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2022-2023 SEC College Basketball Preview

The SEC is certainly one of the 2 super conferences in college athletics that are shaping realignment. For as much as they are football oriented and make moves with football in mind, they have built a pretty incredible basketball conference. I have 25% of the top 20 as coming from the SEC this season and 9 teams in my top 33. I believe that’s entirely realistic, too. They had 7 in the top 32 last year of NET. Here are the national rankings, so you can see the tiers I believe each team is on.

These are our national rankings so you can see the tiers we place each team on nationally.

1-363 ranking

National Rank
3KentuckySEC
7TennesseeSEC
12ArkansasSEC
16AuburnSEC
19AlabamaSEC
24FloridaSEC
27Texas A&MSEC
30MissouriSEC
33LSUSEC
58Mississippi StateSEC
64Ole MissSEC
84GeorgiaSEC
94South CarolinaSEC
109VanderbiltSEC

Bracketology

In Lieu of an All Conference teams, I’ve listed the Top Returning Players by Peak Adjusted Efficiency for SOS. Most will likely come from this list anyway, but the awards are more team driven. I’m more interested in who is actually doing the most when they are on the court. The players can’t control the team that was put around them. If they are putting up tangible numbers at top efficiency per possession on bad teams, that is actually more impressive to me. It’s coming under more pressure and game planning for them, with less viable options around them to take the pressure off. This list encompasses the players that have been the best on a D1 court going into the season.

ADJ effRank
2Oscar TshiebweKentucky
10Colin CastletonFlorida
16Tolu SmithMississippi State
29Tyrece RadfordTexas A&M
32Isiaih MosleyMissouri
49KJ WilliamsLSU
50Kobe BrownMissouri
51Tyreke KeyTennesse
58Noah CarterMissouri
74Henry ColemanTexas A&M
84Hayden BrownSouth Carolina
88Braelen BridgesGeorgia
90Santiago VescoviTennesse
108Terry RobertsGeorgia
130Trey BonhamFlorida
140Jahvon QuinerlyAlabama
142Ricky CouncilArkansas
159Will RichardFlorida
160Mark SearsAlabama
161Antonio ReevesKentucky
165Kendal ColemanLSU
169Josiah-Jordan JamesTennesse
173Kario OquendoGeorgia
175Makhi MitchellArkansas
178Ronnie DeGray IIIMissouri
188Zakai ZeiglerTennesse
189Jordan WrightVanderbilt

(Last year’s NET, Seed, and Tournament Finish on the top header line for reference. Deep bench players are not listed, only those in the projected rotation. I also included player ADJ eff rankings. ADJ eff Rankings and qualifying explanation here.)

1. Kentucky

Kentucky9 NET2 seedPER1R
Oscar Tshiebwe6-9, 26017.4ppg, 15.2rpg35Sr
Damion Collins6-9, 2022.9ppg, 2.0rpg21.2So
Chris Livingston6-6, 1905*Fr
Antonio Reeves6-4, 19020.1ppg, 3.5rpg (@ Illinois St)21.5Jr
Sahvir Wheeler5-10, 18010.1ppg, 6.9apg14..7Sr
CJ Fredrick6-3, 1957.5ppg, 1.9apg (Iowa 2021)13.5So
Jacob Toppin6-9, 2946.2ppg, 3.2rpg19.1So
Carson Wallace6-3, 1805*Fr
Lance Ware6-9, 2231.5ppg, 1.9rpg13.2So
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
2Oscar Tshiebwe
161Antonio Reeves
281Sahvir Wheeler

Reeves, Fredrick, and Collins/Toppin should be comparable to the losses of Washington, Grady, and Brooks. The latter group may have had more individual talent, but I think the replacements can make up for it with better fit and shooting. I see that shooting as a better complement to a player like Tshiebwe. Having a PG like Wheeler who is elite at facilitating to get Tshiebwe and the shooters the ball around him is the key here. I think the shooting could unlock an already potent offense even more.

As I was researching the freshman, Livingston’s stats as a Junior were pretty unreal. One of the best lines I’ve ever seen, 31.1ppg, 15.8rpg, 6.5apg, 4.7spg, 4.3bpg and he shot 56% from three 2.7 makes a game in Akron. He even averaged 24ppg and led them to a state title as a freshman and 15ppg 8rpg for team USA as well. I generally don’t expect big things from freshmen on loaded teams, but this one is hard to ignore. He did apparently come down to earth a little on a loaded Oak Hill as a senior with 17.1ppg, still, his fit on this team is intriguing.

The separation between the top 5 before all the Gonzaga and UNC massive June adds was relatively small in my estimation, so this choice came down ultimately to who had the best player, and that’s Tshiebwe. It’s still the case for the rest. He’s still the best player in the country until someone else takes that crown. Having a proven shooter at a P5 conference like Fredrick (47% from 3 career) and highly productive per possession returners like Collins and Toppin beside him who appear ready for bigger roles puts Kentucky over the top.

2. Tennessee

Tennessee7 NET3 seedPER2R
Uros Plavsic7-0, 2624.2ppg, 4.0rpg15.9Sr
Olivier Nkamhoua6-8, 2238.6ppg, 5.6rpg19.4Sr
Josiah-Jordan James6-6, 20710.3ppg, 6.0ppg17Sr
Santiago Vescovi6-3, 18013.3ppg, 3.2apg19.6Sr
Zakai Zeigler5-9, 1608.8ppg, 2.7apg16.6So
Tyreke Key6-3, 20517.2ppg, 5.3rpg (2021 @In St)23.5Sr
Julian Phillips6-7, 2105*Fr
B.J. Edwards6-1, 1654*Fr
Jonas Aidoo6-11, 2302.1ppg, 2.0rpgSo
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
51Tyreke Key
90Santiago Vescovi
169Josiah-Jordan James
188Zakai Zeigler

The lack of post-season success is the only knock here. While Chandler is a loss this is a team that returns many of the parts as well as adds a multiple-year All MVC performer in Tyreke Key. Key missed all of last year with shoulder surgery at Indiana State, but that’s far less of a concern than a lower-body injury. We’ve seen guys like Paul George and Patty Mills come back from shoulder surgery and never miss a beat.

Key seems capable of making up for some of the value Chandler provided in a different way and is a huge addition to a team already with a lot of continuity and experience. Now they just need to take the next step in the postseason. The regular-season version of this team should put them in another advantageous position with a high seed. They should also be the biggest threat to Kentucky for the SEC titles as well.

3. Arkansas

Arkansas21 NET4 seedPERE8
Makhi Mitchell6-9, 2359.9ppg, 7.3rpg(@RI)18.4Jr
Jalen Graham6-9, 2209.9ppg, 4.6rpg (@Arizona St)16.7Jr
Ricky Council6-6, 20512.0ppg, 5.4rpg(@Wichita St)19.9So
Davonte Davis6-3, 1808.3ppg, 3.7rpg11.8Jr
Nick Smith6-4, 1905*Fr
Trevon Brazile6-9, 2156.6ppg, 5.1rpg(@Mizz)19.6So
Derrian Ford6-3, 1904*Fr
Makhel Mitchell6-10, 24510.7ppg, 5.6rpg(@RI)18.2Jr
Jordan Walsh6-7, 1955*Fr
Anthony Black6-7, 1905*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
142Ricky Council
175Makhi Mitchell
204Makhel Mitchell
232Jalen Graham

Musselman has certainly demonstrated the ability to leverage the NIL to get transfers and elite high school talent. The biggest concern here is having to rely on an 18 year old freshman PG no matter how hyped they are. This is still the era of the super senior where everyone is essentially a year older and college basketball is still as old as it has ever been. Smith put up 26.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 7.3 apg, all very elite numbers in high school, but it’s still high school. Watching the video of him he appeared very tall and skilled with the ball but also very slender. I would expect 4th and 5th year players to really get into him with their strength and leverage advantages.

Another issue I have with this team is who can actually make a three. That is a problem they have demonstrated they can mostly overcome and have success despite a lack of three point shooting. It’s still less than ideal and problematic when you want to give a guy like Smith space to work in and leverage his ball handing, height, and athletic advantages. This is a team some are picking as high as #1, I do think the fit and build of it will keep that ceiling lower though. Unless you got a Zion Williamson level freshman having one of the best seasons ever it’s kind of hard to be one of the worst 3 point shooting teams like that Duke team was, and still have #1 aspirations.

Smith would benefit from a proven shooter beside him and someone to take some of the ball handling pressure off him but there is really no one like that on this roster. They do have an embarrassment of riches with proven players in the post. I guess all these transfers didn’t get the memo that you can’t all play at the same time. Hopefully, they can keep them all happy in the locker room as guys that were unhappy enough at the last stops to move on already.

4. Auburn

Auburn13 NET2 seedPER2R
Johni Broome6-10, 23516.8ppg, 10.5rpg(@Morehead St)32.6So
Jaylin Williams6-8, 2305.6ppg, 2.7rpg16.6Jr
Chance Westry6-5, 1754*Fr
K.D. Johnson6-1, 19012.0ppg, 2.9rpg14.9Jr
Wendell Green5-11, 17012.3ppg, 5.1apg18.6Jr
Zep Jasper6-1, 1705.1ppg, 2.1apg9.1Gr
Yohan Traore6-9, 2204*Fr
Allen Flanigan6-6. 2156.3ppg, 3.5rpg6.5Sr
Tre Donaldson6-2, 1904*Fr
Dylan Cardwell6-11, 2503.0ppg, 3.0rpg23.3Jr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
21Johni Broome
123Wendell Green
187Jaylin Williams
273K.D. Johnson

I believe Broome steps right in for Kessler, and this experienced backcourt will give them a good chance if they get any competent shooting help at all. Unfortunately, they still have to try to make up for Jabari Smith. Still, I think the floor is high on this team with a big like Broome and a backcourt like they have. They really need someone to step in and play SF competently, Westry seems to project as the most capable.

5. Alabama

Alabama32 NET6 seedPER1R
Charles Bediako7-0, 2256.7ppg, 4.3rpg23So
Noah Gurley6-8, 2106.8ppg, 3.5rpg14Gr
Brandon Miller6-8, 1905*Fr
Mark Sears6-1, 18519.6ppg, 4.1apg (@Ohio)24.9
Jahvon Quinerly6-1, 17513.8ppg, 4.2apg13.9Sr
Domink Welch6-5, 20012.3pppg, 6.0rpg(St Bonny)14.7Gr
Jaden Bradley6-2, 1905*Fr
Darius Miles6-6, 1855.8ppg, 3.312.9Jr
Rylan Griffen6-5, 1804*Fr
Noah Clowney6-9, 2104*Fr
Nick Pringle6-10, 2209.2ppg 8.9rpg (JUCO)
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
140Jahvon Quinerly
160Mark Sears

This is a team with lots of quality depth. I really like the look of it. Bediako seems ready for more. With this much depth, I think Nate Oates will find the right combinations and be in good shape to withstand injuries or covid absences. Yes, unfortunately, teams still have to factor this into a post 2020 covid world IMO and this team is built for some absences.

Brandon Miller is the wildcard. I’m usually a little skeptical of 6-8 “wings”, especially freshmen on loaded teams but his lateral speed to defend and ball handling seemed to check out from the videos I watched. Even if he’s not getting by defenders, he still seems like he could have value with how he shot the three pointer. At his size, you know he can get some off.

Having made 41% on high volume (99 threes made), indicates Miller will have at least one reliable skill to lean on. The shooting seems pretty real when he backed it up with 86% from the line and shooting 47% from three the previous year. If he struggles, they have a proven player in Welch as well.

6. Florida

Florida61 NETNITPER2R
Colin Castleton6-11, 23116.2ppg, 9.0rpg28.8Gr
CJ Felder6-7, 2303.5ppg, 2.3rpg17.9Sr
Will Richard6-5, 19512.1ppg, 6.0rpg(@Belmont)21.6So
Kyle Lofton6-3, 19012.8ppg, 5.9apg(@St Bonny)16.4Sr
Trey Bonham6-0, 17013.6ppg, 4.0apg(@VMI)22.8Jr
Alex Fudge6-8, 1853.3ppg, 3.2rpg(@LSU)13.4So
Myreon Jones6-3, 1808.5ppg, 2.8rpg11.9Gr
Jason Jitoboh6-11, 2854.1ppg, 2.4rpg23.3Sr
Kowacie Reeves6-6, 1825.5ppg, 1.4rpg12.9Sr
Denzel Aberdeen6-4, 1754*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
10Colin Castleton
130Trey Bonham
159Will Richard
280Kyle Lofton

Florida has a new coach and the fresh start they wanted. Returning a stud like Castleton and some solid role players will help Todd Golden. Golden did his part with a great transfer haul to round it out I think they are on the way up. I like this roster and Golden proved he could lead a big turnaround into the top 25 taking San Francisco from 11-14 to the top 25 last year with a couple of good transfer adds. I think this sets up similar, and Castleton is a nice start to build around.

7. Texas A&M

Texas A&M36 NETNITCG
Julius Marble II6-8, 2256.4ppg, 3.3rpg (@Mich St)18.2Jr
Henry Coleman6-7, 22911.0ppg, 6.2rpg22.4Jr
Tyrece Radford6-2, 20010.9ppg, 6.2rpg18.8Sr
Andre Gordon6-2, 1885.4ppg, 2.2rpg13.4Sr
Wade Taylor6-0, 1868.2ppg, 2.2apg14.6So
Andersson Garcia6-7, 2054.3ppg, 4.2rpg (@Miss St)20.5Jr
Denis Dexter6-5, 2108.4ppg, 5.0rpg(@WSU)12.3Sr
Manny Obaseki6-4, 1893.6ppg, 1.8rpg9.8So
Hayden Hefner6-6, 1823.5ppg, 1.0rpg11.7Jr
Javonte Brown7-0, 2501.5ppg, 1.6rpg13.3So
Erik Pratt6-5, 18018.1ppg 4.1rpg (JUCO)Jr
Solomon Washington6-6, 1904*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
29Tyrece Radford
74Henry Coleman

Jackson is a massive loss because he was superb, yet they only played him 26 minutes a game. It’s not like they are replacing a guy playing 35 minutes like most stars making his impact are. If they played the good players like him and Coleman that are really impacting the game positively more minutes, and you probably make the NCAA’s instead of the NIT last year.

That’s not really their style though. This team is extremely deep again, that’s why I posted 11 deep because they went about that deep last year. I don’t know why players with options really want to come here and play these suppressed minutes, but they do. They added some nice players and have existing continuity.

As a general philosophy, I’d much rather have a guy like Quenton Jackson last year playing 10 more minutes than the 10th or 11th man even if he’s not as fresh. This is college with a 30 second shot clock and 40 minute game with really young guys. This is not the NBA with 30 something year olds playing 82 games. I’ve never really seen the value in suppressing star’s minutes and having rotations this deep. Those minutes essentially go to 10th men.

Radford had a down year, but I do think he can step it up and play more like he did at Virginia Tech under Buzz and help make up some of the Jackson loss. There is still a lot of returning continuity and good players, from a team playing well late in the year too. I just question the style lending itself to a high ceiling with exceptions like Rick Pitino type talent and depth at Kentucky or Louisville.

8. Missouri

Missouri151 NETNone
Mohamed Diarra6-10,21517.8ppg, 12.6rpg (JUCO)Jr
Kobe Brown6-7, 24012.5ppg, 7.6rpg21.2Sr
DeAndre Gholston6-5, 21516.8ppg, 5.2rpg (2021@Mil)19.2Sr
Isiaih Mosley6-5, 20120.4ppg, 6.4rpg27.7Sr
Sean East6-3, 17020.9ppg 5.7apg (JUCO)Jr
Nick Honor5-10, 2057.7ppg, 2.4apg(@Clemson)12.9Sr
Noah Carter6-6, 22915.0ppg, 4.1rpg(@NIU)23.7Jr
D’Moi Hodge6-4, 18015.4ppg, 3.1rpg (@Clev St)23.8Gr
Tre Gomillion6-4, 21510.5ppg, 4.7rpg (@Clev St)17.1Gr
Ronnie DeGray III6-7, 2208.3ppg, 4.6rpg16.8Jr
Aidan Shaw6-8, 1904*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
32Isiaih Mosley
50Kobe Brown
58Noah Carter
178Ronnie DeGray III

I loved what they had done even before they added Mosley. Obviously, this is a completely different team with a new coach. I think people could really be sleeping on the work Dennis Gates has put in on one spring. It’s great stuff including bringing over 2 core Cleveland State players to help him set the tone and vouch for him. Sean East even has solid D1 experience as well at Bradley and UMass and I choose to ignore how bad Gholston played last year. That was a weird year IMO with a highly inefficient, overhyped coach’s son altering his role and spots on the court. I expect him to bounce back closer to his 2021 season. This is a team that if they look good early will move up quickly in my rankings. Right now just the unknown of how they all work together seems to be the only hold-up and I doubt I’m sleeping on them more than most will. They could be a top 15 talented team, but who knows how it comes together.

9. LSU

LSU20 NET6seed1R
KJ Williams6-10, 24518.0ppg, 8.4rpg (@Murray St)30.3Gr
Kendal Coleman6-8,23015.4ppg, 10.1rpg (@Northwestern St24.4So
Trae Hannibal6-2, 2109.2ppg, 5.1rpg(@ Murray St)21.7Jr
Cam Hayes6-3,1757.8ppg, 3.1apg (@NC St 2021)14.1So
Justice Hill6-0, 17013.4ppg, 5.1apg(@Murray St)19.2Jr
Derek Fountain6-9, 2105.4ppg, 3.0rpg(2021@ Miss St)12.4Jr
Adam Miller6-3, 1808.3ppg, 2.8rpg (2021@Illinois)9.5So
Mwani Wilkinson6-5, 2154.0ppg, 3.0rpg9.9So
Jalen Reed6-9, 2304*Fr
Shawn Phillips6-10, 2504*Fr
Tyrell Ward6-7, 1804*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
49KJ Williams
165Kendal Coleman
248Trae Hannibal

I really like what McMahon has done since his arrival, even losing most of his team. They probably won’t be able to play in the NCAA, unfortunately for things he didn’t do. I guess no one told the new players this. Either way, I really like what he did around the new guys retaining Miller and Wilkerson even if I wasn’t as high on them as others. Off the bench, they are completely solid.

Either way, when you can essentially reconstitute 3/4’s of the impactful core of a top 30 NET team at Murray State that went to the 2nd round, I think that will go a long way in the rebuild. Those three carry-over players can help set the tone and culture for what McMahon wants and drive some continuity and get the rest of the players in place. This is something the other portal-heavy type teams probably won’t have early.

I doubt anyone else will rank them anywhere nearly as high, but it comes down to how real you think a top 30 NET/2nd round Murray State was. I think they were legit and this is almost like transporting their team to the P6 and adding Colman and some LSU depth, I think this could even be a little disrespectful. We’ll see how well it works in the SEC.

10. Mississippi State

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
16Tolu Smith
214DeShawn Davis
Transfers
Will McNair Jr.6-10, 2656.6ppg, 4.9rpg15.5New Mex St
Eric Reed Jr.6-2, 19016.3ppg, 3.3rpg17.3SE Mizz St
Dashawn Davis6-2, 18510.9ppg, 5.5apg16Oregon St

The best thing Mississippi State did this off-season was hire Chris Jans. I think he’s one of the best up and coming coaches and he’s won at several stops while climbing the ladder. These former JUCO coaches like Jans and Steve Forbes seem to be a very underused avenue for coaching hires. Something about recruiting high level college players in JUCO and knowing you have to flip the roster every year seems to translate to the college basketball world of today with the transfer portal. Those guys are well equipped. Jans with big boy talent should work out pretty well. Ben Howland did him a favor leaving a big time player in Tolu Smith. His 14.2ppg 6.5rpg is a great building block.

Jans two keep transfers in Eric Reed from Southest Missiouri State and DeShawn Davis from Oregon State. Oregon State was a 3 win trash (a year after an Elite 8 WTF), but Davis was good averaging 10.9ppg and 5.5apg on a team that couldn’t shoot which is pretty solid. He will be able to get the ball to Smith for sure, and with a Center/Point Guard Combo as good as they have it’s a good start. Adding Eric Reed’s shooting will help as well. He’s the shooter this team badly needed, having shot .398% from three in his 2 seasons there on a strong 2.3 made a game volume. Between feeding those two the ball, Davis could be among the leaders in assist in the nation. Reed will help give Davis and Smith space to work.

Davis himself didn’t shoot well either, going 9-48 for 18% from three. This is the same player that made 48 three’s at 42% in JUCO’s the previous year and he made 84 at .391% in his 2 seasons in JUCO. He can’t be that bad of a three point shooter in the small sample he had last year. I expect a MUCH better showing shooting the there pointer this season and a bigger volume.

11. Ole Miss

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
210Daeshun Ruffin
239Theo Akwuba
244Josh Mballa
Key Newcomers
Theo Akwuba 11.3ppg, 9.3rpg, 2.0bpg, 25.6 PER in 2021 @Louisana
Josh Mballa 15.3ppg, 10.8rpg 25.7 PER in 2021 @ Buffalo
Jayveous McKinnis 12.4ppg, 10.3rpg, 2.9bpg 26.7 PER @ Jackson State
Key Returners
Dashun Ruffin 12.6ppg and 3.4apg and 18.0 PER
Matthew Murrell 12.1ppg, 3.0rpg 15.9 PER

Mississippi is a team that returns a good bit of experience, even while losing some players to graduation and transfer. They also did a pretty good job to replace what they lost in the portal, adding Theo Akwuba (11.3ppg, 9.3rpg, 2.0bpg, 25.6 PER in 2021) from Louisiana and Josh Mballa(15.3ppg, 10.8rpg 25.7 PER in 2021) from Buffalo to solidify the post. Both players are a couple of years removed from their best season but who cares. When you have shown a ceiling that high I’m going to certainly believe you can get back. They are quality adds even if they only play as well as they did last season regardless. Big time gets.

In an embarrassment of riches in the post they also added Jayveous McKinnis at 6-7, 220 from Jackson State to the post. He averaged 12.4ppg, 10.3rpg, 2.9bpg with a 26. 7 PER. He also averaged 13.2rpg the season before as well. Rebounding is one of the best-translating stats from level to level and this team should have no issue rebounding. They should pummel other teams on the boards with two incoming players that have averaged a double double in D1.

Ole Miss will also get Dashun Ruffin back at point guard who only played 14 games last season. They missed him last season and getting his efficient 12.6ppg and 3.4apg and 18.0 PER will be very helpful. They also return Matthew Murrell 12.1ppg, 3.0rpg 15.9 PER and comes with a top 45 pedigree out of high school for people that care about that. He was fine but maybe he has some more potential to explore as well. The depth and pieces seem to be there, the real question is if Kermit Davis can bring it all together. The natives have to be getting restless as the trajectory hasn’t been very good after making the NCAA’s and year one and going 13-19 last season.

12. Georgia

Georgia223 NET
Braelen Bridges6-10, 23512.9ppg, 5.6rpg19.6Gr
M. Moncrieffe6-7, 2159.0ppg, 5.3rpg (2021@OKST)17.1Jr
Kario Oquendo6-4, 21015.0ppg, 4.3rpg16.9Jr
Terry Roberts6-3, 18014.5ppg, 4.1apg(@Bradley)21.1Sr
Justin Hill6-0, 18514.2ppg, 4.1apg(@Longwood)20Jr
Mardrez McBride6.2, 17811.3ppg, 3.0rpg(@N.Texas)13.6Gr
Frank Anselem6-10, 2012.6ppg, 3.8rpg(@Syracuse)14.1Jr
Jabri Abdur-Rahim6-7, 2146.9ppg, 3.2rpg12.3So
Jailyn Ingram6-7,21510.7ppg, 6.0pg14.7Gr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
88Braelen Bridges
108Terry Roberts
173Kario Oquendo

There are a lot of quality additions to this team, and White I believe while not a great coach, he will be a lot better than Crean. Oquendo shot 3’s much better in JUCO’s and I believe can get that up, so there is some room to grow there. He will not have to try to carry this team all by himself now as well so the looks should be better. When Bridges is a traffic cone in the post, they have options now with a guy like Anselem now they can at least go to. I’m not sure how Ingram can still be in school 7 years later, but I guess he is. Just lots of depth and more competent coaching now.

13. South Carolina

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
84Hayden Brown
Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk6-8, 2351.6ppg, 2.1rpg13.9Illinois
Hayden Brown6-5, 22518.8ppg, 9.5rpg24.8The Citidel
Ebrima Dibba6-6, 2058.1ppg, 5.4apg14.1Coastal Carolina
Troy Boynton6-4, 170Evansville
Meechie Johnson Jr.6-2, 1704.4ppg, 1.2apg6.5Ohio State

Lamont Paris got the job this spring and went to work trying to rebuild this roster. He did a pretty decent job landing Hayden Brown, who while an undersized 6-5 PF I think will find a way to still be productive in the SEC. The Southern Conference is a lot better than people realize, and he was playing a big vs a solid SOS. The biggest addition however is GG Jackson who was the #1 recruit in the 2023 class and had committed to UNC. When he reclassified and UNC didn’t have the scholarship to give him this year he found his way on this South Carolina team. At 6-9, 210 he is also at PF, so I’m not real sure of the fit between him and Brown. They project as pretty clearly the two best players so they have to be on the court somehow together if that means C/PF or PF/SF, neither seems ideal though to me. So there is that weird fit as neither shoot 3’s very well.

Jackson is only 17 years old and will not turn 18 until December. He’s also 6-9, 210 which is a little light. I know there will be a lot of expectations for him to produce and be a star from day one but I think people need to remember this is still the age of the super senior where everyone is a year older than their class basically. He will be competing in the post with some 23 year old men like Oscar Tshiebwe. I don’t expect him to be the kind of star I would assume most do from day one even if he is a projected top 5 pick. That’s future potential, and he still seems a bit raw and young at the present to expect a game changing impact. Maybe I will eat those words but he didn’t play much in the U18’s. He only got in 2 of the 3 games and averaged 17 minutes a game. He was pretty explosive in those games with 14ppg 8rpg so who knows. He’s not going to be playing 17 year olds from Brazil next year. I just wonder why he wasn’t playing more if he’s the superstar many think from day one. Some people said the same thing about Emoni Bates too and reclassification can be hit or miss.

The outside shooting on this team projects to be bad as well. I wouldn’t expect either Jackson or Brown to have much space to work in as teams collapse on them and hope they will dare their shooter to take three’s.

14. Vanderbilt

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
189Jordan Wright
245Myles Stute

Gone is Scottie Pippen Jr, and his 20.4ppg and 4.5apg. Pippen was 1st in Points Produced in all of college basketball last season. To say they have a lot to makeup is an understatement. Jerry Stackhouse didn’t really replace him. He tried with Ezra Manjon who averaged 15.0ppg 3.4apg with a 15.2 PER at UC-Davis, but this is like the homeless man’s version. What they lost in Pippen will likely have to be replaced mostly by Wright and Stute. It could get rough in Nashville this season.

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  1. Pingback: NCAA College Basketball Rankings: All 363 teams in 2022-23 – The Hoops Resource

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