Preseason Top 50: NBA Draft Week Edition

    
June 23rd, 2008

 

We'll be rolling out our annual 144 Teams in 144 Days preview in just a couple weeks.. so it seemed like a good time to throw out my offseason Top 50 picks. With Draft entries settled, we have a clearer look at what is already shaping up to be another wild and exciting season of college basketball!

Preseason Top 50 Ranking: Draft Week Edition

  Team  
1 UNC Following last week's good news, Tar Heels now a no-brainer #1
2 Connecticut No excuse for this group not to have a monster season
3 Duke Singler needs to be a more dominant force in 2nd go-around
4 Louisville Williams and Clark are both versatile and explosive
5 Memphis Forget the losses, Cal brings in worthy reinforcements
6 Michigan State Neitzel's gone, but core returns from solid 27-win team
7 Tennessee Big time freshman make up for senior losses, return of Smith also huge
8 Notre Dame Harangody emerged as National POY candidate
9 UCLA Focus is on great guard combo of Collison, Shipp, and Holiday
10 Pittsburgh Blair, Fields, and Young are one of the country's better trios
11 Marquette Warriors only lack imposing inside presence
12 Wisconsin It doesn't matter who he has, Bo Ryan just wins games
13 Texas Loss of DJ Augustin creates a monstrous void
14 Gonzaga Return of Pargo was key to another WCC title
15 Oklahoma Griffin is rock solid, but Sooners need freshman Warren to excel
16 Purdue Boilers won't sneak up on anybody this time around
17 Arizona State Harden & Pendergraph are leading Sun Devil resurgance
18 Villanova Young Wildcats now a year wiser
19 Arizona Budinger returning is good news, but its all about Brandon Jennings
20 Florida Another deep class adds to Gators growing stash of riches
21 Miami Just about everyone returns from surprising 23-win team
22 Syracuse Cuse will overcome loss of Donte Greene rather quickly
23 Georgetown DaJuan Summers is a future NBAer
24 Clemson Tigers finally made Dance, but can they make 2nd round?
25 Kansas Champs got decimated in the off-season
26 Baylor Not crazy to think Baylor could win the Big 12
27 Kentucky Wildcats won't be bailed out by senior's Crawford & Bradley anymore
28 Wake Forest Talk about a program on the verge of breaking out..
29 Virginia Tech Jeff Allen will be star so long as head stays on straight
30 Davidson America's love affair with Stephen Curry continues
31 West Virginia Bob Huggins always manages to find a way to win
32 UNLV Will battle with BYU for title in underrated MWC
33 UAB Robert Vaden made the prudent decision to return to school
34 BYU If Plaisted returned, this could have been Top 25 team
35 Saint Mary's Mills was big story, but Samhan and Simpson can play
36 Xavier Despite senior graduations, XU still the team to beat in the A10
37 Alabama The return of Ronald Steele doesn't excite me that much
38 Ohio State As has been the case recently, Buckeyes will rely heavily on rookies
39

Mississippi

Will go as far as Chris Warren takes them
40 VCU Eric Maynor could average 20 ppg as a senior
41 USC DeRozan's good, but he's not on Mayo's level
42 Mississippi State With Gordon in Draft, transfer of Hansbrough stings more
43 Kent State Al Fisher and co. try to keep the good vibes going
44 Missouri Tigers hoping to fall on the right side of the bubble
45 Dayton A healthy Chris Wright will offset loss of Brian Roberts
46 San Diego State Underrated squad could contend for MVC title
47 Washington After a down year, Huskies should bounce back
48 Creighton Guard-centric team needs a big man (Lawson?) to step up
49 Temple Lavoy Allen is an emerging talent, but losing Tyndale hurts
50 San Diego Toreros should fight with with SMC for 2nd fiddle to Gonzaga

Next Ten:

Drake - Josh Young could be best player in MVC

LSU - Return of Tasmin Mitchell will be a major help

Maryland - Who will step up besides Greivis Vasquez?

Nevada - Young Pack will rely (too heavily) on freshmen

New Mexico State - Will contend with Nevada for WAC title

Seton Hall - The senior Laing departs, but good set of guards returns

Siena - Popular mid-major pick should pile up wins in MAAC

Stanford - Lopez twins are gone, but all is not lost

Texas A&M - Despite losses, will still be competitive in the Big 12

UMASS - Harris and Lowe form a formidable duo