Skip to content

The Way Too Early Preseason Top 25

Apr 9, 2013, 8:54 AM EDT

John Calipari

The 2012-2013 college basketball season is over. Done. Kaput. That means it’s time to start looking forward to the 2013-2014 season. So here is our top 25.

IMPORTANT NOTE!!!: There are still going to be players entering the NBA Draft. We do our best to predict who is staying and who is leaving. We also take a guess at where Andrew Wiggins ends up playing his college ball. Any player with a ‘*’ next to his name is a guess that we made.

1. KENTUCKY
Record: 21-12, lost in 1st round of NIT
Who do they lose?: Nerlens Noel*, Archie Goodwin, Julius Mays, Ryan Harrow
Who comes back?: Alex Poythress, Kyle Wiltjer, Willie Cauley-Stein
Newcomers?: Julius Randle, Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, James Young, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee
Outlook: We’re assuming here that Andrew Wiggins is going to be heading to Florida State, but that doesn’t really matter. Kentucky’s recruiting class is still the best recruiting class of all time, and they also return two future lottery picks in Poythress and Cauley-Stein. I have some doubts about this group, but it won’t change the fact that they are the favorite to win it all as of today.

2. ARIZONA
Record: 27-8, lost in the Sweet 16
Who do they lose?: Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill, Kevin Parrom,
Who comes back?: Nick Johnson, Grant Jerrett, Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski
Newcomers?: TJ McConnell, Aaron Gordon, Rondae Jefferson
Outlook: I have concerns about the makeup of Arizona’s roster. They have an abundance of front court talent but not enough spots to play them. Is Aaron Gordon a three or a four? If he’s a four, how does Sean Miller balance minutes for Jerrett, Ashley and Tarczewski? The addition of McConnell at the point will be huge, and I think Johnson is primed for a big year. Throw in Rondae Jefferson, and there is plenty to like with this team.

3. DUKE
Record: 30-6, lost in the Elite 8
Who do they lose?: Mason Plumlee, Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly
Who comes back?: Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon, Amile Jefferson, Alex Murphy, Marshall Plumlee
Newcomers?: Rodney Hood, Jabari Parker, Matt Jones, Semi Ojeleye
Outlook: It feels weird ranking a team that loses their top three scorers this high, but it’s very much deserved. Parker is going to be a star, which is a good thing when you consider that either Sulaimon or Mississippi State transfer Hood will end up being the third option for this team. Cook isn’t a great point guard, and someone from the trio of Jefferson, Murphy and Plumlee is going to have to have a breakout season. But there’s enough talent here to be considered a title contender.

4. FLORIDA
Record: 29-8, lost in the Elite 8
Who do they lose?: Kenny Boynton, Mike Rosario, Erik Murphy
Who comes back?: Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin, Casey Prather, Michael Frazier, Will Yeguete
Newcomers?: Chris Walker, Kasey Hill, Dorian Finney-Smith, Damontre Harris
Outlook: The Gators lose their top three scorers, but they could end up being even better next season thanks to the infusion of talent they have in their front court. Not only is Young coming back to school, but they add a McDonald’s all-american in Walker and two high-major transfers in Finney-Smith and Harris. Hill is one of the best point guards in the Class of 2013. The key is going to end up being how the rest of Florida’s perimeter attack — Prather, Frazier, Wilbekin — ends up developing.

5. SYRACUSE
Record: 30-10, lost in the Final Four
Who do they lose?: Michael Carter-Williams*, James Southerland, Brandon Triche,
Who comes back?: CJ Fair, Jerami Grant, DaJuan Coleman, Rakeem Christmas, Trevor Cooney
Newcomers?: Tyler Ennis, Ron Patterson, Tyler Roberson, BJ Johnson, Chinonso Obokoh
Outlook: The Orange lose quite a bit this offseason, but with what they bring back and what they bring in, I think that Jim Boeheim will have a successful first season in the ACC. Fair is one of the most underrated players in the country, and I think that both Grant and Cooney will end up having big seasons for the Orange. But with Ennis and Patterson joining them in the back court, along with two more freshmen wings in Roberson and Johnson that are perfectly built for the Cuse zone, the Orange have a bright future.

6. LOUISVILLE
Record: 35-5, won the title
Who do they lose?: Russ Smith, Gorgui Dieng, Peyton Siva
Who comes back?: Chane Behanan, Luke Hancock, Wayne Blackshear, Montrezl Harrell, Kevin Ware
Newcomers?: Chris Jones, Terry Rozier, Akoy Agau, Anton Gill
Outlook: Pitino has already made it clear that Dieng is gone to the NBA, and I have a hard time seeing Smith coming back to school when all it would do is give scouts another year to become concerned about his size in the NBA. That said, Jones is a JuCo transfer that could end up being one of the best point guards in the country, while Terry Rozier could have battled for minutes this season if he hadn’t gone to Hargrave Military Academy. The key is going to end up being Harrell’s development in the middle.

7. MARQUETTE
Record: 26-9, lost in the Elite 8
Who do they lose?: Junior Cadougan, Trent Lockett, Chris Otule
Who comes back?: Vander Blue, Davante Gardner, Jamil Wilson, Todd Mayo
Newcomers?: JaJuan Johnson, Deonte Burton, Duane Wilson, John Dawson, Jameel McKay
Outlook: This could end up being Marquette’s best team since Dwayne Wade resided in Milwaukee. Finding someone to replace Cadougan at the point guard spot is going to be vital, but beyond that, the Golden Eagles bring back a number of key pieces from last season’s Big East co-champs and Elite 8 team. They also add a loaded recruiting class. Buzz Williams is as good as any coach in the country when it comes to coaching up his players, and I bet he still finds a way to convince them they are being underrated even with a ranking this high.

8. MICHIGAN STATE
Record: 27-9, lost in the Sweet 16
Who do they lose?: Derrick Nix, Adreian Payne*
Who comes back?: Keith Appling, Gary Harris*, Branden Dawson, Denzel Valentine, Travis Trice
Newcomers?: Gavin Schilling
Outlook: It feels weird saying this, but Michigan State’s season may depend on whether or not Payne declares for the NBA Draft. Personally, I think that he’s gone. At his size with his athleticism and range on his jump shot, Payne has the tools to be intriguing enough to an NBA GM that he could end up sneaking into the end of the first round. Without Payne, the Spartans simply aren’t going to have enough depth in their front court. I like Schilling, and I think that Matt Costello and Alex Gauna are serviceable, but the Spartans have a ceiling if Payne’s gone.

9. OHIO STATE
Record: 29-8, lost in the Elite 8
Who do they lose?: DeShaun Thomas, Evan Ravenel
Who comes back?: Aaron Craft, Lenzelle Smith, LaQuinton Ross, Sam Thompson, Shannon Scott
Newcomers?: Marc Loving, Kameron Williams
Outlook: The knock on Ohio State this season was that they didn’t have a second scoring option to compliment Thomas, and that will be a problem when he’s in the NBA next year and not launching threes in Columbus. How good will Ross end up being? Can Scott or Smith become 15 point-per-game threats? That will be what ends up determining just how good the Buckeyes end up being.

10. KANSAS
Record: 31-6, lost in the Sweet 16
Who do they lose?: Elijah Johnson, Jeff Withey, Travis Releford, Kevin Young, Ben McLemore*
Who comes back?: Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe, Andrew White, Jamari Traylor
Newcomers?: Wayne Selden, Joel Embiid, Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp, Frank Mason
Outlook: You want to know why I have Kansas 10th? Because of Bill Self. It never matters the kind of talent or the age of the talent on his roster. Bill Self wins basketball games. And he’ll do that again in 2013-2014.

11. North Carolina
12. Colorado
13. Michigan
14. Indiana
15. UCLA
16. Wichita State
17. VCU
18. Wisconsin
19. Gonzaga
20. Harvard
21. Virginia
22. Memphis
23. Boise State
24. New Mexico
25. Florida State

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Latest Posts
  1. DePaul forward DeJuan Marrero to transfer to Chipola College

    Jul 21, 2014, 11:43 PM EDT

    marrero

    DePaul redshirt freshman forward DeJuan Marrero will play his sophomore season at Chipola.

  2. Malik Newman, Ivan Rabb, Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk among 33 members battling for USA U17 roster spots this week

    Jul 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Malik Newman (Getty Images) Getty Images

    The USA U17 tryouts have a lot of big names and it will also be important for the last week of the July live evaluation period.

  3. Peach Jam mixtape for five-star 2015 guard Isaiah Briscoe (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com) (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com)

    Isaiah Briscoe helped lead the New Jersey Playaz to a title at Peach Jam.

  4. Four-star Class of 2016 guard Bruce Brown gave up football to focus on basketball

    Jul 21, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com) (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com)

    Bruce Brown was a promising two-sport athlete, but gave up football to focus on basketball.

  5. Four-star recruit Cameron Walker commits to Stanford

    Jul 21, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    adidas adidas

    Walker is the second commitment for the Cardinal this spring.

  6. Seven (more) Takeaways from Nike’s Peach Jam

    Jul 21, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    NikeEYB NikeEYB

    Seven additional thoughts on Nike’s Peach Jam, including Ben Simmons’ one weakness, Malik Monk and how college coaches look at parents

  7. Peach Jam mixtape of top 2016 recruit Jayson Tatum (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 2.45.41 PM

    Tatum is the best player in the class.

  8. Indiana’s summer workouts look intense (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

    Tom Crean AP

    The Hoosiers will be in shape come September, that’s for sure.

  9. CBT Quotables Part IV: The Lawsons, Stephen Zimmerman, Malik Monk

    Jul 21, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    NikeEYB NikeEYB

    The latest in our series of anonymous quotes from coaches on the players they recruit.

  10. Kansas’ Landen Lucas hopes summer work results in more playing time

    Jul 20, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Aaron Ross, Landen Lucas Aaron Ross, Landen Lucas

    After playing sparingly last season, Lucas is hoping to take a significant step forward in 2014-15.

  11. Name aside, Gary Payton II will be an important player for Oregon State

    Jul 20, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

    JucoRecruiting.com JucoRecruiting.com

    Fans may look to compare Gary Payton II to his father, something both hope to avoid this season, but his role as point guard is an important one.

  12. Reports: Former Clemson forward Ibrahim Djambo transferring to Hofstra

    Jul 20, 2014, 7:46 PM EDT

    Jeff Laidig, Ibrahim Djambo AP

    Djambo’s playing time was unlikely to increase had he remained at Clemson, where he played 9.2 minutes per game last season.

  13. Report: 2015 shooting guard Matt McQuaid de-commits from SMU

    Jul 20, 2014, 6:46 PM EDT

    Larry Brown AP

    McQuaid’s de-commitment leaves SMU with one verbal pledge in its 2015 recruiting class.

  14. Report: 2015 phenom Ben Simmons fully committed to attending LSU

    Jul 20, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    Ben Simmons (Kelly Kline/Under Armour) Ben Simmons (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

    Apparently there were some questions at the Peach Jam regarding the possibility of Simmons returning to Australia in 2015 to play professionally instead of attending LSU.

  15. Stanford guard Anthony Brown looks to take another step forward in 2014-15

    Jul 20, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Chasson Randle, Anthony Brown AP

    Brown won Pac-12 Most Improved Player honors last season, helping lead the Cardinal to the Sweet 16.

  16. Former Stony Brook guard Ahmad Walker transfers to Barton Community College

    Jul 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Stony Brook Stony Brook

    The 6-foot-4 Walker played just one season at Stony Brook.

  17. Four-star power forward Ray Spalding commits to Louisville

    Jul 20, 2014, 2:36 PM EDT

    AP AP

    It’s the second commit for Rick Pitino this week.