Today, we are unveiling the NBC Sports preseason top They have shooting. They have size. They have talented veterans in starting roles with promising younger pieces ready to push them for minutes. Cassius Winston, ever heard of him? Xavier Tillman is ready to take over the five-spot in a full-time role with Nick Ward gone, but the bigs behind him are young.
Will Marcus Bingham be ready to play 20 minutes a night? What will be more interesting to see is if Izzo goes full small-ball. Montgomery Surprise, surprise: Kentucky is loaded again, especially in the backcourt.
Ashton Hagans returns for his sophomore season where he will be joined by Tyrese Maxey in what may end up being the toughest, most competitive and best defensive backcourt in college basketball. Immanuel Quickly, Kahlil Whitney, Johnny Juzang and Keion Brooks will give John Calipari more than enough weapons to keep defenses guessing on the perimeter; those practice battles to earn playing time are going to be fun to watch.
Montgomery will look to take a P. Washington-esque step forward and Nick Richards will, hopefully, live up to his five-star potential.
The addition of grad transfer Nate Sestina from Bucknell will provide some depth and experience where the Wildcats really need it.
It will be interesting to see if Coach Cal makes the decision to play small this year, because he certainly has the roster to do it. The Jayhawks may have the best center in the country in Udoka Azubuike. They have one of the best point guards in Devon Dotson.
They have more frontcourt depth than just about anyone else, with Silvio De Sousa, David McCormack and Mitch Lightfoot all fighting for minutes up front.
The big question is going to be what the Jayhawks do at the four. They can play two bigs, but that will obliterate their spacing. The same can be said if Garrett slots in at the four. There is no easy answer, which means that Self will have his work cut out for him. They also get back Dwayne Sutton, and Malik Williams, and Steve Enoch, and add a recruiting class that is exactly what you would expect someone like Chris Mack to bring into a program like Louisville.
They have everything that you would expect out of a top five team … … except clarity at the point guard spot. There are options there.
Fresh Kimble, a grad transfer from St.
Someone is going to have to win the starting job. Will they be good enough to carry the Cardinals to the top of the ACC? I think the Saddiq Bey and Jermaine Samuels are both in line for big seasons, and when combined with Bryan Antoine — who will hopefully be healthy by December — give Jay Wright three wings that fit perfectly with the way that he wants to play.
And then there is all the young talent on the roster. Cole Swider should take a significant step forward as a sophomore.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is a five-star recruit. Brandon Slater should be ready for a bigger role.
The big concern here is that this team is still going to be very, very young for a Villanova team. We might still be a year away with this group.
Talented, but weird. I like a lot of the pieces here.
Vernon Carey is going to be a very good college basketball player. Same with Matthew Hurt. Wendell Moore should be able to impact the game on the defensive end of the floor from day one. We wrote all about Mr.
Jones and why his ability to shoot will be the most influential skill for any player in college basketball next season right here. He is an All-American talent that will anchor the frontcourt for a team that has all the perimeter depth you would want. Killian Tillie is back and healthy.
Corey Kispert is a talent that has been waiting for more opportunity in Spokane. Filip Petrusev will finally be able to anchor the frontcourt on his own, while the likes of Drew Timme and Oumar Ballo are promising freshman that are going to push for minutes immediately.
The big question is going to be in the backcourt, where a pair of grad transfers — Ryan Woolridge and Admon Gilder — are going to take the reins with a freshman — Brock Ravet — providing depth. That could end up being the best punch in the Big Ten this side of Michigan State.
Smith is the name you know, but Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins and Ricky Lindo all had promising rookie campaigns, while the likes of Darryl Morsell and the Mitchell twins give Turgeon plenty of depth. They lost Ty Jerome.
They lost Kyle Guy.
Will Casey Morsell be ready at the start of the season? Is Kihei Clark going to be able to handle the lead guard role in a ball-screen heavy offense? Just how good is Braxton Key going to be as a senior?
But there is no one in college basketball that has proven to be better at finding a way to entirely remake a roster year after year that Chris Beard. Holyfield will help as well.
Walker, Shakur Juiston The Ducks are the toughest team for me in these rankings. On the one hand, they lost oh-so-very-much from last season. Throw in Francis Okoro, and there are enough pieces here for Dana Altman to have fun figuring things out. This is essentially the same roster that Seton Hall had last season, which matters because Myles Powell returns for his senior season.
He is one of the most dangerous scorers in all of college hoops. He is going to be an All-American.