the better mid-major teams in the country.

58. Complete Overhaul: I’ve never seen a situation where there’s not a single returning face returning to a program, but that’s the case at UT Martin. The entire staff is new, and every single player — including the walk-ons — left the Skyhawks. New coach Ryan Ridder will have the unenviable task of starting completely from scratch after he replaces the late Anthony Stewart.

59. Saddle Up: The NCAA hit the Oklahoma State Cowboys six days before the season started by upholding their postseason ban. Despite the loss of Cade Cunningham, this team had a chance to not only get to the NCAA Tournament, but win a game. Since the semester started already, the players aren’t allowed to transfer and play this season, which is completely unfair. It’ll be interesting to see what this team now does on the court.

60. Matthew Mayer’s Moment: Baylor’s 6-foot-9 senior waited his turn — and here’s his chance. He’s a guy who has no conscience when it comes to shot selection, and his mullet is also a talking point. But Mayer has NBA talent, and the big question is whether he can be a consistent factor for Scott Drew and the Bears every night. If he can, he’ll be a first-rounder and Baylor could make a return trip to the Final Four.

61. New Coaches: We’ve mentioned a few already, but there are other high-profile names in new places. Shaka Smart goes from Texas to Marquette, Porter Moser from Loyola-Chicago to Oklahoma, Wes Miller from UNCG to Cincinnati, T.J. Otzelberger from UNLV to Iowa State and Craig Smith from Utah State to Utah.

62. Turgeon’s Terps: Mark Turgeon is a lightning-rod for Maryland fans (many of who have crazy expectations), but this year could be a big season in College Park. Turge added some productive transfers with Fatts Russell (URI) and Qudus Wahab (Georgetown), and he also returns enough with Eric Ayala, Donta Scott and Hakim Hart. This team has a chance to make some noise in the top of the Big Ten.

63. Point Guard Play: Chris Holtmann is a hell of a coach, and he has done a terrific job maximizing his talent while at Butler and Ohio State, but this year’s OSU team will be interesting. He has a star in EJ Liddell, but the question is whether the point guard play will be up to par. He lost CJ Walker from last year’s team, and now it could fall to versatile wing Justice Sueing.

64. Altman’s Magic: You always have to mention Dana Altman’s Oregon Ducks, who are looking to win their third-straight Pac-12 title. Altman is a damn magician, and we’ll see if he can do it again despite losing three of his top scorers, including NBA pick Chris Duarte. Will Richardson returns, but it’ll be the transfers who determine whether the Ducks can three-peat.

65. Muss Bus: Arkansas was nationally relevant again last season. Eric Musselman has reinvented himself in college, at Nevada and now in Fayetteville. The guy can really coach, and he’s brought in a nice mix of transfers and freshmen. He’ll have to replace Moses Moody, but there’s enough talent back, and he also added four key transfers. Don’t be surprised if the Razorbacks still finish near the top of the league.

66. Stacking Up: Vandy coach Jerry Stackhouse brought back one of the top players in the SEC in Scotty Pippen Jr. It’s year three of the Stack Era, and so far, it’s been underwhelming — but he also has a talented transfer big man in Liam Robbins, so we’ll see whether the Commodores can take another small step… or if Stackhouse isn’t long for the college coaching thing.

67. Veteran Spiders: Last season was supposed to be the year that Chris Mooney and Richmond broke through, but it didn’t happen for a variety of reasons. The Spiders lose their scorer and creator in Blake Francis, but literally bring everyone else of note back — including shooter Nick Sherod, who missed last season with an injury. This might be the oldest starting unit in college basketball and they also have one of the most talented players in the league in junior Tyler Burton. I’m not sure they can win the A-10, but they might be able to challenge the Bonnies.

68. Don’t Sleep On the WCC: Gonzaga and BYU should be the cream of the crop in the WCC, but the league has gotten much stronger at the top. Don’t ever count Randy Bennett and Saint Mary’s out, and Stan Johnson has done a terrific job in his brief time at LMU. USF could also have a shot at a top-four finish with veteran guards Jamaree Bouyea and Khalil Shabazz.

MORE: Jeff Goodman’s 2021-22 College Basketball Preseason Awards