Ranking the Most Drastic Offseason Makeovers Ahead of the 2015-16 CBB Season

Kerry Miller@@kerrancejamesCollege Basketball National AnalystAugust 20, 2015

Ranking the Most Drastic Offseason Makeovers Ahead of the 2015-16 CBB Season

0 of 21

    Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    In college basketball, it's almost impossible to avoid drastic roster changes on an annual basis. Such is the nature of a sport with four-year max contracts where the best players often leave after one season.

    However, some teams won't even bear a resemblance to the versions we saw in 2014-15.

    Whether due to graduation, transfer, dismissal or early entry to the NBA draft, these 20 programs were absolutely littered with attrition.

    To avoid making you read about team such as Idaho State that lost more than 80 percent of the scoring from a team that lost nearly 80 percent of its games, we added a winning percentage criterion to the formula.

    It's a simple equation of percentage of games won plus percentage of points lost.

    That's it.

    The higher the scorein other words, the closer the team came to winning 100 percent of its games before needing to replace 100 percent of its pointsthe higher the ranking. Given that criteria, you shouldn't be surprised to see Kentucky and Duke in the top two spots. No. 3 might be a minor surprise, though, given its perhaps historical rate of attrition.

    Because of how much they lost, some of these teams have virtually no hope whatsoever of being invited to the Big Dance in 2016. Others are every bit as likely to win a national championship, albeit with different names and faces leading the charge.

Honorable Mentions

1 of 21

    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    Gonzaga Bulldogs

    Even though they only lost 41.2 percent of their scoring from last season, the Zags would have been No. 21 on the list because they won 92.1 percent of their games. Still, they deserve an honorable mention for losing their entire starting backcourt. Another year with a front line of Kyle Wiltjer, Domantas Sabonis and Przemek Karnowski will be nice, but it will be weird to see Gonzaga without Kevin Pangos.

    Georgia State Panthers

    What's startling is that the Panthers only lost 61.1 percent of their scoring, since it felt like R.J. Hunter and Ryan Harrow were responsible for 110 percent of their field-goal attempts.

    Cleveland State Vikings

    In 2013-14, Cleveland State had Bryn Forbes, Anton Grady and Trey Lewis all on the same roster. Last summer, Gary Waters lost Forbes to Michigan State. This summer, Grady and Lewis became offseason saviors for Wichita State and Louisville, respectively. But, man, imagine how good this team could have been in 2015-16.

    Boston College Eagles

    One of just three teams in the country to lose at least five-sixths of its scoringthe national average is roughly 40 percentBoston College should have "fun" trying to improve upon its 13-19 record in an unbelievably strong ACC while replacing 84.4 percent of its points from last season. Savor that home game against New Hampshire on December 30, Eagles fans. It might be the last win of the season.

20. Ohio State Buckeyes

2 of 21

    Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 68.6

    Percentage of Points Lost: 64.9

    Players Lost: D'Angelo Russell (675 points), Sam Thompson (358 points), Shannon Scott (299 points), Amir Williams (210 points), Trey McDonald (97 points), Anthony Lee (72 points)

    Key Players GainedJaQuan Lyle (4-star freshman), Daniel Giddens (4-star freshman), Austin Grandstaff (4-star freshman), A.J. Harris (4-star freshman), Mickey Mitchell (4-star freshman), Trevor Thompson (Virginia Tech transfer)

    The Buckeyes lost six of their 10 leading scorersincluding the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA draftand just barely managed to make the cut. Get ready to see some ridiculous amounts of roster turnover.

    As far as "new look" is concerned, though, Ohio State absolutely fits the bill. Not only are there five incoming 4-star freshmen and a D-I transfer, but former role players like Marc Loving and Jae'Sean Tate need to become stars of the team now.

    The biggest transformation will be the likely lack of rock-solid leadership at point guard.

    Dating back through Shannon Scott, Aaron Craft, Evan Turner, Jamar Butler and Mike Conley, the Buckeyes have been in a decadelong constant state of reliable ball-handlers who dole out a ton of assists. However, not a single returning player recorded more than 20 assists last season, so is JaQuan Lyle or A.J. Harris prepared to be that type of backcourt anchor as a freshman?

    If not, this could be the most challenging season of Thad Matta's impressive coaching career.

19. Colorado State Rams

3 of 21

    Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 79.4

    Percentage of Points Lost: 55.6

    Players Lost: J.J. Avila (518 points), Stanton Kidd (393 points), Daniel Bejarano (377 points), Carlton Hurst (57 points), Marcus Holt (15 points), Antwan Scott (five points)

    Key Players Gained: Kimani Jackson (JUCO transfer), Prentiss Nixon (3-star freshman)

    The Rams didn't lose an exorbitant percentage of their scoring from last season, largely because they retained four of their seven primary players. Gian Clavell, Joe De Ciman, John Gallon and Tiel Daniels each averaged at least 5.5 points and 20.0 minutes per game and will provide a strong foundation for next season.

    Colorado State did, however, lose the three most important pieces of last year's puzzle.

    J.J. Avila, Stanton Kidd and Daniel Bejarano each logged more than 30 minutes per game, combining for 39.7 points and 19.8 rebounds per game while filling the top three spots on the roster in each of those categories. Avila led the team in steals. Kidd was the best three-point shooter.

    Without those three playersand, consequently, without anywhere near the amount of talented depth that served as such a huge strength last seasonthe Rams will likely take a sizable step backward from their 27-7 season that inexplicably did not result in a NCAA tournament appearance.

18. Villanova Wildcats

4 of 21

    Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 91.7

    Percentage of Points Lost: 44.0

    Players Lost: Darrun Hilliard (501 points), Dylan Ennis (356 points), JayVaughn Pinkston (350 points), Kevin Rafferty (four points)

    Key Players Gained: Jalen Brunson (5-star freshman), Donte Divincenzo (4-star freshman), Tim Delaney (3-star freshman), Mikal Bridges (redshirt freshman)

    The good news for Villanova is that this has never been a team that relies too heavily on one or two players. As has been the case for several years, Jay Wright's club consistently ran at least eight players deep without anyone averaging more than 32 minutes per game.

    So even though the Wildcats lost three of their five leading scorers and starters, there's still a ton of returning talent between Ryan Arcidiacono, Josh Hart, Daniel Ochefu, Kris Jenkins and Phil Booth.

    And, oh yeah, they're adding one of the best freshman point guards in the nation, a very talented shooting guard and a swingman who was highly rated before redshirting this past season.

    There will be some new faces playing important rolesparticularly Jalen Brunson as a strong candidate for Big East Freshman of the Yearbut don't actually expect Villanova to look much different from last season. This is still a talented, deep rotation that will rely on three-pointers to fuel its quest for another Big East title.

    Only instead of Darrun Hilliard and Dylan Ennis leading the way, look for Booth (48.5 percent from three-point range) and Jenkins (37.2 percent) to become bigger pieces in the offense, with Donte Divincenzo making a bit of a splash as well.

17. Wyoming Cowboys

5 of 21

    Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 71.4

    Percentage of Points Lost: 64.3

    Players Lost: Larry Nance (498 points), Riley Grabau (309 points), Derek Cooke (283 points), Charles Hankerson (234 points), Matt Sellers (51 points), Jack Bentz (eight points)

    Key Players Gained: Morris Marshall (JUCO transfer), Austin Conway (3-star freshman), Justin James (3-star freshman)

    One of the lowest scoring teams in the country, there weren't a lot of points for Wyoming to lose, but the Cowboys certainly lost a large percentage of them.

    Led by Larry Nance, four of the top five scorers from last season graduated, leaving behind Josh Adams and not much else. Seven Cowboys averaged better than 10 minutes per game: Adams, the four graduated seniors and a pair of role players in Jason McManamen and Alan Herndon who averaged less than four points per game.

    To say that this roster needs some help from its incoming players is a big understatement.

    "This is one of the youngest teams I've ever been a part of," said head coach Larry Shyatt, according to the team's website.

    One thing that didn't get a drastic makeover is Wyoming's nonconference schedule. You would think that after an NC SOS that gave them no chance whatsoever for a 2015 at-large bid, the Cowboys would have beefed up their first two months of opponents. Instead, they get the return game of a home-and-home series with California and not much else.

    Perhaps that's for the best, though, because they might need a dozen games against less-than-excellent opponents to figure out how all their new pieces are going to fit together.

16. Eastern Washington Eagles

6 of 21

    Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 74.3

    Percentage of Points Lost: 61.4

    Players Lost: Tyler Harvey (738 points), Ognjen Miljkovic (329 points), Drew Brandon (329 points), Parker Kelly (263 points), Garrett Moon (40 points), Frederik Jorg (33 points)

    Key Players Gained: Austin McBroom (Saint Louis transfer)

    Considering Eastern Washington lost four of its six leading scorers, including the national leader in scoring average, it's rather surprising that 38.6 percent of last year's points are back for another season.

    Of course, an additional year of Venky Jois is a gigantic reason for that.

    Tyler Harvey and Eastern Washington were inseparable talking points last season. One couldn't possibly mention the Eagles without also mentioning their sharpshooting phenom. But it's a shame that we're apparently only allowed to nationally discuss one player per minor conference team, because Jois was every bit as responsible as Harvey for this team's success.

    A professional stat-sheet stuffer, Jois has averaged at least 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 0.9 steals per game in each of his three collegiate seasons. Barring injury, he should finish his career in the neighborhood of 1,750 points, 1,000 rebounds, 275 assists, 200 blocks and 125 steals. He isn't an all-time great in any of those individual categories, but he's one of the better five-category, four-year players we've seen lately.

    With Jois anchoring Eastern Washington in the post, fifth-year senior Austin McBroom coming in from Saint Louis and Bogdan Bliznyuk (18.3 points per 40 minutes, 55.8 percent three-point shooter) potentially headed for a monster sophomore season, the Eagles just might be able to remain the team to beat in the Big Sky.

15. Green Bay Phoenix

7 of 21

    Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 72.7

    Percentage of Points Lost: 63.3

    Players Lost: Keifer Sykes (614 points), Greg Mays (397 points), Alfonzo McKinnie (264 points), Daeshon Francis (149 points), Josh Humphrey (one point)

    Key Players Gained: Joel Okafor (freshman)

    As was the case with Eastern Washington, Green Bay might as well have just changed its mascot to its star player, as you would have been hard-pressed to find a casual fan who knew a member of the Phoenix not named Keifer Sykes.

    Unfortunately, Green Bay isn't nearly as equipped to deal with his departure.

    Sykes did it all for the Phoenix, somehow leading the team in assists while also scoring 217 more points than any teammate. He was also one of their best on-ball defenders and even averaged 4.5 rebounds per game despite being generously listed at 6'0".

    While coach Linc Darner does have a potential Sykes clone on the way—5'11" Joel Okafor averaged 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 2.3 steals as a senior in high schoolthe remote possibility of replacing their most important player doesn't exactly address the fact that the Phoenix also lost their second, fourth and sixth-leading scorers from last season.

    Throw in the assumption that Valparaiso will be one of the best mid-majors in the country this year, and it could be a rough season for a Green Bay team that has become a staple near the top of the Horizon League standings over the past few years.

14. Georgia Southern Eagles

8 of 21

    Bill Haber/Associated Press

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 71.0

    Percentage of Points Lost: 68.0

    Players Lost: Jelani Hewitt (546 points), Trent Wiederman (360 points), Curtis Diamond (243 points), Eric Ferguson (200 points), Kyle Doyle (74 points), D.J. Suter (10 points), Zach Altany (three points)

    Key Players Gained: Tookie Brown (3-star freshman), DeVince Boykins (Marshall transfer)

    Georgia Southern quietly had arguably its best season of the past two decades. After six consecutive seasons of failing to finish above .500 while a member of the Southern Conference, it would appear the move to the Sun Belt was a fortuitous one for the Eagles, who won at least 22 games for the first time since 1992.

    Doing so for a second consecutive season will be exceptionally difficult, given the fact that they lost four of their six leading scorers.

    Even worse than the amount of departing points, though, is the defense Georgia Southern is losing.

    Offense wasn't this team's forte. The Eagles ranked 262nd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 293rd in three-point percentage, per KenPom.com. However, they were 52nd in adjusted defensive efficiency and 22nd nationally in turnover percentage.

    Yes, Jelani Hewitt's 17.6 points per game will be dearly missed, but his 2.5 steals per game and ability to force opponents to take bad shots on the perimeter may be an even bigger loss to swallow.

    Will sophomore Mike Hughes and incoming freshman Tookie Brown be able to pick up the slack? The latter wasn't a particularly high-ranking recruit, but he did receive offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee. It can't hurt a Sun Belt team to be adding a point guard who had three SEC suitors.

13. UC Davis Aggies

9 of 21

    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 78.1

    Percentage of Points Lost: 61.2

    Players Lost: Corey Hawkins (586 points), Josh Ritchart (366 points), Tyler Les (233 points), Avery Johnson (199 points)

    Key Players Gained: Nolan Berry (Butler transfer)

    For the Aggies, it's not so much the number of points they lost as it is the manner in which they came.

    UC Davis had quite possibly the best three-point shooting season in college basketball history. As a whole, the Aggies made 44.7 percent of their three-point attempts, finishing more than 3 percent ahead of their top challenger (Idaho). They only improved as the season progressed, connecting on 47.1 percent on their attempts in Big West Conference play.

    Unfortunately, seniors fueled that long-range assault entirely.

    The four players listed above combined to shoot 46.3 percent while being responsible for 85.3 percent of the team's attempts.

    The Aggies do have three noteworthy returning players in Josh Fox, J.T. Adenrele and Neil Monson, who combined for 20.3 points per game, but that trio of frontcourt players attempted a grand total of 10 three-pointers.

    It seems UC Davis will need to embrace a new style of play in order to win the Big West regular-season title for a second straight year.

12. Charleston Southern Buccaneers

10 of 21

    Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 61.3

    Percentage of Points Lost: 78.9

    Players Lost: Saah Nimley (663 points), Arlon Harper (391 points), Will Saunders (389 points), Cedrick Bowen (245 points), Paul Gombwer (108 points)

    Key Players Gained: Raemond Robinson (Citadel transfer)

    Before the 2015 conference tournament "season" began leaving all sorts of potential Cinderella stories in its wake, Charleston Southern was a prime candidate for deep sleeper consideration because of its sheer amount of veteran leadership.

    The problem with having five seniors among the six leading scorers, though, is that the Buccaneers immediately transformed from a 2015 sleeper into a 2016 train wreck the moment their tournament dreams came to an end.

    It would have been tough enough just to lose Saah Nimley's 21.4 points per game, but Charleston Southern is left with Aaron Wheeler (7.9 PPG) as the only returning player who put up better than 2.2 points per game last season.

    Several of the teams near the top of the list were able to combat that amount of attrition by simply reloading with freshmen, but when is the last time you saw a top-100 recruit even list Charleston Southern as one of the schools he is considering? The Buccaneers' biggest hope among incoming players is likely a guy who averaged 2.9 points per game with Citadel two seasons ago.

    Even in a conference that isn't exactly on par with the Big Ten or Big 12, Charleston Southern will have a whale of a time trying to earn a share of another Big South title.

11. Northern Iowa Panthers

11 of 21

    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 88.6

    Percentage of Points Lost: 53.9

    Players Lost: Seth Tuttle (534 points), Nate Buss (268 points), Deon Mitchell (261 points), Marvin Singleton (165 points), Max Martino (two points)

    Key Players Gained: None

    Before digging into the research, I thought Northern Iowa was a lock for a spot in the top five. The Panthers won roughly eight out of every nine games and lost three of their top four scorers, including the MVC Player of the Year.

    Yet, they somehow managed to retain 46.1 percent of their points from last season.

    Wes Washpunthe reigning MVC Sixth Man of the Yearis the most crucial holdover. Not only did he average 7.6 points per game, but he averaged 4.7 assists per 40 minutes. This should bode well for his connection with returning three-point specialists Paul Jesperson and Matt Bohannon, who combined to attempt 250 triples against just 48 two-point tries.

    It sounds like the Panthers should have a respectable backcourt, but it's the frontcourt that make us really doubt their ability to make a second straight NCAA tournament.

    After losing all three of its primary forwards, there are now six players on Northern Iowa's roster taller than 6'6": two sophomores (Bennett Koch and Klint Carlson) who combined to log 175 minutes last season, one redshirt sophomore (Ted Friedman) who had a putrid O-rating of 77.7 two years ago and three unheralded freshmen.

    Seth Tuttle and Marvin Singleton will be sorely missed.

10. North Carolina Central Eagles

12 of 21

    Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 75.8

    Percentage of Points Lost: 68.7

    Players Lost: Jordan Parks (514 points), Anthony McDonald (426 points), Nimrod Hilliard (373 points), Karamo Jawara (252 points)

    Key Players Gained: Dajuan Graf (Florida Gulf Coast transfer), Austin Pope (JUCO transfer)

    North Carolina Central has been an absolute wrecking ball in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference over the past three seasons. Even Gonzaga has to be impressed with the Eagles' 46-2 regular-season conference record.

    After losing their No. 1, 2, 3 and 5 scorers from last season, though, perhaps a wee bit of regression is in order.

    But is any team in the MEAC ready, willing and able to supplant them?

    Make no mistake about it, this is one of the two worst conferences in the nation. Only once in the past 13 years has KenPom.com ranked the MEAC better than 30th in the country, and that 29th-place finish in 2010 is hardly a point of pride. As a reminder, even including the now-defunct Independents and Great West Conference, there were never more than 33 conferences in any of those seasons.

    Perhaps a pair of transfers and one returning player who averaged better than five points per game last season will be enough to keep NC Central atop the MEAC heap. Either way, the Eagles will look a lot different without Jordan Parks and company.

9. Arkansas Razorbacks

13 of 21

    Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 75.0

    Percentage of Points Lost: 71.9

    Players Lost: Bobby Portis (629 points), Michael Qualls (573 points), Rashad Madden (346 points), Alandise Harris (266 points), Jacorey Williams (171 points) Nick Babb (19 points)

    Key Players Gained: Jimmy Whitt (4-star freshman), Dusty Hannahs (Texas Tech transfer), Willy Kouassi (Kennesaw State transfer)

    For a team that only had two seniors, it certainly has been a tumultuous offseason for Arkansas, and it might not be finished yet.

    It was far from a surprise when Bobby Portis decided to take his talents to the NBA, but Michael Qualls was a bit of a shock. We certainly can't fault a guy who averaged 15.9 points per game for saying on Twitter, via Whole Hog Sports: "After sitting down with my family I felt the best decision for me is to continue my basketball career as a professional. I'm ready to provide for my family and my son." Still, it left the Razorbacks searching for answers.

    Then there was the forgery incident involving Jacorey Williams and Anton Beard in late July. Williams has since been dismissed from the team, and Beard is still suspended indefinitely.

    Beard's pending eligibility to return to the court will determine whether Arkansas loses five or six of its top seven scorers from last season.

    Compared to the slew of non-major conference teams behind them on the list, the Razorbacks have a nice incoming haul. Jimmy Whitt put up some ridiculous numbers last year for Hickman High. But given all that Arkansas lost, it's going to take more than a stud freshman, an above-average three-point shooter and a decent rebounder to plug the holes well enough to compete in the SEC.

8. Saint Mary's Gaels

14 of 21

    Beck Diefenbach/Associated Press

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 67.7

    Percentage of Points Lost: 79.9

    Players Lost: Brad Waldow (590 points), Kerry Carter (375 points), Aaron Bright (328 points), Garrett Jackson (263 points), Desmond Simmons (154 points)

    Key Players Gained: Joe Rahon (Boston College transfer)

    From January 3 through the end of the season, the above five players combined to make 88 out of a possible 90 startsthe two exceptions were only because of an ankle injury that caused Aaron Bright to miss some time.

    Were it not for the need to get freshman point guard Emmett Naar on the court on a regular basis, these five seniors might have led the nation in combined percentage of minutes played.

    As a result, the 2015-16 Gaels are left with Naar at the point, Boston College transfer Joe Rahon at shooting guard and a plethora of unknowns. The smart money is on Calvin Hermanson, Dane Pineau and Jock Landale to round out the starting rotation, as there's not a single player on the Gaels' list of 2015 recruits and those three guys played significantly more minutes than any other returnees not named Naar.

    Landale did average 17.1 points per 40 minutes, while Pineau had a rebounding rate darn near on par with Brad Waldow's. Hermanson was an accurate three-point shooter at 44.1 percent as well, but are they all prepared for full-time roles? Even if they are, can this roster possibly contend with Gonzaga, BYU and Pepperdine?

    It may be a tough season for Saint Mary's, but even without a single impactful senior on this year's roster, there's hope on the horizon.

7. Arizona Wildcats

15 of 21

    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 89.5

    Percentage of Points Lost: 63.9

    Players Lost: Stanley Johnson (523 points), Brandon Ashley (465 points), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (427 points), T.J. McConnell (395 points), Matt Korcheck (26 points), Craig Victor (25 points)

    Key Players GainedAllonzo Trier (5-star freshman), Ray Smith (5-star freshman), Ryan Anderson (Boston College transfer), Mark Tollefsen (San Francisco transfer), Kadeem Allen (redshirt JUCO transfer), Justin Simon (4-star freshman), Chance Comanche (4-star freshman)

    It's been a hot minute since we encountered a team on the list that isn't all but doomed to a substantially worse season than it just experienced, but Arizona just might pick up where it left off, despite losing all four of its leading scorers.

    Such are the perks of adding four great freshmen and three talented transfers to a list of returning players who already could have made a decent starting five.

    That's right. Somehow, after losing four double-digit scorers, the Wildcats will be so deep as to have a 12th man who would be a starter on most rosters.

    Will they look different? Absolutely. Gabe York, Kaleb Tarczewski and, to a lesser extent, Elliott Pitts are the only returning players that we saw a good amount of last season. Ryan Anderson, Mark Tollefsen, Kadeem Allen and Allonzo Trier have yet to play a minute for the Wildcats, but they will probably each finish the season in the top seven on the roster in points scored.

    In Arizona's case, change probably isn't going to be a bad thing. We may not be familiar with most of the faces, but the Wildcats should be in their familiar position of an entire season spent in the AP Top 25.

6. Murray State Racers

16 of 21

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 82.9

    Percentage of Points Lost: 71.7

    Players Lost: Cameron Payne (707 points), Jarvis Williams (550 points), T.J. Sapp (433 points), Jonathan Fairell (190 points), Tyler Rambo (101 points)

    Key Players GainedDamarcus Croaker (Texas transfer), Gee McGhee (Chattanooga transfer), Bryce Jones (JUCO transfer), A.J. Patty (JUCO transfer)

    Both on the court and on the sideline, Murray State is going through one of the biggest facelifts in the country.

    In addition to losing their three leading scorers and five of the top seven, the Racers will have a new head coach after Steve Prohm took his career 78.2 winning percentage to Iowa State.

    What else is new, though? It has been a quarter of a century since Murray State was able to hold onto a coach for more than half a decade; the program has watched Billy Kennedy, Mick Cronin and Mark Turgeon move on to bigger and better things.

    Through it all, though, the Racers have remained more than competent. In the 28 years since their last record of .500 or worse, they have won at least a share of 19 Ohio Valley titles and competed in 13 NCAA tournaments.

    Given the history and the number of players lost, new coach Matt McMahon has his work cut out for him, though.

    Then again, holy transfers, Batman! Losing Cameron Payne won't be easy, but it'll soften the blow to add a JUCO point guard who averaged 19.4 points, 5.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds, a JUCO forward who put up 12.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, a double-digit scorer from Chattanooga and a heavily recruited guard who never fit in well with Texas.

    Belmont is still the team to beat in the OVC this year, but Murray State might be up to that challenge.

5. Wisconsin Badgers

17 of 21

    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 90.0

    Percentage of Points Lost: 65.7

    Players Lost: Frank Kaminsky (732 points), Sam Dekker (556 points), Josh Gasser (265 points), Duje Dukan (180 points), Traevon Jackson (171 points)

    Key Players GainedEthan Happ (redshirt freshman), Brevin Pritzl (4-star freshman), Alex Illikainen (3-star freshman)

    In contrast to Northern Iowa's surprisingly low percentage of points lost, Wisconsin's rate seems way too high, given that two of its four best players are back for another year.

    Perhaps that's a testament to just how much the Badgers need to replace, though.

    While they retain two of their top four scorers, they lose five of their top seven. Even if Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig take a big step up to replace Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, who fills in spots three through seven to help replicate last season's rotation?

    Zak Showalter and Vitto Brown were solid options for a few minutes per game, but is either one prepared to become the third-most important player on the roster?

    There has been an outrageous amount of hype over redshirt freshman Ethan Happ, but are we sure he's going to hit the ground running or ever run at all?

    As Phil Mitten wrote for SB Nation last November, Wisconsin's success rate on voluntary redshirts has been pretty poor. Even the three "success stories"Jared Berggren, Ryan Evans and Brian Butchwere fairly useless as freshmen before eventually blossoming into solid seniors, with each failing to record so much as 4.0 PPG in his first season.

    Losing Brevin Pritzl to a broken foot isn't helping matters, either. He was once expected to be a crucial piece of the rotation, and early expectations on recovery time were "barring complications, Pritzl should be ready to begin practicing with the team sometime in October," according to Jeff Potrykus of the Journal Sentinel. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time for him to get up to full speed.

    Long story short, if Wisconsin has another 30-win season, let's go ahead and write Bo Ryan's name in cement as one of the five greatest coaches of the past 50 years.

4. Louisville Cardinals

18 of 21

    Nick Lisi/Associated Press

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 75.0

    Percentage of Points Lost: 82.5

    Players Lost: Terry Rozier (615 points), Montrezl Harrell (549 points), Wayne Blackshear (416 points), Chris Jones (356 points), Anton Gill (78 points), Shaqquan Aaron (29 points), Trent Gilbert (six points)

    Key Players GainedDamion Lee (Drexel transfer), Trey Lewis (Cleveland State transfer), Donovan Mitchell (4-star freshman), Deng Adel (4-star freshman), Raymond Spalding (4-star freshman)

    Now we're really getting into the wholesale changes.

    Try this factoid on for size: Chris Jones only played in 72 percent of Louisville's games and still finished the season with 144 percent more points than Louisville's top returning scorer (Quentin Snider, 146 points).

    And yet, Louisville is a legitimate national championship threat because of Rick Pitino's willingness to dive headfirst into the graduate-transfer pool.

    Unless I'm mistakenthere aren't exactly databases on graduate transfers through the yearsDamion Lee and Trey Lewis are Pitino's first such players since his tenure with Louisville began in 2001. Considering the returning players on the roster scored a combined 434 points last season, getting a pair of seniors who put up 578 and 555, respectively, is a great way to start adding graduate transfers.

    This won't be a two-man show, though. Not only is Pitino also adding a trio of top-50 freshmen, but he already had a good amount of talent hiding behind his top four scorers.

    Snider played admirably down the stretch, keeping the Cardinals from falling apart without Jones. Chinanu Onuaku and Mangok Mathiang certainly didn't do much shooting, but their height and defensive presence made a big impact. Jaylen Johnson barely even saw the floor last season, but he was a highly rated incoming freshman one year ago and should be a crucial frontcourt reserve.

    It might take some time to adjust to life after Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell, but Louisville has the players and the coaches to make it happen. By year's end, the Cardinals might even be better than they were in 2014-15.

3. St. John's Red Storm

19 of 21

    Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 63.6

    Percentage of Points Lost: 96.2

    Players Lost: D'Angelo Harrison (577 points), Sir'Dominic Pointer (452 points), Rysheed Jordan (438 points), Phil Greene (430 points), Chris Obekpa (174 points), Jamal Branch (145 points), Myles Stewart (28 points), Joey De La Rosa (nine points)

    Key Players Gained: Durand Johnson (Pittsburgh transfer), Darien Williams (JUCO transfer), Marcus LoVett (4-star freshman), Federico Mussini (4-star freshman), Malik Ellison (3-star freshman), Yankuba Sima (3-star freshman), Ron Mvouika (Missouri State transfer)

    An attrition rate of 96.2 percent is almost impossible to fathom. No other school in the country even hit 86 percent.

    These things happen when your top-scoring returning player tallied a total of 37 points.

    Between graduations, transfers and one Rysheed Jordan who simply decided to not even take his finals while debating whether to go pro, the Red Storm lost 68.3 of their 71.0 points per game from last season. It might be the most complete rebuilding situation in history that didn't result from NCAA infractions.

    But credit to brand-new-to-coaching Chris Mullin and his staff for going out and hauling in a bunch of potential impact players. Even if Jordan had returned for another season, Marcus LoVett was probably going to start in the backcourt from day one. And even before Chris Obekpa's decision to transfer, Darien Williams had a solid chance of becoming the Red Storm's most important interior weapon.

    However, barring some sort of a miracle, you're likely looking at the last-place team in the 2015-16 Big East standings. Give it a year or two, though, and hitting the reset button this offseason could be what puts this program back on the map for many years to come.

2. Duke Blue Devils

20 of 21

    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 89.7

    Percentage of Points Lost: 76.8

    Players Lost: Jahlil Okafor (657 points), Quinn Cook (598 points), Justise Winslow (492 points), Tyus Jones (461 points), Rasheed Sulaimon (149 points), Semi Ojeleye (18 points)

    Key Players GainedBrandon Ingram (5-star freshman), Derryck Thornton (5-star freshman), Chase Jeter (5-star freshman), Luke Kennard (5-star freshman), Sean Obi (Rice transfer), Antonio Vrankovic (3-star freshman)

    Nowadays, winning a college basketball national championship and losing all of your most important players go together like peanut butter and jelly.

    I dug into the numbers at the beginning of this past season and found that the last 16 national champions have lost an average of 3.44 of their top six most important players. It's even more pronounced over the past nine years (including this Duke team) with 4.22 of the six most important players leaving from title teams.

    Moreover, not since Florida repeated in 2007 have the defending champs advanced beyond the Sweet 16. Four of the past eight defenders didn't even make the tournament.

    But with the possible exception of Kentucky in 2012-13, not one of those teams was as ready to repeat as Duke is. In most cases, multiple players were early entrants to the draft and it was too late in the recruiting cycle for the coach to fill those voids.

    The Blue Devils, however, had the good fortune of winning a title in a season where a ton of the following season's top recruits still hadn't committed, which allowed them to land Brandon Ingram before getting Derryck Thornton to reclassify to become one of the top incoming point guards in the country.

    They'll miss Jahlil Okafor. Who wouldn't? But if Duke does take a step backward with a talent pool this deep and a head coach this iconic, it'll be a small one.

1. Kentucky Wildcats

21 of 21

    James Crisp/Associated Press

    2014-15 Winning Percentage: 97.4

    Percentage of Points Lost: 85.9

    Players Lost: Aaron Harrison (430 points), Karl-Anthony Towns (401 points), Devin Booker (381 points), Andrew Harrison (364 points), Willie Cauley-Stein (349 points), Trey Lyle (313 points), Dakari Johnson (248 points), Tod Lanter (three points), Sam Malone (one point)

    Key Players GainedSkal Labissiere (5-star freshman), Isaiah Briscoe (5-star freshman), Jamal Murray (5-star freshman), Charles Matthews (4-star freshman), Isaac Humphries (4-star freshman), Mychal Mulder (JUCO transfer)

    The ideal candidate for the list is a team that won 100 percent of its games and lost 100 percent of its points.

    Kentucky came darn close on both fronts. No team won a higher percentage of its games than the Wildcats, and only St. John's is opening the 2015-16 season with a lower percentage of its points from last season.

    That's pretty impressive, considering seniors combined to score a grand total of four points. But it's business as usual for Kentucky, as we barely get a chance to learn a player's full name before he's taken with a lottery pick.

    Of course, Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee are big exceptions to that rule.

    Of the 17 McDonald's All-Americans who signed with Kentucky from 2005 to 2013, only three have played more than two seasons with the WildcatsPoythress, Lee and Patrick Patterson, who declared for the draft after his sophomore season before changing his mind. Poythress will be Kentucky's first senior McDonald's All-American since Joe Crawford (2004-08).

    Despite losing all seven of his leading scorers, John Calipari will have an unprecedented amount of veteran leadership to go along with his annual haul of top-ranking recruits. We probably won't be subjected to as much 40-0 talk as the previous two seasons, but Kentucky should be almost as big a threat to win the 2016 national championship as it was this past season.

    Recruit rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports. Advanced stats courtesy of KenPom.com.

    Kerry Miller covers college basketball for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @kerrancejames.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.