2010-11 RTC (Way Too Early) Top 25Posted by zhayes9 on April 5th, 2010
The 2009-10 college basketball season has just ended. Rather than dwell on the past, let’s look towards the future. That’s right, folks, hot off the presses: the first 2010-11 Top 25. Our assumptions on who is staying/leaving are within the team breakdowns.
1. Duke- Assuming Singler stays for his senior campaign, the defending champs are the clear preseason #1. Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry join the fun already started by Singler and Nolan Smith.
2. Butler– The Bulldogs should be a favorite to make another Final Four run. Hayward bolting while his stock is sky high would drop them a bit, but Matt Howard, Shelvin Mack and Ronald Nored all return.
3. Purdue– Losing Chris Kramer will hurt in the defense/leadership category, but the core should be back for another run in the loaded Big Ten: JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore and a healthy Robbie Hummel.
4. Michigan State– Lucas’ injury likely means he’s back for a senior season. Raymar Morgan is the only subtraction of note. Big years for Draymond Green and Durrell Summers should be expected.
5. Georgetown– Assuming Monroe goes into the lottery, the Hoyas should still be loaded. The other four starters return and it wouldn’t shock us if Chris Wright and Austin Freeman both contended for Big East Player of the Year.
6. Kansas State– The Wildcats will miss Denis Clemente, but nearly every other important piece is back, including Jacob Pullen. Curtis Kelly, Dominique Sutton and Jamar Samuels boost the frontcourt.
7. Ohio State-Evan Turner was Mr. Everything for the Buckeyes, but Thad Matta’s program won’t miss a beat. William Buford could be primed to break out and Jared Sullinger will contend for freshman of the year honors.
8. Tennessee– Bruce Pearl certainly lost some important pieces, but we also like their returning weapons, led by Scotty Hopson, Melvin Goins and Brian Williams and stud frosh Tobias Harris.
9. West Virginia– Their jump shooting issues could be even more pronounced without Da’Sean Butler, but Devin Ebanks, Kevin Jones and a healthier point guard duo is enough for a top ten ranking.
10. Kentucky– As presently constituted, the Wildcats are not a top ten team or anywhere close. But this is John Calipari we’re talking about. He should nab Brandon Knight and either C.J. Leslie or Josh Selby.
11. Gonzaga– Matt Bouldin is the only departure, meaning it’s German sophomore Elias Harris’ chance to shine. He teams up with sharp shooter Stephen Gray and big man Robert Sacre.
12. Memphis– The Tigers could really burst onto the scene in Josh Pastner’s second season. Wesley Witherspoon and Elliot Williams are stars in the making. The #1 ranked recruiting class doesn’t hurt.
13. Xavier– Assuming Jordan Crawford spends another year in Cincinnati, Chris Mack’s entire Sweet 16 team returns with the exception of Jason Love inside. Crawford and Terrell Holloway are the best guard duo in the Atlantic 10.
14. Illinois– Quite a jump for the Illini, but we feel it’s deserved. Bruce Weber’s strongest class since the national runner up core enters the fray with Mike Tisdale, Mike Davis and Demetri McCamey. Plus, guards D.J. Richardson and Brandon Paul could really mature.
15. Kansas– Marcus Morris should contend for Big 12 Player of the Year if his improvement in 2009-10 meant anything. It’s also prudent that Tyshawn Taylor steps up. Bill Self will likely nab two big recruits in the next couple months.
16. Syracuse– It’ll be difficult to overcome the departures of Wes Johnson and Andy Rautins, but enough returns to be a ranked team. Fab Melo is a fab frosh joining Rick Jackson, Scoop Jardine and potential breakout star Kris Joseph for the Orange.
17. Virginia Tech– Seth Greenberg shouldn’t have to panic on Selection Sunday this time around. Jeff Allen, Dorenzo Hudson and Malcolm Delaney are all back as seniors for one last push.
18. Washington– Pondexter is a huge loss, but Isaiah Thomas returns to team with Venoy Overton and Abdul Gaddy in the backcourt. Terrence Jones could also be involved.
19. BYU– The Jimmer returns to wow us all for another season. The supporting cast is also in the fold, including Jackson Emery, Tyler Haws and breakout candidate Michael Loyd Jr.
20. Villanova– It’s now Corey Fisher’s team on the Main Line. Jay Wright will also need his sophomores to step up and contribute, especially Mouph Yarou inside and Maalik Wayns on the perimeter.
21. UNLV– Lon Kruger has his top six scorers back in the fold. Tre’Von Willis, Oscar Bellfield and Chace Stanback round out quite a trio.
22. Temple– The Owls and their stalwart defense should make another A-10 run. Lavoy Allen and Juan Fernandez will be the centerpiece of a capable offensive attack, as well.
23. Baylor– Given that Ekpe Udoh bolts to the lottery, it’ll be LaceDarius Dunn’s team in Waco. Watch out for super-hyped freshman Perry Jones making an instant impact.
24. Vanderbilt– Only Jermaine Beal departs for Kevin Stallings. Jeffery Taylor and A.J. Ogilvy will team with breakout candidate John Jenkins atop the SEC.
25. San Diego State– The Mountain West will be even better next season. The Aztecs are the fourth ranked team from this conference. Billy White, D.J. Gay and Kawhi Leonard are all back.
Just missed: Missouri, Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina, Richmond, Utah State, Mississippi, Florida, Minnesota, Louisville, NC State, Northwestern, Utah State, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Arizona, UAB.