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Top 25 Rankings & Previews

June 19th Update. We know the players staying in the draft and coming back now. Let’s dig into the statistical resumes and projected rotations as we know them currently, this time. There are a few more major transfers left to commit, and we will keep this updated moving forward as any new information comes in with player movement or unexpected progress over the summer practices. These rankings and rotational battles will be revisited multiple times as more information comes in leading into the season. Check back or follow our new podcast on Twitter for future updates and new releases.

(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. Gonzaga

Gonzaga1 NET1 seedPERS16
Drew Timme6-10, 23518.4ppg, 6.8rpg27.5Sr
Anton Watson6-8, 2257.3ppg, 4.7rpg22.9Sr
Julian Strawther6-7, 20511.8ppg, 5.4rpg18.7Jr
Malachi Smith6-4, 20519.9ppg, 6.7rpg(@Chattanooga)27.9Jr
Rasir Bolton6-3, 18511.2ppg 2.3apg16.3Gr
Nolan Hickman6-2, 1855.1ppg, 1.3apg11.7So
Hunter Sallis6-5, 1754.3ppg 2.0rpg14.3So
Efton Reid6-11, 2386.3ppg 4.3rpg (@LSU)12.6So
Ben Gregg6-10, 2252.4ppg, 2.0rpg16.3So
Kaden Perry6-9, 2251.8rpg, 2.3rpg12So
Dominick Harris6-3, 190redshirt 4*Fr
Braden Huff6-9, 2054 *Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
4Drew Timme
28Malachi Smith
126Rasir Bolton
177Julian Strawther

Gonzaga went from massive questions to #1 in the matter of 3 days when Timme, Strawther, and Bolton all decided to pull their name out of the NBA draft. The news got even better 2 days later when Malachi Smith committed. Timme made us all wait until the final hour, but it always felt like he was coming back. Why wouldn’t he when he can likely make more money with his NIL deal than as a 2nd rounder? The other 3 were more of a pleasant surprise.

Losing a unique shot blocking 31.3 PER player like Holmgren and your 4 year experienced point guard remains substantial. There are probably even still some questions about the lineup make up and who plays point guard but with the amount of talent, they take their normal spot at #1 in the rankings. Few will figure all that out.

Gonzaga is the #1 team by a comfortable margin in NET average the 4 years it has existed.

4 year average NET

It would be foolish to doubt them now when they still have a great player like Timme and many winnable games in the WCC to rack up. The Smith addition cements it for me. That’s not to underrate their excellence in stating the reality about the schedule. I’m not a Gonzaga hater, and I do believe they could have won any power conference last year as well.

Rasir Bolton coming back was a bit unexpected. I see him taking some of the question marks away in the backcourt than a real needle mover, Smith moved the needle. Watson seems primed for a bigger role, and if he can maintain the same level of efficiency in more minutes. Another year, another loaded team. It is so loaded we will need to watch for how they even deploy the talent and rotation.

2. North Carolina

North Carolina17 NET8 seedPERF
Armando Bacot6-10, 24016.5ppg 13.1rpg29.1Sr
Pete Nance6-10, 22514.6ppg, 6.5rpg24.7Gr
Leaky Black6-8, 1954.9ppg, 4.3rpg12.3Gr
Caleb Love6-4, 19015.2ppg, 3.4apg15Jr
R.J. Davis6-0, 16013.4ppg, 3.6apg16.5Jr
Puff Johnson6-8, 1903.1ppg, 2.0rpg15.6Jr
Dontrez Styles6-6, 2102.0ppg, 1.4rpg11.4So
Jalen Washington6-9, 2054*Fr
Seth Tremble6-1, 1754*Fr
Tyler Nickel6-8, 2154*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
5Armando Bacot
31Pete Nance
193R.J. Davis
266Caleb Love

The lack of a proven stretch 4 replacing Brady Manek WAS the concern. How would this offensive-driven team look without the same level of floor spacer and clutch performer? I really expected them to land Matthew Mayer 1st from Baylor with their last scholarship, it was seemingly a perfect fit for both that didn’t transpire. I guess patience comes to those that wait because they landed the rich man’s version in Pete Nance. Not only is he clearly the better player, he shot 45% from three. They got all the stretch they need and more now. Even the average rebounding will be mitigated by Bacot, and he will give Bacot room to work and get putbacks. It’s an incredible add.

Even without a proven stretch 4 I still think they would have to start in the top 5 with the core 4 they return off a team that was clearly peaking towards the end of the season. They were also miss seeded as well with a 17 NET ranking at the end of the season, that was no 8th seed. Puff Johnson acquitted himself well in the national title game and would have been workaround as a starter.

Tyler Nickel is the most intriguing freshman, averaging 34.7ppg, 9.4rpg, and making 91 threes at 41% in high school last year fits that style at least, even if unproven. I had thought he might be the sleeper and have a chance to play but Pete Nance completely changed this team. They are without a doubt top 2 now IMO and have a legit chance at #1.

3. 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.

4. Houston

Houston2 NET5 seedPERE8
Reggie Chaney6-8, 2253.2ppg, 2.2rpg16.5Gr
Jarace Walker6-7, 2205*Fr
Tramon Mark6-5, 19010.1ppg, 2.4apg23.2Jr
Mark Sasser6-1,19017.7ppg, 2.6apg23.7Sr
Jamal Sheed6-1, 19010.0ppg, 5.8apg17.5Jr
J’Wan Roberts6-7, 2303.2ppg, 4.9rpg17.7Jr
Mylik Wilson6-3, 1752.5ppg, 1.7apg(@Texas Tech)13.7Jr
Terrance Arceneaux6-6, 1804*Fr
Ja’Vier Francis6-8, 2251.2ppg, 0.9rpg17.3So
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
47Mark Sasser
56Tramon Mark
224Jamal Sheed

This team doesn’t appear as imposing without Josh Carlton on paper, but what we know in practice is they seem to have essentially a plug-and-play system. They have demonstrated that ability to replace almost anyone over time, even in season, despite some bad injury luck over multiple seasons now. The way they attack the boards and have a baseline skill and style of play up and down the roster gives them a unique identity. Any shooting or other skill around that that develops is a bonus to build on and help take them to the next level.

This is the #2 team in average NET over the 4 years NET has existed so it’s hard to bet against Kelvin Sampson doing what they do and with this identity. They return Sasser after being injured last season to eat usage, and still have their steady stream of grit and grind bigs. Their likely floor seems to be around the top 15, and if the shooting Sasser and Marks showed off in small samples before injury becomes real their ceiling is #1. I believe that’s a little too much to expect right now when their career baseline true shooting is sub .500%. This is still a good team that knows what they do well.

Houston had a more impressive recruiting haul than normal as well. Walker averaged about 16ppg 7rpg at IMG and watching some of his video he certainly looks the part of a Houston big. If they are going to start landing top 10 studs and multiple players in the top 40 players from now on to play in this proven Sampson system, watch out.

5. Baylor

Baylor5 NET1 seedPER2R
Flo Thamba6-10, 2456.2ppg, 5.6rpg18.8Sr
Jalen Bridges6-7, 2208.4ppg, 4.8rpg(@WVU)17.1So
Keyonte George6-3, 1855*Fr
LJ Cryer6-1, 18513.5ppg, 1.7apg19Jr
Adam Flagler6-3, 18013.8ppg 3.0apg17.7Sr
Tchamwa Tchatchoua6-8, 2458.4ppg, 6.8rpg23.8Jr
Caleb Lohner6-8, 2307.0ppg, 6.6rpg(@BYU)10.9BYU
Dantwan Grimes6-2 17014.1ppg, 3.2apg (JUCO)JrJUCO
Dale Bonner6-2, 1703.1ppg, 1.5apg8.7Jr
Joshua Ojianwuna6-10, 2304*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
105LJ Cryer
145Adam Flagler
163Jalen Bridges

The big men are proven, the backcourt is experienced, and there is just a lot to like about this team. Personally, I don’t think James Akinjo is as big a loss as the All-American billing that came with him might indicate. He was relatively inefficient for the level of hype and his 3rd team All American award was more of a team award than an individual excellence award. With all the experience the real upside of this team seems tied to the freshman Keyonte George as that third guard and how ready or not he is.

If he’s not in fact ready JUCO transfer Dawanta Grimes probably will provide a decent more experienced option. That may be all they need to rank in the top 10 again anyway with what they return. He made 36% of his three’s last year in JUCO’s on nearly 2 made a game volume so he should at least be able to make open three’s. George was around a 39% three-point shooter on 3 makes a game from the high school stats available as well. They both seem capable of at least filling a lower usage complementary spacer role Baylor needs adequately.

6. Texas

Texas16 NET6 seedPER2R
Dylan Disu6-9, 2203.7ppg, 3.2rpg18.2Jr
Christian Bishop6-7 2207.0ppg, 5.6rpg22.1Gr
Timmy Allen6-6, 19812.1ppg, 6.4rpg20.9Gr
Marcus Carr6-2, 19011.4ppg, 3.4apg14Gr
Tyrese Hunter6-0, 17811.0ppg, 4.9apg14.1So
Dillon Mitchell6-7, 1955*Fr
Arterio Morris6-2, 1755*Fr
Sir’Jarbari Rice6-4, 18011.9ppg, 5.1rpg(NM St)14.3Gr
Brock Cunningham6-5, 2042.3ppg, 2.3rpg14.9So
Rowan Brumbaugh6-4, 1804*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
34Christian Bishop
38Timmy Allen
45Dylan Disu
59Marcus Carr
168Sir’Jabari Rice

I had Texas ranked in the top 10 even before Hunter committed. Unlike most, I see Hunter more as a solid P5 level starter with some potential than a star. I do not see him as anywhere near one of the best overall transfers this cycle. Still, it’s a nice get for Texas and helps lock them into what I thought they could be with another solid proven starter. The only slight negative is the fit with Carr. I really expected Carr to be in for a potential big bounce-back season closer to as efficient as he was at Minnesota. Anything that could distract from that and take the ball out of Carr’s hands could hinder the team success.

Disu I also expect will play more like he did at Vanderbilt. He should get the minutes now and not have to look over his shoulder for when Tre Mitchell is coming in. These are the two key places I think it’s easy to see improving and mitigating some of the losses. I loved Mitchell but he really didn’t play major minutes. I don’t think Ramey is a big loss, Hunter can make up for that and probably a little more. This was a good team and one with a path to improve with players who have done more in the past already and shown that ceiling like Disu and Carr. When you show me your proven ceiling as a player, I’m going to believe that still exists. Bishop was good last year when he got to play, getting him on the court more is only a good thing as well. The proven he can do more as well when he was in the Big East. This is a team with #1 in the nation type talent.

7. 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.


UCLA11 NET4 seedPERS16
Adem Bona6-9, 2255*Fr
Jaime Jaquez6-6, 22013.9ppg, 5.7rpg22.4Sr
Jaylen Clark6-5, 1956.7ppg, 3.8rpg20.7Sr
David Singleton6-4, 2104.8ppg, 1.5rpg15.1Gr
Tyger Campbell5-11, 18011.9ppg, 4.3apg18.2Sr
Amari Bailey6-4, 1875*Fr
Dylan Andrews6-5, 1904*Fr
Mac Etienne6-9, 2302.6ppg, 2.8rpg (2021)12.5So
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
26Jaime Jaquez
132Tyger Campbell

Jaquez seems ready for a starring role, and with the team success I expect UCLA to have, I have him projected first team All American team currently. Clark was highly productive per possession and should have no problem moving into a starting role Juzang vacates. UCLA should expect to lose some shooting from Juzang but Singleton should be able to offset it. If Bernard had returned as most expected, I would have had their 1 through 4 spots rated the best in the nation with the center spot with Bona the only question mark. I do believe Singleton can move in for Bernard in the starting lineup, but it compromises the depth.

Bona has the 5-star recruiting pedigree, but the inexperience in the age of the super senior where most everyone is a year older than their class something to consider. When you look around at 4th and 5th-year type guys like Tshiebwe, Bacot, Jackson-Davis, and Timme who project to be leading some of the other top teams in the nation it only exacerbates that concern even as good of a prospect as he may be.

I especially worry about him in a potential match-up with those guys in March. Bona will have one with Tshiebwe early in the season which might be telling. If he holds up, I will feel much better about this team moving forward. Bona averaged about 15ppg, 10rpg 4bpg in high school for reference. If he can rebound and defend the rim adequately then UCLA seems in good shape because they should have enough offense 1 through 4.

9. Kansas

Kansas3 NET1 seedPERChamp
Ernest Udeh6-10, 2205*Fr
Jalen Wilson6-8, 21511.1ppg, 7.4rpg18.4Jr
Gradey Dick6-7, 2205*Fr
Kevin McCullar6-6, 20510.1ppg, 4.6rpg15Jr
Dajuan Harris6-1, 1705,4ppg 4.2apg11.1Sr
Zach Clemence6-10, 2252.1ppg, 1.8rpg24.2So
M.J. Rice6-5, 2254*Fr
KJ Adams6-7, 2151.0ppg, 0.8rpg13.6So
Joseph Yesufu6-0, 1802.1ppg, 1.0apg7.4Jr
Zuby Ejiofor6-7, 2154*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
83Jalen Wilson
185Kevin McCullar

This roster is a work in progress but Bill Self is the best coach in the game. It’s got talent albeit inexperienced, but I expect he finds a way to get them up to speed by the end. Harris isn’t amazing, but it will help to have an experienced senior PG to organize the inexperience.

Gradey Dick will likely need to live up to some of the high school billing although his numbers were a little underwhelming for a 5 star player. (17.9ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.9apg) .McCullar, Wilson, and even Clemence seem capable of doing more, but I do not see an obvious number 1 option, and will need need to emerge. McCullar and Wilson seems the most likely but that is why this is a concern. I’m not sure I would want either in that role ideally as inefficient as they are. Wilson’s true shooting was .517% when he had higher 23% usage 2 seasons ago. McCullar’s has barely been over .500 true shooting the last 2 seasons and this was a team relied on offense more than defense last season as well.

I wouldn’t have Kansas this high if they were almost any other program. That said Self’s track record of finishing no lower than 17th in his 19 seasons at Kansas is incredible. I think you got to give him the benefit of doubt here the way he always seems to have the next team in place or he gets them to that point. That run of avoiding even one off season that nearly every other coach and school have at some point speaks for itself. Pure excellence, but this year might put those standards to the test, and honestly, Kansas is past due.

10. Indiana

Indiana44 NET12 seedPER2R
Trayce Jackson-Davis6-9, 24518.3ppg,8.1rpg29.9Sr
Race Thompson6-8, 22811.1ppg, 7.5rpg20.8Gr
Miller Kopp6-7 ,2156.0ppg, 2.5rpg8Gr
Jalen Hood-Schifino6-5, 2004*Fr
Xavier Johnson6-3, 20012.1ppg, 5.1apg18.7Gr
Trey Galloway6-4, 2105.5ppg, 1.8apg10.3Jr
Jordan Geronimo6-6, 2204.4ppg, 3.6rpg17.2Jr
Tamar Bates6-5, 1933.9ppg, 1.3rpg6.6So
Malik Reneau6-8, 2155*Fr
Kaleb Banks6-8, 2154*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
3Trayce Jackson-Davis
68Race Thompson
122Xavier Johnson

Returning some pretty incredible big man play and a solid 5th year PG is a recipe for success. Indiana just needs some 3 point shooting help to open the offense up. If they could add a three point specialist, I’d like them a lot more. Either way, returning Jackson-Davis it feels like Indiana could be getting back to where they should be as a program.

Having a year of adjusting to the college game and dealing with and handling 18-22 year olds Coach Mike Woodson should be in a better leadership position now as well. Jalen Hood-Schifino played for a high level high school program Montverde and seems to be the most hopeful he can make open 3’s of the other projected wings. They need him to be that to help round out this starting lineup. With a player like Jackson-Davis returning and an experience PG like Johnson to get him the ball I expect them to take a big step this year.

11. Miami

Miami47 NET10 seedPERE8
Anthony Walker6-9, 2104.2ppg, 2.5rpg16.1Jr
Norchad Omier6-7, 23017.9ppg, 12.2rpg(@Arkansas St)34.8So
Jordan Miller6-6, 20210.0ppg, 5.9rpg20.3Sr
Isaiah Wong6-3, 18015.3ppg, 4.3rpg18.0Jr
Nijel Pack6-0, 18017.4ppg, 2.2apg(@Kanas State)22.7So
A.J. Casey6-7, 2004*Fr
Christian Watson6-6, 1804*Fr
Wooga Poplar6-5, 1952.3ppg, 1.4rpg9.8So
Bensley Joseph6-1, 1952.3ppg, 1.6rpg7.1So
Favour Aire6-9, 2154*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
14Norchad Omier
22Nijel Pack
70Jordan Miller
102Isaiah Wong

I really love what Miami did in the portal. They had the best portal year of any program despite only landing 2 players, they were 2 of the top 10 players money could buy by the Hoops Resource Transfer rankings. They paid for it but I think it will pay off with Wong and Miller back off an Elite 8 team of overachievers. This year I don’t think they will need to overachieve with the additions.

Pack is going to have the ball in his hands more at Miami where he was off the ball more last year. He’s proven he can do both at a pretty high level and he averaged nearly 4 assists as a freshman, so I believe he is ready for this role again. Kendric Davis had a higher ceiling but Pack to me was the most rock solid guard in the portal with the highest floor. Omier just gets it done and while he won’t wreck the ACC like he did the Sun Belt I expect he’s still very productive as well. Rebounding seems to translate very well from level to level and he’s an elite one. We also shouldn’t forget Larranaga is a great coach that can take lesser rosters far.

As a side note if Miami is going to be this big of a player in the NIL market going forward this could be a city that is really attractive for young guys with lots of money to spend just as it is in the NBA.

12. 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.

13. Arizona

Arizona4 NET1 seedPERS16
Oumar Ballo7-0, 2606.8ppg 4.4rpg24.1So
Azuolas Tubelis6-11, 24513.9ppg, 6.2rpg24.4Jr
Pelle Larsson6-5, 2087.2ppg 3.4rpg14.4Jr
Courtney Ramey6-3, 1859.4ppg, 3.5rpg13Jr
Kerr Kriisa6-3, 1809.7ppg, 4.7apg11.7Jr
Cedric Henderson6-6, 19014.0ppg, 5.6rpg(@Campbell)18.2Jr
Adama Bal6-6, 1901.5ppg12.1So
Shane Nowell6-6, 2100.8ppg5.5So
Dylan Anderson7-0, 2154*Fr
Filip Borovicanin6-8, 1803*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
19Azuolas Tubelis

Tubelis is one of the best players in the country. Two weeks ago depth is a concern but they were able to add a couple of contributors and this team now look a lot more formidable. Having an experienced PG should help some in whip this team into shape, but they certainly need one depth PG piece moving forward I thought a month ago, they did that landing Ramey. He isn’t spectacular but he does solify the depth and gives them another experienced solid player who can handle the ball well and make three’s respectable. They were also able to get Cedric Henderson from Campbell who has been a 15ppg scorer to solidify the wing depth. It almost feels like buyout candidates in the NBA coming in to fill out the roster.

The Pac 12 appears a little down this season, especially at the bottom, and someone has to win those games. Arizona still seems to be the most equipped outside of UCLA. Having a great big and experience point guard to get him the ball is a nice floor raiser and starting point to build on. Ballo is ready for more as it appears as well. It has the makings of a big time 1-2 punch in the post. Had he played enough to qualify he would be top 30 in ADJ eff as well.

14. Duke

Duke10 NET2 seedPERF4
Dereck Lively7-1, 2155*Fr
Ryan Young6-10, 2459.0ppg 4.2rpg(@Northwestern)23Jr
Jacob Grandison6-6, 2059.6ppg, 3.8rpg(@Illinois)17.1Sr
Dariq Whitehead6-6, 1905*Fr
Jeremy Roach6-1, 1758.6ppg, 3.2apg11.7So
Jaden Schutt6-4, 2154*Fr
Kyle Filipowski6-10, 2205*Fr
Tyrese Proctor6-4, 1704*Fr
Mark Mitchell6-8, 2155*Fr
Kale Catchings6-6, 2209.1ppg, 4.0rpg(@ Harvard)Gr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
117Ryan Young
164Jacob Grandison

This is lower than most everyone else will rank them yet I could see 15+ spots lower infact. If they weren’t Duke I’d probably put them in the 20’s. Are they really even the same Duke now they guy that’s been there 4 decades is gone? I don’t personally think so, but let me conform on this one like everyone else.

I just don’t trust the combination of a rookie 34-year-old coach with his training wheels still on trying to lead a team driven by teenagers in the age of the super senior, everyone’s older than they even usually are. It doesn’t seem to square to me, there has to be some level of on the job training. This guard rotation looks pretty weak as well at this point. Is Roach good enough to settle all the question marks there and settle down this young team? He’s #413 in Adjusted Efficiency of all the returners nationally.

AJ Green visited Duke but then he stayed in the draft so the help is not coming from there and even he wouldn’t have been a panacea. Grandison was much needed, but he’s more of a role player and was starting at PF at Illinois. Can he be as effective at SF, I’m not sure, but I think Duke needs both he and Young on the court at least early in the season and I think that’s how they may have to play to accomplish that.

There are just red flags and not many difference makers left available. They got a reclassified player in Proctor but that usually doesn’t work out great. Is he more Marvin Bagley or Emoni Bates. No matter what people rank him in the portal, Bates wasn’t good last year. The age of the super senior, everyone is a year older is still a thing. Duke didnt’ need a high school junior.

There has to be a learning curve, especially with a team this young that doesn’t have a lot of built in muscle memory of doing winning things at the college level. This team could have high variance outcomes and if you told me they were 5th or 35th that wouldn’t really shock me at the end of the year. For some of these other teams, I don’t have to wonder if their superstar will kick butt or if their coach can actually coach which is where I stand at this point.

Top 15 is generous with all these question marks. It seems like Whitehead will be depended on to do much of the perimeter scoring and he averaged 17.1ppg 5.1rpg, 2.4apg at Montverde. Lively came in at 14ppg, 14rpg, and Filipowski 19.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 3.2 apg. It feels like one or two of them has to nearly equal that kind of point production at the college level that they were in high school. That’s a big step.

15. San Diego State

San Diego State30 NET8 seedPER1R
Nathan Mensah6-10, 2307.0ppg, 6.8rpg18.6Gr
Keshad Johnson6-7, 2107.2ppg,4.5rpg17.1Sr
Matt Bradley6-4, 22016.9ppg, 5.4rpg21.1Gr
Lamont Butler6-0, 2007.3ppg, 2.1rpg11.5Jr
Darrion Trammell5-10, 16517.3ppg, 5.0apg (@ Seattle)21.9Jr
Chad Baker-Mazara6-7, 1906.4ppg, 2.0rpg21.5Jr
Micah Parrish6-6, 18012.1ppg, 6.0rpg16.6So
Jaedon LeDee6-9, 2405.8ppg, 3.9rpg(@TCU 2021)19.5Jr
Adam Seiko6-3, 2105.3ppg, 2.0rpg9.4Gr
Aguek Arop6-6, 2203.5ppg, 3.3rpg14.7Gr
Elijah Saunders6-8, 2203*
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
111Matt Bradley
181Nathan Mensah
241Darrion Tramell

This team was a beast on defense with the #1 defensive rating in the country, and #2 in adjusted Ken Pom. Nathan Mensah the defensive POY in the MWC is returning for year 5 as do the other frontcourt players and the #1 frontcourt player off the bench. Needless to say, that defense is locked in again now as the identity to build around.

Getting LeDee back on the court could be key to taking this team to the next level if he can man the other 15 minutes at center Mensah isn’t playing. There is a lot to like with what they have brought back but also added in Trammell and Parrish in the backcourt. Those were nice gets in the portal for Dutcher and also potential improvements, especially Trammell who can generate offense for himself and others. I originally though he may put more pressure on the defense behind him with his diminutive size but this is a team that needs another offensive gear to move up. It should be a nice trade off. I’ve since found out in my research Trammell had one of the best defensive ratings in the nation. Pretty incredible stuff to have the highest defensive rating on a team as a 5-10 guard but he did. He should fit in perfectly on this defensive juggernaut.

16. 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.

17. TCU

TCU33 NET9 seedPER2R
Eddie Lampkin6-11, 3006.8ppg, 6.2rpg20.1So
Emanuel Miller6-7, 21010.3ppg, 6.2rpg18.1Sr
Chuck O’Bannon6-6, 2159.5ppg, 4.2rpg17.7Gr
Damion Baugh6-3, 18510.6ppg, 4.5apg13.8Sr
Mike Miles6-1, 19515.4ppg, 3.8apg15.1Jr
Micah Peavy6-7, 2156.1ppg, 4.0rpg11.1Jr
P.J. Haggerty6-3, 1704*Fr
Xavier Cork6-9, 2353.3ppg, 2.7rpg14.2Jr
JaKobe Coles6-7, 2252.7pg, 1.9rpg13.6So
Rondel Walker6-4, 1704.9ppg, 2.6rpg(@Okl St)10.7So
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
138Emanuel Miller
146Chuck O’Bannon
256Mike Miles

Continuity, Continuity, Continuity. With the portal pulling guys away from teams, it’s impressive what they bring back intact. The coaching is good, I just am not a huge fan of the roster makeup. Seems more like a higher floor type team than ceiling as a defensive driven team. I think they probably have a top 30 floor, but probably a top 15 type of ceiling. I do think they will benefit from continuity, though, especially early, as so many other teams are in flux in the portal age trying to work in players and work out the rotations. That’s all sorted here, and I expect them to not have early slip ups and bank some wins.

18. Oklahoma

Oklahoma39 NETNITPER2R
Tanner Groves6-9, 23511.6ppg, 5.8rpg21Gr
Jalen Hill6-7, 2259.1ppg, 5.9rpg16.5Sr
Jacob Groves6-7, 1854.6ppg, 2.9rpg10.1Sr
Joseph Bamisile6-4, 19516.3ppg, 5.0rpg(@George Washington)19.5So
Grant Sherfield6-2, 18919.1ppg, 6.4rpg(@Nevada)19.5Sr
Sam Godwin6-9, 2106.3ppg, 3.1rpg(@Wofford)23.6Jr
C.J. Noland6-2, 2293.5ppg, 1.9rpg14.6So
Bijan Cortes6-3, 1942.0ppg, 1.4rpg6.5So
Otega Oweh6-4, 1954*Fr
Milos Uzan6-3, 1704*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
44Grant Sherfield
53Tanner Groves
150Joe Bamisile
196Jalen Hill

I love this rebuilt backcourt and I believe it’s going to be better than Gibson and Goldwire. Sherfield was a massive get that I think pushed them from a borderline 40ish type team into the top 25. He was individually great last year but he was even better two seasons ago, so we know that sort of upside exists.

Moser’s late bloomer career has always made me a little skeptical of what he can be at this level, and if the later stuff was really who he was. It’s still hard for me to completely ignore the early career failures, still, I like the start so far at Oklahoma. Getting a team like Loyola to the Final 4 and then following up with a Sweet 16 to show it wasn’t a fluke was always amazing but there was still a shred of doubt for me. The growth and ability seem to become more real to me now.

19. 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.

20. Xavier

Xavier37 NETNITPERChamp
Zach Freemantle6-9, 22510.4ppg, 5.8rpg16.9Sr
Jack Nunge6-11, 24513.4ppg, 7.4rpg28.4Sr
Colby Jones6-5, 19511.6ppg, 7.3rpg19.5Jr
Adam Kunkel6-4, 1768.8ppg, 1.8apg13Gr
Souley Boum6-3, 16319.8ppg, 4.5rpg (@UTEP)22.7Sr
Kam Craft6-4, 1854*Fr
Jerome Hunter6-7, 2154.1ppg, 2.9rpg8.2Sr
Desmond Claude6-5, 1904*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
8Jack Nunge
93Colby Jones
135Souley Boum
174Zach Freemantle

This team was an NCAA caliber at large team by the NET even before winning the NIT. Now they add Sean Miller who is a better coach than Steele, so the potential is here. Souley Boum just needs to be more of a facilitator with this group. That’s really the only question it seems is the floor general and who can step into that role and get Nunge the ball.

There are no proven facilitators on the roster, but the hope seems to be with Boum looking to score less he can concentrate on that aspect more with the talent around him here. Maybe, 2.9apg is his career high, and that was in 37 minutes a game. That’s a little weak when you are touching the ball that much to depend on. Even with the coaching upgrade and what they return they could miss that game manager type point guard that Odom provided last year.

21. Dayton

DaRon Holmes II6-10, 22012.8ppg, 6.1rpg24.8So
Toumani Camara6-8, 22010.9ppg, 6.9rpg18Jr
R.J. Blakney6-6, 1966.5ppg, 3.5rpg14.5So
Kobe Elvis6-2, 1708.9ppg, 2.4apg13.6So
Malachi Smith6-0, 1709.3ppg, 5.3apg17.6So
Koby Brea6-6, 1748.1ppg, 2.9apg14.9So
Mike Sharavjamts6-7, 1804*Fr
Kaleb Washington6-7, 1901.4ppg, 0.7rpg10.5So
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
27DaRon Holmes II
208Toumani Camara
220Malachi Smith

This team is zigging when most are zagging. You just don’t see this many good underclassmen staying in the portal / free transfer era, especially at a non P5. Granted with what Dayton averages in fan support it looks better than most P5 on game day in the arena. Still other schools have more money and NIL advantages so good for them to retain this team another year and try to develop them.

I think it’s an overall losing strategy for most non P6’s but they have survived to see the plan through another year. What is the reward, well they will certainly have a youth and continuity advantage by keeping their top 6 together and with 5 of them being underclassmen? You can reasonably expect the biggest jump from years one to 2 as well so I think that’s the biggest case for their projection into the top 25.

22. Oregon

N’Faly Dante6-11, 2308.1ppg, 6.3rpg24.8Sr
Quincy Guerier6-7, 22010.1ppg, 5.3rpg16Sr
Tyrone Williams6-5, 20027.7ppg, 7.5rpg (JUCO)Jr
Will Richardson6-5, 18014.1ppg, 3.6apg19.3Gr
Jermaine Couisnard6-4, 21112.0ppg, 3.2appg(@S.Caro)14.1Sr
Keeshawn Barthelemy6-2, 16311.1ppg, 2.4apg(@Colorado)16.8Jr
Rivaldo Soares6-6, 2054.7ppg, 2.7rpg11.1Sr
Brennen Rigsby6-3, 18011.6ppg 3.6rpg (JUCO)Jr
Kel’el Ware7-0, 2105*Fr
Dior Johnson6-3, 1804*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
144Will Richardson
255Keeshawn Barthelemy
261Quincy Guerier

This is pretty much a new team, but returning their best player unexpectedly is a huge help. I like the way it has been rebuilt around him. I had them ranked in the 30’s but getting Richardson back really helps push them forward. The proven depth is stout on this team and Williams should help take them places. I’m a little skeptical of most JUCO’s as big difference makers in year 1 usually (see Soares), but when you average 28ppg at any level I think you got to be a pretty good player. Williams shot 43.5% from three on good volume so at worst he should be capable of being a solid shooting threat. With Richardson back, this projects to be a good shooting team now.

Hopefully for Oregon to take a bigger step Williams is more the 2nd coming of Duarte. Consider this is the same coach that recruited Duarte there I am going to trust him as the stats check out much better than they did for Soares. They add a proven D1 transfer backcourt and return solid help in the post. The addition of Ware is big but I doubt he will just be handed minutes as good as Dante was last season. If you rebuild enough that you can bring a player like Williams, Barthelemy, or Cousinard off the bench you are in great shape. They may even want to play all 4 together around one of the solid defensive centers in a smaller “death” lineup to end games.

23. UConn

UConn18 NET5 seedPER1R
Adama Sanogo6-9, 24014.8ppg, 8.8rpg24.5Jr
Andre Jackson6-6, 2106.8ppg, 6.8rpg14.4Jr
Nahiem Alleyne6-4, 1959.6ppg, 2.8rpg (@Virginia Tech)11.2Sr
Jordan Hawkins6-5, 1855.8ppg, 2.0rpg12.5So
Tristen Newton6-5, 20017.7ppg, 5.0apg (@ECU)20.9Jr
Donovan Clingan4*Fr
Hassan Diarra6-2, 1976.2ppg, 1.4apg(@Texas A&M)13.4Jr
Alex Karaban4*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
12Adama Sanogo
116Tristen Newton
298Andre Jackson

I’m not the biggest believer in Danny Hurley but this roster is legit. Sanogo is a big time impactful player and adding Alleyne and Newton really helps fill it out. Newton especially should be helpful in the clutch. He led many late heroics and multiple clutch game winners while at ECU. With the seemless leap Jayden Gardner made from ECU to UVA I think moving up bodes well for Newton as well.

Newton and UConn will be in better winning situations than ECU was, and he will be a great tool for Hurley to put the ball in his hands late in the game to ice it or to try to save the close ones that are getting away. Newton is elite at getting to the free throw line and making 88% of them.

Newton’s turnovers were really high last season, but so was the pressure without much else around him. As a freshman when he wasn’t asked to be the biggest offensive engine, he was very solid at protecting the ball. With Sanogo they can form a nice one to punch that plays off of each other. While Alleyne doesn’t do a lot of things on a basketball court but he is a proven shooter. He will have to be guarded and should help Sanogo and Newton have the space they need to work.

24. Florida

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 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.

25. Creighton

Creighton51 NET9 seedPER2R
Ryan Kalkbrenner7-0, 23513.1ppg, 7.7rpg29Jr
Arthur Kaluma6-7, 22010.4ppg, 5.4rpg12.8So
Baylor Scheierman6-6, 18016.2ppg, 7.8rpg (@SD St)25.2Jr
Trey Alexander6-4, 1707.4ppg, 3.7rpg11.5So
Ryan Nembhard6-0, 16711.3ppg, 4.4apg11.1So
Shareef Mitchell6-0, 1703.5ppg, 1.3apg6.3Sr
Francisco Farabello6-4, 1834.7ppg, 2.4rpg (@TCU)11.8Jr
Jasen Green6-8, 2204*Fr
Peak Efficiency Adjusted by SOSReturning Players in the Top 300
6Ryan Kalkbrenner
162Baylor Scheierman

It’s a nice team, but I don’t think it’s a top 5 team like some places have picked. Even if Baylor Scheierman can play SF effectively on defense and replace some of what Ryan Hawkins was giving, this was still a 50th ranked type team last year. This seems to be the more correct range for a team with some good continuity and a similar build to last year’s 50th type and 2nd round team.

Watching some of the video on Scheierman there is no doubt he’s a great shooter and talented offensive player and passer. When he has the ball in his hands, he can dictate a lot. I do question how he is going to stay in front of Big East athletes on defense and if they can hide him at PF the way South Dakota State apparently did. Adding up the rotations it appears he played about 20 of his 33 minutes a game at PF or at least as the 2nd biggest player. He’s a rugged rebounder for what he is, but I’m not sure he can hold up as well at this level there either as more of a tweener on defense. At least not to the level I’m a top 5 believer.


Missouri151 NETNonePER
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 to 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.


This is it for now, check back because we will continue to adjust these rotations, and expand this list to more teams if your team didn’t make it.

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