2021-22 College Basketball Preview

Drew Timme
Drew Timme is one of the leading candidates to be the National Player of the Year, while Gonzaga is the favorite to win the 2022 National Championship. (Photo courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics)

The college basketball season is here, and I am making my annual forecast, ranking the top 50 teams in the nation, including summaries for the top 25 squads. Enjoy the season. I know that I will.

1. Gonzaga

As was the case last season, the Zags top my preseason rankings, and they fell just one game short of finishing with an undefeated record (31-1), falling to Baylor in the NCAA Tournament Championship.  Gone to the NBA are guards Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi and wing Corey Kispert.  Returning are power forward Drew Timme (the 2021 Karl Malone Award winner), point guard Andrew Nembhard (ranked sixth nationally with a 3.59 assist-turnover ratio), forward Anton Watson (a defensive maven), and three sophomores who were top-70 recruits: Julian Strawther (wing), Dominick Harris (guard), and Ben Gregg (power forward).  This core will be significantly bolstered by Iowa State transfer Rasir Bolton, who should provide instant offense off the bench, as well as the nation’s third-ranked freshmen class that includes seven-foot-one center/power forward Chet Holmgren, the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2021.  Holmgren and fellow freshman Hunter Sallis (combo guard) and Nolan Hickman (shooting guard) are all expected to be significant contributors this season.  This squad should cruise through the regular season, but a lack of experience may be an issue during March Madness. 

2. Texas

In my opinion, the Longhorns have underachieved over the last few seasons, but I expect that to come to an end under the leadership of Head Coach Chris Beard, who brought a host of impact transfers with him to Austin:  Marcus Carr (CG, Minnesota), Tre Mitchell (PF, UMass), Dylan Disu (PF, Vanderbilt), Christian Bishop (PF, Creighton), Timmy Allen (F, Utah), and Devin Askew (PG, Kentucky).  The transfers will join three significant holdovers, senior guards Andrew Jones, Courtney Ramey, and Jase Febres, plus top-40 freshman Jaylon Tyson (wing).  Texas will not lack experience or depth, and has nice balance on paper, but can all these pieces mesh into a championship contender?  Carr, Mitchell, and Allen, all of whom averaged better than 17 points per game last season, are used to be the primary offensive option, and they are going to have to learn to share. 


As a No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament, UCLA unexpectedly advanced to the Final Four, eventually knocked out in the national semifinal, thanks to a half-court buzzer-beater from Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs.  Did the Bruins overachieve and get hot at the right time last year, or is this squad for real?  The Bruins’ primary core returns intact, including preseason All-American wing Johnny Juzang, forward Jaime Jaquez, a Swiss Army knife type of player who ranks at No. 29 on the HP Draft Board, bruising center Cody Riley, and steady guards Tyger Campbell and Jules Bernard. Sophomore center Mac Etienne is likely out for the season due to a knee injury, but his loss will be more than offset by the addition of transfer Myles Johnson, who excelled as a rebounder and shot blocker for three years at Rutgers.  Lastly, the most talented player on the squad is five-star freshman wing Peyton Watson, a likely lottery selection in the 2022 NBA Draft.  Fellow freshman Will McClendon (guard) will miss the season with a torn ACL sustained in September, which hurts the team’s depth a bit. 

4. Kansas

Coming in as a third seed, the Jayhawks (21-9) had a disappointing 2021 NCAA Tournament, partially due to COVID-19 sidelining several players.  Kansas exited in the second round vs. USC in an 85-51 blowout, and even if the team was 100 percent healthy, it is doubtful that the Jayhawks would have made a run to the Final Four.  Last year’s squad lacked depth and a true starting point guard.  Guard Marcus Garrett, who ran the offense last season, has moved on to the NBA, and he will be replaced by coveted transfer, Remy Martin of Arizona State, who led the Pac-12 with 19.1 points per game last season and was recently voted the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year.  Martin will join four returning starters, all of whom are ranked on the latest Hoops Prospects Draft Board:  center David McCormack, forward Jalen Wilson, and wings Christian Braun and Ochai Agbaji.  Depth should not be as much of an issue this season, with “super senior” Mitch Lightfoot and freshmen Zach Clemence and K.J. Adams coming off the bench at forward, and with sophomore Dajuan Harris and two veteran transfers, Joseph Yesufu (Drake) and Jalen Coleman-Lands (Iowa State), filling in at guard. 

5. Michigan

Last season, Michigan finished the season with a 23-5 record and made it all the way to the Elite Eight. Gone from that squad are do-everything wing Franz Wagner, starting forward Isaiah Livers, who was injured during March Madness, starting point Mike Smith, and reserve wing Chaundee Brown.  Returning are sophomore center Hunter Dickinson, the reigning Big Ten Rookie of the Year, senior guard Eli Brooks, senior forward Brandon Johns, who played well when filling in for injured Livers last season.  Dickinson, the Wolverines’ leading scorer and rebounder as a freshman, is an All-American candidate, and he been working on expanding his offensive game since the spring. Joining the returning players will be senior point guard DeVante’ Jones, a transfer from Coastal Carolina, who averaged better than 17 points and four assists over the past three seasons.  Most importantly, Michigan brings in the second-ranked freshmen class, featuring two five-star and three four-star recruits.  The most heralded of the lot are Caleb Houstan, a 6-foot-8 sharpshooting forward, and 6-foot-11 Moussa Diabate, a very athletic big.  If a couple of the freshmen develop into significant contributors, the Wolverines will be in the National Championship mix. 

6. Kentucky

Following a 9-16 season with another freshmen-laden squad, Coach John Calipari hopes to turn things around with experience in 2021-22.  That’s right, the Wildcats’ average age at the start of the season will be more than 22.3 years, thanks to an influx of transfers (power forward Oscar Tshiebwe, shooting guard C.J. Fredrick, combo guard Kellan Grady, and point guard Sahvir Wheeler) and veteran holdovers (forward Keion Brooks, guard Davion Mintz, forward Jacob Toppin, and power forward Lance Ware).  None of those players are future NBA stars, but collectively, they form a solid core, with good balance in terms inside and outside scoring ability.  Additionally, UK brings in an exciting freshmen class (ranked 10th), per usual, including two five-star recruits in guard TyTy Washington and forward Damion Collins.

7. Memphis

As was the case in 2019, the Tigers boast the No.1 recruiting class in the country this year, and while Memphis did not meet expectations two seasons ago, this year’s squad is in a much better position to compete for the National Championship.  In the second half of last season, the Tigers were one of the hottest teams in the country, and though they arguably should have been included in the NCAA Tourney, they had to settle for the NIT and a subsequent championship. Three starters (wing Landers Nolley, forward DeAndre Williams, and guard Lester Quinones) and sixth man Alex Lomax (point guard) return — those four combined for 49 percent of the team’s scoring last season.  The freshmen class includes two future lottery picks in wing Emoni Bates and center Jalen Duren, and the Tigers also added Miami transfer Earl Timberlake, a sophomore wing who was a top-35 recruit. 

8. Duke

Inexperience has prevented the Blue Devils from meeting expectations in recent seasons, and Coach Mike Krzyzewski will likely face similar issues this season, his last before retirement.  Duke’s roster features seven players who were top-40 recruits, and out of that group, five are either freshmen or sophomores.  This year’s squad figures to be led by five-star recruit Paolo Banchero, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward who is not only a National Player of the Year candidate but also a serious contender to be the top overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft.  Wing A.J. Griffin and combo guard Trevor Keels are two other five-star freshmen that figure to get significant playing time.  The two top holdovers are sophomore center Mark Williams and wing Wendell Moore, both of whom played very well in the second half of last season.  The rest of the rotation will include sophomore point Jeremy Roach, defensive center Theo John, a transfer from Marquette, and sharpshooting wing Joey Baker.  In the end, the freshmen will likely determine how far this team goes during March Madness, and if the youngsters live up to the hype, Coach K could ride off into the sunset with one more championship trophy. 

9. Purdue

The Boilermakers did not lose anyone overly significant from last year’s squad that finished fourth in the Big Ten and earned a four seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Last year’s team relied a great deal on three freshmen — explosive guard Jaden Ivey, 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey, and sharpshooting wing Brandon Newman — all of whom should take significant steps forward as sophomores.  Ivey is a potential lottery selection in the 2022 NBA Draft due to his ball handling, size, speed, and body control.  He is an aggressive rim attacker, but needs to improve as a shooter.  Also returning is center Trevion Williams, one of the top post scorers in the country, who averaged 15.5 points per game last season.  The rest of the rotation will include point guard Eric Hunter, Sasha Stefanovic, a 3-point specialist, and freshmen power forwards Caleb Furst and Trey Kaufman-Renn. 

10. Villanova

The Wildcats return four starters from the team that advanced to the Sweet 16 last season: point guard Collin Gillespie, combo guard Justin Moore, shooting guard Caleb Daniels, and forward Jermaine Samuels.  The missing piece from last year’s campaign is power forward/center Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who is now playing for the OKC Thunder.  Burly sophomore Eric Dixon will likely start at center, but two top-100 freshmen forwards are also in the mix: Trey Patterson and Nnanna Njoku, who has missed much of the preseason due to a concussion.  Daniels (heart) and fellow guard Bryan Antoine (knee) have also been dealing health issues, and the latter will unlikely be available for the start of the season, leaving the team thin at guard.  Brandon Slater, a defensive wing with untapped offensive upside, is a reliable backcourt option and could possibly replace Daniels in the starting lineup.  Assuming the Wildcats can get healthy, another Big East Title is very possible, but as of now, depth is a concern. 

11. Baylor

The regaining champs must replace their three leading scorers from last season, Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Davion Mitchell, but the cupboard is not exactly bare.  Senior forward Matthew Mayer is an all-around offensive talent, who can put up 20 points on any night, and guard Adam Flagler is a marksman from deep (43.4 percent last season).  Junior center Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua will provide an interior presence on both ends of the court, and has been working on expanding his offensive game.  Transfer James Akinjo will take over the point guard duties, after averaging 15.6 points and 5.4 assists per game for Arizona last season.  The other starter should be five-star freshman forward Kendall Brown, the Preseason Freshman of the Year in the Big 12.  Depth could be an issue for the Bears, who have already lost four-star freshman shooting guard Langston Love for the season due to injury.  Keep an eye on freshman forward Jeremy Sochan, who played pro ball in Germany last season and is highly regarded in Europe. 

12. Alabama

Alabama may be a “football” school, but there is little doubt that Coach Nate Oats is building a powerhouse basketball program in Tuscaloosa.  Despite losing Herb Jones, Josh Primo, and John Petty to the pro ranks, the Crimson Tide are serious contenders to win the SEC for the second consecutive year.  Key players returning from last season’s squad are point guard Jahvon Quinerly, a Bob Cousy Award candidate, combo guard Jaden Shackleford, the team’s leading scorer from last season (14.0 PPG), and wing Keon Ellis, an all-around talent who ranks at No. 72 on the HP Draft Board.  Five-star freshman guard J.D. Davison is likely to join the aforementioned trio in the starting lineup. Davison is an electric player who should be a perfect fit for Oats’ up-tempo attack.  The frontcourt is somewhat unsettled, with Furman transfer Noah Gurley, sophomore Juwan Gary, redshirt freshman Alex Tchikou, and freshman Charles Bediako all in the mix to get some minutes.  Of the four, only Gurley is not a former top-100 recruit.   

13. North Carolina

Coach Hubert Davis takes over for the retired Roy Williams, and the pieces appear to be in place for the Tar Heels to improve upon last season’s 18-11 record and first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.  The frontcourt is in good hands with returning junior center Armando Bacot, who finished in the top 10 of the ACC for true-shooting percentage, rebound percentage, and block percentage last season, and two coveted transfer forwards who can stretch the floor, Dawson Garcia (Marquette) and Brady Manek (Oklahoma).  The backcourt is somewhat of a question mark, but the talent is there.  Sophomores Caleb Love, a former top-15 recruit, figures to bounce back from a rough freshman season and start at the point, with Kerwin Walton, one of best 3-point shooters in the country, and senior Leaky Black starting on the wings.  Backing them up will be sophomore guards R.J. Davis and Anthony Harris and versatile freshman wing Dontrez Styles. 

14. Arizona

The infamous Sean Miller is out as the Wildcats’ head coach.  Tommy Lloyd, who spent 20 seasons working under Mark Few at Gonzaga, is now in charge — at worst, it is addition by subtraction.  Last year, Arizona (17-9) was more than respectable, finishing fifth in the Pac-12, despite a self-imposed postseason ban (see Miller’s shenanigans).  Enough of last year’s core returns for the team to at least do as well in 2021-22.  The strength of the team is a pair of sophomores, Bennedict Mathurin, an ultra-athletic wing and a potential lottery selection, and Azoulas Tubelis, a crafty stretch four with NBA potential.  With James Akinjo transferring to Baylor, fellow sophomore Kerr Kriisa, a former top-100 recruit who had a shortened freshman season due to eligibility issues, can play at his natural position, point guard.  The other starting guard spot figures to be manned by a fourth sophomore, Dalen Terry, a former top-50 recruit.  And the defense will be anchored by 7-foot-1 rim protector Christian Koloko, who ranked 18th in the nation last season for defensive plus-minus (5.8).  Arizona’s depth should be adequate, thanks to three transfers (mammoth center Oumar Ballo from Gonzaga, sharpshooting wing Pelle Larsson from Utah, and senior guard Justin Kier from Georgia) and one four-star freshman (wing Shane Nowell). 

15. Tennessee

The Volunteers could be very much in the race for the SEC title if they can overcome the scoring woes that plagued them last season (71.9 PPG, 156th in Division I).  Guard Jaden Springer, wing Keon Johnson, and forward Yves Pons have all moved on to the NBA, but as a group, they were more defensive than offensive assets.  Returning from last year’s squad are versatile wing Josiah-Jordan James, who is another defensive standout, steady power forward John Fulkerson, combo guard Santiago Vescovi, and shooting guard Victor Bailey.  None of these players are true primary scorers, meaning that a good portion of the scoring burden will fall to transfer Justin Powell, a combo guard from Auburn who averaged 11.7 PPG and 4.7 APG last season, and the Vols’ outstanding freshmen class, led by the top overall point guard, Kennedy Chandler.  Other freshman who should have an impact are forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, center Jonas Aidoo, and wing Jahmal Mashack.

16. Oregon

The Ducks will be seeking their third straight Pac-12 title, but that seems unlikely with their top three scorers from last season — Chris Duarte, Eugene Omoruyi, and L.J. Figueroa — departing for the pros.  Even so, Oregon should be one of the better teams in the conference, as Coach Dana Altman restocked the roster with three solid transfers: forward Quincy Guerrier (Syracuse), a Figueroa-like player, guard De’Vion Harmon (Oklahoma), a former top-50 recruit, and guard Jacob Young (Rutgers), a tough and gritty “super senior.”  Also joining the mix will be 6-foot-11 freshman forward Nate Bittle, a top-30 recruit.  The returning core includes point guard Will Richardson, a Bob Cousy Award candidate, who got hot at the end of last season, averaging 13.9 points and 5.3 assists per game while making 56.7 percent from deep over Oregon’s last seven games.  Also returning are two very promising sophomore centers, N’Faly Dante and Franck Kepnang.  The oft-injured Dante is not expected to be ready for the start of the season due to a knee injury. 

17. Maryland

Much like last year, the Terps will not feature any big-name stars, but they will be highly competitive due to toughness, solid defense, and team play.  Two solid starters from last season’s 17-14 squad will need to be replaced:  leading scorer Aaron Wiggins, who is now in the NBA, and fellow wing Darryl Morsell, an emotional leader and defensive standout who transferred to Marquette.  Combo guard Eric Ayala and forward Donta Scott return, and both are very underrated players.  Scott led the team in rebounds and blocks last season, while Ayala led the Terps in win shares.  The other three starting spots will likely be filled by productive transfers:  point guard Fatts Russell (Rhode Island), center Qudus Wahab (Georgetown), and shooting guard Ian Martinez (Utah).  Russell has averaged at least 14.2 points, 3.7 assists, and 1.8 steals for three straight seasons.  In the Big East last season, Wahab ranked first in rebounding percentage (15.9), second for true-shooting percentage (61.4), and fourth in block percentage (6.1).  Returning junior Hakim Hart was a solid contributor off the bench last season, and he could get the nod over Martinez for one of the starting wing spots.  Transfer Xavier Green (wing, ODU), freshman power forward Julian Reese, and sophomore wing James Graham should round out the rotation. 

18. Arkansas

The Razorbacks surprised a lot of folks last season, finishing with a 25-7 record and making it all the way to the Elite Eight in the tourney.  Three very significant contributors from that squad moved on to the pros:  wing Moses Moody, power forward Justin Smith, and point guard Jalen Tate.  Coach Eric Musselman is reloading with a trio of proven transfers:  wings Au’Diese Toney (Pittsburgh) and Stanley Umude (South Dakota) and point guard Chris Lykes.  All three averaged better than 14 points per game last season.  That trio will join the returning core of guards Davonte Davis and J.D. Notae, center Connor Vanover, and power forward Jaylin Williams. The most promising of the group is Davis, a 20-year-old sophomore who ranks at No. 86 on the HP Draft Board, mainly due to his athleticism and tenacious defense.  Overall, the Hogs should have no trouble scoring, but they will likely struggle on the defensive end.   

19. Michigan State

Most teams would not feel this way, but as far as the Spartans (15-13) are concerned, last season was miserable; they finished eighth in the Big Ten, earned an 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and were knocked out in a First-Four match vs. UCLA.  Seven rotational players return from last year’s squad, which may or may not be a good thing.  Among those returning, wing Gabe Brown is likely the only player who can be counted on to be a regular in the starting lineup, while forwards Malik Hall and Joey Hauser and center Marcus Bingham should also get significant minutes.  The biggest roster departures are wing Aaron Henry, last year’s leading scorer, by far, and guard Rocket Watts, who struggled mightily for most of the season.  The most significant newcomers to Michigan State are transfer Tyson Walker, who averaged 18.8 points and 4.8 assists per game at Northeastern last season, and five-star freshman shooting guard Max Christie, who is likely to be a starter sooner rather than later.  Two other four-star freshmen could make an impact: point guard Jaden Akins and small forward Pierre Brooks.  Sophomores A.J. Hoggard (PG), Mady Sissoko (PF), and Julius Marble (C) are also former top-100 recruits, and at a minimum, will provide additional depth.  All in all, the team’s success appears to be very dependent on the play of the new backcourt of Walker and Christie. 

20. Illinois

The Fighting Illini ended the regular season with 23-6 record, a second-place finish in the Big Ten, and a number-one seed in the Big Dance.  They were a favorite to make it to the Final Four, but everything came crashing down in the second round of the tourney, as they were knocked off rather convincingly by Loyola-Chicago.  The team certainly cannot be judged by that one game, but given that Illinois doesn’t appear to have equal replacements for two departed starters from last season — Consensus All-America selection Ayo Dosunmu (Chicago Bulls) and Adam Miller (transferred to LSU) — reaching the same heights seems unlikely.  On the positive side, two potential pro prospects return — mammoth center Kofi Cockburn and nifty point guard Andre Curbelo — and that pair should give the Illini a fighting chance on most nights.  Others returning include senior combo guard Trent Frazier and feisty wing Da’Monte Williams.  New additions to the team include two transfers, Florida power forward Omar Payne, a solid inside presence, and diminutive shooting guard Alfonso Plummer, who made 40 percent of his threes during his two seasons at Utah.  Three freshman wings Ramses Melendez, Luke Goode, and Brandin Podziemski have also joined the team, but only Melendez is a top-100 recruit. 

21. Auburn

Last year was the first time since 2016 that the Tigers (13-14, 10th in the SEC) finished with a losing record.  There are a number of reasons to believe that Auburn will bounce back this season, though the team already has one serious injury concern.  With Sharife Cooper and J.T. Thor departing for the NBA, and Justin Powell transferring to Tennessee, wing Allen Flanigan is the Tigers’ top returning player.  Flanigan, a junior who ranks at No. 33 on the HP Draft Board, will be out of action until at least mid-December with an Achilles injury, and there is a chance that he may not play at all this season.  If that were the case, Auburn’s chances of making a significant run in March would be greatly diminished.  Other notable returnees are junior power forward Jaylin Williams, who ranked in the top 10 of the SEC for both true-shooting and block percentage last season, and junior wing Devan Cambridge.  Newcomers joining the squad include five-star freshman Jabari Smith, a versatile 6-foot-10 power forward who can stretch the floor, UNC sophomore transfer Walker Kessler, a mobile 7-foot-1 center and a former five-star recruit with loads of upside, and two smallish point guards Wendell Green (via Eastern Kentucky) and K.D. Johnson (via Georgia).  The bottom line:  with Flanigan, Auburn will have a lineup that features three future pros, but without him, the team’s backcourt will be mediocre at best.      

22. Ohio State

Last season, the Buckeyes finished with a 21-10 record and earned a two seed in the NCAA Tournament, but were promptly shocked in the first round, losing to Oral Roberts.  Guard Duane Washington, last season’s leading scorer, has moved on to the NBA, but the rest of team’s core remains mostly intact.  The holdovers include forward E.J. Liddell, 3-point marksman Justin Ahrens, wing Justice Sueing, last year’s leader in steals, scrappy center Kyle Young, backup center Zed Key, and backup point Meechie Johnson.  They will be joined by two significant newcomers Jamari Wheeler, a point guard transfer from Penn State, who has ranked no worse than sixth for four straight seasons in the Big Ten for steals, and freshman shooting guard Malaki Branham.  Without Washington’s point production, the Buckeyes will rely heavily on Liddell, who ranks at No. 36 on the HP Draft Board due to his all-around abilities on both ends of the court.  Last season as a sophomore, he finished second on the team in scoring (16.2 PPG) and led the squad in rebounds and blocks. 

23. Oklahoma State

Assuming that they can move past the NCAA’s totally absurd postseason ban, the Cowboys should be one of the top teams in the Big 12.  Obviously, Cade Cunningham moving to the NBA is a huge loss, but there is plenty of talent remaining on this roster.  At guard, OK State has the speedy Avery Anderson, a clutch player who finished second on the team in scoring (12.2 PPG), stat-stuffing senior Isaac Likekele, who led the team with 3.6 assists per game last year while playing tenacious on-ball defense, Kansas transfer Bryce Thompson, a former McDonald’s All-American, and sophomore Rondel Walker.  In the frontcourt, the Cowboys will have a pair of athletic bigs that can rebound, block shots, and catch lobs — junior Kalib Boone, who led the Big 12 in shot blocking percentage (8.3) last season, and Memphis transfer Moussa Cisse, a former top-15 recruit who finished second in the AAC last season with 1.6 blocks per game.  Lastly, the team has a Swiss Army knife in forward Matt Alexander-Moncrieffe, who is capable of playing multiple positions on both ends of the court. 

24. Connecticut

The Huskies’ (15-8) return to the Big East was mostly successful.  They finished third in the conference, and earned a seventh seed in the NCAA Tourney, but promptly suffered a first-round defeat to Maryland.  Now, the team must regroup after losing James Bouknight to the NBA; Bouknight was, by far, the top scorer on the team, averaging nearly 19 points per game.  UConn returns a number of solid veteran players, including point guard R.J. Cole, wing Tyrese Martin, power forward Isaiah Whaley, and forward Akok Akok.  Additionally, Coach Dan Hurley brought in back-to-back talented recruiting classes, featuring center Adama Sanogo and wing Andre Jackson in 2020, and wing Jordan Hawkins, center Samson Johnson, and point guard Rahsool Diggins in 2021.  All five underclassmen were top-60 recruits.  This squad should be tough on the defensive end, but to make a real run this season, at least one of the aforementioned five will have to emerge as a consistent scoring threat. 

25. Xavier

The Musketeers have not made the NCAA Tournament since Chris Mack’s last year as head coach (2018), which puts current coach, Travis Steele, on the hot seat.  To be fair, no one made the tourney in 2020, so Steele should be given some slack.  Last year, Xavier (13-8) appeared to be a lock for the Big Dance, but a late-season slide doomed the team.  The good news is that Steele has a very experienced squad, as basically everyone returns from last year, including All-Big East guard Paul Scruggs, who averaged 14.0 points, 5.7 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.  Sharpshooting Nate Johnson, who missed the second half of last season due to injury, will join Suggs in the backcourt; he made his 45.2 percent from deep last year.  Other backcourt options include sophomore Colby Jones, sophomore Dwon Odom, and junior KyKy Tandy — the former two averaged more than 22 minutes per game last year, while the latter two are both former top-100 recruits.  The frontcourt should also be in good shape, once power forward Zach Freemantle is healthy.  He is expected to be out until at least December due to a foot injury.  A Preseason All-Big East first-team selection, Freemantle averaged 16.1 points and 8.9 rebounds (tops in the Big East) last season.  Two Big Ten transfers, Jack Nunge (Iowa) and Jermone Hunter (Indiana), will round out the frontcourt. The 7-foot Nunge, who was Luka Garza’s understudy at Iowa, can stretch the floor and will start at center. 

Best of the Rest (26-50)

26. Florida State

27. LSU

28. Indiana

29. Texas Tech

30. Houston

31. Mississippi State

32. Virginia Tech

33. Louisville

34. Virginia

35. USC

36. Arizona State

37. Notre Dame

38. NC State

39. Creighton

40. Rutgers

41. Seton Hall

42. Miami (FL)

43. Colorado

44. Syracuse

45. TCU

46. Nebraska

47. St. Bonaventure

48. Marquette

49. Texas A&M

50. Washington State


  • Stats were courtesy of either RealGM or Sports-Reference.



  • Richard C. Harris

    Richard has worked as a sports writer/editor/analyst since 1998, and is NBA credentialed. He has contributed to various magazines, radio shows, and a number of other sites, including ESPN.com, SI.com, and USAToday.com. He is the former CEO of FantasyFootballExperts.com and a former member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). He is currently the Managing Director at Hoops Prospects. Follow on Twitter @HoopsProspects.