dukedevilz Preseason Top 50

dukedevilz

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Apr 3, 2002
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I think this is my fourth year doing this. Feels like it's getting harder and harder. The ridiculous roster turnover is what makes these projections challenging. I'm sure I missed on quite a few, but this is as good as I can offer for now. Double-click on the screenshots to enlarge.

Who did I overvalue and undervalue?

**For several players that only logged minutes for a few games in 2021, I often included the stats from a prior year, as I felt like that was more representative of what someone brings to a team (i.e. Caleb Mills and Oscar Tshiebwe)

UCLA-Gonzaga.png
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Kentucky-Baylor.png

Memphis.png

Tennessee-UNC.png

Alabama-Houston.png
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dukedevilz

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I'm not sold on UCLA. Think they caught lightning in a bottle last year.

Well, consider this. They lost to Stanford on a Oscar da Silva buzzer-beater - and they lost to USC on a Tahj Eaddy three-point buzzer-beater. Had they won those two games, they win the Pac-12 outright. UCLA being in the play-in game was a joke. And so were some of those seedings. USC was 15-5 in the Pac-12 and they got a 6 seed. Meanwhile, Ohio State goes 12-8 in the Big Ten and they're rewarded with a 2 seed.

No matter. Pac-12 cruised in the NCAAs. Actually, went 8-1 against other power conferences in the NCAAs, which included wins over 6 schools that were a 5 seed or lower (Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma State).

UCLA returns all five starters. They bring in one of the best rim protectors in the country in Myles Johnson. They also bring in a top 10 recruit in Peyton Watson. And I love that they're some cocky SOBs. They'll probably lose some games they shouldn't, but they're going to be dangerous this year.

FWIW, here's what I said about the Pac-12 just days before the NCAA Tournament started.
Pac-12 may not necessarily have a front-runner, a team that has great odds at reaching the Elite 8. But, I think Oregon, USC, Colorado, and UCLA are all good enough to advance to the Sweet 16 without any major upsets. USC is still the team with the highest potential, IMO. They're the tallest team in the country - lots of length and athleticism to frustrate most offenses.
 
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dukedevilz

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Here are my next best teams from some of the best conferences...

ACC- Georgia Tech
Big East- Creighton
Big 12- Oklahoma
Big Ten- Wisconsin
Pac 12- Arizona State
SEC- Ole Miss

American- Wichita State
Atlantic 10- Richmond
MWC- Nevada
WCC- Saint Mary's
MVC- Drake
Other- UAB
 
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dukedevilz

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Also, Memphis is going to be an issue come March.

Already had arguably the best defense in the country - and then they add Jalen Duren.

The question mark, of course, will be how proficient will their offense be? If Bates and Nolley can get clicking, they could be extremely dangerous. Teams with elite defenses tend to have higher ceilings in March.
 
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lurkeraspect84

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Memphis
Team
Kentucky
Already had arguably the best defense in the country - and then they add Jalen Duren.

The question mark, of course, will be how proficient will their offense be? If Bates and Nolley can get clicking, they could be extremely dangerous. Teams with elite defenses tend to have higher ceilings in March.
We get free tickets thru both of our work. I get box seats, she get nosebleed seats. Anyway, I definitely checking out more of their games this season. Went to a few when Cal coached here, not really took advantage since.
 
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dukedevilz

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We get free tickets thru both of our work. I get box seats, she get nosebleed seats. Anyway, I definitely checking out more of their games this season. Went to a few when Cal coached here, not really took advantage since.

Awesome! The homes games against Alabama and Houston would be two games of interest that pickup a lot of national attention.
 

dukedevilz

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Apr 3, 2002
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Here's the breakdown by conference.

ACC
8. Duke
15. North Carolina
18. Florida State
30. Virginia
32. Louisville
37. Virginia Tech
44. Notre Dame
47. Syracuse

BIG EAST
6. Villanova
26. UConn
34. Xavier
40. Seton Hall
45. St.John's

BIG 12
3. Kansas
4. Texas
12. Baylor
20. Oklahoma State
27. Texas Tech
41. West Virginia

BIG TEN
5. Michigan
7. Purdue
10. Illinois
21. Ohio State
25. Indiana
29. Maryland
31. Michigan State
42. Rutgers

PAC 12
1. UCLA
9. Oregon
23. Arizona
36. USC
48. Washington State

SEC
11. Kentucky
14. Tennessee
16. Alabama
19. Arkansas
28. Auburn
33. Mississippi State
38. Florida
50. LSU

WCC
2. Gonzaga
24. BYU
49. San Francisco

AAC
13. Memphis
17. Houston

MWC
35. Colorado State
43. San Diego State

ATLANTIC 10
22. Saint Bonaventure

MVC
39. Loyola Chicago

OVC
46. Belmont
 

lurkeraspect84

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Mar 4, 2014
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Memphis
Team
Kentucky
Hahaha that would be spectacular!
It's happening, I will attend more games than necessary.


It's so silly, I love it.

If it doesn't happen, just know someone in FedEx Forum is a huge fan who goes unnoticed.

Me in FedEx. Holding a I like Duke fans sign.

coach-KUKhat.png
 
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Boilermaker03

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Well, consider this. They lost to Stanford on a Oscar da Silva buzzer-beater - and they lost to USC on a Tahj Eaddy three-point buzzer-beater. Had they won those two games, they win the Pac-12 outright. UCLA being in the play-in game was a joke. And so were some of those seedings. USC was 15-5 in the Pac-12 and they got a 6 seed. Meanwhile, Ohio State goes 12-8 in the Big Ten and they're rewarded with a 2 seed.

No matter. Pac-12 cruised in the NCAAs. Actually, went 8-1 against other power conferences in the NCAAs, which included wins over 6 schools that were a 5 seed or lower (Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee, Oklahoma State).

UCLA returns all five starters. They bring in one of the best rim protectors in the country in Myles Johnson. They also bring in a top 10 recruit in Peyton Watson. And I love that they're some cocky SOBs. They'll probably lose some games they shouldn't, but they're going to be dangerous this year.

FWIW, here's what I said about the Pac-12 just days before the NCAA Tournament started.
It's obvious by how they performed in the tournament that the seedings were very low for the Pac-12. However, didn't they perform very poorly against other conferences throughout the year which is why they were considered to not be a very good conference? I honestly don't remember.
 

Villian07

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Probly not thebonly ones though bc of the extra covid year. Charlie moore adds 250 games by himself to whoever he plays for now.

def against the norm for yall though.
 

dukedevilz

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It's obvious by how they performed in the tournament that the seedings were very low for the Pac-12. However, didn't they perform very poorly against other conferences throughout the year which is why they were considered to not be a very good conference? I honestly don't remember.

The OOC season was curtailed quite a bit last year. That was part of the problem. The sample size was so low it was almost meaningless. The Pac-12 was especially low on OOC games as they didn't have a head-to-head conference bouts like the ACC/Big Ten, Big East/Big Ten, Big 12/SEC matchups.
 

dukedevilz

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Hard for me to really argue with anything here. I don't know if I'm buying Villanova in the top 10 yet. I also think IU could be top 20. Otherwise I think this is a much more pragmatic list vs what many of the "experts" have.

They gave Baylor a pretty solid game in the tournament. Probably Baylor's toughest game. Obviously losing JRE will hurt a bit. So, the starting 5 might be a little shaky. I'd rather a team have a weakness in the frontcourt than the backcourt, though. Feel like a really strong backcourt is more likely to yield wins in the tournament.

So, what are your reservations about Villanova?

Indiana could definitely be a top 20 team. TJD has never really had a great supporting cast and I feel like the transfers + Tamar Bates could change things quite a bit this year.
 

Ipartiedwithhopgood

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I am going to put the jinx on UCLA and say they reach the F4 again, they are my title pick. They just have so many interchangeable parts from 6-6 to 6-10 they are gonna be pretty versatile. They have a good D added a 5* that's gonna contribute but not be asked to carry 'em, and they got a decent transfer big from RU. Their PG is a SR and pretty good leader for sure. They can hit 3s, have a go-to guy, and that FT defense they play in March I tell ya!

I do see a potential slow start, haven't seen their schedule. But there's some advantage to knowing how to win in March and they do have this over some of the other good teams in the hunt.

But I totally get the doubt thrown their way. It's going to be a fun year.
 
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Boilermaker03

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The OOC season was curtailed quite a bit last year. That was part of the problem. The sample size was so low it was almost meaningless. The Pac-12 was especially low on OOC games as they didn't have a head-to-head conference bouts like the ACC/Big Ten, Big East/Big Ten, Big 12/SEC matchups.
That's true. I forgot about that.
 

Boilermaker03

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They gave Baylor a pretty solid game in the tournament. Probably Baylor's toughest game. Obviously losing JRE will hurt a bit. So, the starting 5 might be a little shaky. I'd rather a team have a weakness in the frontcourt than the backcourt, though. Feel like a really strong backcourt is more likely to yield wins in the tournament.

So, what are your reservations about Villanova?

Indiana could definitely be a top 20 team. TJD has never really had a great supporting cast and I feel like the transfers + Tamar Bates could change things quite a bit this year.
I don't know, just a feeling. I don't have specific data to point to.
 
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rockycard

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I know that it’s easy to be a homer, but I think that this is Louisville’s best team since 2014. Maybe college basketball is crazy loaded and we are in the 30’s and 40’s, I doubt it though.
 
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Boilermaker03

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I know that it’s easy to be a homer, but I think that this is Louisville’s best team since 2014. Maybe college basketball is crazy loaded and we are in the 30’s and 40’s, I doubt it though.
What did they lose/add to the roster for you to feel this way? They were 13-7 last year. Are they returning everyone? Just curious.
 

rockycard

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What did they lose/add to the roster for you to feel this way? They were 13-7 last year. Are they returning everyone? Just curious.

We lost our two starting guards, but return everyone else including the injured Mhallik Williams. We added transfer shooters in Noah Locke and Matt Cross. We also added El Ellis and Marshall pg West. Another addition is 6’8”” 270lb Sydney Curry who is very mobile and coordinated for his size. I know I may just be a homer, but I don’t think so on this team.
 

rockycard

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What did they lose/add to the roster for you to feel this way? They were 13-7 last year. Are they returning everyone? Just curious.

Covid also hit us twice for two weeks each last year. Losing four weeks of games and practice is not good.
 

UL_1986

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I know that it’s easy to be a homer, but I think that this is Louisville’s best team since 2014. Maybe college basketball is crazy loaded and we are in the 30’s and 40’s, I doubt it though.
From what I’ve seen (exhibition I know I know) but we’re a top 20 team. We’re deep, can shoot, and have excellent wings and post presence. Agree 100%, I think this is our best team since 13-14.
 
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SheriffBufordTJustice

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In the minds of the ignorant
Juzang is a scorer. So is Jaquez. The other wing guy can score some as well

But Juzang and Jaquez are different
Jaquez was looking like the 50 year old showing off all his moves at the rec to the 14-15 year olds

They stuck on that one move they used their entire life


Jaquez played a lot of 21. Kinda good game to play if you can remove most of it
Learn how to score
 
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GE Nole

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Here's the breakdown by conference.

ACC
8. Duke
15. North Carolina
18. Florida State
30. Virginia
32. Louisville
37. Virginia Tech
44. Notre Dame
47. Syracuse

BIG EAST
6. Villanova
26. UConn
34. Xavier
40. Seton Hall
45. St.John's

BIG 12
3. Kansas
4. Texas
12. Baylor
20. Oklahoma State
27. Texas Tech
41. West Virginia

BIG TEN
5. Michigan
7. Purdue
10. Illinois
21. Ohio State
25. Indiana
29. Maryland
31. Michigan State
42. Rutgers

PAC 12
1. UCLA
9. Oregon
23. Arizona
36. USC
48. Washington State

SEC
11. Kentucky
14. Tennessee
16. Alabama
19. Arkansas
28. Auburn
33. Mississippi State
38. Florida
50. LSU

WCC
2. Gonzaga
24. BYU
49. San Francisco

AAC
13. Memphis
17. Houston

MWC
35. Colorado State
43. San Diego State

ATLANTIC 10
22. Saint Bonaventure

MVC
39. Loyola Chicago

OVC
46. Belmont

Great job on all the work as usual. Some of my thoughts just for fun. (When I say “too high or too low” I mean over the course of the season and where I think they might land on KenPom. Not how dangerous they might be in March. Any team in the top 40 can start clicking at the right time and go deep in March).

ACC
Too high - UNC, FSU (only by a few spots though).

Too low - UL, ND. ND might be a top 30-35 team.

Big East
Too High - Nova

Big 12
Too high - Baylor
Too low - Texas Tech, WVA

Big 10
Too low - Michigan State

Pac 12
Too high - UCLA (I’d have them 3-4)

SEC
Too high - Alabama, Mississippi State
Too low - Auburn

WCC
Too low - Gonzaga (I have them number 1), San Fran.

AAC
Too high - Memphis
 

ExitFlagger

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May 2, 2015
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Team
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I know that it’s easy to be a homer, but I think that this is Louisville’s best team since 2014. Maybe college basketball is crazy loaded and we are in the 30’s and 40’s, I doubt it though.

The next time you guys post "we're not that good" in preseason will be the first. And yes, this field is loaded.
 

dukedevilz

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Apr 3, 2002
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I know that it’s easy to be a homer, but I think that this is Louisville’s best team since 2014. Maybe college basketball is crazy loaded and we are in the 30’s and 40’s, I doubt it though.

This is the deepest college basketball has been since 2015, IMO. Lots and lots of super seniors are taking advantage of the extra year + NIL rights may have incentivized a few others to stick around. If you look at my top 150 players, you'll see that there are 5 super seniors in my top 30.

I'm a fan of Louisville's frontcourt. Williamson-Withers-Williams. You guys should own the glass. Guess the onus then is on the backcourt. Locke is a proven shooter, but he appears to be one-dimensional. Verdict is still out on West, Ellis, and Davis. You guys already have a top 20 frontcourt (possibly top 10), just not sure the backcourt is as strong. There's certainly potential.

From what I’ve seen (exhibition I know I know) but we’re a top 20 team. We’re deep, can shoot, and have excellent wings and post presence. Agree 100%, I think this is our best team since 13-14.

You're ready to put them ahead of a 2015 UL team that advanced to the Elite 8 - or the 2017 Donovan Mitchell led-team that was a 2 seed in the tournament? Not saying it can't happen, but those are some fairly high expectations.
 
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