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.
Tennessee is a deep team with a lot of good players and not overly dependent on one or two. It was still would be better if Santiago Vescovi came back for year five. Zakai Zeigler returned but Julian Phillips stayed in the draft. Olivier Nkamhoua is solid and also hit the portal and Uros Plavsic was encouraged to leave it seems. Again it’s one of the deeper teams. If you are going to play a lot of players you have to expect some to be unhappy with the depressed minutes and role, so that’s part of it as is next man up. They have backfill with a strong transfer class as well.
Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams return and the additions of Denver Jones and our #1 JUCO player Chad Baker-Mazera should give them an opposing defense. Chad Baker-Mazera had a solid season with San Diego State prior to JUCO’s. He had the 2nd highest defensive rating on the the top defensive team that season and led his JUCO team to the National Championship game. The biggest question is at point guard.
The Aggie play such a deep rotation they will always have an experienced player. The problem is playing so many means they have to replace more. With Wade Taylor, Henry Coleman, and Julius Marble likely to return most of the core should be intact.
The Razorbacks lost Ricky Council and Devonte Davis. We know Eric Musselman will hit the portal hard. He’s already connected with all 1600 transfers it seems. It?s just a given he lands some good ones eventually and he did. Top 12 five star Baye Fall will help as well. One thing is for sure Musselman stacks the rosters. I’m not sure how he makes all the promises he does or players sign on seeing all the competition but they do. Once again it’s one of the best recruiting classes in the country for combined freshman and transfers.
Returning Tolu Smith is huge, but this is a team that needed more three point shooting than just Andrew Taylor. I’d expect a similar season of grinding it out defensively now to last year. MSU was 363rd in three point shooting at only 26%. Worst in the nation. That would be frustrating to be a fan and have an obvious need only addressed with one player. There will be times they need to try to make a comeback and you need at least 2 or 3 three point threats to put on the court.
The Wildcats could return, Antonio Reeves and not much else. Sahvir Wheeler and CJ Fredrick have entered the portal but they could improve on those positions with better size. The good news regardless is they have the top-ranked recruiting class coming. John Calipari is leaning back into the one-and-done model hard as well after focusing more on transfers the last couple of years. With covid super seniors and college basketball still older than ever it’s a little harder than in the past to win with freshmen unless they are 20 years old like Brandon Miller. Duke didn’t light it up this season for example, but Calipari is a more experienced coach coaching freshmen. I trust him to figure it out a little more. Justin Edwards is an older player even as a freshman go and should be ready to help big from day one. Still replacing a national player of the year I can’t see them being better.
Mark Sears will return, but I don’t see a 20-year-old freshman ready like Brandon Miller was waiting in the wings, but Nate Oats can coach. Alabama was seemingly caught off guard by Charles Bediako staying in the draft. Leaving only Nick Pringle really to man the post as well as a freshman. They also lost transfer commit Jaykwon Walton. I’m was pretty skeptical of the talent, but the late addition of big man Grant Nelson will give them a good chance.
D’Moi Hodge and Nick Honor have exhausted their eligibility. Kobe Brown had a 5th year but elected not to use it after a stand out season. DeAndre Gholtston and Noah Carter could return. They have also added the #2 JUCO player Curt Lewis in the nation per our rankings. He averaged 10ppg at Eastern Kentucky prior to that and should help.
The Gamecocks were so bad last year finishing over 200th in NET. I would expect these season to go much much better. Trying to win with freshmen in the age of the super senior covid age is less than ideal anyway. Maybe if they are 20 years old like Brandon Miller that can work, but your best player can’t be 17 year olds like GG Smith was. He was ok, but shouldn’t have been in that lead role.
Jerry Stackhouse had some players enter the portal and was fortunate to bring one important one back. This team is still lacking the punch to really compete though in one of the toughest conferences in America. Making it back to the NIT would be an accomplishment after losing the value on this team in Liam Robbins. He was one of the best individual players in the nation.
Georgia is making improvements under Mike White. You question how far he can take them longterm, but given where they had fallen to under Crean, getting back in the top 100 mix would be an accomplishment at this point and White can make them respectable.