2009-2010 College Basketball Preview
Posted by ibleedblue040 on April 7, 2009
Well the 2008-2009 season is over and I dont want to talk about who won the national championship so I feel like it’s a good time to release our preseason top 10 for next season. This is considering some players will be leaving that most likely will and I will state that in the write up of that team.
Villanova loses only three players off of their Final Four team this season and adds perhaps the best recruiting class in the nation. Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson will be big losses but they add a 5-star power forward in Mouphtao Yarou and his high school teammate, a 4-star power forward in Isaiah Armwood. Not to mention signing one of the best shooting guards in the nation in 5-star swingman Dominic Cheek and not to mention also landing one of the top five point guards in the nation in Maalik Wayns, yet another 5-star player.
Junior guard Scottie Reynolds looks to be coming back for his senior season and if he does it looks like Nova will have perhaps the best backcourt in the country. Jay Wright knows how to coach guards and he will have plenty of them next season.
2. North Carolina
You kn0w what they say, they don’t rebuild, they reload. It looks like the Heels will lost perhaps their four best players but they simply fill those voids with underclassmen stepping up and by bringing in elite recruits each year. Next season the Tar Heels will replace Tyler Hansbrough with the emergence of Ed Davis and by signing 5-star big man John Henson, and 4-star twin bigs Travis and David Wear. 5-star point guard Dexter Strickland will help Larry Drew run point when Lawson leaves for the NBA and Leslie McDonald will try to fill the void of Danny Green and Wayne Ellington.
Syracuse, unlike the two teams above, returns all five starters to a team that made it to the Sweet 16 this season, as long as sophomore point guard Jonny Flynn returns for his junior season. Syracuse already has size, length, athleticism and will add even more of these things with the three players coming in next season.
Next season the Orange will have much more experience after going to the Big East championship game this season and making it through the first weekend in the NCAA Tournament.
Purdue, like Syracuse, returns all five starters from a Sweet 16 team this past season. They already play very smart basketball and have as unselfish a team as you will find. Robbie Hummel, Chris Kramer, and E’Twaun Moore provide much needed quickness and versatility while JaJaun Johnson gives them perhaps the most athletic big man in the Big Ten.
Purdue is expected to build upon their Sweet 16 berth next season, maybe even to the Final Four.
Many people have Kansas projected as the preseason #1 team in America for next season. Kansas, in my opinion, lacks a consistent perimeter scorer aside from Sherron Collins and that is what keeps them out of the top spot. If Collins returns, Kansas will also return all five starters. In fact, they will only lose a TOTAL of 8 points off their current roster, or 0.3% of their scoring from this season.
Kansas also has a 5-star point guard and a 5-star power forward coming in to add even more depth to a remarkably deep team. Kansas will be the Big 12 favorite hands down to begin next season.
Duke returns all five starters from the end of the season and will add two McDonald’s All-American big men to help Second Team All-ACC performer Kyle Singler down low. Duke will have experience around the perimeter with Jon Scheyer and perhaps Gerald Henderson if he returns for his senior season.
Although they lose two of their top three scorers from this season Washington will be a top 10 team. They bring in the #2 point guard in the country in Abdul Gaddy to go along with First Team Freshman All-American Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt, Quincy Pondexter on the wing, and freshman Clarence Trent and junior-to-be Matthew Bryan-Amaning in the post.
Although many people believe Kentucky will struggle next season I think they will do very well. Their current roster actually seems to be more well suited for Coach Cal’s system than with the former coach. Kentucky returns all five starters to a 19 win team and will add at least two of the top 50 players in the nation, and may add as many as three more 5-star players.
Realistically it looks like at least 1 of the top 3 players in the nation will be wearing a UK jersey and it will most likely be #1 power forward DeMarcus Cousins. Kentucky has as much length as anyone in the nation and will be able to run with teams and play their traditional tough defense to smother opponents.
Butler is the suprise team in the top 10 because they are the only non-power conference program in the rankings. Butler returns literally every player from a team that made it to the NCAA Tournament this season. Butler plays as mature and consistent as any team in the nation year in, year out and they will be a year better and a year smarter next season. They have size in Matt Howard and Gordan Hayward, perimeter scoring in Shelvin Mack and Zach Hahn, and amazing leadership in Willie Veasley and Avery Jukes
Louisville loses a few key pieces from this season’s Elite Eight team, but can realistically replace them with this season’s role players. Seniors Terrence Williams and Andre McGee depart as well as junior Earl Clark for the NBA. Sophomore-to-be Samardo Samuels will have to step up his play for the Cards to be a factor but that is well within reach, especially under a Hall of Fame caliber coach like Rick Pitino. Peyton Siva will run point with Jerry Smith and Edgar Sosa on the wings and Terrance Jennings, Samuels, and Rakeem Buckles will solidify the paint.