College Hoops: ESPN top 25 is out. What did they about your team? #iubb #boilerup #BBN

Posted: October 6, 2016 by jmklee in Uncategorized

espncbWith practice starting and midnight madness right around the corner it is time to start thinking college hoops.  ESPN has released their preseason top 25.  Here is what they had to say about the local teams of interest.

 

1.  Duke

2. Kentucky Wildcats
Duke hoovered up the Nos. 1, 3, 10 and 16 prospects in a loaded incoming class … and ended up No. 2 in the ESPN Recruiting Nation rankings. That shouldn’t be possible, but such is life in the John Calipari era. The names change (goodbye Jamal Murray, hello to Bam Adebayo, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk!), but the pattern remains the same: Future pros show up, Calipari gels said future pros into a formidable unit in mere months, rinse, repeat. Which is why a team with so little left from last season’s roster (save Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis and Isaac Humphries) can be conservatively penciled in as one of the nation’s best four or five squads — if not by November, then by March.

3.  Kansas

4.  Nova

5.  Virginia

6.  North Carolina

7.  Oregon

8.  Wisconsin

9. Xavier Musketeers
In the past two seasons, guard Myles Davis, a 3-and-D combo guard and eminently willing passer, has been one of Chris Mack’s most reliable perimeter fixtures. Davis’ indefinite suspension casts a fair bit of uncertainty over the 2016-17 Musketeers’ rotation. Assuming he does eventually return, Xavier will remain the biggest threat to Villanova’s ongoing Big East hegemony. But Mack has so many talented guards and wings (Trevon Bluiett, Edmond Sumner, JP Macura) that even the worst-case scenario still looks pretty promising.

10.  Michigan St.

11.  Gonzaga

12. Indiana Hoosiers
Bad news first: Colin Hartman, a key role-playing piece of Indiana’s recent run-and-gun revival, underwent knee surgery in late September after suffering an injury during a non-contact drill. His timetable for return is unknown. If that wasn’t bad enough, Tom Crean has also had to begin his team’s official practice regimen without junior college transfer forward Freddie McSwain and sophomore wing Juwan Morgan, both nursing injuries of their own. Good news: Guards Robert Johnson and James Blackmon were cleared to practice in September, and it is their talent — alongside sophomore center(piece) Thomas Bryant — that will ultimately mean the most for the Hoosiers in 2016-17.

13.  Arizona

14. Louisville Cardinals
There may be times this season when certain, let’s say, distractions make it difficult to focus on the quality of Louisville’s actual basketball. We won’t go so far as to call that a shame; given the circumstances, it probably tops out at “bummer.” Still, though: Rick Pitino will take McDonald’s All-American V.J. King and Penn transfer Tony Hicks and a bunch of dudes an average college basketball fan couldn’t pick out of a lineup and mold them into a terrifying, amorphous defensive beast. Pitino always does, and it’s always worth appreciating.

15. Purdue Boilermakers
If Caleb Swanigan has a breakout sophomore season — and he might — the Boilermakers may spend most of 2016-17 making this ranking look conservative. Importance-wise, Swanigan’s return was neck and neck with that of wing Vince Edwards, while the key hole from last season (center A.J. Hammons) can be capably filled by 7-foot-2 center Isaac Haas. Throw in Michigan transfer Spike Albrecht filling the crucial “someone to get the ball across half court” need, and there’s much to like about Matt Painter’s latest crew.

16.  St. Mary’s

17.  Syracuse

18.  Creighton

19.  West Virginia

20.  Rhode Island

21.  UConn

22.  Maryland

23.  Iowa St.

24.  UCLA

25.  Florida St.

 

 

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