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Mid Major Top 25 Rankings & Previews

Here at The Hoops Resource, we define a mid-major and eligibility in these rankings as anyone, not in a top 10 Major Conference. There have been pretty distinct tiers in recent years developed both in money, average finish, and multi NCAA bids.

Power 6: Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big East, Big 10, Pac 12

Major: AAC, WCC, Atlantic 10, MWC

Mid Major: led by CUSA, MVC, CAA, WAC, MAAC, Big West, Sun Belt, SoCon, Horizon, MAC

There is a Low Major tier,  but for our purposes they will be included in these rankings.

  • I’ve listed Peak Adjusted Efficiency for SOS and all the players in the top 300. (Explanation here)
  • I’ve also updated all the Mid Major sections in the Menu. All Mid Major teams projected, top 25 coaches etc.
  • I would like to say when I interact with fans, some voice their displeasure with even being called a mid major. This is not a slight, but recognition, I believe. It gives me a chance to talk about teams that don’t get covered in other previews. These are all teams I think that are doing notable positive things in the face of fewer resources, TV, and advantageous recruiting, especially in the NIL age.
  • When you realize there are almost 363 D1 teams and basically 240+ are not in the top 10 conferences, being in the top 25 of teams with more similar resources and situations is an accomplishment.
Mid MajorTop 25
1UABCUSA
2DrakeMVC
3TowsonCAA
4North TexasCUSA
5FurmanSoCon
6Oral RobertsSummit
7South AlabamaSun Belt
8New Mexico StateWAC
9ByrantAmerican East
10HofstraCAA
11LibertyASun
12Grand CanyonWAC
13Western KentuckyCUSA
14UCSBBig West
15IonaMAAC
16ToledoMAC
17College of CharlestonCAA
18OhioMAC
19LouisianaSun Belt
20BradleyMVC
21Youngstown StateHorizon
22Coastal CarolinaSun Belt
23ChattanoogaSoCon
24AkronMAC
25Indiana StateMVC

1. UAB

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
75Jordan Walker
198Ladarius Brewer
236KJ Buffen
253Trey Jemison
283Tavin Lovan
297Eric Gaines

UAB is #31 in my preseason rankings overall. You can read a more in-depth preview about them and their full projected rotations and statistics here. They were the only Mid-Major as I define them in my top 50 national rankings overall, so you could put them in a tier by themselves in these rankings. They are off to the American Conference possibly as soon as 2023-2024, so this may be their last time in these rankings. This year they appear to be the class of all the mid-major conferences.

2. Drake

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
86Garrett Sturtz
143Tucker DeVries
153Roman Penn

This is a program with a lot of continuity returning that has been knocking on the door of big things for a while now with several of these players. They made the NCAA tournament 2 seasons ago and beat Wichita State in the 11-seed First 4 play in game with several of these players playing key roles. DJ Wilkins is another solid player back for his 5th year starting for Drake as well as the 3 listed above. They added 6-6 Sardaar Calhoun who averaged 5ppg at Florida State to help replace S. Hemphill who was the main loss from an NIT bubble team who just missed last season with a #85 NET.

3. Towson

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
91Charles Thompson
98Cam Holden

It took a while to get confirmation on Cam Holden coming back to Towson but he’s on the roster for 2023 as of July 25th after entering the portal. That means this is a team that finished #71 NET last year and returns almost everyone that matters except a game manager at PG in Nolan. Losing your PG is somewhat problematic when they manage the game. Towson did add Ryan Conway from Seton Hall and return Gibson who played well last year as well as the other guard. He could possibly slide over as well.

When Holden entered the portal before, returning Towson added the D2 Player of the Year Sekou Sylla who averaged 22 and 10. They are both a similar style of 6-5 slasher/non shooters that play more as undersized PF’s so it’s a little overkill to have both. I’m not sure how the fit is together with Holden since they do similar sorts of things but it’s a great problem to have because both are talented.

4. North Texas

North Texas55 NETNCAA
Abou Ousmane6-10, 25010.2ppg, 5.9rpg20.9
Jayden Martinez6-7, 21514.9ppg, 5.5rpg(@N. Hampshire)20.6
Tyree Eady6-5, 20010.3ppg, 5.0rpg(@ND St)15.3
Rubin Jones6-5, 1848.2ppg, 3.1rpg11.3
Tylor Perry5-11, 18213.5ppg, 2.5apg22.9
Kai Huntsberry6-3. 21619.6ppg,4.3apg (D2)
Moulaye Sissoko6-9, 2502.4ppg, 2.0rpg(@Dayton)22.7
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
61Tylor Perry
157Abou Ousmane

UNT has 2 players in the Top 160 players nationally in Adjusted Efficiency, returning Perry and Ousmane. Probably most importantly, McCasland returns to coach them. He did a nice job rebuilding the roster around them. They added a quality transfer class as well, listed. They have 2 core players and a top reserve and were able to rebuild nicely around them. It’s always nice to be your best and most experienced at PG (or Primary ball handler) and Center as well where they are. You can always fit shooting around that combination. They do have to replace Bell and McBride though so I could see them taking a small haircut this season.

5. Furman

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
30Jalen Slawson
127Mike Bothwell

Slawson, Bothwell, and Bob Richey have been together for a while and have been an NIT quality type team, even if they have just missed the last few years. This is the year they should make the step forward and get to an NCAA or NIT. Carter Whit played pretty poorly at Wake Forest, but maybe he can be better in the Southern Conference. Richey doesn’t take a lot of transfers, so he must have seen something in his talent.

6. Oral Roberts


Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOS
Returning Players in the Top 300
40Max Abmas

Connor Vanover didn’t play enough to qualify for the top 300 in Adjusted Efficiency, but he would have been around 130th of all returning players if the qualifications were lowered. He’s a very productive 7-3 center that can make three’s and blocked 3.5 shots per 40 minutes as a role player at Arkansas and California his previous 3 years. I think this pairing him with Abmas will be a great defensive player to clean up behind him as well as hang out on the perimeter some to give him space on offense. He makes enough 3’s he has to be respected out there.

Vanover not Kevin Obanor as a talent but he will give Abmas and Oral Roberts his best running mate since Obanor helped him get to the Sweet 16. He’s a quality get and Mills is a good coach. Abmas is simply one of the best players in the country and while they were not that good last season (160 NET), they return everyone and should have continuity. Vanover helps upgrade some of the high end talent around Abmas and I expect a significant bounce back.

7. South Alabama

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
48Kevin Samuel

Samuel is a player that doesn’t get nearly the respect he deserves IMO from those that rank transfers, in the last 2 years he’s entered the portal. He’s coming from FGCU last year, but he did nothing to discredit how good he was for TCU. Samuel started as a freshman on an NIT Final 4 team at TCU and was an effective 3 year starter in the Big 12.

Samuel averaged 10ppg, 9rpg, 2.7 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game as a 6-11, 255lb center in his best season. Anyone that can put up a 25 PER in the Big 12 has my attention. I have no clue why few other people talk about the quality of transfer he is. Richie Riley is a portal whisper and the recruiting is obvious, how he maxes the talent he assembles is more the question at this point.

Transfer Class
Kevin Samuel6-11, 25510.0ppg, 8.4rpg (2020 TCU)26.3FGCU
Elijah Ormiston6-8, 21016.9ppg, 6.3rpg(D2)CSP
Owen White6-6, 21517.6ppg, 5.9rpg (D2 AA)Michigan Tech
Isaiah Moore5-11, 16322.6ppg, 5.4apg (D2 AA)Franklin Pierce

Riley went out and snagged another incredible class this year with Samuel and two D2 Americans. Last year he had unfortunate injury luck, with likely the best-projected player, who never missed a game in 4 years, miss the entire season. His name was Greg Parham and if he can return this season from stress fractures, this is one of the most talented rosters on paper. He is on the updated roster for this coming season and he averaged 18ppg 4apg for a top 150 VMI and shot 44% from three in an underrated Southern Conference that year. I thought Riley did a solid job last year when his two PG’s went down with an injury.

8. New Mexico State

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
167Xavier Pinson

I believe the Aggies made a slam dunk hire, Greg Heiar coming off a JUCO national title where he took over a losing team and completely rebuilt it. Heiar made a big splash this offseason landing JUCO’s and transfers. Having Muhammad and Washington off his JUCO team to come with him should help get the culture and way of doing things going a little quicker than it would have.

Transfer Class
Issa Muhammad6-9, 2259.1ppg, 6.4rpg (JUCO)JUCO
Deshawndre Washington6-7, 19012.0ppg 8.8rpg (JUCO)JUCO
DaJuan Gordon6-4, 1908.4ppg, 4.0rpg11.7Mizz
Xavier Pinson6-2, 1709.8ppg, 4.8apg13.6LSU
Doctor Bradley6-8, 20013.5ppg, 5.5rpg (JUCO)JUCO

9. Bryant

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
119Antwan Walker
262Kvonn Cramer
Transfer Class
Antwan Walker6-7, 2309.1ppg, 6.5rpg (2021)20.8Rhode Island
Kvonn Cramer6-6, 2058.9ppg, 6.7rpg (2021)18.8Hofstra
Earl Timberlake6-6, 2154.7ppg, 3.4rpg11.5Memphis
Doug Edert6-2, 1809.5ppg, 2.5rpg17.4St. Peters
Chauncey Hawkins5-8, 16516.0ppg, 4.4apg23.1St. Francis
Sherif Kenney6-4, 2308.7ppg, 2.0apg11.3La Salle
Joel Kabimba6-8, 2105.2ppg, 3.0rpg (2021)10.1Stetson
Tay Mosher6-7, 2150.5rpgECU

Bryant made the NCAA’s last year as a 16 seed (#139 NET) and while they lost P. Kiss who averaged 25ppg they do return Charles Pride who averaged nearly 18ppg and 9rpg as a 6-4 player. He’s a serious player, and they added one of the top transfer classes in the nation regardless of classification. The only question mark is how soon and well they mesh. This is a really deep team.

10. Hofstra

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
54Aaron Estrada
254Darlinston Dubar

Estrada is one of the best players in the country, forget just the mid-majors. Unfortunately, they lost a transfer center Iyiola to Kansas State, which is a significant loss to replace IMO. Speedy Claxton was able to do another nice job in the portal, I just don’t see the big man I really trust to make up the defense impact of Iyiola.

Transfer Class
Nelson Boachie-Yiadom6-8, 2202.2ppg, 2.2rpg10.2Davidson
German Plotnikov6-6, 19820.7ppg 3.7rpg (JUCO)JUCO
Bryce Washington6-4, 1802.6ppg14.2Penn
Tyler Thomas6-3, 19016.4ppg, 2.6rpg16.2Sacred Heart

11. Liberty

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
115Darius McGhee

Another small guard that scores big driving a team. McGhee will certainly have Liberty relevant again, and it was pretty impressive for Liberty to retain him. If McKay played Blake Preston more than 13-17 minutes a game, I would consider them higher. I don’t understand how he’s on the bench as much as he is even when he starts. McGhee needs the kind of offensive help he could provide to move this team higher up the list. Still, when you return a 25ppg scorer, I think he’s going to give them this sort of baseline regardless.

12. Grand Canyon

This is a team that probably could be higher, returning their leading scorer in Blackasher off a top 100 NET (#92) team. They also added a great transfer class.

Transfer Class
Logan Landers6-9, 2151.1ppg, 1.2rpg6.9Kansas State
Noah Baumann6-6, 2158.5ppg, 3.1rpg14.6Georgia
Josh Baker6-4, 1753.9ppg, 1.4apg10.4UNLV
Rayshon Harrison6-4, 18017.1ppg, 3.0apg16.2Presbyterian

By the eye test, I’d probably have them higher, but my model didn’t like their players as much They had no player in the top 300 returning in Adjusted Efficiency, although Baumann was just outside. I guess that matters less when you are 6th in the nation in defensive ratings. I still think a talent like Holland Woods could be a tough loss for them. Players like Baumann and Harrison replacing him probably don’t help the defense much either. Solid group, it just doesn’t pop to me like a South Alabama does on paper, even if I’ve seen most of this team actually do something together before.

13. Western Kentucky

WKU125 NET
Jamarion Sharp7-5, 2258.2ppg, 7.6rpg, 4.6Bpg23.7
Emmanuel Akot6-8, 21010.6ppg, 2.8apg(@Boise St)11.9
Dontaie Allen6-6, 1985.4ppg, 1.6rpg(@Kentucky 2021)12.8
Luke Frampton6-5, 2008.8ppg, 3.2rpg11.9
Dayvion McKnight6-1, 19016.2ppg, 5.5apg20.5
Tyron Marshall6-7,21516.2ppg , 8.8rpg (JUCO)
Khristian Lander6-2, 1852.9ppg, 0.9apg(@Indina)5.9
Jordan Rawls6-1, 1805.2ppg, 2.2apg(@Georgia St)7
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
112Jamarion Sharp
203Dayvion McKnight

*Emmanuel Akot was added August 22nd after this article was written. WKU has since moved up in my rankings.

Western Kentucky had a big week getting Emmanuel Akot to decommit from Memphis and enroll at WKU in the 11th hour. It’s pretty crazy. This coming off the magic earlier in the summer of having a 7-5 shot-blocking defensive presence enter the portal and then be able to pull him back out. Retaining Jamarion Sharp was a nice save for Stansbury and still probably the single biggest thing they did this offseason. He was able to add a pretty solid transfer class as well. I’m not really as high on Lander and Akot as most, but I do believe Allen will be a nice one-two punch, with Sharp getting the talent back to the levels WKU is accustomed to. While I think the class overall is a little overrated they clearly are upgrading their talent.

14. UCSB

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
42Andre Kelly

UCSB was in the top 50 NET just 2 seasons ago under Pasternack, losing by 1 point to the #5 seed Creighton. There aren’t many hold-overs from that team but they have added the most proven transfer in the mid major ranks and were a pretty respectable 140 NET last year. Kelly is one of the best players in the nation returning who played big in the Pac 12. Now he will do it at California again, just Santa Barbra instead of Berkley. He will crush here and it’s a stunning get in the age of the NIL.

The rest of their roster the best I can tell are returning most players from a 150-type NET team. They did lose their star in Sow who is playing in the NBA summer league, but Kelly fits right into what he was doing and can do it better. We do these lists earlier than most and UCSB hasn’t released their roster yet and information is harder to come by at this level. We’ll keep it checked.

15. Iona

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
82Nelly Junior Joseph

Losing Jolly and Joiner are significant losses, and I don’t think they were adequately replaced to expect another season like last year. Still, I have to remember they have a legendary coach as well as return one of the best players in the mid major ranks. I don’t think they are as good, but I can’t see them not being at least relevant among the mid-major top 25. Slazinski needs to step into a bigger role with his pedigree. Anton Brookshire didn’t play much for a bad150 type NET Missouri, but he or one of the JUCO guards needs to really step it up for this to really work. Joseph and Salzinski seem to have the post-solidified.

16. Toledo

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
80JT Shumate

Toledo was the best team in the MAC by NET last year at #86, and return Shumate who is one of the best players in the nation by my Adjusted Efficiency model. Tod Kowalczyk has put out too many solid teams never to have made the NCAA’s. That’s what they are, again very solid. Unfortunately, they have to replace Ryan Rollins, who was drafted 44th by the Warriors in the NBA Draft coming out early. That’s a big loss, even as good as Shumate is returning. Millner, Dennis, and the overall continuity will help cushion the blow some, but Rollins was a big-time talent clearly. They really didn’t add anyone proven to the mix, either.

17. College of Charleston

Well C of C was not very strong last year (#144 NET), but we know Pat Kelsey can coach a mid major to a top 50 finish like he did at Winthrop. I think year two will go a lot better and the talent he is adding appears legit. While he has no players in my top 300 returning in Efficiency, he does have some fascinating players, including a former player at Arizona who averaged 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg with an 18.1 PER. Granted, that was a long time ago.

Lee unfortunately is not currently on the roster so we will see if he actually ends up making it in after sitting out completely last year. I’m not sure of his status, as info at this level can be hard to come by. If he does I certainly like this team a lot better. Even without Lee this group has the makings of a team on the move up.

C of C will get back former D2 All American Dalton Bolton as well who played with incoming D2 All American Robinson at West Liberty. Bolton missed all but 3 games last year for the Cougars. This team basically adds 3 D2 All Americans and the translations from D2 elite players is pretty good at the mid major level. They also return most of their other key players as well.

Ante Brzovic6-9, 23017.8ppg, 11.0rpg (D2)SEOU
Ira Lee6-8, 2456.6ppg, 4.2rpg(2019)18.1Arizona
CJ Meredith6-6, 200Marshall
Pat Robinson6-3, 18520.3ppg 4.6rpg (D2)West Liberty
Ryan Larson6-1, 1758.8ppg, 3.6apg14.5Wofford

18. Ohio

Ohio lost much of the production off of last years #119 NET team. The toughest losses were Sears and Vander Plas transferring to Alabama and Virginia respectively. I liked some of the moves they made in the off-season, adding Devon Baker who was very productive at UNCA. They also added Jaylin Hunter from ODU to bolster the backcourt. What I did not expect until seeing the updated roster was Dwight Wilson returning for his 6th season. I haven’t seen Wilson listed anywhere as returning, so this is a big deal in the mid major ranks and for Ohio.

This ranking assumes he is fully healthy from an ACL injury he sustained last summer. The addition to the Bobcats is very important as they have no proven post players or proven depth. It’s the biggest reason I hadn’t considered them in the top 25 in prior rankings. Wilson was the leading scorer and rebounder for the #88 Ohio NET team that went to the NCAA’s and upset Virginia as a 13th Seed 2 seasons ago. He averaged 14.5ppg, 7.5rpg with a 25.5 PER.

If Wilson is anywhere close to what he was they have not only a proven big man but a star post player to enter the season with now. You never want to see anyone miss a season but if he is healthy this might work out better for the Bobcats and Wilson. He’s a lot more needed this season than last year when they had Vander Plas and Jason Carter in the post. Having all 3 was more of a luxury, and he’s a necessity on this team.

19. Louisiana

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
101Jordan Brown

Louisiana had an uncharacteristically down year last year under Bob Marlin. I expect them to bounce back this year as Jordan Brown has more freedom. Brown is a big-time player, a former top 20 recruit who averaged 9.4ppg, 5.2rpg and had a 22.9 PER at Arizona. Last year Brown had to co-exist with another talented center at Louisiana in Theo Akwuba. While they both played well the fit was always questionable, and I think it cramped Brown’s game a little. Akwuba is off to Ole Miss now and Brown should have all the minutes at center.

Greg Williams Jr didn’t play up to the ability he had shown at St John’s either. He actually was more productive in the Big East with a 16.7 PER averaging 9.5ppg. He was only at 9.8 PER and 7.1ppg last year for Louisiana. I expect a big bounce-back season this year. With Williams and Brown I think this team has a lot of upside. The parts around them now make more sense and fit.

20. Bradley

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
Rienk Mast105

Bradley is a team that has to replace a significant piece with Terry Roberts transferring to the SEC. The good news is that they return both post players off of a good defensive team in Mast and Leons. The defense should remain solid with Mast anchoring. On offense he’s very productive and should continue to be if one of the new guards can get him the ball and solifify the peremiter hole Roberts leaves. Bradley is pretty similar to Iona in that they have the post players, and lack the proven guards. I think it’s a pretty good floor raiser that should keep the #102 NET team relevant again even if they drop some without Roberts.

21. Youngstown State

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
238Adrian Nelson

I’m sure I will be a bigger believer in what Youngstown State did in the off-season than most. While most of these new additions had down seasons last year, I’m a big believer that if you have done it before, you can do it again. That assumes there wasn’t a debilitating injury, which there wasn’t for these new transfers. If you show a ceiling I’m going to believe you can get back there at least if not do more. All of these new transfers were pretty awesome in 2021 individually.

Jerrod Calhoun is a coach I have had my eye on that I expected to get Youngstown State turned around. Youngstown State has only one 20 win seasons in it’s 42-year D1 history and has never made an NCAA. It is a tough job but I think he’s figuring it out. He’s got a roster he can do damage with, now. Calhoun built a program in D2 and went 34-3 and to the D2 national title game before taking over Youngstown, which gives me confidence he can coach this group to success. I’m very impressed with this class, and getting Dwayne Cohill to come back puts it over the top for me. He was great last year and brings a Dayton pedigree. They seem ready to make a move.

Transfer Class
Adrian Nelson6-7, 2208.4ppg, 10.0rpg (2021)22.1N. Kentucky
Mattia Acunzo6-8, 2255.9ppg 3.5rpg (2021)20.1Toledo
Malek Green6-7, 22013.2ppg, 7.2rpg (2021)25.1Canisius
Brandon Rush6-3, 17514.3ppg, 4.0rpg (2021)19.9FDU
Bryce McBride6-0, 16513.7ppg, 2.6apg (2021)17.3E. Michigan

22. Coastal Carolina

Cliff Ellis is 9th all-time in D1 wins, that’s what happens when you coach until soon to be 77 years old this year, I guess. He lost two major players off of last year’s team, including one to BYU through transfer, but even at 77 years old, he has quickly adapted to the Portal game himself the last few years.

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
249Essam Mostafa

He returns a quality big man in Mostafa and adds a solid transfer class. Ellis’s teams are usually competitive and between Mostafa and the additions of Daye, Brown, and Nichols the starting 5 seems well on its way with proven players.

Jimmy Nichols Jr.6-8, 2206.1ppg, 2.4rpg(2021 Providence)16.3VCU
Taj Thweatt6-7, 2101.0ppgWest Virginia
Linton Brown6-5, 2103.0ppg, 1.5rpg4.3St Bonaventure
Jomaru Brown6-2, 19012.2ppg, 1.9rpg19.6EKU
Antonio Daye Jr.6-1, 18816.8ppg, 3.3apg17.3Fordham

23. Chattanooga

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
13Jake Stephens

Jake Stephens is actually the highest ranked mid-major player in my model, Adjusted Efficiency. You could certainly make the case that he’s the best actual mid-major player and one of the best players in the country. I do give the benefit of doubt to Kelly simply because we saw him play so well vs the 69th SOS in the Pac 12 though. We’ve seen how far Stephens could carry VMI in the same Southern Conference before. Even playing as insane as he was individually, his team was only 175 NET. That is certainly not his fault, though, they might have been 275+ without him.

He will join his coach from VMI at Chattanooga this season, actually, Dan Earl should probably thank him for getting him this job. Earl did a nice job at VMI considering what he was working with, though. Chattanooga lost most of the talent off of last year’s top 65 NET Chattanooga team, but he did add some solid players, and Stephens should have a better supporting cast than he had a VMI. Jamal Johnson averaged a respectable 9.4ppg at Auburn 2 seasons ago. Huff also coming from VMI should give Stephens familiarity. This is ultimately a Jake Stephen’s rank, but I think with a little better supporting cast he should get them in the top 130 type NET range which is doable and probably about what this tier equates to.

Transfer Class
Jake Stephens6-10, 26619.6ppg, 9.0rpg30.6VMI
Jamal Johnson6-4, 1959.4ppg, 2.5rpg(2021 Auburn)12.3UAB
Khristion Courseault6-2, 1809.5ppg, 2.1rpg10.2Houston Baptist
Dalvin White5-10, 1708.7ppg,3.7rpg15.5USC-Up
Honor Huff5-10, 15510.0ppg, 2.3apg12.7VMI

24. Akron

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
66Enrique Freeman

Freeman is one of the best players returning, and Groce is a proven mid major coach at this level as well. They made a surprise visit to the NCAA’s as a 13 seed last year as a #126 NET team. They worked some of that tourny magic Groce is known for. If they do that this year they will have to do it without Ali Ali who is off to Butler. I think he’s more overrated than most places have him ranked among transfers, but he’s still a tough loss for this team that currently only has 9 players on their updated 2023 roster. I don’t see where they replaced him, and the depth is questionable.

Ali provided a 6-8 ball handler even if he didn’t do basically much of anything else, and that’s a pretty unique player at this or any college level to throw at teams. Freeman is enough of a force and Groce is one of the top mid major coaches so I think they are still a top 25 mid major team. Xavier Castaneda will need to step up his game some though and is who I would expect too.

25. Indiana State

I’m pretty interested to see how this turns out. Most of this ranking is based on belief in Josh Schertz now in his second year and the recruiting class he’s bringing in. I expect Schertz to be better adjusted to D1 now after a year of experience and seeing these teams he’s facing. He was a big time D2 coach and went 337–69 (.830) with 3 Final 4’s in D2. He brought his best player with him who averaged 14ppg 5rpg and didn’t look out of place at all. This year he’s added more help, mostly from the D2 ranks, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. McKnight is a 6-9 D2 All-American and McCauley was productive for DePaul in the Big East. Help seems to be on the way and Schertz I believe can coach. Returning Henry and another 15ppg scorer in Neese this team has weapons now.

Transfer Class
Cade McKnight6-9, 22518ppg 5.4rpg(D2 AA)Truman St
Jayson Kent6-7, 1856.9ppg, 2.9rpg9.3Bradley
Courvoisier McCauley6-5, 2115.7ppg, 2.4rpg15.9Depaul
Trenton Gibson6-4, 20017.2ppg, 5.0apg (D2)Tusclum
Masen Miller6-2, 18014.1ppg, 3.0apg (D2)Truman St

Next Line

FAU, Samford, Southern Illinois, Abilene Christian, Montana State, Kent State

Near misses

Florida Atlantic

There isn’t much flash here. FAU didn’t have anyone register in the top 300 Adjusted Efficiency even though they are a more offensive oriented team. They didn’t add anyone proven of note, but they do return their top 6 players. That continuity is a good thing when you were the number 132 NET last season. FAU already made the step from #178 two seasons ago to #132 last season so the trajectory is what you would like to see as well. I would expect some improvement this season but moving up gets more difficult the higher you ascend.

As much as they return on the surface they aren’t without any questions. The two contributors FAU lost were both 6-7 power forwards that accounted for about 38 minutes at a position of importance. Baruiti didn’t play but 14 minutes a game but he was the most impactful as an athletic player that had a good net rating teams had to respect on the perimeter. It’s a bit unclear how they replace this position overall. They could go big but it’s pretty clear Rasodo and Goldin were spiting time at Center. That would change the make up of this team if Rasodo at 6-8, 247 has to try to guard quick players on the perimeter like he will see. I can’t see that as the path and playing 4 guards seems like the next most likely with a 6-4 200lb PF. This is the only question on a team that returns so many players, but it’s a substantial question to me.

Samford

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
118Ques Glover

Glover is a stud who transferred from Florida and averaged 19.2ppg 4.4apg for a #175 NET Samford. The wildcard this year is the addition of Bubba Parham from Georgia Tech in the backcourt with him. Parham hasn’t been placed on the roster yet, and we hope he will eventually make it in. Parham has battled injuries and overall wasn’t as effective. This is the same player that averaged 21.4ppg and 3.5apg in an underrated Southern Conference for VMI in 2019. The injuries may have diminished him, but the potential is there to have one of the best mid major backcourts in the nation. Even without Parham, Glover has the potential to take them into the top 25 mid majors. He’s that good, and they have several returners and some continuity that should help.

Deep Sleeper : Tennessee Martin

Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
179KJ Simon

This one is likely completely off the radar for an 8-22 team last year, but I love what they have done this offseason. KJ Simon returns after averaging an efficient 16.9ppg, 4.9rpg. They add Parker Stewart from Indiana as well who actually played at Tennessee Martin 3 seasons ago when his father coached here. He averaged 19.2ppg 4.6rpg and 3.8apg so we know he can do it at this exact school. He also had a successful season at Pitt before that. He should be better here now.

I also like the addition of Jordan Sears from Gardner Webb. He was very productive there as well for a 150 NET type team, and KK Curry and Chris Nix seem ready for a bigger role. Endicot was pretty solid and missed some games last year.

I’ll admit this could be a potential reach, but Stewart and Simon are a serious one-two punch a lot of teams would like to have at this level. The Coach, Ridder has won in JUCO’s and did pretty well in the MEAC where it’s hard to win. Last year was year one but with these additions, especially Stewart, I could see him turning it around in year 2.

Parker Stewart6-5, 21019.2ppg, 3.8apg(2021 UTM)19.2Indiana
Desmond Williams6-1, 1657.0ppg, 2.0rpg12.4Troy
Jordan Sears5-11, 1759.1ppg, 2.1apg17.9Gardner Webb

All Mid Major

Jordan Walker Player of the Year

1st Team
Jake StephensChattanooga
Andre KellyUCSB
Jalen SlawsonFurman
Jordan WalkerUAB
Tylor PerryNorth Texas
2nd Team
Jordan BrownLouisiana
Enrique FreemanAkron
Tucker DeVriesDrake
Aaron EstradaHofstra
Antoine DavisDetroit

Mid Major Players in the Top 300 National Returners in Adjusted Efficiency for SOS

There were 61 of the 300 total players in the mid major ranks. A very good level of talent overall, here is the entire list. There were a few programs that have multiple players in the model I took hard looks at for the mid major top 25 but I couldn’t quite get there yet with what was around them.

13Jake StephensChattanooga
30Jalen SlawsonFurman
42Andre KellyUCSB
43B.J. MackWofford
48Kevin SamuelSouth Alabama
54Aaron EstradaHofstra
61Tylor PerryNorth Texas
66Enrique FreemanAkron
72Antoine DavisDetroit
75Jordan WalkerUAB
76Sy ChatmanBuffalo
80JT ShumateToledo
82Nelly Junior JosephIona
86Garrett SturtzDrake
91Charles ThompsonTowson
92Max FiedlerRice
94Ben KrikkeValpo
98Cam HoldenTowson
101Jordan BrownLouisiana
103Tosan EvbuomwanPrinceton
105Rienk MastBradley
112Jamarion SharpWKU
115Darius McGheeLiberty
118Ques GloverSamford
119Antwan WalkerBryant
127Mike BothwellFurman
141Felipe HaaseSouthern Miss
143Tucker DeVriesDrake
151Dylan PennVermont
153Roman PennDrake
154Austin TriceOld Dominion
157Abou OusmaneNorth Texas
163Jordan DinglePenn
167Xavier PinsonNew Mexico State
170Shykeim PhillipsUNCW
176Ben SheppardBelmont
178Marcus DomaskSouthern Illinois
179KJ SimonTennesse Martin
183Justin AmadiJMU
184Ahsan AsadullahLipscomb
190Seneca KnightIllinois State
197Ben WightWilliam and Mary
198Ladarius BrewerUAB
203Dayvion McKnightWKU
205Sam SessonsCoppin State
229Drew PemberUNCA
233Dwon OdomGeorgia State
236KJ BuffenUAB
238Adrian NelsonYoungstown State
240Madut AkecDetroit
249Essam MostafaCoastal Carolina
250Darius BurfordIllinois State
253Trey JemisonUAB
254Darlinston DubarHofstra
260Montre’ GipsonCharlotte
262Kvonn CramerBryant
269Tyree CorbettDenver
278Lamar NormanWestern Michigan
283Tavin LovanUAB
296Noah FreidelJMU
297Eric GainesUAB

3 Comments

3 Comments

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