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College Basketball Talk’s Post-Early Entry 2014-2015 Preseason Top 25

Apr 28, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT


AP Photo

MOREEarly Entry Losers Early Entry Winners

1. Kentucky: Kentucky lost just two players to the NBA Draft, with Julius Randle and James Young moving on. But the front court is loaded with Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson and Alex Poythress all returning and McDonald’s All-Americans Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles joining the program. And with the Harrison twins in the backcourt (freshmen Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis as well), the perimeter won’t lack for depth either.

2. Arizona: The Wildcats lost Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson, but with Brandon Ashley, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Kaleb Tarczewski all returning Sean Miller will have another loaded roster at his disposal. They bring in Stanley Johnson, who will be an immediate difference-maker, while Craig Victor and Kadeem Allen will contribute as well.

3. Duke: Losing Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood is a big deal, but with Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen joining a team that will return Rasheed Sulaimon, Matt Jones and Amile Jefferson, Duke will once again be elite.

4. Wisconsin: Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker are two of the many returnees for the Badgers are going to be loaded once again, as the only starter they lose is Ben Brust. That’s survivable, particularly when they have Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes waiting for more playing time.

5. Kansas: It must be nice to be Bill Self. He loses two guys that could be the top two picks in the draft and he’ll return a team that looks like a title contender. Again. Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis return and will be joined by Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander. Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson will be a nice addition while Brannen Greene, Frank Mason and Connor Frankamp had promising moments during their freshmen seasons. The key? Naadir Tharpe, as usual.

6. North Carolina: James Michael McAdoo is gone, but Marcus Paige is returning to school, which is good news. The Tar Heels essentially return the rest of their roster, including a talented and underrated front line, while adding three top 20 recruits in Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson and Joel Berry.

7. Virginia: Coming off of a season where the Cavs won dual-ACC titles, they’ll lose Akil Mitchell and Joe Harris. But with the rest of their roster returning, including Malcolm Brogdon, London Perrantes, Justin Anderson and Anthony Gill, Virginia should compete for the top spot in the ACC once again.

8. Texas: Texas returns everyone. Literally. Every single player from this year’s team is expected to return next season, and considering how young some of their key players — Cameron Ridley and Javan Felix are sophomores, Isaiah Taylor is a freshman — there should be some improvement as well. Most seem to think that Texas is the leader for Myles Turner as well, although he is very much in the air at this point.

9. San Diego State: Losing Xavier Thames is going to hurt a lot, but the Aztecs will once again be a terrific defensive team next season. Scoring will be an issue, but with the improvements Dwayne Polee made late in the season combined with the promising, but still young, talent Steve Fisher has brought in the last two seasons — Dakarai Allen, Trey Kell, Zylan Cheatam — they should be able to compete.

10. SMU: The Mustangs were the first team left out of the NCAA tournament due to the fact that they didn’t play anyone in the non-conference. But they return a majority of their roster, including Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy, while adding the nation’s No. 2 recruit Emmanuel Mudiay to the mix.

12. Oklahoma
13. Wichita State
14. Harvard
15. Florida
16. Oregon
17. Gonzaga
18. VCU
19. Villanova
20. Iowa
21. Michigan State
22. UConn
23. Syracuse
24. Michigan
25. Iowa State

  1. iwearshoesinhentucky - Apr 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    New this list was a joke when I saw the wild kitties at #2

  2. uk2ndbestinthestate - Apr 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Of course it’s a joke, just look who wrote the article…Dauster is one of the biggest UK homers on the planet. Yeah UK lost only two players to the draft but look at who those two players are…James Young and Julius Randle! If you deny that those two weren’t hands down the most important two players on that team last year you are kidding yourself. Everybody else (Including the Harrisons) were simply role players to help Young and Randle to get open. How much of UK’s offense returns after losing Randle and Young? Just curious

  3. ukcatsfan - Apr 29, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    I think it is foolish to think UK won’t be one of the best teams next season. However I wish they wouldn’t hand them the #1 seed, make them earn it for a change!

  4. moosedoggie - Apr 29, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    San Diego St. is going to be know as wingspan U next year.

  5. aztecbill - May 29, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    For the Aztecs, it would be nice to start the year in the top 25 for a change. They have been outside the top 25 in each of the past 5 years only to reach the top 15 every year. What does it take? Their #9 rating here is about right, but it is doubtful that the AP will follow suit.

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