Early College Basketball Top 25
Now that the underclassmen had made their decisions regarding the NBA and most of the elite recruits have signed, we have a slightly better picture of the elite teams entering next season.
There are bound to be some inaccurate ratings given the wide variety of unknowns.
It's impossible to know how much players will improve over the off-season, which freshmen will thrive and which will struggle, which former role players will blossom, and which holes are glaring enough to doom a potential contender.
These aren't necessarily my predictions of where teams will end up. These are merely my thoughts concerning which teams seem to have the pieces to contend in 2010-2011.
G- Ronald Nored
G- Zach Hahn
G- Shelvin Mack
F- Khyle Marshall
F- Matt Howard
[b]key reserves[/b]- Shawn Vanzant, Andrew Smith, and Chrishawn Hopkins
Butler's improbable run was the big story in college basketball last season. Riding their suffocating defense, they made it all the way to the title game and gave Duke all they could handle.
With Gordon Hayward declaring for the NBA draft, it's hard to see the Bulldogs making a similar run this year. However, they do bring back three starters and could be ranked with a few big wins out of conference.
Shelvin Mack is the new star of the team and could score even more than the 14 points per game he had this year.
Matt Howard had a down year by his standards and spent most of the season in foul trouble, but averaged 15 points and 7 rebounds his sophomore year and could do it again if he stays out of foul trouble.
Ronald Nored should also see a bigger role this year. Mostly a pesky defender and distributor, he could make a bigger impact on the drive.
Who else will produce for Butler is less known, which is why they're not rated higher.
Zach Hahn will probably start, but thus far in his career he has done little besides shoot threes. Vanzant and Smith barely saw any playing time, and Marshall and Hopkins are freshmen.
Butler still has two major building blocks with Mack and Howard and a solid role player in Nored. Their upside lies in what they get from the rest of their players.
24) NC State
G- Ryan Harrow
G- Javier Gonzalez
F- Scott Wood
F- C.J. Leslie
F- Tracy Smith
[b]key reserves[/b]- Lorenzo Brown, Richard Howell, Julius Mays and C.J. Williams
NC State was in the NIT this year, but that could change with a talented recruiting class. It also helped that Tracy Smith, who averaged 16 points and 7 rebounds pulled out of the draft.
Combo forward C.J. Leslie should start next to Smith in the frontcourt, while Ryan Harrow is likely to start right away at the point. With Javier Gonzalez and Scott Wood on the wings to hit threes, they have a chance to be a solid team.
With a few key players back from their 20-16 team last year and a serious talent infusion from recruiting, NC State could have a solid season.
23) San Diego State
G- D.J. Gay
G- James Rahon
F- Kawhi Leonard
F- Billy White
F- Malcolm Thomas
[b]key reserves[/b]- Chase Tapley, Tyrone Shelley and Brian Carlwell
The Mountain West looks stacked, with several potential ranked teams (more on that later). I opted with San Diego State to be the one that opens in the poll because they don't lose any major players and add a fairly significant transfer.
The strength of this team is at the forward position, where Leonard and Thomas were quite solid and White made a difference as well.
Their guard play wasn't quite as strong last year with Gay and the now departed Davis shooting under 40 percent and the Aztecs shooting 31.7 percent from outside on the year.
James Rahon has a chance to change that. The Santa Clara transfer hit 59 threes in 2008-2009 at a 40 percent clip.
San Diego State should be one of the strongest mid-majors in a tough Mountain West that should get multiple bids.
G- Demetri Goodson
G- Steven Gray
F- Bol Kong
F- Elias Harris
C- Robert Sacre
[b]key reserves[/b]- Mangisto Arop, Kelly Olynyk and Marquis Carter
Losing Matt Bouldin is big, but Gonzaga is still good enough to be among the top mid-major teams. Elias Harris is a potential star, and they should get solid production from Gray and Sacre.
That said, they need someone else to step up to reach their usual level of success. This is especially true in the backcourt, where they appear to be a bit thin.
Their frontcourt looks solid, which gives them a chance against a lot of teams.
G- Cory Joseph
G- J'Covan Brown
F- Jordan Hamilton
F- Gary Johnson
F- Tristan Thompson
[b]key reserves[/b]- Varez Ward, Dogus Balbay and Shawn Williams
Texas was in every top ten last year because of their great depth and talent level. That turned out to be a mistake as their inconsistent rotations and lack of a solid ball-handler hurt them quite a bit.
Though they were clearly more talented last year with Damion James and Avery Bradley, their roster appears to be more settled, which might produce more results on the court.
The biggest reason to think they will improve is Corey Joseph. He should bring stability to the point guard spot and run the team with far more efficiency than they had last year.
Ward and Balbay are back, but they should either see less playing time or end up on the wing.
They also seem to have two fairly solid options up front with freshman Tristan Thompson and Gary Johnson. They frequently played small last year with James at power forward and Pittman and Johnson playing part time.
They also still have talented wing players with Hamilton and Brown, though their shot selection will have to improve.
Admittedly I'm counting on the Longhorns to play at least near their potential with this ranking, which has been hazardous in the past.
However, they had their best runs in past years with T.J. Ford and D.J. Augustin, two solid point guards. That trend could continue with Joseph.
20) Virginia Tech
G- Malcolm Delaney
G- Dorenzo Hudson
F- Terrell Bell
F- Jeff Allen
C- Victor Davila
[b]key reserves[/b]= J.T. Thompson, Allan Chaney and Jarrell Eddie
The Hokies were one of the best teams to fall short of the NCAA tournament and get every key player back this year. They also add transfer Allan Chaney from Florida, who could help their frontcourt.
Speaking of the frontcourt, they could use an upgrade there as they didn't get much production outside of Allen. Chaney gives them more depth and size up front.
They also struggled to hit the outside shot last year, barely hitting over 30 percent of their 3's. Delaney and Hudson have shot better in the past, but they're still not exactly sharp-shooters.
Despite those two fairly glaring flaws, Virginia Tech should be one of the top teams in the ACC and have a shot at a decent seed in the tournament.
G- Brandon Knight
G- Doron Lamb
F- Darnell Dodson
F- Darius Miller
C- Enes Kanter
[b]key reserves[/b]- Stacey Poole and DeAndre Liggins
Another year, another top recruiting class.
While they don't have a Patrick Patterson caliber holdover this season and it would be hard for the new guys to be as productive as John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, they definitely have a high level of talent.
Brandon Knight is one of the top guards in this class, and Enes Kanter has a chance to dominate the NCAA. Doron Lamb is a highly regarded player as well.
However, it's difficult to see the parade of freshmen working quite as well this year. They have little depth up front, especially if Kanter has to sit out most of the year due to eligibility issues. They basically have no margin for error with all of the defections to the NBA.
If Kanter plays most of the year they have the potential to be higher, but it's hard to give them that much credit with virtually no NCAA experience on the roster.
G- Melvin Goins
G- Cameron Tatum
F- Scotty Hopson
F- Tobias Harris
C- Brian Williams
[b]key reserves[/b]- Trae Golden, Jordan McRae, Kenny Hall and Renaldo Woolridge
It won't be easy for Tennessee to make the same run they had last year without Wayne Chism, J.P. Prince and Bobby Maze.
This year's team will have a very different look. Scotty Hopson and Brian Williams will be back, but Tobias Harris should be their biggest impact player. Assuming his foot heals well, he will be an excellent inside-out threat at forward.
Their ball-handling appears to be their biggest concern. Goins should play point guard and has some experience, but Maze and Prince shouldered most of the load last year. Golden and McRae are both solid recruits, but they're better fits at shooting guard.
The Volunteers should be able to do some damage, but their guard play looks like it could hold them back.
G- Joe Jackson
G- Will Barton
G- Roburt Sallie
F- Wesley Witherspoon
F- Will Coleman
[b]key reserves[/b]- Jelan Kendrick, Tarik Black and Chris Crawford
Even John Calipari should be a bit envious of this recruiting class.
The Tigers have a multitude of athletic and talented perimeter players with that loaded class and holdovers Wesley Witherspoon and Roburt Sallie. They should have a lethal drive-and-kick attack and will run some teams off the court.
The issues will come at the other end. Memphis didn't consistently stop people last year, which kept them out of the tournament. They're a bit short on size up front and have even less proven production inside.
The Tigers should have a strong year in Conference USA and have enough raw talent to run with just about anyone.
G- Chris Wright
G- Austin Freeman
G- Jason Clark
F- Nate Lubick
F- Julian Vaughn
[b]key reserves[/b]- Hollis Thompson, Henry Sims and Markel Starks
The loss of Greg Monroe will definitely hurt.
However, The Hoyas will have one of the best backcourts in the country with Freeman, Wright and Clark. They did a lot of damage in the Princeton offense last year, getting good looks from both inside and outside.
The frontcourt should definitely be an issue for them. Monroe was their best rebounder by a wide margin, and he gave them the luxury of running the offense through him in the high post.
If they can get any production of front, they will be a force to be reckoned with. Even without great offensive production, their backcourt should keep them competitive.
G- Scoop Jardine
G- Brandon Triche
F- Kris Joseph
F- Rick Jackson
C- Fabricio Del Melo
[b]key reserves[/b]- Mookie Jones, Dion Waiters and DaShonte Riley
Wes Johnson is a huge loss and Andy Rautins and Arinze Onuaku are also gone, but there is still quite a bit of talent here.
Jardine and Triche should be able to handle the backcourt duties fairly well, Jackson and Melo give them size, athleticism and toughness up front, and Kris Joseph has the potential to be a go-to scorer at small forward.
However, the Orange are far from a sure thing. Will Melo be able to produce consistently from day one? Will Jardine and Triche hit enough threes to keep defenses honest?
Will these players still be able to create their own shots with Johnson and Rautins moving on? Will they get anything from the bench?
They should play solid defense in their usual 2-3 zone, so that will give them some time to answer those questions.
G- Michael Dixon
G- Marcus Denmon
F- Kim English
F- Justin Safford
F- Laurence Bowers
[b]key reserves[/b]- Phil Pressey, Tony Mitchell and Ricardo Ratliffe
The Missouri Tigers are at their best when they can rotate in fresh bodies, press full court and push the pace. With a strong and deep recruiting class supplementing a decent returning core, the Tigers should be dangerous.
Their top three scorers are back from last year (English, Denmon and Bowers), Pressey and Mitchell are potential impact freshmen, and Ratliffe was one of the top junior college big men last year. They have a number of guys that can fill the lane on a break and shoot it from deep.
Their biggest issue appears to be ball-handling. They lost their two main point guards from last season and will be replacing them with the freshman Pressey and Dixon, who saw limited minutes.
If they don't have major ball-handling issues, they should be able to play at their pace and make life miserable for their opponents.
G- Isaiah Thomas
G- Abdul Gaddy
F- Terrence Ross
F- Terrence Jones
F- Matthew Bryan-Amaning
[b]key reserves[/b]- Venoy Overton, Justin Holiday, Scott Suggs and Aziz N'Diaye
A late charge in recruiting gave the Huskies a shot at a deep tournament run. Ross and Jones (assuming he signs) give the Huskies a much needed infusion of talent to replace the now departed Quincy Pondexter.
Isaiah Thomas is back to run the show, and their big time recruits give him some solid options on the wings.
However, they don't have much depth up front. Bryan-Amaning was only okay last year, and if Jones chooses to go elsewhere, they would likely slide down these ratings.
That said, they have a good shot at winning a rather marginal Pac-10 conference.
G- Demetri McCamey
G- D.J. Richardson
F- Jereme Richmond
F- Mike Davis
C- Mike Tisdale
[b]key reserves[/b]- Brandon Paul, Bill Cole and Meyers Leonard
The Illini struggled with their consistency last year, especially early in the season. While they pulled out wins against Missouri and Vanderbilt, they also lost to Utah and Bradley.
Demetri McCamey had a solid season at the point, and the two Mikes (Davis and Tisdale) were productive but somewhat inconsistent up front.
Their issues came on the wing, where freshmen D.J. Richardson and Bradon Paul couldn't produce consistently. Illinois also lacked depth, which caused problems when they had foul issues or off nights.
With all five starters back and a strong recruiting class coming in, Illinois should be better. Jereme Richmond especially should make an impact early, and if Richardson and/or Paul improve they could take off.
Illinois has more than enough talent to have a strong season, but they will have to have someone besides McCamey become a player they can count on. Someone stepping up on the wing would be especially helpful.
11) North Carolina
G- Larry Drew
G- Dexter Strickland
F- Harrison Barnes
F- Will Graves
C- John Henson
[b]key reserves[/b]- Tyler Zeller, Reggie Bullock, Kendall Marshall and Leslie McDonald
I'm sure you heard this last year too, but talent usually wins out and UNC added three more McDonald's All-Americans.
The Tar Heels struggled mightily on the perimeter last season. Newcomer Harrison Barnes will improve that situation considerably, and Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall could make a difference as well.
John Henson and Tyler Zeller also have tons of talent, though they weren't terribly productive last year. At least one of these players have to improve given their lack of frontcourt depth.
Barnes and Graves both have size, but are better suited to play on the perimeter.
The point guard spot will also be a key for North Carolina. Drew was okay last year, but they need strong ball-handling to maximize the effectiveness of their fast break.
If everything clicks for UNC, they have as much potential as anyone. However, there are a lot of question marks right now, Some of these talented players have to play better for the Heels to rebound.
G- A.J. Walton
G- LaceDarius Dunn
F- Anthony Jones
F- Quincy Acy
C- Perry Jones
[b]key reserves[/b]- Nolan Dennis, Corey Jefferson and Stargell Love
Baylor was one of the most athletic teams in the country last year, but they have a couple of major holes to fill. Point guard Tweedy Carter has graduated and center Ekpe Udoh entered the NBA draft.
While those losses will make things tougher for Baylor, they still have enough athletes to do some damage.
If LaceDarius Dunn had left has well, the Bears would have been in trouble. However, he is back and his outstanding scoring touch will be crucial this year. He may have to carry an even bigger scoring load this year.
The other major reason people like Baylor is freshman Perry Jones. The blue chip recruit is an outstanding athlete that could dominate.
The Bears have a number of other athletic players to complement those two potential studs. Quincy Acy plays above the rim, Anthony Jones had his moments, and A.J. Walton was solid in limited minutes.
Their backcourt play and depth appear to be issues at the moment, though they have a few highly rated recruits in Dennis and Jefferson, who didn't play much last season.
A lot of things will have to go right for Baylor to reach their potential, but they will certainly be a fun team to watch.
G- Brad Wanamaker
G- Ashton Gibbs
F- Gilbert Brown
F- Nasir Robinson
C- Gary McGhee
[b]key reserves[/b]- Travon Woodall, Dante Taylor and Isaiah Epps
This season was supposed to be a down year for Pitt after losing Dejuan Blair, Levance Fields and Sam Young. Instead, the Panthers went 24-8 and earned a 3-seed in the NCAA tournament.
Most of that roster returns in 2010-2011. Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker are both back, giving them a solid backcourt. Their frontcourt also returns intact, with Brown likely joining the starting lineup.
Pitt will be solid, but I'm not sure they will be great. Their offense was inconsistent last year and they didn't get much scoring from their frontcourt.
A major X-factor with Pittsburgh is Dante Taylor. The McDonald's All-American didn't make much of an impact last year despite a high talent level. If he makes a major leap forward, things look much better for Pittsburgh.
In the end, you definitely can't count out the Panthers, even if other teams look better on paper.
G- Josh Selby
G- Tyshawn Taylor
G- Brady Morningstar
F- Marcus Morris
F- Markieff Morris
[b]key reserves[/b]- Tyrel Reed, Mario Little, Travis Releford, Thomas Robinson, Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey
Even with their three best players moving on, the cupboard isn't exactly bare in Lawrence. The Jayhawks were so deep last year that top-50 recruits like Elijah Johnson and Thomas Robinson weren't even in the regular rotation. While they are not as deep or proven as last year, they're still a talented team.
The key to this team was the signing of Josh Selby (pictured). The supremely talented guard should start from day 1 and gives them a potential impact player running the offense.
The Morris twins are another major reason Kansas shouldn't fall too far. Both of them can score inside, hit jumpers and clean up the glass.
Kansas also has a wealth of options on the wings. Tyshawn Taylor is back and could thrive in a bigger role. Morningstar and Reed can hit threes and defend, and redshirts Mario Little and Travis Releford could also make an impact.
There is still enough talent on the roster for Kansas to win the Big 12, though they don't have nearly as much margin for error as they did last year.
G- Maalik Wayns
G- Corey Fisher
F- Corey Stokes
F- Antonio Pena
C- Mouphtaou Yarou
[b]key reserves[/b]- Taylor King, Dominic Cheek, Isaiah Armwood, Maurice Sutton, Jayvaughn Pinkston and James Bell
They struggled in the tournament last year, but even with Scottie Reynolds and Reggie Redding moving on, Villanova has enough talent to win the Big East.
The Wildcats are loaded with solid guards and wing players. Stokes and Fisher are productive and experienced, King can score, and Wayns and Cheek are talented sophomores.
They have a wealth of talented options up front as well, though they aren't as proven. Only Antonio Pena was a consistently productive interior player last year, though Yarou, Sutton and Armwood were all solid recruits. Freshman Jayvaughn Pinkston gives them yet another talented option up front.
While Villanova looks good on paper, they still have to produce. The play of Wayns and Yarou will be especially important. If they play well, Villanova will have a very good season. If they don't, it will be hard for their wing players to carry the team.
6) Kansas State
G- Jacob Pullen
G- Dominique Sutton
F- Jamar Samuels
F- Curtis Kelly
C- Freddy Asprilla
[b]key reserves[/b]- Wally Judge, Rodney McGruder and Martavious Irving
K-State had one of the most explosive offensive teams in the country last season. While Dennis Clemente graduated, Jacob Pullen is back as well as a collection of talented forwards.
Despite the fact that none of them played more than 25 minutes per game (okay, Kelly was at 25.4), the trio of Kelly, Samuels and Sutton combined for about 29 points and 17 rebounds.
Kelly is the headliner of the group, with the length and athleticism to score down low and block shots on defense. Wally Judge also has the talent to break out, and Asprilla gives them a big body inside from the junior college ranks.
The previously mentioned Pullen anchors the backcourt with his ability to score from everywhere.
However, the rest of the guards are unproven. McGruder and Irving combined for only 22 minutes per game last year in relief of Clemente and Pullen. Sutton could slide to the backcourt, but it would be better for the Wildcats if someone else stepped up.
Kansas State leaned heavily on the backcourt to power their Elite 8 trip last year. in 2010-2011, it will likely be the frontcourt carrying the load. If they can get anything close to the production of Clemente from Irving and McGruder, they will be a strong contender for the Final Four.
G- Kenny Boynton
G- Erving Walker
F- Chandler Parsons
F- Alex Tyus
C- Vernon Macklin
[b]key reserves[/b]- Patric Young, Casey Prather and Cody Larson
I know this looks awfully high for a team that barely made the tournament last year, but Florida brings back all five starters and makes as much sense to me as anyone.
Their strength definitely lies in their frontcourt. Macklin and Tyus were solid but not spectacular and Parsons was often their most dependable scorer. Newcomer Patric Young also looks like an explosive player that can spell their starters without losing much production.
The big key to improvement with the Gators lies in their backcourt. Boynton and Walker are both talented, but they missed an awful lot of shots last year, combining to shoot 36 percent from the floor.
If Florida gets better decision making and shot selection from their backcourt, they have the potential to win the SEC and get a high seed in the tournament.
4) Ohio State
G- Aaron Craft
G- William Buford
F- Jon Diebler
F- David Lighty
C- Jared Sullinger
[b]key reserves[/b]- Dallas Lauderdale, Deshaun Thomas, Lenzelle Smith and Jordan Siebert
Losing Evan Turner is obviously huge, but there is still plenty of talent on this roster. Their other four starters are back and the Buckeyes add one of the best recruiting classes in the country.
The strength of this team is on the wings. Buford could take the next step to stardom this year, while Diebler and Lighty are solid starters.
They will also get a boost up front from newcomers Jared Sullinger and DeShaun Thomas.
Sullinger should give them a solid scoring option down low while Thomas is a versatile forward that can give them productive minutes. Lauderdale will also be back to give them solid defense and rebounding.
The question mark with this team is at the point guard spot. Everything went through Evan Turner last season with frequently spectacular results.
Whoever fills that role this year won't be anywhere near the scorer, but Ohio State just needs someone that can run the offense and defend to be successful. Aaron Craft should get the first shot at the job.
Another concern is the recent David Lighty foot injury, which could hurt them if it lingers. However, it doesn't appear to be a major issue at this point considering that he is expected to be back before the season starts.
The Buckeyes also have much better depth than they did last year, giving them some leeway until he returns to 100 percent.
With their great raw talent, the Buckeyes could make some serious noise in March if they solve their ball-handling issues.
G- Lewis Jackson
G- E'Twaun Moore
F- Kelsey Barlow
F- Robbie Hummel
C- JaJuan Johnson
[b]key reserves[/b]- D.J. Byrd, Terone Johnson and Anthony Johnson
The Boilermakers were a legitimate contender for a number one seed before Hummel's knee injury. With Moore and Johnson pulling out of the NBA draft, Purdue will get one more run with that core.
Assuming Hummel is healthy, their big three will be arguably the best in the country. Johnson gives them a difference maker inside while Moore and Hummel provide versatile scoring options.
However, their supporting cast could be an issue. Their stars didn't always get much support last year, and now Chris Kramer and Keaton Grant are gone. Kramer's defense will be especially tough to replace.
Purdue will be one of the key contenders, and if their role players are productive, they could win it all.
2) Michigan State
G- Kalin Lucas
G- Chris Allen
F- Durrell Summers
F- Draymond Green
F- Delvon Roe
[b]key reserves[/b]- Korie Lucious, Keith Appling, Adrien Payne and Derrick Nix
The Spartans have become a fixture in the Final Four and could be back next season. Few teams can match the depth and balance of their lineup.
There are a few issues that they have to deal with.
First, there are rumors that either Allen or Lucious will transfer out. While neither would be a crushing blow, it would hurt their depth and force Appling to play more.
The other issue is with recovery from injuries. Lucas tore his achilles in the tournament and Roe continues to have knee injuries. They are deep enough to survive minor injuries or slow starts, but Michigan State will need everyone clicking in March to make a deep run again.
They may not have that one superstar player that can carry a team, but they have numerous solid and well-rounded players that will make them tough to beat.
G- Kyrie Irving
G- Nolan Smith
F- Kyle Singler
F- Mason Plumlee
F/C- Miles Plumlee
[b]key reserves[/b]- Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins and Ryan Kelly
Singler and Smith are the major reason that Duke opens the rankings at number one. Having those experienced, high scoring wings back on the roster gives Duke a major leg up on the rest of the league.
Singler in particular gives them a lot of flexibility with their lineup with his size and skill set.
Those two aren't the only reason Duke looks dangerous next year. Irving is a gifted freshman that could be their best point guard in quite some time. Curry was a scoring machine at Liberty. Dawkins is a talented player with some experience.
The question mark with Duke comes up front. You may have noticed that everyone I mentioned so far is a perimeter player. The Plumlees and Kelly have some talent and Singler has played power forward in the past.
The Blue Devils proved that they don't need great offensive threats up front when they won it all this year. However, Zoubek and Thomas rebounded and defended quite well. Will they get the same kind of production without those guys on the roster?
The odds are against Duke repeating, but it appears that they will at least make things interesting.
Here are 10 other teams that I considered for the rankings (in alphabetical order):
[b]BYU[/b]- With Jimmer Fredette back, BYU has a potent perimeter attack. However, the loss of Jonathan Tavernari and Michael Lloyd, their depth took a hit. Their frontcourt could also use a boost in production.
[b]Detroit[/b]- The Titans return their top three scorers and add dynamic point guard Ray McCallum. If everything clicks, they have a chance to win the Horizon League.
[b]Georgia[/b]- Georgia had a number of big wins last year and are led by the dynamic duo of Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie.
[b]Northwestern[/b]- The Cats return four starters from their best team ever and should have Kevin Coble back from injury.
[b]Notre Dame[/b]- Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough give them a strong offensive duo, though there are question marks about their supporting cast. The recovery of Scott Martin will be a key to their season.
[b]Seton Hall[/b]- The return of Jeremy Hazell, Jeff Robinson and Herb Pope gives them a chance to get on the right side of the bubble this year.
[b]Temple[/b]- Lavoy Allen and Juan Fernandez return, but they will have to replace the production of Ryan Brooks.
[b]UNLV[/b]- Tre'von Willis and Chace Stanback return, but the Rebels could use better production up front. Can Kansas transfer Quintrell Thomas fill that hole?
[b]Wisconsin[/b]- The Badgers lose Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon, but Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor give them a chance to stay in the conference title race. Wisconsin seems to find a new key player every season, which is what they will need to do.
[b]Xavier[/b]- The Musketeers bring back most of their rotation players, but the loss of Jordan Crawford is huge.