Richey’s predictions and rankings for the 2019-20 males’s basketball season


Rosters for the 2019-20 season are principally set now that the NBA Draft early entrant deadline has handed. Some will nonetheless change — almost 900 transfers accessible this offseason — however there’s actually extra readability at this level. So we tasked Illinois beat author and AP Prime 25 voter SCOTT RICHEY with breaking down the school basketball scene as June begins:

Large Ten Participant of the Yr

1. Cassius Winston, Michigan State

Odds are the Spartans’ level guard shall be an unanimous choice for preseason participant of the yr. And he’s the frontrunner for the tip of the yr, too.

2. Lamar Stevens, Penn State

Stevens’ return makes the Nittany Lions a possible NCAA match group. He’s borderline unstoppable when he’s at his greatest.

3. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois

Ought to the Illini guard pull off a sophomore leap — bumping his stable freshman manufacturing to lock lottery-pick standing — he would possibly get Illinois again to the NCAA tourney.

Nonetheless-Too-Quickly Prime 25

1. Kentucky

One other mixture of veterans (even when simply sophomores) and elite freshmen makes the Wildcats a championship contender.

2. Michigan State

Three of the highest 4 scorers returning for a Closing 4 group means one other shot at that elusive second title for Tom Izzo.

3. Duke

Tre Jones’ return coupled with one other five-star loaded, prime 5 recruiting class will preserve the Blue Devils rolling.

4. Kansas

A wholesome Udoka Azubuike, Devon Dotson’s return and an eligible Silvio De Sousa ought to imply extra success.

5. North Carolina

The Tar Heels had loads of roster turnover, however two elite freshmen and two key grad transfers actually assist to reload.

6. Gonzaga

Level guard is a query mark for Mark Few’s squad, however a Killian Tillie-led frontcourt has the potential to dominate.

7. Louisville

Jordan Nwora pulling his title out of the NBA draft was enormous and pairs a veteran presence with a prime 2019 class.

8. Maryland

Few groups will be capable of boast pretty much as good an inside-out mixture because the Terps will with Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan.

9. Seton Corridor

4 of 5 starters (plus a number of rotation items) return for Kevin Willard’s Pirates after final yr’s 20-win season.

10. Memphis

The problem for Penny Hardaway after touchdown six prime 100 gamers within the 2019 class is determining his rotation.

11. Arizona

Even with controversy swirling round Sean Miller, he nonetheless landed a prime 5 class anchored by two prime 15 guards.

12. Villanova

Returning gamers will see their roles improve and also will be challenged by the No. 9 total 2019 class.

13. Texas Tech

Chris Beard has mainly rebuilt his total group, however he did so with excessive finish grad transfers and prime recruits.

14. Virginia

Time to see if Tony Bennett’s system can face up to shedding Kyle Man, Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter in a single offseason.

15. LSU

The Tigers will return 5 of their prime eight gamers and added a five-star recruit. Lengthy stay Will Wade?

16. Ohio State

The Buckeyes’ success would possibly hinge on how huge a right away impression freshman level guard D.J. Carton can have.

17. Baylor

Whereas there may not be something tremendous thrilling in regards to the Bears, they have an NCAA tourney-caliber group.

18. Utah State

Now that Nevada is not Nevada anymore, the Mountain West is Sam Merrill, Neemias Queta and the Aggies to lose.

19. VCU

Mike Rhoades misplaced simply two complementary items from final yr’s A-10 champs that received 12 straight to finish common season.

20. Auburn

Bruce Pearl has to hit the reset button on his backcourt, however the Tigers’ frontcourt shall be skilled and harmful.

21. Purdue

Certain, the Boilermakers misplaced two of their greatest scorers, however Matt Painter has confirmed he can revamp his roster.

22. Davidson

The highest six scorers are all again for the Wildcats, however Kellan Grady’s well being (nagging knee damage) shall be necessary.

23. Saint Mary’s

Taking down Gonzaga atop the WCC in all probability is not within the playing cards, however the veteran Gaels will make it fascinating.

24. Florida

Pairing sophomore level guard Andrew Nembhard with freshman Scottie Barnes makes for an intriguing Gators backcourt.

25. Washington

Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels might be a wild frontcourt. Simply attempt to ignore the Huskies’ guard points.

Nationwide Participant of the Yr

1. Markus Howard, Marquette

Suppose Howard did lots for the Golden Eagles final season? Think about how productive he’ll be with much less assist. The profession 43 p.c three-point shooter is an incredible scoring risk.

2. Myles Powell, Seton Corridor

The argument might be made Powell was deserving of at the least some All-American honor final season when he averaged 23.1 factors, 4 rebounds and a couple of.9 assists for the Pirates.

3. Cassius Winston, Michigan State

Winston’s utilization went up throughout his junior season, however his effectivity did not actually take successful past three-point taking pictures (the place he nonetheless made 40 p.c of his makes an attempt).

On the recent seat

1. Danny Manning, Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons have adopted up Manning’s solely profitable season (19-14 with a First 4 berth in 2016-17) with consecutive 11-win campaigns. He is 65-93 in 5 years on the helm.

2. Jim Christian, Boston School

Even one of many prime guards within the nation in Ky Bowman could not assist the Eagles final season. Their 14-17 report was Christian’s fourth shedding report in 5 seasons on Chestnut Hill.

3. Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech

Pastner hit the bottom operating with a 21-win season in his first with the Yellow Jackets. He is 27-37 since, and off-the-court points (even when he isn’t within the fallacious) draw extra headlines.


1. Wes Miller, UNC Greensboro

The previous UNC walk-on (member of 2005 title group) received the Spartans’ job at 29 years outdated. After 5 shedding seasons to start out his tenure, he is 81-25 the previous three years.

2. Travis DeCuire, Montana

If DeCuire can construct off consecutive 26-win seasons — and NCAA match appearances — he is sure to attract curiosity. Hiring him away from his alma mater would be the trick.

3. Earl Grant, Charleston

Grant inherited a Cougars’ group within the midst of turmoil after Doug Wojcik’s firing. After a 9-24 first season, Grant has received 89 video games in 4 seasons, together with three with at the least 24 wins.

Impression freshmen

1. Cole Anthony, North Carolina

Coby White turned a one-year stint because the Tar Heels’ level guard into possible lottery decide standing. Anthony may be much more dynamic with the ball in his arms.

2. James Wiseman, Memphis

The consensus No. 1 participant within the class can do issues on the basketball courtroom that the majority 7-footers cannot. He is the centerpiece of the Tigers’ accelerated rebuild.

3. Josiah James, Tennessee

Rick Barnes’ Volunteers want some rapid assist. Enter James, who averaged 29.1 factors, 12.Four rebounds, 5.Three blocks and 4.9 assists as a highschool senior.

Illinois schedule breakdown

1. Arizona

The Illini’s journey to Tucson on Nov. 10 shall be reciprocated in 2020 when the Wildcats go to Champaign. It is the kind of scheduling Brad Underwood mentioned he’d pursue when he received the job in March 2017.

2. Missouri

So long as Mark Smith, Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett are Tigers the rivalry recreation — of which Illinois’ five-year win streak was snapped final December — shall be hotter than ever.

3. Previous Dominion

Jeff Jones’ Monarchs received 26 video games, reached the NCAA match and may return the majority of their roster. The Convention USA champs will not be a simple opponent.

Beneath-the-radar seniors to know

1. Sam Merrill, Utah State

The Aggies’ scoring chief did not even discover his NBA choices. His resolution was to at all times return to Logan, Utah, after averaging 20.9 factors, 4.2 assists and three.9 rebounds as a junior.

2. Yoeli Childs, BYU

Excellent news for brand spanking new BYU coach Mark Pope. He will not have to exchange Childs, who pulled his title out of the NBA draft after placing up 21.2 factors and 9.7 rebounds per recreation final season.

3. Jordan Ford, Saint Mary’s

The 6-foot-1 guard made an enormous leap as a scorer throughout his junior season, bumping his scoring common from 11.1 to 21.1 factors per recreation whereas sustaining his elite three-point taking pictures.

Prime conferences

1. ACC

The league has not solely the reigning nationwide champs in Virginia but additionally three extra groups — Duke, North Carolina and Louisville — that might be within the hunt for the 2020 title.

2. SEC

Soccer and baseball aren’t the one prime sports activities within the SEC. Auburn is coming off a visit to the Closing 4, and John Calipari may need one in every of his extra proficient Kentucky groups.

3. Large Ten

Michigan State is a preseason nationwide championship contender, however the Spartans shall be challenged by Maryland, Ohio State and doubtlessly extra all through the Large Ten season.

Prime venues

1. Rupp Enviornment

Whereas the info for the 2018-19 season has but to be launched, the final time Kentucky wasn’t ranked first or second in common attendance was 1976.

2. The Palestra

Come for the cheesesteaks, stick round for one of the crucial iconic basketball arenas within the nation. Regardless that small in dimension, the Philadelphia landmark epitomizes faculty hoops.

3. Pinnacle Financial institution Enviornment

The nonetheless new residence of the Nebraska Cornhuskers (opened in 2013) has a definite skilled area vibe and is situated proper within the thick of the bustling Haymarket District.


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