Jeff Goodman’s 2018-19 College Basketball Preseason Top 25 Rankings

Stadium College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman releases his college basketball preseason top 25 rankings, complete with analysis and roster overviews for all 25 teams. These are the 25 teams you should be watching when the season tips off in November.

Last season: 26-11, 10-8 in SEC (Sweet 16)

John Calipari will do it yet again: deal with the turnover. But this time it’s a little different, as the majority of the defections are those who were underwhelming in their careers in Lexington. He’ll feel the losses of Knox and Gilgeous-Alexander, but he’ll have multiple options at the point and up front. We’ll start with the point, where Green stuck around despite the addition of a pair of heralded frosh: Immanuel Quickley and Ashton Hagans (who reclassified and committed late). PJ Washington and Nick Richards both return. They will be joined by EJ Montgomery and Reid Travis, a grad transfer who could be the difference-maker for the ‘Cats due to his experience and toughness. There are options on the wing for Calipari as well with a pair of freshmen: Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro. UK should also benefit from its preseason trip (and the added 10 practices) to the Bahamas.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (7): F *Kevin Knox (15.6 ppg), PG *Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (14.4 ppg, 5.1 apg), SG *Hamidou Diallo (10.0 ppg), F Wenyen Gabriel (6.8 ppg), F Jarred Vanderbilt (5.9 ppg), F Sacha Killeya-Jones (3.3 ppg), C Tai Wynyard (1.0 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (2): PJ Washington (6-7, Soph., 10.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg), C Nick Richards (6-11, Soph., 5.1 ppg)
  • Others Returning (1): PG Quade Green (6-0, Soph., 9.3 ppg)
  • Sat (1): SG Jemarl Baker (6-4, RS Fr.)
  • Add (6): PF-C Reid Travis (6-8, 17.4 ppg, 8.9 rpg, grad transfer – Stanford), PG Immanuel Quickley (6-3, No. 23), SF Keldon Johnson (6-6, No. 7), SG Tyler Herro (6-5, No. 28), PF/C EJ Montgomery (6-11, No. 14), PG Ashton Hagans (6-3, reclassified)

Last season: 31-8, 13-5 in Big 12 (Final Four)

Kansas loses three starters — it would have been four if LaGerald Vick hadn’t returned after declaring for the NBA Draft. Still, they should be better this year. Bill Self brings in a talented recruiting class led by guards Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson and will also add a trio of transfers, headlined by ex-Memphis forward Dedric Lawson, who averaged 19.2 points and 9.9 boards two years ago for the Tigers. Look for Lawson and Grimes to share the spotlight this year, but the Jayhawks biggest strength may come in numbers. There’s Udoka Azubuike, Silvio De Sousa and David McCormack in the post and no shortage of guys on the wing with Grimes, K.J. Lawson, Marcus Garrett, and Dedric Lawson and Mitch Lightfoot at the four. The only major question may be at the point, where Dotson will battle with Charlie Moore for the starting duties.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (4): PG *Devonte’ Graham (17.3 ppg), SG *Svi Mykhailiuk (14.6 ppg), SG *Malik Newman (14.2 ppg), SG Sam Cunliffe (1.9 ppg, transferred to Evansville)
  • Returning Starters (2): C Udoka Azubuike (7-0, Jr., 13.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg), SG LaGerald Vick (12.1 ppg)
  • Others Returning (3): SG Marcus Garrett (6-5, Soph., 4.1 ppg), PF/C Silvio De Sousa (6-9, Soph., 4.0 ppg), F Mitch Lightfoot (6-8, Jr., 3.8 ppg)
  • Sat (3): PF Dedric Lawson (6-9, Jr., transfer – Memphis, 19.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg), SF K.J. Lawson (6-8, RS Soph., transfer – Memphis, 12.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg), PG Charlie Moore (5-11, Soph., transfer – Cal, 12.2 ppg)
  • Add (4): SG Quentin Grimes (6-4, No. 8), PG Devon Dotson (6-2, No. 22), PF/C David McCormack (6-10, No. 25), SG Ochai Agbaji (6-5)

Last season: 29-8, 13-5 in ACC (Elite Eight)

This is basically a complete reload for Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils. The entire starting lineup is history, but Coach K will welcome in arguably the top three freshmen in the country. R.J. Barrett should be the star, but he’ll have company with a second long and versatile wing in Cam Reddish. Then there’s Zion Williamson, a freak athlete who should be productive no matter how he’s utilized. But there’s a fourth freshman who could wind up being the most critical: point guard Tre Jones. He’s different than his brother, Timberwolves PG Tyus Jones, but the key will be Tre’s ability to get the other guys easy looks and lead. It’s likely that Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier will battle for minutes up front, and Alex O’Connell will also find a way to get on the court due to his ability to make shots from the perimeter (an overall concern for the Blue Devils.)

Roster Overview

  • Lose (5): C *Marvin Bagley III (21.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg), SG *Grayson Allen (15.5 ppg, 4.6 apg), SG *Gary Trent Jr., (14.5 ppg), PF *Wendell Carter Jr., (13.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg); G *Trevon Duval (10.3 ppg, 5.6 apg)
  • Returning Starters: None
  • Others Returning (7): C Marques Bolden (6-11, Jr., 3.9 ppg), PF Javin DeLaurier (6-10, Jr., 3.4 ppg), SG Alex O’Connell (6-6, Soph., 3.3 ppg), PG Jordan Goldwire (6-2, Soph., 1.0 ppg,), C Antonio Vrankovic (7-0, Sr., 1.0 ppg), F Jack White (6-7, Jr,., 0.8 ppg), PF Justin Robinson (6-9, Jr.)
  • Add (5): SG-SF R.J. Barrett (6-7, No. 1), SG-SF Cam Reddish (6-9, No. 3), F Zion Williamson (6-6, No. 2), PG Tre Jones (6-3, No. 17), F Joey Baker (6-7, No. 15 in Class of 2019)

Last season: 32-5, 17-1 in WCC (Sweet 16)

The ‘Zags are loaded. Again. I’m not sure who the go-to guy will be, but Mark Few has options. The frontcourt should be dominant with Killian Tillie, Rui Hachimura and the addition of Brandon Clarke, who put up 17.5 PPG at San Jose State two years ago and may be more athletic than Rui. The backcourt features a vet in Josh Perkins and also Zach Norvell, who is coming off a strong campaign. Corey Kispert will likely come off the bench, but could start for most other college basketball programs.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (3): F *Johnathan Williams III (13.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg), SG *Silas Melson (9.3 ppg), G Jesse Wade (1.4 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (3): F Killian Tillie (6-10, Jr., 12.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg), SG Zach Norvell Jr. (6-5, RS Soph., 12.7 ppg), PG Josh Perkins (6-3, RS Sr., 12.3 ppg, 5.3 apg)
  • Others Returning (4): F Rui Hachimura (6-8, Jr., 11.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg), SF Corey Kispert (6-6, Soph., 6.7 ppg), C Jacob Larsen (6-11, RS Soph., 2.9 ppg), F Jeremy Jones (6-7, RS Sr., 1.7 ppg)
  • Sat (2): F Brandon Clarke (6-8, Jr., transfer – San Jose State, 17.5 ppg), G Joel Ayayi (6-5, RS Fr., France)
  • Add (2): F Filip Petrusev (6-11), G Greg Foster Jr. (6-6)

Last season: 31-3, 17-1 in ACC (first round of NCAA tournament)

Yes, we all remember what happened to Bennett and the Cavs last March when they made history as the first No. 1 seed to bow out to a No. 16 in the NCAA Tournament. But that overshadowed an incredible regular season in which Virginia went 31-3 and lost just one game in the entire ACC slate. The backcourt of Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome returns, and De’Andre Hunter (who didn’t play in the loss to UMBC) is also back. After that trio, there are certainly some question marks in Charlottesville — but we’ve learned to trust Bennett (who has a 73-17 ACC mark in the last five years, compared to Coach K and Roy Williams’ 63-27 record in that span).

Roster Overview

  • Lose (3): G *Devon Hall (11.7 ppg), F *Isaiah Wilkins (6.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg), G Nigel Johnson (4.9 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (3): SG Kyle Guy (6-2, Jr., 14.1 ppg), PG Ty Jerome (6-5, Jr., 10.6 ppg), C Jack Salt (6-10, RS Sr., 3.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
  • Other Returners (5): PF De’Andre Hunter (6-7, RS Soph., 9.2 ppg), F Mamadi Diakite (6-9, RS Jr., 5.4 ppg), F Jay Huff (7-1, RS Soph., 3.4 ppg), G Marco Anthony (6-4, Soph., 2.0 ppg)
  • Sat (1): F Francesco Badocchi (6-7, RS Fr.)
  • Add (3): C Francisco Caffaro (7-0), PF Braxton Key (6-8, Alabama, 7.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg), G Kihei Clark (5-9), G Kody Stattmann (6-7)

Last season: 29-8, 15-3 in Mountain West (Sweet 16)

No one could have ever imagined that Eric Mussleman would have the Wolf Pack earning a top-10 spot in preseason top-25 rankings after just three years in Reno. However, he’s done it — with transfers. There are nine players on the roster who have transferred into the program, including the Martin Twins (Caleb and Cody) and Jordan Caroline, who came from Southern Illinois. That trio makes Nevada the clear-cut favorites in the Mountain West and also a viable Final Four contender. Musselman will also add four guys who sat last season after transferring up a level, and two talented forwards in heralded McDonald’s All-American Jordan Brown and Old Dominion grad transfer Trey Porter.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (4): G *Kendall Stephens (13.1 ppg), G Josh Hall (6.9 ppg, transferred to Missouri State), G Hallice Cooke (4.7 ppg), F Elijah Foster (1.7 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (4): F Caleb Martin (6-7, Sr., 18.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg), SG/SF Jordan Caroline (6-7, Sr., 17.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg), F Cody Martin (6-7, Sr., 14.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg), G Lindsey Drew (6-4, Sr., 8.1 ppg)
  • Other Returners: None
  • Sat (4): F Tre’Shawn Thurman (6-7, Sr., transfer – Omaha, 13.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg), G Corey Henson (6-3, Sr., transfer – Wagner, 14.6 ppg), G Jazz Johnson (5-10, Jr., transfer – Portland, 15.8 ppg), G Nisre’ Zouzoua (6-2, Jr., transfer – Bryant, 20.3 ppg),
  • Add (4): F Trey Porter (6-10, grad transfer – Old Dominion, 13.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg), PF Jordan Brown (6-11, No. 31), PF K.J. Hymes (6-11), PF Vincent Lee (6-9)
  • Not eligible (1): G Jalen Harris (6-4, transfer – Louisiana Tech, 15.3 ppg)

Last season: 26-11, 11-7 in ACC (second round of NCAA tournament)

I love the forward duo of Luke Maye and the ultra-talented Nassir Little, but the question marks around UNC revolve around point guard play. Not that Joel Berry was a guy who consistently gave his teammates easy looks, but he was a proven winner who played with poise and could get a bucket when needed. Coby White is a talented freshman, and like Berry, he’s far more scorer than distributor. The good news is he’ll have talent around him with Maye, Little, Kenny Williams and Cameron Johnson. I’d also expect one of the young big men to take a jump this season out of Sterling Manley, Garrison Brooks and Brandon Huffman.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (3): G *Joel Berry III (17.1 ppg), SF *Theo Pinson (10.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg), G Jalek Felton (2.9 ppg, dismissed and turned pro)
  • Returning Starters (3): PF Luke Maye (6-8, Sr., 16.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg), SG Kenny Williams (6-4, Sr., 11.4 ppg), SG Cameron Johnson (6-8, grad transfer, 12.4 ppg)
  • Others Returning (6): PF/C Sterling Manley (6-11, Soph., 5.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg), PF Garrison Brooks (6-9, Soph., 4.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg), SG Andrew Platek (6-3, Soph., 2.0 ppg), SG Brandon Robinson (6-5, Jr., 1.7 ppg), PF/C Brandon Huffman (6-10, Soph., 1.6 ppg), G Seventh Woods (6-1, Jr., 1.1 ppg)
  • Add (3): SF Nassir Little (6-7, No. 6), G Coby White (6-4, No. 21), SG/SF Rechon Black (6-7, No. 49) 

Last season: 36-4, 14-4 in Big East (national champions)

Jay Wright and the Wildcats are justified with a rebuilding season after winning their second national title in three years. Four of their top six players left early for the NBA, but ‘Nova should remain the favorites in the Big East with Eric Paschall and Phil Booth back in addition to a strong incoming group that includes a trio of Top 50 recruits and Albany grad transfer Joe Cremo. Look for Collin Gillipsie to step into the starting lineup, and don’t be surprised if Jermaine Samuels and Dylan Painter both emerge as valuable contributors. Will Villanova be what it’s been the last few years?  Probably not, but the Wildcats could be a Final Four contender with their coaching, talent and culture.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (4): PG *Jalen Brunson (18.9 ppg, 4.6 apg), F *Mikal Bridges (17.7 ppg), SG Donte DiVincenzo (13.4 ppg), PF *Omari Spellman (10.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg)
  • Returning Starters (2): F Eric Paschall (6-9, RS Sr., 10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg), G Phil Booth (6-3, RS Sr., 10.0 ppg)
  • Others Returning (4): G Collin Gillispie (6-3, Soph., 4.3 ppg), F Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (6-9, Soph., 3.1 ppg) SF Jermaine Samuels (6-5, Soph., 1.1 ppg), F Tim Delaney (6-8, RS Jr., 0.1 ppg),
  • Sat (1): F Dylan Painter (6-9, RS Soph.)
  • Add (4): PG Jahvon Quinerly (6-1, No. 24), PF Cole Swider (6-8, No. 32), SF Brandon Slater (6-5, No. 50), G Joe Cremo (6-4, transfer – Albany, 17.8 ppg)

Last season: 26-9, 13-5 SEC (second round of NCAA tournament)

The Vols were a major surprise a year ago, and Rick Barnes brings back just about everyone of note from a team that won 26 games. Grant Williams is the returning SEC Player of the Year and an All-American candidate, and Admiral Schofield gives Tennessee another upperclassman who has produced on a consistent basis. The backcourt features Jordan Bowden, Jordan Bone and Lamonte’ Turner coming off the bench. The question is whether the Vols can do it again… without sneaking up on anyone.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (2): James Daniel III (5.6 ppg), Chris Darrington (2.6 ppg, transfer to Toledo)
  • Returning Starters (5): F Grant Williams (6-7, Jr., 15.2 pg, 6.0 rpg), SF-SG Admiral Schofield (6-5, Sr., 13.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg), G Jordan Bowden (6-5, Jr., 9.1 ppg), G Jordan Bone (6-3, Jr., 7.3 ppg), F Kyle Alexander (6-11, Sr., 5.6 ppg)
  • Others Returning (5): G Lamonte’ Turner (6-1, RS Jr., 10.9 ppg), SF Yves Pons (6-5, Soph., 0.7 ppg), F Derrick Walker (6-8, Soph., 1.9 ppg), F John Fulkerson (6-9, RS Soph., 1.7 ppg), SF Jalen Johnson (6-7, RS Soph, 1.2 ppg.)
  • Sat (1): C Zach Kent (6-10, RS Fr.)
  • Add (1): PF D.J. Burns (6-8)

Last season: 26-8, 13-5 in SEC (second round of NCAA tournament)

Bruce Pearl was fighting for his job off the court last season, but he earned an extension with what he did on the court. The Tigers came out of nowhere, despite two top frontcourt guys being deemed ineligible, and claimed a share of the SEC crown. There were a few key losses — Mustapha Heron, Desean Murray and Davion Mitchell all transferred — but Austin Wiley and Danjel Purifoy are eligible this season and VCU transfer Samir Doughty is also available after sitting out. The Tigers will be more traditional in their look this season, but like Tennessee, it’ll be interesting to see how they respond to being the hunted.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (3): G *Mustapha Heron (16.4 ppg, transferred to St. John’s), PF *Desean Murray (10.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, transferred to Western Kentucky), G Davion Mitchell (3.7 ppg, transferred to Baylor)
  • Returning Starters (3): SG Bryce Brown (6-3, Sr., 15.9 ppg), PG Jared Harper (5-10, Jr., 13.2 ppg, 5.4 apg), PF Anfernee McLemore (6-7, Jr., 7.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
  • Other returners (3): PF Chuma Okeke (6-8, 7.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg), SG-SF Malik Dunbar (6-6, Sr., 5.4 ppg), PF Horace Spencer (6-8, Sr., 4.7 ppg)
  • Sat (3): C Austin Wiley (6-11, RS Jr., 8.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg two years ago), F Danjel Purifoy (6-7, RS Jr., 11.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg two years ago), G Samir Doughty (6-4, VCU, RS Jr., 9.0 ppg two years ago)
  • Not eligible (1): SG Jamal Johnson (6-3, Memphis, 6.9 ppg)

Last season: 30-5, 16-2 in Big Ten (second round of NCAA tournament)

Tom Izzo lost two lottery picks, so there won’t be nearly as much star power in East Lansing this season. But the Spartans will have one of college basketball’s top point guards in Cassius Winston and also one of the most talented big men in the country in Nick Ward. Josh Langford will need to become more consistent overall and Matt McQuaid will need to become more consistent with his perimeter shot. Xavier Tillman and Kenny Goins give Michigan State enough up front and someone should emerge from a five-man freshman class.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (5): F *Miles Bridges (17.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg), PF/C *Jaren Jackson (10.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg), PF/C Gavin Schilling (2.9 ppg), PG Lourawls Nairn Jr. (1.7 ppg), F Ben Carter (0.7 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (3): PG Cassius Winston (6-0, Jr., 12.6 ppg, 6.9 apg), C Nick Ward (6-8, Jr., 12.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg), SG Josh Langford (6-5, Jr., 11.7 ppg)
  • Other returners (3): SG Matt McQuaid (6-4, Sr., 6.0 ppg), PF Xavier Tillman (6-8, Soph., 2.8 ppg), PF Kenny Goins (6-7, RS Sr., 2.1 ppg)
  • Sat (1): SF Kyle Ahrens (6-6, RS Jr. – injured last season)
  • Add (5): PF Marcus Bingham Jr. (6-10, No. 60), PG Foster Loyer (6-0, No. 69), F Gabe Brown (6-7, No. 84), G Aaron Henry (6-6), PF Thomas Kithier (6-8)

Last season: 25-12, 10-8 in Big 12 (Elite Eight)

Bruce Weber and the Wildcats return all five starters from last year’s Elite Eight team. Dean Wade and Barry Brown are K-State’s top players, but the beauty of this team is they have different guys who can hurt you. Remember, Wade wasn’t healthy for the NCAA tourney run a year ago, but this team showed a togetherness and a toughness that made the Wildcats a tough out.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (3): PF Mawdo Sallah (1.8 ppg, grad transfer to Radford, G Amaad Wainwright (2.8 ppg, transfer – LSU Shreveport), SG Brian Patrick (1.6 ppg, transfer to IPFW)
  • Returning Starters (5): PF Dean Wade (6-10, Sr., 16.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg), G Barry Brown (6-3, Sr., 15.9 ppg), SF Xavier Sneed (6-5, Jr., 11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg), F Makol Mawien (6-9, Jr., 6.8 ppg), G Cartier Diarra (6-4, RS Soph., 7.1 ppg)
  • Other returners (5): G Kamau Stokes (6-0, Sr., 9.0 ppg), G Mike McGuirl (6-2, Soph., 3.3 ppg); James Love III (6-11, RS Soph., 0.7 ppg), F Nigel Shadd (6-9, RS Fr., 1.1 ppg – played 8 games due to knee injury), F Levi Stockard III (6-8, Soph., 1.8 ppg)
  • Add (2): PG Shaun Williams (6-3), F Austin Trice (6-7)

Last season: 21-12, 10-8 in ACC (first round of NCAA tournament)

Buzz Williams brings back four starters in addition to one of the top sixth-men in college basketball in Chris Clarke. Justin Robinson is one of the ACC’s most underrated players, Nickeil Alexander-Walker should make a jump after a solid freshman campaign and Kerry Blackshear was plenty effective for the Hokies up front. Williams doesn’t have a ton of size, but his guys consistently play hard and have more talent than people give them credit for.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (3): SG *Justin Bibbs (13.3 ppg), G Devin Wilson (2.8 ppg); G Tyrie Jackson (3.0 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (4): PG Justin Robinson (6-2, Sr., 14.0 ppg, 5.6 apg), PF Kerry Blackshear Jr., (6-10, RS Jr., 12.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg), SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker (6-5, Soph., 10.7 ppg), G Ahmed Hill (6-5, RS Sr., 10.6 ppg)
  • Other returners (3): F Chris Clarke (6-6, Sr., 8.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg), F P.J. Horne (6-5, Soph., 4.6 ppg), G Wabissa Bede (6-1, Soph., 2.5 ppg)
  • Sat (1): SF Ty Outlaw (6-6, RS Sr., did not play – ACL, missed 2015-16 with heart ailment)
  • Add (3): SG-SF Landers Nolley II (6-7, No. 90), PG Jonathan Kabongo (6-4); G Jarren McAllister (6-4)

Last season: 26-11, 11-7 in Big 12 (Sweet 16)

Bob Huggins won’t have an easy time replacing Jevon Carter, but the Mountaineers continue to win at a high level no matter who departs. Sagaba Konate is arguably the best rim-protector in the country, Esa Ahmad could become an all-league guy this season and Lamont West has the tools to develop into one of the top forwards in the Big 12. West Virginia also adds a pair of Top 100 freshmen, so it’s just silly not to have Huggins in the conversation when it comes to the second tier of top teams — even without Carter.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (5): * G Jevon Carter (17.3 ppg, 6.6 apg, 4.6 rpg), G *Daxter Miles (12.9 ppg), F Teddy Allen (7.0 ppg, transfer to Wichita State), PF/C Maciej Bender (1.2 ppg, transfer to Mercer), F D’Angelo Hunter (1.5 ppg, transfer to Nicholls State)
  • Returning Starters (3): C Sagaba Konate (6-8, Jr., 10.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg), F Esa Ahmad (6-8, Sr., 10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg), F Wesley Harris (6-8, Jr., 5.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
  • Other Returners (4): F Lamont West (6-8, Jr., 9.4 ppg), G James Bolden (6-0, Jr., 8.7 ppg), PF Logan Routt (6-11, Jr., 1.1 ppg), G Chase Harler (6-3, Jr., 1.6 ppg)
  • Sat (1): G Brandon Knapper (6-0, RS Fr. – knee)
  • Add (6): PF Derek Culver (6-10, No. 61), PG Jordan McCabe (6-0, No. 84), PF Andrew Gordon (6-10, Soph.), G Trey Doomes (6-3), F Emmitt Matthews (6-7); SG Jermaine Haley (6-7)

Last season: 23-14, 8-10 in ACC (Sweet 16)

The ‘Cuse barely got into the NCAA tourney, but wound up upsetting TCU and Michigan State to earn a berth in the Sweet 16. Tyus Battle is back after flirting with the NBA Draft, and Oshae Brissett was terrific as a freshman last season. Franklin Howard is a senior point guard, Marek Dolezaj showed glimpses and Paschal Chukwu gives the Orange a long, shot-altering big in the middle of the zone. Add in talented guard Jalen Carey, ECU transfer Elijah Hughes and a shooter by the name of Buddy Boeheim (yep, he’s Jim’s son), and Syracuse should be able to contend for one of the top spots in the ACC.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (2): SF Matthew Moyer (Jr., 3.2 ppg – transfer to Vanderbilt), G Geno Thorpe (6.0 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (5): SG Tyus Battle (6-6, Jr., 19.2 ppg), F Oshae Brissett (6-8, Soph., 14.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg), PG Franklin Howard (6-5, Sr., 14.4 ppg, 4.7 apg), F Marek Dolezaj (6-9, Soph., 5.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg), C Paschal Chukwu (7-2, Sr., 5.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg)
  • Other Returners (2): G Howard Washington (6-3, Soph., 1.1 ppg), C Bourama Sidibe (6-10, Soph., 2.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg)
  • Sat (1): SG Elijah Hughes (6-6, RS Soph., 7.8 ppg, transfer – East Carolina)
  • Add (3): G Jalen Carey (6-3, No. 36), SG Buddy Boeheim (6-5); F Robert Braswell (6-9)

Last season: 20-16, 8-10 in SEC (first round of NCAA tournament)

Call me crazy, but the Crimson Tide will be better this year — even without NBA lottery pick Collin Sexton. Sure, Avery Johnson won’t have an electrifying guard who can make a play on the offensive end at just about any point, but Alabama will be more of a team, move the ball and have balanced scoring. John Petty should emerge as the go-to scorer, Donta Hall has steadily improved every year and Herb Jones is versatile, defends and will improve on the offensive end. Dazon Ingram can play some point, but the duties could fall to a freshman: Jared Butler or late signee Kira Lewis. Oh yeah, the Tide also have the services of Texas transfer Tevin Mack, who averaged 14.8 points per game two years ago.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (2): G *Collin Sexton (19.2 ppg), PF Braxton Key (7.0 ppg, transferred to Virginia)
  • Returning Starters (4): SG John Petty (6-5, Soph., 10.2 ppg), PF Donta Hall (6-9, Sr., 10.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg), SG Dazon Ingram (6-5, Jr., 9.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg), PF/C Daniel Giddens (6-11, Jr., 4.2 ppg)
  • Other Returners (5): G Avery Johnson (5-11, Sr., 4.3 ppg), F Herb Jones (6-7, Soph., 4.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg), F Alex Reese (6-9, Soph., 4.0 ppg), F Galin Smith (6-9, Soph., 2.8 ppg), G/F Riley Norris (6-7, RS Sr., 4.8 ppg)
  • Sat (1): SG/SF Tevin Mack (6-6, Jr., 14.8 ppg, transfer from Texas)
  • Add (3): PG Kira Lewis (6-3), C Javian Fleming (230), G Diante Wood (6-4)

Last season: 23-13, 10-8 in Pac-12 (NIT)

Dana Altman and the Ducks lost plenty — a first-round pick in Troy Brown and a couple of veterans who transferred into the program — but Oregon brought in a loaded recruiting class. The Ducks also return a solid point guard in Payton Pritchard, a veteran in Paul White and a big-time frontcourt defender in Kenny Wooten. Bol Bol is the centerpiece of the freshman class, and he’s ultra-talented. But there’s also another McDonald’s All-American in Louis King and two more Top 100 players: Will Richardson and Miles Norris. It may take time, but I’ll bet on the combo of Altman and talent any day.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (6): SF *Troy Brown (11.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg), SG *Elijah Brown (13.6 ppg), F *MiKyle McIntosh (11.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg), PF Roman Sorkin (2.9 ppg), F Keith Smith (Jr., 1.9 ppg, transfer to Pepperdine), PF M.J. Cage (RS Soph., 1.7 ppg, transfer to Pepperdine)
  • Returning Starters (2): PG Payton Pritchard (6-2, Jr., 14.5 ppg), F Paul White (6-9, RS Sr., 9.4 ppg)
  • Other Returners (4): PF Kenny Wooten (6-9, Soph., 6.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg), G Victor Bailey (6-4, Soph., 6.7 ppg), F Abu Kigab (6-6, Soph., 1.6 ppg), G Will Johnson (6-1, Redshirted)
  • Add (4): C Bol Bol (7-2, No. 4), SF Louis King (6-7, No. 11), PF Miles Norris (6-8, No. 79), PG Will Richardson (6-4, No. 33), PF Francis Okoro (6-9, Fr.)

Last season: 25-12, 9-9 in SEC (NIT)

Ben Howland hasn’t gone dancing thus far in Starkville, but that could change this year. The Weatherspoon brothers are back, so is virtually everyone else of note and Howland now has a veteran group that could be ready to take the next step. The Bulldogs have a nice balance with quality perimeter guys in addition to veteran size, and Howland also added a guy in Reggie Perry who should come in and help immediately.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (3): G Xavian Stapleton (6.4 ppg, grad transfer to FAU), G Eli Wright (Jr., 3.0 ppg, transfer to St. John’s),
  • Returning Starters (5): G Quinndary Weatherspoon (6-4, Sr., 14.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg), PF Aric Holman (6-10, Sr., 10.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg), G Nick Weatherspoon (6-2, Soph., 10.8 ppg), PG Lamar Peters (6-0, Jr., 9.6 ppg, 4.5 apg), C Abdul Ado (6-11, RS Soph., 7.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg)
  • Other Returners (4): G Tyson Carter (6-4, Jr., 8.9 ppg), C E.J. Datcher (6-10, Jr., 2.2 ppg), F KeyShawn Feazell (6-8, Soph., 1.4 ppg), G Nick Singleton (6-5, Sr., 2.4 ppg)
  • Add (4): PF Reggie Perry (6-8, No. 27), SF Robert Woodard (6-6, No. 46), SG-SF DJ Stewart (6-6), PF/C Jethro Tshisumpa (6-10, Jr.)

Last season: 33-8, 13-5 in Big Ten (lost in national title game)

John Beilein lost a ton from last year’s team that lost to Villanova in the national championship game: Moe Wagner, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson were all key pieces. But Charles Matthews, Zavier Simpson and Isaiah Livers — all starters — are back. So are Jordan Poole and Jon Teske, so the Wolverines should be a legit top-25 team again as long as Beilein is roaming the sidelines.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (5): PF Moritz Wagner (14.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg), G Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (12.9 ppg), SF Duncan Robinson (9.2 ppg), PG Jaaron Simmons (1.5 ppg), SG Ibi Watson (Jr., 2.2 ppg, transferred to Dayton)
  • Returning Starters (3): SG Charles Matthews (6-6, Sr., 13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg), PG Zavier Simpson (6-0, Jr., 7.3 ppg), F Isaiah Livers (6-7, Soph., 3.4 ppg)
  • Other Returners (4): G Jordan Poole (6-4, Soph., 6.1 ppg), C Jon Teske (7-1, Jr., 3.4 ppg), G Eli Brooks (6-0, Soph., 1.8 ppg), PF Austin Davis (6-10, Jr., 1.2 ppg)
  • Add (5): PF Brandon Johns (6-8, No. 55), PG David DeJulius (6-1, No. 92), SF Ignas Brazdeikis (6-8), C Colin Castleton (6-11), SG Adrien Nunez (6-5)

Last season: 16-15, 9-9 in Big Ten

Archie Miller got his guy when he kept Romeo Langford in-state. The Hoosiers became nationally relevant that day as well. Langford is a prolific scorer and will team with Juwan Morgan to give the Hoosiers a couple of all-league guys. De’Ron Davis will help up front, but the key for IU will ultimately be point guard play. Ultimately, I’m betting on the duo of Miller and Langford.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (5): G Robert Johnson (14.0 ppg), G Josh Newkirk (7.1 ppg), PF Freddie McSwain (4.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg), F Collin Hartman (4.2 ppg), G Curtis Jones (3.0 ppg, transferred to Oklahoma State)
  • Returning Starters (3): PF Juwan Morgan (6-8, Sr., 16.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg), PF/C De’Ron Davis (6-10, Jr., 9.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, suffered injury in January), SF Zach McRoberts (6-6, RS Sr., 2.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
  • Other Returners (4): PG Devonte Green (6-3, Jr., 7.6 ppg), SF Justin Smith (6-7, Soph., 6.5 ppg), SG Al Durham (6-4, Soph., 4.8 ppg), PF/C Clifton Moore (6-10, Soph.)
  • Sat (1): PF Race Thompson (6-8, Fr.)
  • Add (6): SG Romeo Langford (6-6, No. 5), SF Jerome Hunter (6-6, No. 65), F Evan Fitzner (6-10, 5 ppg, grad transfer – St. Mary’s), SF Damezi Anderson (6-7), PF Jake Forrester (6-8), PG Rob Phinisee (5-11)

Last season: 21-14, 9-9 in Big East (NIT)

Steve Wojciechowski will miss Andrew Rowsey, but he’ll have no shortage of guys who can put the ball in the basket. Markus Howard and Sam Hauser are two of the top pure shooters in the country, and two other starters return from last year’s 21-win team in Sacar Anim and Matt Heldt. Wojo will add plenty — ex-Nebraska forward Ed Morrow is a potential double-double guy who sat out last season while Joseph Chartouny comes in via Fordham as a grad transfer and does a little bit of everything. Joey Hauser (Sam’s brother) is a top-50 player and Brendan Bailey is a former top-100 kid who comes in after serving a two-year Mormon mission.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (3): G *Andrew Rowsey (20.5 ppg, 4.8 apg), C Harry Froling (2.8 ppg), G Haanif Cheatham (8.2 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (4): G Markus Howard (5-11, Jr., 20.4 ppg), SG-SF Sam Hauser (6-8, Jr., 14.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg), SF Sacar Anim (6-5, RS Jr., 7.6 ppg), C Matt Heldt (6-10, Sr., 3.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
  • Other Returners (3): F Jamal Cain (6-7, Soph., 4.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg), G Greg Elliott (6-3, Soph., 4.5 ppg), F Theo John (6-9, Soph., 3.9 ppg)
  • Sat (3): F Ed Morrow (6-7, F, RS Jr., 9.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg – Nebraska), F Ike Eke (6-9, RS Fr., sat last season), F Joey Hauser (6-9, No. 46, RS Fr., missed most of last season due to ankle surgery)
  • Add (2): G Joseph Chartouny (6-3, 12.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.6 apg, grad transfer – Fordham), F Brendan Bailey (6-8)
  • Not eligible (1): G Koby McEwen (6-4, Jr., 15.6 ppg, transfer – Utah State)

Last season: 21-13, 10-8 in Pac-12 (NIT)

The Pac-12 is wide-open, and both UCLA and Arizona will be down. That means the Huskies — which return all five starters — should have a chance to earn one of the top spots in the league. Second-year head coach Mike Hopkins doesn’t just bring everyone of note back; he also adds a couple of top-100 frosh.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (5): G Carlos Johnson (3.8 ppg, transferred to Grand Canyon), G Michael Carter III (1.3 ppg, transferred to South Dakota State), SG Bitumba Baruti (6-6, Soph., transferred), F Greg Bowman (1.3 ppg), G Dan Kingma (1.3 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (5): G Jaylen Nowell (6-4, Soph., 16.1 ppg), F Noah Dickerson (6-8, Sr., 15.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg), G David Crisp (6-0, Sr., 11.6 ppg), G Matisse Thybulle (6-5, Sr., 11.1 ppg), C Sam Timmins (6-11, Jr., 4.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg)
  • Other Returners (3): F Naz Carter (6-6, Soph., 4.8 ppg), F Dominic Green (6-6, Sr., 5.5 ppg), F Hameir Wright (6-9, Soph., 2.7 ppg)
  • Add (5): SF Jamal Bey (6-6, No. 97), C Bryan Penn-Johnson (6-10, No. 100), G Elijah Hardy (6-2), PF/C Nate Roberts (6-11), C Riley Sorn (7-4)

Last season: 21-15, 8-10 in ACC (NIT)

Call me crazy, but I trust Brey and the Irish. They had been to the NCAA tourney seven consecutive seasons before last year, and it would have been eight if it weren’t for the injury to Bonzie Colson. Notre Dame will rely on T.J. Gibbs, Rex Pflueger and D.J. Harvey once he gets back to 100 percent. A key will be up front and how guys like Juwan Durham and talented freshman Nate Laszewski assimilate to the system in South Bend.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (5): PF *Bonzie Colson (19.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg) PG *Matt Farrell (16.3 ppg, 5.5 apg), F *Martinas Geben (11.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg), F Austin Torres (2.4 ppg), F Matt Gregory (0.4 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (2): G Temple “T.J.” Gibbs (6-3, Jr., 15.3 ppg), G Rex Pflueger (6-6, Sr., 8.0 ppg)
  • Other Returners (4): F John Mooney (6-9, Jr., 5.6 ppg), G D.J. Harvey (6-6, Soph., 5.8 ppg), F Elijah Burns (6-8, Jr., 2.3 ppg), SG Nikola Djogo (6-7, Jr., 2.6 ppg)
  • Sat (1): PF Juwan Durham (6-11, RS Soph., 1.6 ppg, transfer – UConn)
  • Add (5): G Robby Carmody (6-4), G Dane Goodwin (6-5), PG Prentiss Hubb (6-3), PF Nate Laszewski (6-10), F Chris Doherty (6-7)

Last season: 19-13, 8-10 Big Ten

Ok, I admit it. I’m a HUGE fan of Anthony Cowan — and that’s the primary reason why I have the Terps in the top 25 despite the loss of Huerter to the NBA. Cowan is one of the top point guards in the nation, and he’ll have weapons at his disposal. There’s the developing big man Bruno Fernando, a third starter back in Darryl Morsell and also a couple of top-40 recruits in Jalen Smith and Aaron Wiggins.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (6): SG *Kevin Huerter (14.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg), F Justin Jackson (9.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, played 11 games), C Michael Cekovsky (6.4 ppg), SF Jared Nickens (5.1 ppg), SG Dion Wiley (5.8 ppg), C Sean Obi (1.4 ppg)
  • Returning Starters (3): PG Anthony Cowan (6-0, Jr., 15.8 ppg, 5.1 apg), PF/C Bruno Fernando (6-10, Soph., 10.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg), SG Darryl Morsell (6-4, Soph., 8.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
  • Other Returners (2): PF Ivan Bender (6-9, Sr., 3.4 ppg), PF Joshua Tomaic (6-9, RS Soph., 2.2 ppg)
  • Add (5): PF Jalen Smith (6-9, No. 10), SF-SG Aaron Wiggins (6-6, No. 40), G Eric Ayala (6-4, No. 95), G Serrel Smith (6-4), SF Trace Ramsey (6-7)

Last season: 32-6, 15-3 in Missouri Valley (Final Four)

Porter Moser, Sister Jean and the Ramblers were the Cinderella story from last March — and despite losing a couple of starters, these guys should be the class of the Missouri Valley again. Custer is one of the best floor leaders in the country, Townes is a returning double-digit scorer and both Krutwig and Williamson should make jumps as sophomores. Moser will need a couple of newcomers — there are five including New Mexico transfer Aher Uguak — to step up and fill roles.

Roster Overview

  • Lose (6): G *Donte Ingram (11.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg), G *Ben Richardson (6.9 ppg, 3.8 apg), F Aundre Jackson (11.0 ppg), C Carson Shanks (0.8 ppg), G Adarius Avery (3.0 ppg, transferred to Central Oklahoma), G Cameron Satterwhite (1.7 ppg, transferred to Northern Arizona)
  • Returning Starters (3): G Clayton Custer (6-1, RS Sr., 13.2 ppg, 4.1 apg), G Marques Townes (6-4, Sr., 11.1 ppg), C Cameron Krutwig (6-9, Soph., 10.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
  • Other Returners (3): G Lucas Williamson (6-4, Soph., 4.7 ppg), G Bruno Skokna (6-4, Jr., 3.2 ppg), F Christian Negron (6-7, Soph., 1.0 ppg)
  • Sat (1): F Aher Uguak (6-7, Soph., 1.2 ppg, transfer –  New Mexico)
  • Add (3): C Franklin Agunanne (6-9), PG Isaiah Bujdoso (6-3), G Cooper Kaifes (6-3)
  • Not eligible (1): SG Tate Hall (6-7, Jr., transferred from University of Indianapolis, 14.8 ppg, 44% from 3)


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