2020-21 Way Too Early Top 50 Teams & Top 100 Players

MrBaracus

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Kansas
There hasn’t been basketball in 6 months. I’m sure you remember every take from half a year ago, though. Yikes.
Off the top of my head, I could name at least one take from afamu, the Iowa clan, Big 10 clan, nish, AUHoosier, and about 10 Kentucky fans that's more irrational than anything I've ever posted here.
 

GE Nole

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Don’t think I need to mention it, but playing with two lottery picks I would think would benefit the guy a ton. I’m not touting him to be an All American by any means but if he can be what Nick Richards was for us this past season, that’s all we need to have FF potential.
Sure it will help. Just been seeing folks talk about him like he’s the second coming.
 

VulvHa

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Seems reasonable. I expect I'm probably missing out on several guys that are going to break out in 2021. How do you feel about Marcus Carr being ranked 34th?
Carr was very good last year and could a stud this year. I have no problem with where you have him. As you said before, there could wide variances once you get past the top 10 or maybe even less guys.
 
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UL_1986

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I’m actually pretty high on our team this year. (If Coronavirus doesn’t **** up the season) I think we’re gonna be a lot better than people think. Our backcourt has improved, and I’ve heard a lot of hype with Jaelyn Withers at PF. The dude was a 4 star out of high school, but he red-shirted last year and bulked up & gained about 15 pounds of muscle and grew 2 inches according to Coach Mack, which puts him at 6’10 235 now. Mack said he can play both PF and C position and can guard both/hold his own now that his frame has gotten bigger and stronger. The dude has a great vertical and is extremely athletic with a nice shot. Hopefully his rebounding is there too. He’s my sleeper on this team to really break out.

I see us running two points, almost like 2 combo guards.. because both can shoot and get to the rim, and their court vision and passing is very good.I see about 9-10 assists averaged between both of them. DJ just needs to work on his turnovers this year, bc this last season he made some freshman mistakes..which was expected.

Starting lineup:
G Carlik Jones 6’1 Senior
G David Johnson 6’5 Sophomore
F Sam Williamson 6’7 Sophomore
F Jaelyn Withers 6’10 Sophomore
C Malik Williams 6’11 Senior

Key reserves:
G Josh Nickelberry 6’4
G Charles Minlend 6’4
G De’Andre Davis 6’5
F Quinn Slazinski 6’8
F JJ Traynor 6’9
C Aiden Igiehon 6’10


We have talent, a lot of length (everyone is 6’4 and up aside from Carlik...but he’s so quick it doesn’t even matter) and we have experience mixed in with some youth. I think DJ, Sam Williamson, and Malik Williams will be the key pieces to this team...as well as Carlik. It’s hard to replace a Jordan Nwora, but I think Sam will fill Jordan’s shoes nicely. He’s shown he can play defense, rebound, and shoot the ball (both mid-range, threes, and getting to the hole) DJ has such great length for a PG at almost 6’6, if he works on his jumper, I see both him and Sam leaving after their sophomore season...he’s already top 15 on draft boards for 2021 and Sam is top 25. Malik needs to stay healthy, but his defense has evolved so much, and his offense was coming along nicely last season. This is his year imo.

Charles Minlend was a huge addition grad transfer from San Fran. He’s athletic and has a good frame at 6’4 210. I looked at his stats from last season and the dude went off when they played the Zags. I think he will help out tremendously with his experience and shooting.

Our Freshman this year are Deandre Davis and JJ Traynor, both 4 star players (JJ being a Kentucky native) They’re skilled just need to hit the weight room, both will play limited minutes but I could see JJ getting 15 mins a game sometimes. Deandre could get some minutes too behind Sam and Quinn.

My huge hope is that Aiden Igiehon as made strides in his offensive game. He looked lost last year, and I almost wish he had redshirted. He’s got incredible size and athleticism..he just needs to get up to game speed in terms of awareness and IQ.

I see us as a ranked 15-25 team, and I see us dropping some games but being top 4 in the ACC. I’m not sold on Virginia, and NC State looks way overrated. The top 5 spots in the ACC (imo) in no particular order go as Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia, and UNC.
 
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hailtoyourvictor

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I was semi-meticulous with ranking my guys 1-40. After that, it was kind of a free for all. Some of the assessments made by you all I can definitely get on board with...

Too High:
19. Matt Coleman, Texas
70. D'Mitrik Trice, Wisconsin

Too Low:
74. Paul Scruggs, Xavier
86. Yves Pons, Tennessee
92. Aaron Henry, Michigan State

Players not ranked that should be considered:
David Johnson, Louisville
Joey Hauser, Michigan State
Micah Potter, Wisconsin
Jermaine Samuels, Villanova
Andrew Jones, Texas
Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga
Drew Timme, Gonzaga

Neutral (I feel okay with the ranking, but I could see it going either way):
Franz Wagner, Michigan
Isaiah Livers, Michigan
Wendell Moore, Duke

Assessments that I disagree with:
-rankings that were seen as too high...
17. Corey Kispert, Gonzaga (All-American potential, IMO; minimum of top 50)
18. Kofi Cockburn, Illinois (All-American potential; minimum of top 50)

-I disagree that KU will have a few players more impactful than #35 Agbaji (outside of Garrett). Agbaji will be a very solid #2 option, probably 2nd Team All-Conference.
-Bohannon doesn't merit a whole lot of top 100 consideration. Not even certain that he's going to start, tbh.
Franz should outplay that ranking
 

klize17

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I wish we had a home/away series with you guys. Have they listed the games for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge yet?
Last year the games were announced in June...makes me a tad nervous an announcement hasn’t been made for this year.
 
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GE Nole

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I’m actually pretty high on our team this year. (If Coronavirus doesn’t **** up the season) I think we’re gonna be a lot better than people think. Our backcourt has improved, and I’ve heard a lot of hype with Jaelyn Withers at PF. The dude was a 4 star out of high school, but he red-shirted last year and bulked up & gained about 15 pounds of muscle and grew 2 inches according to Coach Mack, which puts him at 6’10 235 now. Mack said he can play both PF and C position and can guard both/hold his own now that his frame has gotten bigger and stronger. The dude has a great vertical and is extremely athletic with a nice shot. Hopefully his rebounding is there too. He’s my sleeper on this team to really break out.

I see us running two points, almost like 2 combo guards.. because both can shoot and get to the rim, and their court vision and passing is very good.I see about 9-10 assists averaged between both of them. DJ just needs to work on his turnovers this year, bc this last season he made some freshman mistakes..which was expected.

Starting lineup:
G Carlik Jones 6’1 Senior
G David Johnson 6’5 Sophomore
F Sam Williamson 6’7 Sophomore
F Jaelyn Withers 6’10 Sophomore
C Malik Williams 6’11 Senior

Key reserves:
G Josh Nickelberry 6’4
G Charles Minlend 6’4
G De’Andre Davis 6’5
F Quinn Slazinski 6’8
F JJ Traynor 6’9
C Aiden Igiehon 6’10


We have talent, a lot of length (everyone is 6’4 and up aside from Carlik...but he’s so quick it doesn’t even matter) and we have experience mixed in with some youth. I think DJ, Sam Williamson, and Malik Williams will be the key pieces to this team...as well as Carlik. It’s hard to replace a Jordan Nwora, but I think Sam will fill Jordan’s shoes nicely. He’s shown he can play defense, rebound, and shoot the ball (both mid-range, threes, and getting to the hole) DJ has such great length for a PG at almost 6’6, if he works on his jumper, I see both him and Sam leaving after their sophomore season...he’s already top 15 on draft boards for 2021 and Sam is top 25. Malik needs to stay healthy, but his defense has evolved so much, and his offense was coming along nicely last season. This is his year imo.

Charles Minlend was a huge addition grad transfer from San Fran. He’s athletic and has a good frame at 6’4 210. I looked at his stats from last season and the dude went off when they played the Zags. I think he will help out tremendously with his experience and shooting.

Our Freshman this year are Deandre Davis and JJ Traynor, both 4 star players (JJ being a Kentucky native) They’re skilled just need to hit the weight room, both will play limited minutes but I could see JJ getting 15 mins a game sometimes. Deandre could get some minutes too behind Sam and Quinn.

My huge hope is that Aiden Igiehon as made strides in his offensive game. He looked lost last year, and I almost wish he had redshirted. He’s got incredible size and athleticism..he just needs to get up to game speed in terms of awareness and IQ.

I see us as a ranked 15-25 team, and I see us dropping some games but being top 4 in the ACC. I’m not sold on Virginia, and NC State looks way overrated. The top 5 spots in the ACC (imo) in no particular order go as Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia, and UNC.
I agree with that top 5. I also agree UL is probably being overlooked a tad due to Scrubb going pro.

UL is similar to FSU. Not quite as long as FSU (but come on, who really is) and maybe not quite as good overall as a team with perimeter shooting, but better pure ball handlers and probably a bit more athletic underneath.

This is why FSU/UL games have been must see TV the last 2-3 years. Just tons of length, athleticism, and toughness all over the court.
 
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UL_1986

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I agree with that top 5. I also agree UL is probably being overlooked a tad due to Scrubb going pro.

UL is similar to FSU. Not quite as long as FSU (but come on, who really is) and maybe not quite as good overall as a team with perimeter shooting, but better pure ball handlers and probably a bit more athletic underneath.

This is why FSU/UL games have been must see TV the last 2-3 years. Just tons of length, athleticism, and toughness all over the court.
Agree with all of this. This past season I’m convinced you guys could’ve won it all.
 
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GE Nole

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Agree with all of this. This past season I’m convinced you guys could’ve won it all.
Definitely had all the classic pieces. Senior PG. Snipers outside. Disruptive playmakers on defense. Selfless team that can have 4 or 5 different guys be “the guy” that game. Lots of depth.

Reminds me of UL’s last title team.
 
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SheriffBufordTJustice

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In the minds of the ignorant
IMO there isn't a more agile 7 footer in the country.
Like I have said before Kai Jones could be one of the most special players I have seen ever play basketball at Texas if he can hit his peak.


Doesn't deserve to be on any list going into the season but could end up on it at the end of the year and be a Top 5-10 lottery pick.

 

GE Nole

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IMO there isn't a more agile 7 footer in the country.
Like I have said before Kai Jones could be one of the most special players I have seen ever play basketball at Texas if he can hit his peak.


Doesn't deserve to be on any list going into the season but could end up on it at the end of the year and be a Top 5-10 lottery pick.

I like Kai a lot. I wanted him bad at FSU. He would be a lotto pick coming up in a couple months had he come to Tallahassee. Just a great fit in our system.

But he’s not a 7 footer. I’ll give him a generous 6’10.5. Look at Will Baker at the end of that clip, a good inch or inch and half taller.
 

SheriffBufordTJustice

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In the minds of the ignorant
I like Kai a lot. I wanted him bad at FSU. He would be a lotto pick coming up in a couple months had he come to Tallahassee. Just a great fit in our system.

But he’s not a 7 footer. I’ll give him a generous 6’10.5. Look at Will Baker at the end of that clip, a good inch or inch and half taller.
I know he would have.
He would have been for Texas as well if Shaka didn't play it right.
Didn't want another Jaxson Hayes. His original plan was to have Hayes but Kai Jones is a good replacement.
I actually think Jones has even more upside. Just needs to bulk up.
 

GE Nole

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I know he would have.
He would have been for Texas as well if Shaka didn't play it right.
Didn't want another Jaxson Hayes. His original plan was to have Hayes but Kai Jones is a good replacement.
I actually think Jones has even more upside. Just needs to bulk up.
Actively holding the kid back, which is what you’re implying, isn’t “playing it right.”
 

GE Nole

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Happens a lot of places with a lot of players.

Good for a player like Kai Jones.
Like I said. He could end up being drafted rather high.
Much better than 15-20
One, he’s probably 10-16 this year if he comes to FSU. Look at Pat Williams, kid didn’t even start and will be a top 20 pick, maybe late lotto.

Second, he won’t be top 5 in the 2021 draft. Probably not even top 8. That thing is loaded.
 

SheriffBufordTJustice

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In the minds of the ignorant
One, he’s probably 10-16 this year if he comes to FSU. Look at Pat Williams, kid didn’t even start and will be a top 20 pick, maybe late lotto.

Second, he won’t be top 5 in the 2021 draft. Probably not even top 8. That thing is loaded.
You are making assumptions. Don't know if we can predict where any player is going for next year's draft.

In regards to Kai Jones.
He has that much upside. You aren't going to find many players his size and athleticism.
There really isn't anyone in the college game. Because of the Giannis comparsion teams are looking for that.

He is not even a big. More like a huge SF.
 

GE Nole

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You are making assumptions. Don't know if we can predict where any player is going for next year's draft.

In regards to Kai Jones.
He has that much upside. You aren't going to find many players his size and athleticism.
There really isn't anyone in the college game. Because of the Giannis comparsion teams are looking for that.

He is not even a big. More like a huge SF.
He’s definitely not a big. I understand his upside. I sat courtside for Jon Isaac games and followed Kai closely as a recruit.

The 2021 draft is filthy. Cade Cunningham, Jon Kuminga, and Jalen Green are all top 8 locks. Very likely top 5. Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes, Jalen Johnson, and Usman Garuba are also likely lotto locks. And we haven’t even talked about guys like Greg Brown, BJ Boston, David Johnson, Ziaire Williams, Terrence Clark, Caleb Love, Moussa Cisse, etc.
 

SheriffBufordTJustice

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In the minds of the ignorant
He’s definitely not a big. I understand his upside. I sat courtside for Jon Isaac games and followed Kai closely as a recruit.

The 2021 draft is filthy. Cade Cunningham, Jon Kuminga, and Jalen Green are all top 8 locks. Very likely top 5. Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes, Jalen Johnson, and Usman Garuba are also likely lotto locks. And we haven’t even talked about guys like Greg Brown, BJ Boston, David Johnson, Ziaire Williams, Terrence Clark, Caleb Love, Moussa Cisse, etc.
We will have to see with most of those in college.
NBA changes from year to year.

By next year Giannis most likely will be back to back NBA MVP if they have a season next year and teams will be looking towards that.

The question becomes how much does Kai develop in this off season.

If you are familiar with him you should know his work ethic. A lot of it comes from his track background.
We will see how the game develops. The people there have said from the end of last year to now he and development 2-3x faster than the rest of the team.
Main part to me is the gym. Needs to get stronger. Especially with the upper body.
 

dukedevilz

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Ngom is only coming in for one year, so yeah he’s gonna play. Probably will start based on how Ham loves to win the opening tip. You see the footage of him playing against Zion and Duke two years ago? Where he swatted Zion’s shot and several others? I expect Ngom and Balsa to both play 15-18 min a game, and for Ngom to be the back line rim protector we were missing last year on D.

Your point about defense for Jucos is real. But Hamilton doesn’t play kids who aren’t defending, and Calhoun is already being spoken of highly by coaches. You look at previous JUCO guys under Ham like Tim Pickett, Jerel Allen, Braian Angola Rodas, and Rayquan Evans last year. These guys come in and play and they defend. Shoot, Tim Pickett was on the All ACC defense team his two years in Tally.

Calhoun and MJ Walker on the court together at times will be a flat out nightmare for teams. It kind of flew under the radar last year because Vassell and Forrest were so good, but MJ Walker shot 39% on 3s in ACC play (he was banged up and missed time early in the season). That’s on 87 attempts, so not a small sample size. Him and Calhoun are both 6’5, both explosive, and both will be knocking down threes from all over the court. Add in 6’5 defensive dynamo Anthony Polite (who shot 38.5% himself from 3 in ACC play)...and anyone who thinks FSU can’t realistically repeat as regular season champs are fooling themselves.

As for Miami, I’d feel better about them as a team if Chris Lykes left or got hurt. He’s a massive liability on D and shoots them out of as many games as he keeps them in. I think they would be better off turning the keys over to Beverly (who’s legit) and Wong. As it is, top 45 feels good for Miami, but not top 35. Somewhere down near GT and NCSU.

Cisse wasn’t who I was expecting at all. That ship sailed weeks ago. I was talking about Yor Anei, but actually it looks like he just popped for SMU. FSU still has one ship open, and it’s possible we bring in someone like Jermontae Hill (I actually hope we don’t), but with Anei off the board our 10 major contributors (at least 10 mpg) appear to be set:

Guards: Barnes, Walker, Polite, Evans, Calhoun

Hybrid wings: Gray, Osborne, Wilkes

Centers: Balsa and Ngom.
FSU can absolutely repeat as ACC champs. You guys have a lot nice pieces. You mentioned that West Virginia should be higher, so which teams in the top 15 do you feel confident should be below FSU? If you're in the preseason top 25, you probably have a reasonable shot at the Final Four. I don't think 15th is really a slight, especially when you compare my ranking of FSU with other writers/publications:

Jon Rothstein- 11
NBC Sports- 13
Sports Illustrated- 15
Pat McMahon- 19
ESPN- 24
Jeff Goodman- 25
Gary Parrish- NR
Lunardi- 5 seed

But yes, you guys have the potential to be very, very dangerous. No question.

I think there's truth to Lykes being a liability at times, especially on the defensive end. Also, the ball tends to stick in his hand; he's clearly not the best facilitator. Which is a shame, because he's so unbelievably quick. He can easily beat his man off the dribble, which should force the defense to collapse - and leave an open teammate near the basket. Austin Rivers and Frank Jackson both struggled mightily to get teammates involved. Low assist-rates and poor court vision, for a primary ball-handler, drives me crazy. So yes, Larranaga is in a tough situation there. The team might do better collectively, if Lykes's role is diminished a bit, but the morale/chemistry might worsen, should Lykes come off the bench or serve in a secondary role. He did have decent shooting percentages, however.

As far as the ranking, I don't think there's a substantial difference between 35 and 45. That's the difference between a 9 seed and an 11 seed. And this is the preseason.


He’s definitely not a big. I understand his upside. I sat courtside for Jon Isaac games and followed Kai closely as a recruit.
Was that when Isaac was a senior in high school? Kai Jones is three years behind Isaac, so I can't help but wonder how developed he might have been at that stage.
 

SheriffBufordTJustice

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10-15 perfect for WVU IMO
Their best two players play the same position. Hard against teams who like to stretch the floor to put them both on the court
Will need their backcourt to mature. McBride showed flashes last year and he is much more of a Huggins style PG than McCabe

Texas Tech is probably too high.
They weren't that good last year and lost two of their best players.
Shannon really has to make a jump.
 

GE Nole

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FSU can absolutely repeat as ACC champs. You guys have a lot nice pieces. You mentioned that West Virginia should be higher, so which teams in the top 15 do you feel confident should be below FSU? If you're in the preseason top 25, you probably have a reasonable shot at the Final Four. I don't think 15th is really a slight, especially when you compare my ranking of FSU with other writers/publications:

Jon Rothstein- 11
NBC Sports- 13
Sports Illustrated- 15
Pat McMahon- 19
ESPN- 24
Jeff Goodman- 25
Gary Parrish- NR
Lunardi- 5 seed

But yes, you guys have the potential to be very, very dangerous. No question.

I think there's truth to Lykes being a liability at times, especially on the defensive end. Also, the ball tends to stick in his hand; he's clearly not the best facilitator. Which is a shame, because he's so unbelievably quick. He can easily beat his man off the dribble, which should force the defense to collapse - and leave an open teammate near the basket. Austin Rivers and Frank Jackson both struggled mightily to get teammates involved. Low assist-rates and poor court vision, for a primary ball-handler, drives me crazy. So yes, Larranaga is in a tough situation there. The team might do better collectively, if Lykes's role is diminished a bit, but the morale/chemistry might worsen, should Lykes come off the bench or serve in a secondary role. He did have decent shooting percentages, however.

As far as the ranking, I don't think there's a substantial difference between 35 and 45. That's the difference between a 9 seed and an 11 seed. And this is the preseason.




Was that when Isaac was a senior in high school? Kai Jones is three years behind Isaac, so I can't help but wonder how developed he might have been at that stage.
Texas Tech and Arizona State, IMO, should both behind West Virginia and FSU for sure. I’d also argue Creighton falls slightly behind them, and Tennessee as well. Tennessee brings in a ton of talent, but it’s young and they were barely over .500 last season.

So for me, the 10-15 range might look something more like:
10. West Virginia
11. FSU
12. Creighton (assuming Mahoney returns)
13. Tennessee
14. Kentucky
15. Arizona State (assuming Remy Martin returns)

Texas Tech would probably be in the 18-23 range for me. Also, I overlooked this in the first post, but Stanford should be significantly higher than 32. I’d have them within a spot or two of Texas Tech.

Regarding Miami, a coach has to do what is best for the team. Period. If Chris Lykes can’t handle being benched, you try to talk with him and help him see that everyone has a role to play and no one is bigger than the team. If he becomes a cancer, you remove him from the team. It’s that simple.

I do agree that there isn’t much difference between 35 and 45 when talking about a team’s post season potential. Nonetheless, a ranking is a ranking for a reason. Why make one if we are gonna treat 33 as exactly the same as 46, you know? And for me, part of a preseason ranking should always include both the upside and downside potential. That way, when you do the comparison at the end of the season you did a few weeks ago, you minimize the chances you have a team that’s an extreme outlier.

For example—Kentucky could have it all come together with their talented freshmen and Sarr, and end up a top 5 team. But they could also have freshmen be freshmen and Sarr not be a great fit and they finish more in the 30-35 range. So ranking them around 15-18 feels right and factors in both their upside potential and downside risk.

Having Miami in the 30 range doesn’t seem to be accounting enough for their downside risk. Having Stanford also in the 30 range doesn’t seem to account enough for their upside potential.

Regarding your JI/Kai Jones question, I’m not sure I follow. I’m saying JI and Kai Jones are similar in length and athleticism and I watched the light begin to click for JI at FSU, so I can imagine what it would look like if the light began to click for Kai in the same way.
 
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Gumbo02

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One thing to note for next year is that it will be an up year in college hoops.

I looked at the returning numbers for anyone with a tournament pulse back in March and I would say the returning production is probably a good 10% greater than average.

Thus, a guy typically ranked in the 80s will be in the 90s. A typical #10 shooting guard is maybe the #13 best guy in preseason rankings, etc.
 

GE Nole

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One thing to note for next year is that it will be an up year in college hoops.

I looked at the returning numbers for anyone with a tournament pulse back in March and I would say the returning production is probably a good 10% greater than average.

Thus, a guy typically ranked in the 80s will be in the 90s. A typical #10 shooting guard is maybe the #13 best guy in preseason rankings, etc.
The lack of a structured off season and preseason could negate much of that “upness.”
 

dukedevilz

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Texas Tech and Arizona State, IMO, should both behind West Virginia and FSU for sure. I’d also argue Creighton falls slightly behind them, and Tennessee as well. Tennessee brings in a ton of talent, but it’s young and they were barely over .500 last season.

So for me, the 10-15 range might look something more like:
10. West Virginia
11. FSU
12. Creighton (assuming Mahoney returns)
13. Tennessee
14. Kentucky
15. Arizona State (assuming Remy Martin returns)

Texas Tech would probably be in the 18-23 range for me. Also, I overlooked this in the first post, but Stanford should be significantly higher than 32. I’d have them within a spot or two of Texas Tech.

Regarding Miami, a coach has to do what is best for the team. Period. If Chris Lykes can’t handle being benched, you try to talk with him and help him see that everyone has a role to play and no one is bigger than the team. If he becomes a cancer, you remove him from the team. It’s that simple.

I do agree that there isn’t much difference between 35 and 45 when talking about a team’s post season potential. Nonetheless, a ranking is a ranking for a reason. Why make one if we are gonna treat 33 as exactly the same as 46, you know? And for me, part of a preseason ranking should always include both the upside and downside potential. That way, when you do the comparison at the end of the season you did a few weeks ago, you minimize the chances you have a team that’s an extreme outlier.

For example—Kentucky could have it all come together with their talented freshmen and Sarr, and end up a top 5 team. But they could also have freshmen be freshmen and Sarr not be a great fit and they finish more in the 30-35 range. So ranking them around 15-18 feels right and factors in both their upside potential and downside risk.

Having Miami in the 30 range doesn’t seem to be accounting enough for their downside risk. Having Stanford also in the 30 range doesn’t seem to account enough for their upside potential.

Regarding your JI/Kai Jones question, I’m not sure I follow. I’m saying JI and Kai Jones are similar in length and athleticism and I watched the light begin to click for JI at FSU, so I can imagine what it would look like if the light began to click for Kai in the same way.
It'll be easier to look for disparities between teams once I fill-out the complete rosters with stats. As it was, I actually thought Daejon Davis had graduated. So yes, Stanford probably should be a little higher. Maybe in the 23-30 range for me.

Arizona State and Creighton are kind of similar, IMO. They both have a dynamic trio, with Arizona State led by Remy Martin, Josh Christopher, and Alonzo Verge - and Creighton's trio consisting of Zegarowksi, Ballock, and Mahoney. I had Martin and Zegarowksi in my top 10 players. Ballock and Christopher are good enough to be HM All-American/1st Team All-Conference type players. So, really really talented backcourts... but the interior scoring, depth, and defense will be the big question marks. So perhaps they're both a little more vulnerable than my evaluation; I just really like the aspect of having three very, very reliable players... ASU would benefit a lot if Luther Muhammad (Ohio State) and/or Holland Woods (Portland State) become eligible.

I like Texas Tech where I have them, personally. I'm kind of bullish on Terrence Shannon. I think he is poised for a huge breakout year, All-American potential. And then you have transfers Marcus Santos-Silva (13 ppg, 9 reb at VCU) and Joel Ntambwe (12 ppg, 5 reb at UNLV). I think they're both capable of 2nd or 3rd Team All-Conference. Throw in a proven Kyler Edwards (11 ppg, 4 reb, 3 assists) and two top 50 recruits, and you've got yourself 6 really good players. Mac McClung (Georgetown) and Jamarius Burton (Wichita State) are expected to sit the year, but who knows how explosive their team could be with either one of them included.

Tennessee is a very interesting case. They weren't elite in 2020 like they had been the previous two years. But, I fully expect them to return to that status. Fulkerson is incredibly efficient. Pons is crazy athletic, and looks like a future pro. JJJ and Vescovi showed some promise. And yes, UT is bringing in a stud freshmen class, two five-star recruits and another top 100 player. They're also bringing in two quality transfers in Victor Bailey (7 ppg, 39.9% 3-pt, 91% ft at Oregon) and EJ Anosike (16 ppg, 11 reb at Sacred Heart). They have talent and depth. I think they have huge upside.

...Lykes is definitely talented. He's fun to watch. His performance against Illinois, in Champagne, was one of the best individual games by an ACC player last season, IMO. But yes, definitely want to see better ball movement. So perhaps that cuts into their ceiling as a team. Certainly you want to evaluate the upside and downside of each team. And yes, the rankings should mean something. Miami has a ton of talent - 6 of their guys are top 100 recruits. Just a matter of seeing guys like Wong and Beverly take on bigger roles, McGusty being a little more effective, Brooks being a gritty rebounder/rim protector, and again, better ball movement. I think the ranking is justified. But, I'll reevaluate in October and perhaps change the ranking a little bit.

In regards to Isaac and Kai Jones, I simply misread what you wrote. I thought you were saying Kai Jones was competing in the same games as Isaac, and you got to see them up close in person. I was only wondering how developed KJ would have been, seeing how he's 3 years younger. Didn't realize you were just comparing their playing style - and all of the untapped potential that they both possessed.
 

IUfanBorden

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Definitely had all the classic pieces. Senior PG. Snipers outside. Disruptive playmakers on defense. Selfless team that can have 4 or 5 different guys be “the guy”...

Reminds me of UL’s last title team.
Meh, I dunno....That '86 UL team wasn't as deep or athletic..:D
 

Villian07

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The 86 team was probably more athletic than the 2013 team tbh.

Besides Siva, we didn’t really have any athletic freaks. Trez And Ware too but they were role players. I mean don’t get me wrong Russ and wayne and chane and Gorgui were plenty athletic but not off the charts or “elite” athleticism.
 
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UL_1986

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I was wondering if someone was gonna do this. Well done.
I rewatched that season on YouTube recently, and it was pretty nostalgic. Hard to believe it was 7 years ago. That team was so solid on defense. Great mix of speed and talent, with Siva, Russ Smith, Behanan, Montrezl Harrell, Gorgui Dieng, Luke Hancock, Wayne Blackshear etc. The Big East tourney that year was wild.
 
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dukedevilz

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@GE Nole you said previously you didn't think Barnes would make 1st Team All-Conference. Out of curiosity, who would you have as your five for 1st Team All-ACC? Also, any sleeper picks for teams catching a few by surprise?
 

GE Nole

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@GE Nole you said previously you didn't think Barnes would make 1st Team All-Conference. Out of curiosity, who would you have as your five for 1st Team All-ACC? Also, any sleeper picks for teams catching a few by surprise?
All ACC 1st Team:
Someone from Duke
Someone from UNC
Sam Hauser
David Johnson
Michael Devoe, Prentiss Hubb, or another from duke/UNC

To be clear, it’s not that I don’t believe Scottie Barnes will be good. He’s gonna be extremely disruptive and defense and he’s gonna have nights with 12 points and 10 dimes on offense. It’s that FSU just doesn’t get that kind of respect on the conference teams. The media sees the lower stats (due to the depth) and just doesn’t vote them on.

The last 1st teamer from FSU was Toney Douglas in 2009, right? We’ve won two ACC titles and had like 10 NBA draft picks since then, with 6 in the first round. Not a single one made 1st team. Just seems unlikely Barnes would break that trend.

Sleeper? Ehh. GT, Miami, and NCSU should all be in contention for a tourney bid. Are they sleepers? Idk. They don’t feel like sleepers. BC will be awful. Wake will be awful. VT will be a step or a step and half up from awful.

I guess if I had to give a “sleeper” I’d say ND. They were playing well down the stretch and should at least pull some upsets in the Joyce Center. Hubb is a star in the making and Dane Goodwin is sneaky good. Solid size on the team too. It’s hard to believe (because of how bad they have been) but they have more top 100 kids than FSU I think.
 
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dukedevilz

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All ACC 1st Team:
Someone from Duke
Someone from UNC
Sam Hauser
David Johnson
Michael Devoe, Prentiss Hubb, or another from duke/UNC

To be clear, it’s not that I don’t believe Scottie Barnes will be good. He’s gonna be extremely disruptive and defense and he’s gonna have nights with 12 points and 10 dimes on offense. It’s that FSU just doesn’t get that kind of respect on the conference teams. The media sees the lower stats (due to the depth) and just doesn’t vote them on.

The last 1st teamer from FSU was Toney Douglas in 2009, right? We’ve won two ACC titles and had like 10 NBA draft picks since then, with 6 in the first round. Not a single one made 1st team. Just seems unlikely Barnes would break that trend.

Sleeper? Ehh. GT, Miami, and NCSU should all be in contention for a tourney bid. Are they sleepers? Idk. They don’t feel like sleepers. BC will be awful. Wake will be awful. VT will be a step or a step and half up from awful.

I guess if I had to give a “sleeper” I’d say ND. They were playing well down the stretch and should at least pull some upsets in the Joyce Center. Hubb is a star in the making and Dane Goodwin is sneaky good. Solid size on the team too. It’s hard to believe (because of how bad they have been) but they have more top 100 kids than FSU I think.
Seems reasonable. I haven't really considered Prentiss Hubb, tbh. I'll need to examine him a little closer. I never liked his fg%, but it makes sense that it would be that low when over 60% of his fga are 3-pointers.

GT, Miami, and NC State are all expected to be decent next year. None of them are locks for the tournament, but I don't think it would be terribly surprising if all three schools made it.

VT might actually be the sleeper team for me. Cone, Cattoor, and Alleyne are all capable of shooting 40%+ from three. Cartier Diarra is good enough to make one of the All-ACC teams. VT will finally have some capable bigs with transfers Justyn Mutts and Keve Aluma. And then they have a couple of decent 4-star recruits coming in.

And yes, it's sad that FSU has gone that long without someone making 1st Team. I thought either Vassell or Forrest did enough last year to merit 1st Team honors.