Week in Review: Jae Crowder and Indiana get recognized

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Player of the Week: Jae Crowder, Marquette

The Golden Eagles are coming off of a 2-0 week that saw them knock off both Washington in New York City and UW-Green Bay. In those two wins, Crowder was terrific, averaging 19.5 ppg an 6.5 rpg while collecting three blocks and three steals and shooting 60% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. But with Crowder, its about more than just the numbers. You want an example? He’s all of 6’6″ and probably would be listed as a small forward in a normal lineup, but when Chris Otule injured his knee on Tuesday at the Jimmy V Classic, Crowder was the guy that slid into the center spot for the Golden Eagles. Another example? Crowder also hit the game-winning jumper against the Huskies.

Marquette isn’t a secret anymore. This is a tough, physical team that is as talented this season as they have been under Buzz Williams. They have a stable of big, athletic wings that can shoot and penetrate, they have a pair of capable big men and they have an underrated, playmaking point guard.

But Crowder is the piece that brings it all together. His ability to play on the perimeter and in the post is a major reason for the versatility that Williams has in the lineups that he is able to put on the floor. He defends, he rebounds and he is one of the most efficient offensive players in the country. He’s a leader for this group, and it shows. As Williams said of Crowder after the close win over Washington, “that’s my guy. I’ll roll with that cat no matter where he goes.”

The All-They-Were-Good-Too Team:

G: Phil Pressey and Marcus Denmon, Missouri: Denmon scored 50 points in two games this week, including 28 in the Tiger’s win over Villanova. But we went over him earlier this week. Pressey deserves just as much credit for his team’s success. He only shot 5-18 from the field, but he had 17 assists in the two games, including 12 in just 24 minutes against Nova.

G: Truck Bryant and Kevin Jones, West Virginia: The ‘Eers went 2-0 this week with wins over Kansas State and Miami, two other teams that will be on or around the bubble come March. Bryant had 51 points in the two games. Jones went for 30 points and 12 boards against the Wildcats, including a three at the end of regulation to force overtime.

F: Christian Watford, Indiana: Watford had 20 points, including 17 in the second half, as Indiana knocked off then-No. 1 Kentucky. He also hit a pretty big shot.

F: Draymond Green, Michigan State: Green was sensational as the Spartans knocked off Gonzaga in Spokane, finishing with 34 points on 11-13 shooting from the floor and adding three assists and three steals. Green added 14 points and nine boards as Michigan State knocked off CCSU at home on Wednesday.

C: Patric Young, Florida: Young was completely dominant as the Gators knocked off Arizona in overtime, going for 25 points and 10 boards while blocking two shots and shooting 12-15 from the floor. He added another double-double on Friday night, finishing with 12 points and ten boards in a win over Rider. For the week, Young shot 17-22 from the field.

Bench: Will Barton, Memphis (27.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.5 spg, 22-33 FG); Ben Brust, Wisconsin (25 points, 7-7 3’s vs. UNLV); Deonte Burton, Nevada (24.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.0 apg); Jack Cooley, Notre Dame (22.0 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 3.0 bpg) DJ Cooper, Ohio (14 pts, 10 rbs, 10 asts, 5 stls vs. Portland); Vincent Council, Providence (21 pts, 11 asts, 9 rbs vs. Brown); Gorgui Deing, Louisville (16.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 13-15 FG); Thomas Gibson, Kansas State (19.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg); John Henson, North Carolina (18.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 3.5 bpg); Tay Jones, St. Joseph’s (29 pts, 5 asts, 5 rbs vs. Creighton); Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech (26.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.5 spg); Mason Plumlee, Duke (13.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.5 spg, 3.5 rpg, 11-15 FG); Herb Pope, Seton Hall (25.5 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 18-24 FG); Thomas Robinson, Kansas (23.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg); Josh Terry, Austin Peay (21.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Alex Young, IUPUI (43 pts, 9 rbs vs Western Kentucky)

Team of the Week: Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana played just one game last week, but it was a big one. The Hoosiers hosted heated rival and then-No. 1 Kentucky and won a thriller, using a three-pointer from Christian Watford as time expired to upset the Wildcats. The shot set off a wild scene, as the fans stormed the floor, setting off a wave of emotion that had built up for four years.

But this win was about more than just a party. I think that its safe to say Indiana is for real this season; knocking off the no. 1 team in the country will make a lot of people think the same. The question I have, however, is just how fluky this game was. Kentucky did not play well. Terrence Jones was no where to be found, Anthony Davis was in foul trouble and Doron Lamb didn’t have his best game. Combine that with the energy in the building that was fueling the Hoosiers, and its not difficult to see why it would be easy to assume that this game was more about the circumstances surrounding the teams than it was about the game. Styles make the fight, so to speak.

This is the best Indiana team to take the court in the Tom Crean era, and there is no question that the Hoosiers are probably better than we thought heading into the season. But, at best, I still think this is, at best, a borderline top 25 team.

Teams deserving a shout out:

Austin Peay: The Governors won their first two games of the season this week, beating Arkansas State in overtime before going into Knoxville and taking down Tennessee. Josh Terry led the way, averaging 21.0 ppg and 5.5 rpg for the week. He had 20 points, six boards, five assists and four steals in the win over Tennessee.

Dayton: The Flyers are still the most confounding team in the country. After solidly handling No. 15 Alabama on Tuesday, the Flyers struggled to hold off USC-Upstate over the weekend. The Flyers have some talented scorers and a couple of big guys on their roster, but with Dayton, the issue seems to be whether or not they are going to decide to show up.

Duke: The Blue Devils won two games this week, including a six point win against Washington in Madison Square Garden in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. Austin Rivers played well in both games, but the performance of the week belongs to Mason Plumlee. He averaged 13.0 ppg and 9.5 rpg while totaling seven blocks and seven steals in the two games. But while he shot 11-15 from the field, Plumlee was 4-17 from the free throw line.

Marquette: The Golden Eagles picked up two wins on the week, knocking off UW-Green Bay on Saturday after their thrilling win over Washington in the Jimmy V Classic. Its tough not to like Marquette this season. Size, balance, athleticism, experience and toughness. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Missouri: Like Marquette, Missouri put together a strong performance at the Garden on national television, one that swayed the national consciousness in their favor. The Tigers are fun to watch simply because everyone of the players on their roster plays a vital role. While its the ability of Kim English to spread the floor at the four spot, its the play of Phil Pressey and Michael Dixon that gets the Tigers all of those open looks.

Murray State: Its time for us to starting talking about the Racers more seriously. Murray State is now 10-0 on the season after Sunday night, when they went into Memphis and knocked off the Tigers. Isaiah Canaan — who seems like he has been in college for a decade — is the player to watch, averaging 19.8 ppg and 4.0 apg.

Northern Iowa: The Panthers improved to 9-1 on the season by going 2-0 this week with a pair of impressive wins. First, they knocked Iowa off 80-60 despite finding themselves down 10-0 in the first couple of minutes. UNI followed that up by putting a whooping on Milwaukee, beating them 67-51. Milwaukee was coming off of a double-digit win over DePaul.

Oklahoma: Lon Kruger has done an impressive job turning this program around. The Sooners, who are now 7-1 on the season, went 2-0 last week, knocking off in-state rival Oral Roberts before earning a win over Arkansas. The Sooners also have wins over Washington State and Santa Clara, but we may not know how good they are until Big 12 play starts considering that their last non-conference test, Cincinnati, will be dealing with suspensions when they play.

St. Joseph’s: Langston Galloway had 30 points in a win over Boston University on Wednesday while Tay Jones had 29 points — including 20 in the second half — on Saturday as the Hawks knocked off Creighton.

Temple: The Owls may be playing without Michael Eric right now, but they still have Ramone Moore. The talented small forward had 32 points as the Owls handled Villanova fairly easily at home. Temple also picked up a win against Toledo on the road.

West Virginia: Playing two teams that they appear destined to share the bubble with this season, West Virginia went into Wichita and knocked off Kansas State in double overtime, following that up with an impressive and fairly dominating win over Miami. Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant combined to scored 93 points in the two games.

Wichita State: Coming off of a 19 point win over UNLV, Wichita State went into Tulsa and knocked off the Golden Hurricane, following that up with a win over Utah State. Combine that with the loss that Creighton had at St. Joseph’s, and the Shockers might be the favorite in the Missouri Valley.

Five Thoughts:

Is it time to call Washington just mediocre?: After losing to both Marquette and Duke at the Garden last week, the Huskies are now just 4-4 on the season and losers of three straight. That’s not exactly ideal from the team that many believe is the most talented team in the Pac-12. Why are they struggling? Washington doesn’t play enough defense, for starters. They also are a poor decision-making team. Their shot-selection leaves much to be desired and they average 15 turnovers per game. Washington is extremely talented, but they consistently under-perform every season. Why should we expect any different this year?

Struggles for the WCC?: Two weeks ago, I said that the WCC was the best mid-major conference in the country. My sentiment hasn’t exactly changed, but the league doesn’t appear to be quite as strong as I had originally thought. Over the weekend, Gonzaga lost at home to Michigan State while Santa Clara got dropped by 38 against Washington State. Portland got worked over by both Boise State and Ohio while Loyola Marymount is only a week removed from losing to both Columbia and North Texas. Throw in St Mary’s loss to Denver, and the strength and depth of the league isn’t what it appeared to be.

So who is the best mid-major league? If you are asking me today, I’m taking the Missouri Valley. Creighton is ranked and, in my opinion, should still be ranked even after losing at St. Joseph’s this weekend. Wichita State has won three straight against UNLV, Utah State and Tulsa. Northern Iowa is 9-1 with wins against Iowa and Milwaukee this past week. Not a bad top three.

Murray State should be ranked: The Racers are now 10-0 on the season, but that record is only 7-0 against Division I teams. The thing is, all of those wins are solid. Four of them came on the road against the likes of UAB, Morgan State and Western Kentucky. The other three were against Dayton, Southern Mississippi and San Francisco. And then on Sunday, the Racers went into Memphis and knocked off the Tigers. You think there are really 25 teams in the country that a) have a better resume than that and b) are actually better than the Racers?

Reeves Nelson had to go: There was no other choice for Ben Howland. You cannot suspend a player three times during a single season and keep him on the team. As a head coach, you lose credibility, and Howland is already struggling with that. The next step, however, would be to kick Josh Smith off of the team. The big fella is, simply put, too big to be an effective basketball player. His conditioning is a bigger issue and more of a detriment to the Bruin’s success Nelson ever was. Nelson may have been a clubhouse cancer, but Smith can be Jared Sullinger if he wanted to be.

The Crosstown Punchout: Before I say what I am about to say, remember this: I think that the suspensions given to the players on the Cincinnati and Xavier teams were too short. Six games and one Big East game for the sucker punch that was landed on Kenny Frease’s chin or the stomp that was placed on his head is too short. Four games for being the spark that ignited the entire brawl is not enough.

That said, I am sick of hearing people say that basketball has to be taken away from these kids to teach them a lesson. Isn’t the point here that this is bigger than basketball? That we are trying to get these kids educated not just in sports and the classroom, but in how to be able to be a functioning member of society? If Yancy Gates thinks its ok to throw a sucker punch like that, doesn’t that show you he is a long way away from that lesson? And if you kicked him out of school, would he even get that point?

Games of the Week:

Indiana 73, No. 1 Kentucky 72: We all know what happened by now:

West Virginia 85, Kansas State 80 2OT:

Marquette 79, Washington 77:

Matchups of the Week:

– Tue. 9:00 pm: No. 16 Wisconsin @ Milwaukee
– Wed. 8:00 pm: Belmont @ Middle Tennessee State
– Thu. 8:00 pm: Oral Roberts @ No. 22 Gonzaga
– Fri. 10:30 pm: Weber State @ Cal
– Sat. 2:30 pm: No. 25 Texas A&M @ No. 12 Florida
– Sat. 4:00 pm: No. 20 Memphis @ No. 4 Louisville
– Sat. 4:00 pm: Arizona @ No. 22 Gonzaga
– Sat. 5:00 pm: UNLV @ No. 22 Illinois

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

Bill Self has “no knowledge” if Kansas will be among schools receiving notice of allegations

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NCAA vice president for regulatory affairs Stan Wilcox told CBS Sports last week that at least six schools will receive notice of allegations stemming from evidence and testimony that emanated from the federal government’s probe into corruption in college basketball, with two schools likely to be served early next month.

“We’re moving forward and you’ll see consequences,” Wilcox said.

If one of those schools is Kansas, which was often at the center of developments in the saga, it’s unknown to Jayhawks coach Bill Self.

“I have no knowledge of who he was talking about or anything like that,” Self said Monday, according to the Matt Tait of the Lawrence Journal-World. “But certainly the fan bases of all the (programs) that were mentioned, I’m sure, are very interested in what he meant by that.”

It’s not surprising that Self wouldn’t be in the know here, but his comments echo those made by others critical of Wilcox’s statements, with allegations of prejudgement by the NCAA given allegations haven’t even been formally submitted to schools.

“So now that’s it over, we’re going to be moving forward with a number of Level I cases that will help people realize that, ‘Yeah, the enforcement staff was in a position to move forward,'” Wilcox told CBS Sports.

Upwards of 20 schools were mentioned in the federal probe.

“I just think to predetermine what’s going to happen before investigations are done, I think that comes pretty strong,” Self said, per the Journal-World. “I was shocked to read that something could be said that was not specifically intended for anyone, but it made all 20 schools that were mentioned in the FBI deal and their fan base feel like it was.”

Wilcox did confirm, however, that the NCAA will not have access to a reported wiretap that was alleged to feature Kansas assistant Kurtis Townsend discussing financial arrangements around the recruitment of Zion Williamson, who ultimately went to Duke and is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft later this week. No such wiretap was entered into evidence during a trial.

Wilcox’s statements regarding the investigations were atypical, and symbolic of the situation the NCAA finds itself in. The government announced its investigation nearly two years ago, and the twists, turns and revelations of that probe have played out publicly in court rooms, legal documents and news reports over that whole time while the NCAA, understandably, sat out its hands while the legal process was playing out. That leaves many wondering when and how the governing body of the sport will react while the NCAA likely wants to send a message that programs can’t act with impunity. But when you’re judge and jury, as the NCAA is, any whiff of a decision being made before the conclusion of its own investigation is going to draw justified criticism – particularly from the schools whom it effects the most.

 

 

LaMelo Ball to continue professional career in Australia

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LaMelo Ball will never make it to a college campus after all.

Lonzo’s youngest brother and the baby of the Ball family announced on Monday afternoon that he will be continuing his professional career playing for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian National Basketball League. He previously suited up for a professional team in Lithuania. There had been some speculation that he would try to get himself cleared to play collegiately, but few believed there was any real possibility of getting cleared by the NCAA.

Which means that LaMelo will be heading down under before entering the 2020 NBA Draft.

And I am sure that the family name and memories that we all have of a 6-foot-nothing LaMelo Ball cherry-picking to try and score 100 points while shooting ridiculous, off-balance, step-back threes every possession will make the majority of people reading this scoff at the idea of LaMelo getting drafted, but the truth of the matter is that he is a very real NBA prospect.

He’s 6-foot-7 now. He has the passing, the deep shooting range and the ball-handling to be projectable as a wing player in the NBA. He’s still just 17 years old, believe it or not, and there is still room for him to grow into his still-developing frame. The big concern with him is two-fold — toughness and defense — and those questions are going to get answered playing in the NBL, a league that is much more physical than its Aussie reputation would lead you to believe.

Ball has very limited experience playing against that level of competition. Even when he was in Lithuania, he was not playing against the top tier of the nation’s professional teams. He is going to be tested and required to prove himself if he wants to be a first round pick, but I feel very confident in saying this: Every 2020 mock draft that you read this week is going to include Ball’s name in there somewhere. That’s the kind of potential that he has.

USC grad transfer Thornton picks Boston College over Gonzaga

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Derryck Thornton is heading back to the ACC.

On Monday, multiple reports surfaced that the USC grad transfer and former Duke point guard would be heading to Boston College for his final season of eligibility. Thornton was a five-star prospect as a high school junior, opting to leave school and enroll at Duke a year early. He was a part of the class that also included Brandon Ingram, Luke Kennard and Chase Jeter, but he left the program after one up-and-down year that saw him start just 20 games and averaged 7.1 points and 2.6 assists.

Thornton headed back west to USC, where he averaged 7.7 points and 4.3 assists as a junior.

His return to the ACC is most notable for who he did not pick. Thornton was initially thought to be a Gonzaga lean, as the Bulldogs are in the market for a veteran point guard after losing Josh Perkins. Thornton was one of their main targets, but he instead opted on heading to the program that turned Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman into all-league players and, in Robinson’s case, a lottery pick.

That, in theory, is huge for BC, who could use the injection of talent, but even with Thornton in the fold, this doesn’t exactly look like a tournament team.

It’s far more interesting Gonzaga. As it stands, the starting point guard spot looks like it will be Admon Gilder’s — a grad transfer from Texas A&M that would ideally play off-the-ball — if freshman Brock Ravet can’t handle the job. The remaining crop of point guard grad transfers don’t appear to be the kind of players that will be able to impact a season for a team that is expected to be as good as Gonzaga is.

College Basketball 2019-2020 Preseason Top 25

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There is so much that is going to happen between now and the time that next season starts that it almost seems foolish to publish a preseason top 25 today.

But we’re doing it anyway!

A couple of notes: Who is going to head to the NBA is very much in the air right now. There are still a number of freshmen that have yet to announce where they are playing their college ball. The transfer market has barely heated up. For decisions that are up in the air, you’ll see an asterisk next to their name. We’re making predictions on what certain players will do and ranking based off of them. 

So with all that said, here is the preseason top 25.

1. MICHIGAN STATE

  • WHO’S GONE: Matt McQuaid, Kenny Goins, Nick Ward
  • WHO’S BACK: Cassius Winston, Xavier Tillman, Joshua Langford, Aaron Henry, Kyle Ahrens, Gabe Brown, Foster Loyer, Marcus Bingham, Thomas Kithier
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Rocket Watts, Malik Hall, Julius Marble
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford, Kyle Ahrens, Aaron Henry, Xavier Tillman

2. KENTUCKY

  • WHO’S GONE: P.J. Washington, Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, Reid Travis
  • WHO’S BACK: E.J. Montgomery, Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickly, Nick Richards
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Kahlil Whitney, Tyrese Maxey, Keion Brooks, Johnny Juzang, Dontaie Allen, Nate Sestina
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Tyrese Maxey, Ashton Hagans, Kahlil Whitney, Keion Brooks, E.J. Montgomery

3. DUKE

  • WHO’S GONE: Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, Marques Bolden
  • WHO’S BACK: Tre Jones, Alex O’Connell, Jack White, Javin DeLaurier, Jordan Goldwire, Joey Baker
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Vernon Carey, Wendell Moore, Matthew Hurt, Cassius Stanley
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Tre Jones, Alex O’Connell, Wendell Moore, Matthew Hurt, Vernon Carey

4. KANSAS

  • WHO’S GONE: Lagerald Vick, Dedric Lawson, Quintin Grimes, K.J. Lawson, Charlie Moore
  • WHO’S BACK: Devon Dotson, Ochai Agbaji, Udoka Azubuike, Marcus Garrett, Silvio De Sousa, Mitch Lightfoot, David McCormack
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Isaiah Moss, Jalen Wilson, Tristan Enaruna, Isaac McBride, Christian Braun
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Devon Dotson, Isaiah Moss, Ochai Agbaji, Silvio De Sousa, Udoka Azubuike

5. VILLANOVA

  • WHO’S GONE: Eric Paschall, Phil Booth, Jahvon Quinerly
  • WHO’S BACK: Jermaine Samuels, Cole Swider, Saddiq Bey, Collin Gillespie, Dhamir Cosby-Rountree, Brandon Slater
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Bryan Antoine, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Justin Moore, Eric Dixon
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Collin Gillespie, Bryan Antoine, Saddiq Bey, Jermaine Samuels, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

6. LOUISVILLE

  • WHO’S GONE: Christen Cunningham, Khwan Fore, Akoy Agau
  • WHO’S BACK: Jordan Nwora, Dwayne Sutton, Ryan McMahon, Steve Enoch, Malik Williams, Darius Perry
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Samuell Williamson, Jaelyn Withers, Josh Nickelberry, Fresh Kimble, David Johnson, Aidan Igiehom, Quinn Slazinski
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Fresh Kimble, Samuell Williamson, Dwayne Sutton, Jordan Nwora, Malik Williams

7. MARYLAND

  • WHO’S GONE: Bruno Fernando
  • WHO’S BACK: Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, Serrel Smith Jr., Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Darryl Morsell
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Chol Marial, Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Anthony Cowan, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith

8. VIRGINIA

  • WHO’S GONE: De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, Jack Salt
  • WHO’S BACK: Braxton Key, Mamadi Diakite, Jay Huff, Kihei Clark
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Casey Morsell, Tomas Woldetensae, Kadin Shedrick, Justin McKoy
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Kihei Clark, Casey Morsell, Braxton Key, Mamadi Diakite, Jay Huff

9. TEXAS TECH

  • WHO’S GONE: Jarrett Culver, Matt Mooney, Tariq Owens, Brandone Francis, Norense Odiase, Khavon Moore
  • WHO’S BACK: Chris Beard, Davide Moretti, Kyler Edwards, Deshawn Corprew, Andrei Savrasov
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Jahmius Ramsey, Chris Clarke, T.J. Holyfield, Kevin McCullar, Russel Tchewa, Terrence Shannon
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Jahmius Ramsey, Davide Moretti, Deshawn Corprew, T.J. Holyfield, Chris Clarke

10. GONZAGA

  • WHO’S GONE: Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke, Josh Perkins, Zach Norvell, Geno Crandall, Jeremy Jones
  • WHO’S BACK: Killian Tillie, Filip Petrusev, Corey Kispert
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Admon Gilder, Drew Timme, Oumar Ballo, Brock Ravet, Anton Watson, Martynas Arlauskas, Pavel Zahkarov
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Brock Ravet, Admon Gilder, Corey Kispert, Killian Tillie, Filip Petrusev

11. SETON HALL

  • WHO’S GONE: Michael Nzei
  • WHO’S BACK: Myles Powell, Myles Cale, Quincy McKnight, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Ikey Obiagu
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Tyrese Samuel
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Quincy McKnight, Myles Powell, Myles Cale, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Ikey Obiagu

12. NORTH CAROLINA

  • WHO’S GONE: Coby White, Nassir Little, Luke Maye, Cam Johnson, Kenny Williams, Seventh Woods
  • WHO’S BACK: Leaky Black, Garrison Brooks, Brandon Robinson
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Cole Anthony, Armando Bacot, Jeremiah Francis, Anthony Harris, Christian Keeling, Justin Pierce
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Cole Anthony, Leaky Black, Brandon Robinson, Armando Bacot, Garrison Brooks

13. ARIZONA

  • WHO’S GONE: Justin Coleman, Ryan Luther, Brandon Randolph
  • WHO’S BACK: Dylan Smith, Chase Jeter, Brandon Williams, Alex Barcello, Ira Lee
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Nico Mannion, Josh Green, Max Hazzard, Terry Armstrong, Christian Koloko, Zeke Nnaji, Stone Gettings
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Max Hazzard, Nico Mannion, Josh Green, Ira Lee, Chase Jeter

14. UTAH STATE

  • WHO’S GONE: Quinn Taylor
  • WHO’S BACK: Sam Merrill, Neemias Queta, Diogo Brito, Brock Miller, Abel Porter
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Alphonso Anderson, Liam McChesney, Sean Bairstow
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Diogo Brito, Abel Porter, Sam Merrill, Brock Miller, Neemias Queta

15. SAINT MARY’S

  • WHO’S GONE: Jordan Hunter
  • WHO’S BACK: Jordan Ford, Malik Fitts, Tommy Kuhse, Tanner Krebs, Dan Fotu, Jock Perry
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Alex Ducas, Kyle Bowen
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Jordan Ford, Tommy Kuhse, Tanner Krebs, Malik Fitts, Jock Perry

16. XAVIER

  • WHO’S GONE: Ryan Welage, Zach Hankins, Kyle Castlin, Elias Harden
  • WHO’S BACK: Quentin Goodin, Naji Marshall, Paul Scruggs, Tyrique Jones
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Kyky Tandy, Dahmir Bishop, Zach Freemantle, Jason Carter, Daniel Ramsey, Dieonte Miles
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Quentin Goodin, Paul Scruggs, Naji Marshall, Jason Carter, Tyrique Jones

17. LSU

  • WHO’S GONE: Tremont Waters, Naz Reid, Kavell-Bigby Williams
  • WHO’S BACK: Javonte Smart, Skylar Mays, Emmitt Williams, Marlon Taylor, Darius Days
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Trendon Watford, James Bishop
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Javonte Smart, Skylar Mays, Marlon Taylor, Trendon Watford, Emmitt Williams

18. BAYLOR

  • WHO’S GONE: King McClure, Makai Mason, Jake Lindsey
  • WHO’S BACK: Tristan Clark, Mario Kegler, Jared Butler, Devonte Bandoo, Mark Vital, Freddie Gillespie, Matthew Mayer
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Jordan Turner, MaCio Teague, Davion Mitchell
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Davion Mitchell, Jared Butler, Mark Vital, Mario Kegler, Tristan Clark

19. MEMPHIS

  • WHO’S GONE: Jeremiah Martin, Kyvon Davenport, Mike Parks Jr., Raynere Thornton, Kareem Brewton, Antwann Jones Jr.
  • WHO’S BACK: Tyler Harris, Alex Lomax, Isaiah Maurice
  • WHO’S COMING IN: James Wiseman, D.J. Jeffries, Lester Quinones, Malcolm Dandridge, Damian Baugh, Lance Thomas, Precious Achiuwa, Boogie Ellis
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Tyler Harris, Boogie Ellis, D.J. Jeffries, Precious Achiuwa, James Wiseman

20. AUBURN

  • WHO’S GONE: Jared Harper, Bryce Brown, Malik Dunbar, Horace Spencer, Chuma Okeke
  • WHO’S BACK: Samir Doughty, J’Von McCormick, Danjel Purifoy, Anfernee McLemore, Austin Wiley
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Isaac Okoro, Tyrell Jones, Jaylin Williams, Babatunde Akingbola, Allen Flanigan, Jamal Johnson
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: J’Von McCormick, Samir Doughty, Danjel Purifoy, Isaac Okoro, Anfernee McLemore

21. TENNESSEE

  • WHO’S GONE: Admiral Schofield, Kyle Alexander, Jordan Bone, Grant Williams
  • WHO’S BACK: Lamonte Turner, Jordan Bowden, Yves Pons, Derrick Walker Jr., John Fulkerson, D.J. Burns, Jalen Johnson
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Josiah James, Drew Pember, Olivier Nkamoua, Davonte Gaines
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Lamonte Turner, Jordan Bowden, Josiah James, Yves Pons, John Fulkerson

22. CREIGHTON

  • WHO’S GONE: Sam Froling, Kaleb Joseph, Connor Cashaw
  • WHO’S BACK: Davion Mintz, Ty-Shon Alexander, Mitchell Ballock, Jacob Epperson, Damien Jefferson, Marcus Zegarowski
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Shereef Mitchell
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Davion Mintz, Marcus Zegarowski, Ty-Shon Alexander, Mitchell Ballock, Jacob Epperson

23. VCU

  • WHO’S GONE: Michael Gilmore
  • WHO’S BACK: Marcus Evans, Isaac Vann, Deriante Jenkins, Marcus Santos-Silva, Vince Williams, Mike’L Simms, P.J. Byrd, Malik Crawford
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Jarren McAlister
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Marcus Evans, Isaac Vann, Vince Williams, Deriante Jenkins, Marcus Santos-Silva

24. OHIO STATE

  • WHO’S GONE: C.J. Jackson, Keyshawn Woods
  • WHO’S BACK: Kaleb Wesson, Andre Wesson, Luther Muhammad, Duane Washington, Kyle Young, Justin Aherns, Musa Jallow, Jaedon LeDee
  • WHO’S COMING IN: D.J. Carton, Alonzo Gaffney, EJ Liddel, Ibrahima Diallo, CJ Walker
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: C.J. Walker, Duane Washington Jr., Luther Muhammad, Andre Wesson, Kaleb Wesson

25. DAVIDSON

  • WHO’S GONE: Nathan Ekwu, Dusan Kovacevic
  • WHO’S BACK: Kellan Grady, Jon Axel Gudmundson, Luka Brajkovic, Luke Frampton, Kishawn Pritchett, Carter Collins, David Czerapowicz, Bates Jones
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Hyunjung Lee, David Kristensen
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Kellan Grady, Jon Axel Gudmundson, Luke Frampton, Kishawn Pritchett, Luka Brajkovic

New-look Virginia back to work after winning NCAA title

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
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Tony Bennett’s first offseason as a national champion coach has come with benefits on the recruiting trail. His first season at Virginia after winning the title, however, will bring challenges.

Five players who helped Virginia beat Texas Tech to capture the first basketball title in school history are gone, and that’s four more than expected. Center Jack Salt graduated, and guards De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy declared for the NBA draft. Seldom-used Marco Anthony transferred.

Recruiting was already well underway before the Cavaliers won it all, but Bennett said Wednesday the result “certainly can’t hurt and I think it has helped. It validates a lot of good stuff that’s happened in the past.”

Virginia hopes the spoils of those improvements are evident quickly in incoming freshmen guard Casey Morsell, big men Justin McKoy and Kadin Shedrick and junior college shooting guard Tomas Woldetensae.

Virginia opened its summer practice period on Tuesday, and Bennett said he’s not sure just yet who will be ready to contribute.

“Everyone will have ample opportunity, the newcomers, so to speak,” he said. “To say who, you just don’t know. … There are some opportunities out there. So it’s the returners and we can go down the list of the guys we brought in, but I think they’re excited about the opportunity.

“There’s always a learning curve any time you go from whether it’s high school to college or junior college to college or coming from a redshirt to being eligible. … Going up a level and playing in the ACC, for any of these guys, there’s the challenge of the physicality and the level of talent and the speed.”

Woldetensae, a left-handed shooter, averaged 17.3 points per game and shot 47.6 percent from 3-point range last season at Indian Hills Community College.

“We thought we needed to add some experience and a quality player on the perimeter and when he was mentioned and we did our homework and watched film and all those kinds of things,” he said. “His personality came out as a young man of character and we always start there. He seemed wanting to challenge himself at a very high level.”

The Cavaliers were delighted that Mamadi Diakite decided to come back for his senior year after testing the professional waters. And they added senior transfer Sam Hauser, who averaged 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds last season at Marquette. Hauser will be eligible to practice with the team, but won’t be able to play until 2020-21.

Bennett’s offseason included numerous speaking engagements, recruiting, talking to NBA scouts about his players and some time to decompress.

He also checked an item off his bucket list when, with his father, longtime college coach Dick Bennett, he played Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters. That, he said, “was amazing.”

Now, it’s back to work.

“I’m grateful for the busy-ness of it,” he said of the offseason. “It means something good happened.”