With the 2014-15 college basketball season quickly approaching, Newsday's Greg Logan ranks his top 25 teams.
NCAA runner-up returns guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison, big men Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson, add four McDonald’s All-Americans, including 7-foot Karl-Anthony Towns. Wow.
Responded to NCAA ouster by Mercer with 7-0 Jahlil Okafor, No. 1 recruit, Tyus Jones, Grayson Allen and Justise Winslow in top-rated frosh class. Vets Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon and Amile Jefferson return.
Elite Eight team lost two to NBA, but adds 6-6 SF Stanley Johnson and JUCO SG Kadeem Allen. Wildcats have superb frontcourt with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brandon Ashley and 7-0 Kaleb Tarczewski.
Zags are leading Final Four darkhorse with vet guards Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, 7-1 C Przemek Karnowski, 6-10 Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer, 6-5 USC transfer Byron Wesley and 6-10 frosh Domantis Sabonis.
5. NORTH CAROLINA
5. North Carolina
Roy Williams hasn’t coached as well as he’s recruited but 6-8 Justin Jackson, co-McDonald’s game MVP, and PG Joel Berry join up. Cousy Award finalist Marcus Paige returns, while 6-8 Isaiah Hicks emerges.
Badgers return four starters from Final Four team that lost to Kentucky by a point, 7-foot Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, Traevon Jackson, Josh Gasser. Top recruit is 6-8 Ethan Happ and soph G Bronson Koenig is ready.
Junior F Montrezl Harrell passed NBA to join PG Chris Jones and starting Fs Wayne Blackshear and Mangok Mathiang. Rick Pitino recruited well with 6-7 Shaqquan Aaron, PG Quentin Snider, 6-9 Jaylen Johnson.
SG Michael Frazier is only returning starter from Final Four team. Vets include 6-8 Dorian Finney-Smith, PG Kasey Hill and 6-10 Michigan transfer Jon Horford. Top recruiting class led by 6-8 Devin Robinson.
Wildcats fell victim to national champ UConn in round of 32 but return starting Gs Darrun Hilliard and Ryan Arcidiacono, F JayVaughn Pinkston and C Daniel Ochefu. Soph wing man Josh Hart must produce scoring.
Jayhawks lost No. 1 NBA pick Andrew Wiggins and No. 3 Joel Embiid. Reloaded with 6-8 F Cliff Alexander, 6-8 Ukrainian G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, 6-7 G Kelly Oubre, PG Devonte Graham. F Perry Ellis leads vet core.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
11. Wichita State
13. Iowa State
15. Ohio State
20. San Diego State