Our model, ADJeff ratings, are just a rating of the D1 players and their Adjust Efficiency by strength of schedule.There are other factors we consider in the overall team rankings like coaching, continuity, incoming freshmen, JUCO, team build, fit, etc.
Kansas lost their 3 leading scorers and just reloaded in the transfer portal landing Hunter Dickinson who was the 2nd best player in the nation in our model. He’s the best transfer that has ever hit the portal in our rankings. Kansas has the most talented team in the nation, continuity will be some questions about adding a player like Dickinson, but he seems like a perfect fit. Bill Self healthy is really the only question mark at this point after not coaching in the tournaments. After the transfer haul, this team is stacked again on talent in a tier I believe with Purdue as the top 2 teams. I think Kansas has the most talent, but Purdue has continuity. We’ve seen them do it, but this talent is overwhelming.
Marcus Sasser and Jarace Walker remained in the NBA draft. I think you have to trust the system Sampson has and it almost feels plug-and-play at this point. Houston was still a top level team two years ago when they lost Sasser to injury. J’Wan Roberts, and Jamal Shead return, and Sampson has added big time talent through the portal. They also have a nice incoming high school class as well. They shouldn?t miss a beat in the Big 12. Tramon Mark hit the portal but that’s not a huge loss either in our opinion. The hair on fire rebounding and defense here will be back with Roberts and the players they target to fit it. They picked up LJ Cryer and Damian Dunn and are having one of the best portal seasons.
The Longhorns lose almost everyone but do bring in a couple of top prospects. There is some talent on this roster but I’m not a very big believer in Rodney Terry as a coach. Last years Longhorn team was 12-1 when he took over and already rolling as one of the most experienced teams in the nation. I think there is probably a difference in not screwing it up and being value-additive. He was around a.500 coach in 10 years in the MWC and CUSA. Ronald Holland also decommitted.
LJ Cryer has hit the portal and Adam Flagler will remain in the NBA Draft. Jalen Bridges will return and incoming freshmen Miro Little and Ja’Kobe Walter should help. As expected Baylor hit the portal hard as like always adding Rayj Dennis and Jayden Nunn as Cryer / Flagler replacements. The model doesn’t really like RayJ Dennis as much as most will nationally, but Scott Drew is one of the best coaches in the nation and has proven he can get a lot out of these mid-major transfers like Flagler and MaCio Teague. It just feels like this season will be a worse one than the 13th average NET they have maintained the last 5 years.
Jerome Tang seems to be a master of waiting out the portal and making late adds of key player. He’s added enough through the portal again to be a threat. Probably not as strong as last season but they are a team to watch.
Viktor Lakhin and Aziz Bandaogo are two of the best centers no one really knows. I doubt either have much issue translating to the Big 12. Especially Lakhin from a solid AAC. It’s a bit embarrassment of riches at one position. We were also hoping to see more minutes from Lakhin. Maybe they will try to play them together some, but I’m skeptical of that.
New coach fresh off an NIT championship should make a run at the NCAA’s with his new team. Warren Washington will be key to the defense. They also added a strong back up in Dishon Jackson after Charlotte lost their coach and Joe Toussaint after West Virginia replaced Huggins.
Losing Ques Glover is a tough blow, especially stepping up in conference. Fousseyni Traore is a legit big time player, but you always wonder how a 6-6 guy playing in the post will preform stepping up. We think he will still be awesome, especially as strong as the WCC is, but there is always a small question. The Big 12 is the best conference in America and every team has great centers it seems.
We had West Virginia ranked 18th in the country before Bob Huggins wrecked his car and the program. Landing Jesse Edwards was a massive get, but this team is a shell of what it could be. Add in the fact the interim coach has been an assistant coach for just a short time I don’t have much faith in this team now.
John Hugley IV is capable of being a lot better than he was last year, but you worry about his defense. Pitt was not very good when he was their best player. I think this team takes a step back overall.
UCF has been a solid program under Johnny Dawkins for a while now. Most seem to think UCF will be the whipping boy of the Big 12 but I could see UCF holding their own most years even if they are near the bottom. This doesn’t really seem like that year though, and there aren’t many Tacko Fall’s that haver ever played at 7-6 and with what he could do on defense when they had their greatest success.
Losing Kalib Boone and Moussa Cisse is a massive blow to a team that was only an NIT team last year. Those two players individually are two of the best big men in the nation in our opinion. The problem arises when they only play 21 or 22 minutes a game. Boone was third team All Big 12 and played 21.3 minutes a game. How can you blame them for leaving if they are playing back up minutes. You have to find a way to keep them on the court and happy, or at least one of them if you want any of them to stay. Now they go from probably the two of the best post players in the nation to none. Maybe a freshman.
They will be leaning on mid major guards in the best conference in the nation to carry this entire team. While Javon Small seems like a strong add on paper from East Carolina averaging 15.8 Pts, 4.8 Reb, 5.6 Ast at an AAC team you have to dig deeper. This isn’t like adding Tristen Newton at UConn. Small was hurt 5 games into AAC play and put most of those numbers up vs the 340th NET SOS OOC. In AAC play his PER dropped to 11.9 and a .418 True shooting. He didn’t play much on a pretty bad ECU team the season prior either and overall. .404% true shooting in 308 minutes in AAC play in his career. Welcome to the Big 12 I guess, go lead us.