College Basketball: 1 Recruiting Need for Each Top 25 Team
The college basketball recruiting Class of 2013 is the next chance for coaches to build up their programs. The Class of 2012's recruiting is over and coaches are now turning their full attention to the Class of 2013.
No team is perfect, and even the current Top 25 teams need to get something from the next class. Whether it's a point guard, a star, a role player or a leader, every coach knows what he needs next, and this is exactly that need.
The path to success begins on the recruiting trail, and that's where these guys are headed next.
25. Minnesota: A Big Man
Minnesota returns almost everyone from last season's team that made a run in the NIT. Losing only Ralph Sampson III because Trevor Mbakwe was granted another year, this team will have its double-double machine coming back.
But not for long.
Mbakwe will be a senior next season and then he's gone. The Gophers need to find a suitable replacement for him since he led the team in both points (14.0) and rebounds (9.1) per game and losing him will be detrimental to the team.
While the Gophers bring in Charles Buggs this year, they will need at least one more good big man to help make up for the loss of Mbakwe.
Possible Options: PF Kyle Washington (2013), C Chris Perry (2013), Goodluck Okonoboh (2013)
24. Gonzaga: Guards
It's hard to say that Gonzaga needs guard when its backcourt comprises two great sophomores in Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr., but they're not going to be around forever.
Even with the loss of seven-footer Robert Sacre, the Bulldogs need guards because coach Mark Few has already brought in 7'1" giant Przemek Karnowski and two new big men in the Class of 2013 (including another seven-footer).
Without a guard in the 2012 or 2013 recruiting classes right now, Few needs to try to get a few guards to make up for the loss of quite a few guards over the next two or three years.
Possible Options: SG Isaac Hamilton (2013), SG Josh Brown (2013), Darin Johnson (2013)
23. Creighton: A Replacement for Doug McDermott
Doug McDermott was among the best players in the country last year and was a finalist for the National Player of the Year Award. His 22.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game both led his team and were among the top in the nation.
Losing McDermott is going to be tough, and it could be as soon as the end of this season.
Creighton needs to find a star to replace its top player. He will soon be in the NBA and the team must find a new option to rely on.
The replacement doesn't even have to be a power forward like McDermott. As long as the player is someone who the team can consistently rely on, he will be suitable.
Possible Options: PG Wes Clark (2013), PF Akoy Agau (2013), SG E.C. Matthews (2013)
22. Notre Dame: Point Guard
Notre Dame has its scoring options in order for the next few years. Bringing in three forwards and a shooting guard, the team just needs a point guard to make the team go.
With Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins only being juniors next season, the Irish have a bit of time to get their point guard of the future, but the player must be a great distributor first and a scorer second.
While a center is of need too, there's no point in having a lot of good players if no one can get them the ball.
Possible Options: Demetrius Jackson (2013), Romelo Trimble (2014)
21. Cincinnati: Center
With the Bearcats losing Yancy Gates this season, they are left without a true big man. The team is centered on its guards this season, but will soon need a true center.
Cincinnati brings in SF Titus Rubles in the Class of 2012 and already has its backcourt of the future in its 2013 class.
However, the team is missing a center and that's going to catch up to it at some point. There are a few great options considering the Bearcats in the Class of 2013, but if they fail to land one, they are in trouble.
Possible Options: C Dominic Woodson (2013), C Chris Perry (2013), C Jordan Washington (2013)
20. Wisconsin: A True Center
Known as a defensive powerhouse, Wisconsin will look to continue its trend of stifling all of its opponents and winning low-scoring affairs.
If the Badgers are going to do this they'll need a true center inside to stop opponents from crashing the boards or getting easy buckets inside.
The Badgers already have commitments from good point guards, shooting guards and forwards (including Sam Dekker). With Jared Berggren being a senior this season, the team needs a suitable replacement to play inside.
Possible Options: PF Kyle Washington (2013), C Austin Mecca (2013), C Jahil Okafor (2014)
19. Marquette: A Good Rebounder
Marquette loses its two big stars in Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom this year. While losing your two top scorers is usually your biggest concern, the Golden Eagles already have a couple of great players committed to replace them.
What the team really needs to replace is Crowder's rebounding ability. He averaged 8.4 per game last season and led the team by a mile. The team is now without a great rebounder and needs someone to crash the boards.
Rebounding is such an important part of today's college game that most teams without a good big man struggle. Marquette doesn't want to be one of those teams, which is why rebounding should be its primary focus.
Possible Options: PF Jermaine Lawrence (2013), PF Johnathan Williams III (2013), C Karviar Shepard (2013)
18. Michigan State: Depth
It's hard to pick out one thing that Michigan State really needs. Tom Izzo brought in a huge haul of elite recruits in the Class of 2012, bringing in four Top 100 recruits.
With a young backcourt with a bright future in Keith Appling and Branden Dawson, and three forwards and shooting guard Gary Harris coming in, the team has a lot of great players. Some will undoubtedly leave early for the NBA (particularly Harris), which is why the team just needs depth.
The Spartans were rumored to be in the top three for the nation's No. 1 recruit, Jabari Parker. However, that rumor is now in question. However, we do know that they are in the mix and are close to his Illinois home. He would be a huge gain for Michigan State.
Possible Options: SF Jabari Parker (2013), SG James Young (2013), PG Demetrius Jackson (2013)
17. Syracuse: Athletes
Syracuse always needs athletes, thanks to Jim Boeheim's 2-3 zone that traps and flusters opponents. Because his players are so dynamic, it's difficult to break their stifling zone.
After losing Kris Joseph, Scoop Jardine, Dion Waiters and Fab Melo, the team is left with a few good athletes and two top recruits. While that's enough for now, the team will soon lose a lot of good players including Brandon Triche.
Whether the athlete can play up top, on the wing or anchor the defense in the middle (assuming DaJuan Coleman will leave after two years), he must have freakish athletic gifts.
Possible Options: SF Wayne Selden (2013), SF Rondae Jefferson (2013), PF Jermaine Lawrence (2013)
16. San Diego State: Big Men
When you look at San Diego State's roster, you notice how small the team is. When you look at the year of their three remaining forwards, you'll see that two are gone after this year.
SDSU needs a lot of big men and soon. The team is relying heavily on their guards like Chase Tapley and Jamaal Franklin for scoring, but they lack size. Even the good recruiting class that's coming in only has one power forward.
Without big men, this high-level mid-major will soon fade, being dominated inside by bigger programs. The Aztecs absolutely must land at least one good big man in the Class of 2013.
Possible Options: PF Jordan Bell (2013), PF Jamal Aytes (2013)
15. North Carolina: A Star
Honestly, North Carolina doesn't need much. With a great incoming recruiting class and one of the top 2013 classes already assembled (not to mention leftovers from their 2011 recruiting class), the team has a bright future.
With two great incoming point guards, four great shooting guards already on the roster—including P.J. Hairston who will be a stud—and a bunch of great incoming big men, the team is stacked.
I would be surprised if the Tar Heels aren't the preseason No. 1 for the 2013-14 season.
However, they could still use another star. They don't really need one, but that's the only way the team could improve.
Possible Options: SF Jabari Parker (2013), PF Julius Randle (2013), SF Wayne Selden (2013)
14. Ohio State: Replacements
Ohio State is in trouble. With a weak 2012 recruiting class and the loss of its recent stars, the Buckeyes might be headed for a run of a few poor seasons.
The team will need quite a few replacements, including for the losses of Jared Sullinger and William Buford. The Buckeyes may also need a replacement for DeShaun Thomas if he emerges as a star as expected and leaves for the NBA a year early. Also, Aaron Craft won't be around forever, and they could use another point guard.
Ohio State was once an elite team, but it appears to be on the decline. The Buckeyes absolutely must get a few great players soon.
Possible Options: PF Julius Randle (2013), SF Wayne Selden (2013), PG JaQuan Lyle (2014)
13. Duke: An Inside Presence
With Miles Plumlee graduating and Mason Plumlee leaving after this season, the Plumlee brothers are almost gone from Duke, leaving just redshirt freshman Marshall.
Even if Marshall turns out to be as good as his brother, the Blue Devils will still need another big man since Ryan Kelly and Mason both leave at the end of the season. Even the addition of 2012 recruit Amile Jefferson can't keep them big inside.
The team needs another good big man who is better inside instead of being athletic like Jefferson is. The Blue Devils have a lot of good guards but will need someone to control the paint.
Possible Options: PF Julius Randle (2013), PF Austin Nichols (2013), PF Marcus Lee (2013)
12. Baylor: A Combo-Guard
Baylor will remain among college basketball's elite teams this season thanks to two great big men joining the Bears in Isaiah Austin and Ricardo Gathers.
However, the team loses its top two guards in Pierre Jackson and A.J. Walton after this year and will need replacements. While Brady Heslip is becoming a weapon and recruit L.J. Rose is a good point guard, the team needs one more member in the backcourt.
While any guard would be helpful, it'd be nice for the team to get one who can play either backcourt position so that he could have maximum impact. The perfect scenario would be to land both Harrison twins, but if not, there are still other options.
Possible Options: PG/SG Andrew/Aaron Harrison (2013), SG Keith Frazier (2013), SG Isaac Hamilton (2013)
11. Kansas: A Replacement for Jeff Withey
Jeff Withey looks like the centerpiece of this year's Kansas team. The seven-footer will be looked to to dominate the paint, but after he graduates at the end of the year, the Jayhawks don't have any replacements.
He's one of just two returning big men, but once he's gone, the team will lack great big men.
Bill Self is an amazing recruiter and I expect him to find a suitable replacement in the Class of 2013.
Possible Options: PF Julius Randle (2013), C Karviar Shepard (2013), C Andre Walker (2014)
10. Florida: Frontcourt Players
Florida's backcourt is always its forte, and Billy Donovan's 2012 and 2013 recruiting class will help keep that aspect elite.
However, the frontcourt is a different story.
Patric Young may leave after his junior season and 2013 recruit Chris Walker has said he will be a one-and-done. The team desperately needs a good big man who will be around for a few years, but really any addition to the frontcourt would be helpful.
Possible Options: SF Jabari Parker (2013), PF Jermaine Lawrence (2013), C Kennedy Meeks (2013)
9. UNLV: Point Guard
UNLV has become a hotspot for elite recruits, as the Runnin' Rebels are bringing in a ton of Top 100 recruits.
Unfortunately, the team could still use another point guard. Despite bringing in a ton of great players over the next two years, the team should look for another floor general other than DaQuan Cook.
The team has a bright future, but a better point guard could keep it among the nation's elite.
Possible Options: PG Kendall Smith (2013), PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright (2014), PG Shaquile Carr (2014)
8. Missouri: A Wing
Frank Haith came to Missouri and had a team that looked pretty good for his first season but didn't have much of a future ahead of them.
In fact, only one player on the team (Phil Pressey) wasn't a junior or senior, so the team will lose a lot and will be in a huge rebuilding stage by the end of this season.
Haith did a good job of finding seven players to join the team next season, but his 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes are missing one thing: a wing.
Without an athletic scoring wing, the team may be in serious trouble very soon.
Possible Options: SF Wayne Selden (2013), SF Nick King (2013), SF Semi Ojeleye (2013)
7. Arizona: A True Point Guard
Arizona is another team that has brought in a massive haul of recruits and has a bright future. While the team may soon need a replacement for seven-foot recruit Kaleb Tarczewski, the bigger need right now is at point guard.
The Wildcats didn't have a single player average more than 2.6 assists per game last season, and with a terrific frontcourt joining the team next season, they need someone to get their big guys the ball.
Recruit Gabe York is a score-first point guard, and while I love the kid, he isn't going to be racking up assists. The team really needs a true point guard soon.
Possible Options: PG Jordan McLaughlin (2014), PG Tyus Jones (2014), PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright
6. Michigan: A Big Man
Even with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke likely departing for the NBA soon, the Wolverines of Michigan need a big man first.
John Beilein has done a good enough job of recruiting guards and wings so that the team won't need any more for a few years, but the team needs another true big man to complement Mitch McGary inside.
The team looks good right now, but it could be even better if it can add on to their haul of six Top 100 recruits in the 2012 and 2013 classes.
Possible Options: PF Reggie Cameron (2013), C Dominic Woodson (2013), PF Kevon Woodson (2013)
5. North Carolina State: Big Men
Mark Gottfried is building up a North Carolina State program that needed a coach like him. The Wolfpack are the early ACC favorites this season and look like national title contenders.
Gottfried did a great job of recruiting in the Class of 2012, bringing in three McDonald's All-Americans. However, all three play on the perimeter, and the team needs big men.
With Scott Wood and Richard Howell gone after this season and C.J. Leslie being able to enter the NBA draft whenever he wants, Gottfried needs a good big man or two.
Possible Options: PF Julius Randle (2013), C Kennedy Meeks (2013), C BeeJay Anya (2013)
4. UCLA: Depth
UCLA's 2012 recruiting class is unbelievable. Thanks to that class, the team will be great for at least two seasons, seeing as neither Kyle Anderson nor Tony Parker should be going pro, and even if those two and Shabazz Muhammad all enter the NBA draft, the team has replacements.
Right now the team needs depth.
In two years, the Wear brothers will still be in California, Jordan Adams and Zach LaVine will be helping on the perimeter, and one or two of UCLA's top prospects will still be around.
All the Bruins need to do is build for the future.
Possible Options: PF Jarrell Martin (2013), SF Wayne Selden (2013), SG Isaac Hamilton (2013)
3. Kentucky: An Elite 2013 Class
Kentucky seemingly brings in a completely new team every year save for one or two players. The Wildcats are going to need more of the same from John Calipari in the Class of 2013.
With Nerlens Noel, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress all being potential one-and-dones, the Wildcats could lose quite a few good players, although I'd expect one or two of them to stay.
No matter what happens, Calipari will need another elite recruiting class, but that shouldn't be a problem.
Possible Options: SF Jabari Parker (2013), PF Julius Randle (2013), PG/SG Harrison twins (2013)
2. Louisville: The Next Peyton Siva
Peyton Siva is among the nation's top players, but he could easily declare for the NBA draft at the end of the season and the Cardinals need a true point guard to lead the team.
Louisville may have already found their recruiting need in PG Terry Rozier. He is a stud of a point guard, and if Rick Pitino can turn him into a great leader as well, he could be the next Peyton Siva.
However, he has a few options to recruit if Rozier doesn't pan out.
Possible Options: PG Anthony Barber (2013), PG Demetrius Jackson (2013), PG Tyler Ennis (2013)
1. Indiana: Cody Zeller's Replacement
Tom Crean's been busy on the recruiting trail. Despite returning all five starters from last year's team, Crean has already locked up a total of nine recruits and counting from the 2012 and 2013 recruiting classes.
Even with Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls and Matt Roth all departing at the end of this season, the team's biggest concern should be sophomore Cody Zeller leaving early for the NBA.
The team already has replacements for the other three in the Class of 2012. However, with arguably the best player in the country potentially leaving Crean needs to find a good replacements.
Possible Options: C Kennedy Meeks (2013), C BeeJay Anya (2013), C Cliff Alexander (2014)