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Teams that have impressed/ disappointed in the first month of the season

Teams that have impressed/ disappointed in the first month of the season

This article is looking at the results of the first month of the season and seeing what teams have played well this season to the surprise of many, I then will look at the teams who have gotten off to rough starts and are disappointing so far this season, I will do five teams from each category.

Five teams who have surprised 

Michigan: The Wolverines went to the National Championship last year, however, they lost three of their top four leading scorers so most everyone had Michigan outside the Top-15 and a couple of people didn’t even rank them in the preseason. This team has overachieved to a great extent already this season. First, they went into Villanova and beat the defending champions 73-46, they’ve since won the Hall of Fame Classic by beating Providence 66-47. This past week they then beat two ranked teams at home, as they beat North Carolina 84-67, then beat Purdue 76-57. Ignas Brazdeikis has been sensational to start the season, as he leads the team in scoring, Charles Matthews has been a consistent scorer, while Jordan Poole has made the step forward most expected. On the defensive end, Jon Teske has become one of the best shot-blockers in the country, while Zavier Simpson has is maybe the best defender in the country, as he shuts down opposing guards with ease. This defense has been sensational thus far, that added with an improved offense and you have a really good team.

Wisconsin: The Badgers have been a pleasant surprise to start the season as they have started 7-1, with that one loss coming to Virginia in the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship game. Ethan Happ has been an All-American player thus far this season, as he is scoring, rebounding and passing at a high level. His skills make him one of the toughest guards in the country. D’Mitrik Trice has also been sensational to start the season, as he’s averaging more than 17 points per game while shooting 58 percent from three. Brad Davison does all the little stuff to help them win. Their big three, combined with a solid bench has allowed this team to go from unranked in the preseason to Top-15 in the country.

Texas Tech: This team has been impressive to start the season, as they are 7-0, which includes wins over USC, Nebraska, and Memphis all on neutral courts. Jarrett Culver has been spectacular to start the season, as he is averaging 19 points per game, while he looks poised to get drafted this season. Transfers, Matt Mooney and Tariq Owens have provided the veteran experience they have needed to be good. The biggest surprise might have come from Davide Moretti, who has emerged as the teams starting point guard, filling in almost seamlessly for Keenan Evans. This team didn’t come in with a lot of talent in the preseason, however, they are tough on the defensive end, and have enough offensive talent to score at a high level.

Ohio State: Ohio State has started the season 7-1, which includes wins at Creighton and at Cincinnati already, while they started the season number one in the new NET ranking. Kaleb Wesson has taken the step needed to be a great player, as he is averaging 14.5 points per game. Senior CJ Jackson provides the scoring and experience needed to run the point guard position effectively.  The freshmen duo of Duane Washington Jr. and Luther Muhammad have been great thus far this year. The Buckeyes also have multiple guys who can lead this team in scoring that currently come off the bench. This team has been great thus far this season and head coach Chris Holtmann is one of the best coaches in the sport.

Furman: The Paladins have been great so far this season, as they are currently undefeated, which includes wins on the road at two of last years Final Four teams in Loyola-Chicago and at Villanova. The Paladins season has been filled with special moments thus far this season. The Paladins went on the road and beat Loyola-Chicago 60-58, with the game being decided on a game-winning posterization by Clay Mounce. Guard, Jordan Lyons tied an NCAA record when he hit 15 threes against North Greenville. The Paladins then went on the road and beat Villanova 76-68 in overtime. These results have now gotten Furman into the AP Top-25, while they are now currently the favorites to win the Southern Conference.

Five teams who have disappointed

North Carolina: The Tar Heels entered into this season with National Championship expectations, however, thus far this season they haven’t looked good. They started 5-0 but they then struggled in Las Vegas by losing to Texas, then needing a second-half charge to beat UCLA. The Tar Heels looked good for about 10 minutes at Michigan but they then got run off the court by the Wolverines, eventually losing 84-67. Roy Williams has not seen great play from preseason ACC Player of the year Luke Maye, while Williams refuses to start projected Top-3 pick Nassir Little, which is very dumb in my opinion. This team is far from a finished product and will probably rebound to finish in the top-3 in the ACC but their start to the season has been pretty bad.

Villanova: The defending National Champions lost four of their top-six scorers to the NBA, so the expectation was that this would be a down year for Villanova, however, no one could have seen a start this bad coming. The Wildcats played Michigan at home as part of the Gavitt Games and they lost 73-46, which showed the first flashes of what was to come. They then turned around and lost a home game to a Furman team that wasn’t even projected to finish in the top-two of the SoCon preseason. The Wildcats rebounded next week to win the AdvoCare Invitational, which I guess showed some light in what has been a dark start to their season.

Florida: The Gators were a pretty consensus Top-25 team heading into the preseason, and personally I thought this team had a chance to be a backdoor Final Four level team. The thought was that KeVaughn Allen and Jalen Hudson would both be elite scorers, while the point guard production out of Andrew Nembhard would be good, and then they would get just enough from their bigs to win games. Well thus far this year, Hudson and Allen have been terrible, Andrew Nembhard and other role players have been decent but that’s not enough to win against good opponents.  Thus far this season the Gators have one double-digit averaging scorer and that has been Deaundre Ballard, which is less than ideal. The Gators right now have lost at Florida State by 21, and to Oklahoma and Butler in the Battle 4 Atlantis, which has led to a 4-3 record on the season.

Miami: The Hurricanes started the season as well as you could have wanted as they went 5-0, they had a good shot to beat Seton Hall in the Wooden Legacy to move to 6-0, however, since then it has been a disappointment for the Hurricanes, as they lost 83-81 to the Pirates, then followed that up with home losses to Rutgers and Yale. This team has been hurt by the FBI Investigation as Dewan Hernandez has yet to play this season, he was expected to make a big impact inside. Meanwhile, they are very undersized and have trouble against teams with more size at the guard position.

Oregon: The Ducks started the season as a Top-15 team in the preseason, however, with a 4-3 start to the season, this team lands on the disappointment list. This team lost to Iowa in the 2K Classic, however, they rebounded to beat a good Syracuse team, so it wasn’t a total bad result for the Ducks. The bad part of the season then came when the Ducks lost back to back games, first against Texas Southern 89-84, then losing 65-61 at Houston. Bol Bol and Payton Pritchard are the only real threats on offense, while playing three bigs with Paul White, Kenny Wooten, and Bol Bol all at the same time is a big issue floor spacing and also defensively. This team thus far this season doesn’t look like a tournament team, much less a Top-15 team like the preseason polls had them.

 

 

 

Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Preview

Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Preview

Today begins the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational, which has a loaded group of four, headlined by North Carolina and Michigan State, while they have two good teams with Texas and UCLA playing as well. North Carolina is the tournament favorite as they have the best player in the field in Luke Maye and a deep roster filled with many great players. Michigan State was a preseason Top-10 team, they have a good roster. Texas and UCLA are seemingly behind those two teams, however, I think both teams are capable of winning two games in this event. Below I will give a power rankings with a preview and then I will give my predictions for each game.

Power Rankings:

1.North Carolina: The Tar Heels have an absolutely stacked roster filled with multiple high-level players. Luke Maye is considered the best player on the team, as he can score and rebound at a high level. He plays well alongside a roster that includes Coby White, Cam Johnson, Nassir Little, Garrison Brooks, and Kenny Williams. This team will be expected to win the event, as their roster is the most talented, however, they do need to be on upset alert.

2.Michigan State: The Spartans have a talented team with a good group of experienced veterans, along with some good young players. Cassius Winston is a great point guard, while Josh Langford is a good scorer on the wing. The Spartans will be needing players like Nick Ward, Xavier Tillman, and Kenny Goins to step up in the frontcourt if they do want to win this event. Look for this Michigan State team to win in round one, while potentially winning the event if they can beat either Texas or North Carolina.

3.Texas: The Longhorns have gotten off to a good start to the season, as they enter this event still undefeated. Kerwin Roach is the senior leader, he’s been playing great this season, while Dylan Osetkowski is a good Robin to Roach’s Batman. The Longhorns have struggled at times to create offense, which could hurt them in this tournament but they certainly have the ability to shut down teams. I think the Longhorns will probably go 1-1 in this event, as they won’t have a good enough offense to win two games but they’re still good enough on the defensive end to win a game.

4.UCLA: The Bruins are also off to a good start to the season as they have yet to lose, the only problem is that they really haven’t played anyone. Moses Brown is a beast inside, while Kris Wilkes is the star-guard who leads them in scoring. The real key will be what they can get out of players like Jaylen Hands, Chris Smith, Jules Bernard, and Prince Ali, who are more of role players. If they can get a good showing out of them, they will have an opportunity to win a game in this event, if not they could leave this event with two losses.

Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational Predictions:

Round One:

North Carolina 74 Texas 68

Michigan State 81 UCLA 69

Championship Rounds:

3rd Place Game: Texas 75 UCLA 70

Championship Game: Michigan State 78 North Carolina 77

NIT Season Tip-Off Preview

NIT Season Tip-Off Preview

Today begins the NIT Season Tip-Off, an exciting tournament with four teams who look to make it back to the NCAA Tournament and two teams who are legitimate contenders for a National Championship. Kansas is the headliner, they entered into the season as the preseason number one team, they will be looking to prove to the sport that they are the team to beat. Tennessee is a preseason Top-10 team, who looks to make a run a Final Four, while they could make a statement by winning this event. Marquette has the most exciting player in the field in Markus Howard, while Louisville has a new head coach in Chris Mack, who will want to make an early-season statement. Below I will give a power rankings with a preview and then I will give my predictions for each game.

Power Rankings:

1.Kansas: Kansas obviously comes into this game as the favorites to win the event as on paper they have the most talented team. The frontcourt duo of Dedric Lawson and Udoka Azubuike might be the best in the sport. Lagerald Vick enters into this event making 15 of his last 20 three-pointers, headlined by an 8-8 night against Vermont. They also have two five-star freshmen in Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson, who have been good with the ball this season. This Kansas team should be considered the tournament favorites and they should win this tournament, however, you never know.

2.Tennessee: The Volunteers may not be the tournament favorites, however, they are a really good team, that could potentially win this event. The headline player is Grant Williams, who is the reigning SEC Player of the year and he has looked even better this year, as he is putting up gigantic numbers. Kyle Alexander and Admiral Schofield continue to be really good in the frontcourt, while Jordan’s Bone and Bowden continue to play well in the backcourt. This team should win game one, setting up a likely matchup against tournament favorite Kansas, if they win that game they will pick up a huge win.

3.Marquette: Marquette has maybe the best player in the tournament in Markus Howard. Howard is already putting up big numbers this year, while Sam Hauser is also playing well to start the season. Other than those two the Golden Eagles really have some concerns with the other players around them. They still should be able to get a win in this event but it would be hard to imagine them beating Kansas in the first round.

4.Louisville: The Cardinals come into this game with a good group of inexperienced pieces, so this tournament can only give them a chance to learn and get better. The best player has been Jordan Nwora, who has been great coming off the bench for Louisville, while Darius Perry, Steven Enoch, and VJ King have looked good thus far this year. I think this team should play it close in both their games but I think they likely go 0-2 in this event.

NIT Season Tip-Off Predictions:

Round One:

Kansas 87 Marquette 78

Tennessee 71 Louisville 59

Championship Rounds:

3rd Place Game: Marquette 79 Louisville 74

Championship Game: Kansas 76 Tennessee 70

Battle 4 Atlantis Preview

Battle 4 Atlantis Preview

Today begins the Battle 4 Atlantis, which once again has a great field, headlined by last years number one overall seed Virginia. Wisconsin, Florida, and Butler all look like good teams who should make the NCAA Tournament. The bottom four of Oklahoma, Stanford, Dayton, and Middle Tennessee are all projected to miss the NCAA Tournament but they all could make a statement in the Bahamas. Here I will give a power rankings with a preview and then I will give my predictions for each game.

Power Rankings:

1.Virginia: The Cavaliers have a dominant regular season team, as they continue to defend at a high level, while they sprinkle in some good offense. Ty Jerome has been a complete stud thus far this year, while his backcourt mate Kyle Guy continues to shoot the ball at a high level. De’Andre Hunter, Mamadi Diakite, and Braxton Key have formed a great versatile frontcourt, while Jack Salt and Jay Huff are quality inside. This team should win the tournament, as they are clearly the best team in the tournament in my opinion.

2.Wisconsin: The Badgers have one of the best players in the country in Ethan Happ, along with some great pieces around them. Happ might be the best player in this tournament, he should continue to perform at a high level. Brad Davidson, D’Mitrik Trice, Khalil Iverson, and Brevin Pritzl are all solid pieces around Happ, which is key. This team should probably win two games in this tournament, although they certainly have the talent to win the Battle 4 Atlantis title.

3.Butler: The other team with a star-player is Butler with Kamar Baldwin, who has is an elite level guard. Baldwin already is putting up huge numbers both scoring and passing the ball. Paul Jorgensen has become the second scorer for the Bulldogs, while the frontcourt pair of Joey Brunk and Nate Fowler are both solid players. Aaron Thompson, Henry Baddley, and Sean McDermott are all solid pieces who work well around Kamar Baldwin. This team will probably win game one before they might lose to Virginia in the second round of the tournament.

4.Florida: The Gators have a team that on paper could beat anyone this year, however, they will need to have their players step up. Jalen Hudson is the best player on the Gators, while KeVaughn Allen has proven himself to be a great player in years past. Andrew Nembhard, Deaundre Ballard, Keyontae Johnson, Kevarrius Hayes, and Keith Stone all are proven, solid players. The Gators have a solid roster that should win a game or two in this tournament.

5.Oklahoma: The Sooners lost Trae Young to the NBA and because of that this team looked to be in rebuild mode, however, they look like a better team this year. Christian James has been putting up monster stats thus far this year, while Aaron Calixte and Brady Manek are both solid contributors. I think this Oklahoma team could potentially knock off Florida, which could help them pick up a couple of quadrant one wins.

6.Middle Tennessee: The Blue Raiders are seemingly in rebuilding mode right now, however, they still are a solid team. Antonio Green looks to be the teams next great transfer to average big numbers. They also have four other players who are scoring in double figures with Reggie Scurry, Donovan Sims, Karl Gamble, and James Hawthorne. Look for this team to pick up a win or two in this event and who knows, maybe they knock off Virginia in the first round.

7.Dayton: The Atlantic 10 has not been good thus far this year but Dayton could be here to rescue the conference by doing well in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Flyers have six double-digit scorers in Josh Cunningham, Obi Toppin, Ryan Mikesell, Jordan Davis, Trey Landers, and Jalen Crutcher. This team might win a game or two in this tournament but they probably aren’t winning this event.

8.Stanford: The Cardinal are a young team that looks poised to be good in a couple of years but maybe not right now. KZ Okpala has put up big numbers thus far this year, while Daejon Davis and Cormac Ryan are both good players. This event will be a good thing in terms of getting these players experience, however, I would be surprised if they won more than a game in this event.

My Battle 4 Atlantis Predictions:

Round One:

Virginia 78 Middle Tennessee 44

Butler 78 Dayton 67

Wisconsin 76 Stanford 53

Florida 76 Oklahoma 75

Round Two:

Virginia 67 Butler 56

Wisconsin 71 Florida 64

Middle Tennessee 78 Dayton 75

Oklahoma 89 Stanford 76

Championship Rounds:

7th Place Game: Dayton 81 Stanford 76

5th Place Game: Oklahoma 84 Middle Tennessee 74

3rd Place Game: Butler 73 Florida 72

Championship Game: Virginia 56 Wisconsin 44

Maui Invitational Preview

Maui Invitational Preview

Today begins the Maui Invitational, which promises to be fun. We will have three Top-10 teams playing in the event as Duke, Auburn, and Gonzaga will all be there. Iowa State, Xavier, and Arizona are all currently projected to make the NCAA Tournament, they will be looking to make a statement in this event. Illinois and San Diego State are considered the two worst teams in the event but even they have the talent to make the NCAA Tournament. Everyone is expecting a Duke-Gonzaga final game, which would be fun, however, that may not be all said and done. Here I will give my Power Rankings for each team in the field and then I will predict each game in the Maui Invitational.

Power Rankings:

1.Duke: The Blue Devils have taken over the sport of College Basketball, having the best player in the sport thus far in Zion Williamson and arguably having the best team in the sport. While Zion gets all the headlines, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish have both shown out thus far this season, while Tre Jones has been rock solid running the show at the point guard position. This team might be the best team currently in the AP Poll but they will have to earn everything if they are going to take home the title in Maui.

2.Auburn: The Tigers are my number two team in this event in part due to the fact Gonzaga is without Killian Tillie, however, even then this team is still a Top-10 team. Jared Harper and Bryce Brown provide a great 1-2 punch in the backcourt, while frontcourt players like Chuma Okeke, Anfernee McLemore, and Austin Wiley all are very talented. Add in a couple of shooters like Samir Doughty, Horace Spencer, and Malik Dunbar and you have maybe the most complete roster in Maui. This team should win their first game, setting them up with a likely matchup against tournament favorite Duke, which should be all sorts of fun.

3.Gonzaga: Gonzaga will be without Killian Tillie, however, the rest of their roster is loaded. The headliner for Gonzaga is Rui Hachimura, who is averaging 22 points per game thus far this year. Zach Norvell Jr. is a great second option, as he can knock shots down at a high level, while Brandon Clarke is arguably the second most athletic player in this field. The Bulldogs do also have a solid backcourt with Josh Perkins, Corey Kispert, and Geno Crandall that should be key for them. They’ll have potentially the easiest road to the title game, as they won’t be forced to play any teams currently ranked.

4.Iowa State: The Cyclones come in with I think the clear fourth best roster, as they have lots of scoring options. Lindell Wiggington is the Cyclones best player, as he is a great scorer, however, he is expected to miss the event with an injury. Nick Weiler-Babb is Mr. 10, 5, and 5, as he consistently scores 10 points while dishing out assists at a high level. Transfers Marial Shayok and Michael Jacobsen have both been great coming out of the gate for the Cyclones, while the freshmen duo of  Talen Horton-Tucker and Tyrese Haliburton have been pretty good. This team may not be a Top-10 team but they will certainly have a chance to knock one or two of them off even without their best player. 

5.Arizona: The Wildcats are in rebuild mode, however, they still have a team that could make the tournament and those odds would only be improved with a couple of wins in the Maui Invitational. The two Brandon’s have arguably been the two best players thus far this year, Randolph has been a great scorer, while Williams has taken over as the teams point guard. Transfers Chase Jeter, Ryan Luther, and Justin Coleman have been solid contributors, while they still do have some solid players like Ira Lee, Emmanuel Akot, and Dylan Smith coming off the bench. This team may end up in the losers bracket but they will have a good chance to win a couple of games in Maui playing in the Losers Bracket.

6.Xavier: The Musketeers are in rebuild mode, as they lost the majority of their scoring, while also losing Chris Mack to Louisville. This team still does have solid players like Quentin Gooding, Naji Marshall, and Tyrique Jones, while they have solid transfers like Ryan Welage, Zach Hankins, and Kyle Castlin. This team will probably lose in game one, which will set them up for a potential run to fifth place in the event.

7.Illinois: Illinois has come into this season with low expectations but they have looked good thus far this season, as they’ve blown out Evansville and hung in with Georgetown without their best player. Trent Frazier is probably their best player, he is probably going to be back in this event after missing the Georgetown game with a concussion. Freshman Ayo Dosunmu has been a stud thus far, while players like Andres Feliz, Aaron Jordan, and Kipper Nichols are good players. This team will probably lose most if not all of their games, however, they will be a fun team to watch while losing.

8.San Diego State: San Diego State is a solid team that should probably finish second in the Mountain West, however, they will need to win games in this event to have a chance at an at-large bid. Devin Watson, Matt Mitchell, Jeremy Hemsley, and Jordan Schakel all are solid players, while Jalen McDaniels is a legitimate NBA prospect. They will have a chance to knock off Duke in game one but if not they will be stuck in the Losers Bracket.

My Maui Invitational Predictions:

Round One:

Duke 100 San Diego State 76

Auburn 94 Xavier 73

Gonzaga 110 Illinois 88

Iowa State 76 Arizona 67

Round Two:

Auburn 93 Duke 88

Gonzaga 81 Iowa State 73

Xavier 75 San Diego State 71

Arizona 91 Illinois 87

Championship Rounds:

7th Place Game: Illinois 87 San Diego State 82

5th Place Game: Arizona 75 Xavier 74

3rd Place Game: Duke 84 Iowa State 76

Championship Game: Auburn 87 Gonzaga 81

Hot Takes for this upcoming season

Hot Takes for this Upcoming Season

As the season draws near I wanted to put out some hot takes for this upcoming season. Will these takes all come true? Absolutely not, however, it is a fun way to prepare for the season. I decided to do 16 hot takes because it represents how many seeds there are in the NCAA Tournament, while it also is a good number of hot takes to have. All of these takes I think have a good chance of actually happening and it will be a fun thing to look back at at the end of the season. Here below are my 16 Hot takes involving this season in College Basketball.

1.Kentucky will not win the SEC regular season title outright

Kentucky has a really good team, however, the SEC will be really tough and really deep, while the Wildcats sometimes have mid-season slumps. Meanwhile Tennessee has a great group of returning veterans, who have won the SEC regular-season title already, while they do own a slightly easier SEC schedule. I do still think the Wildcats will win the SEC regular season title, however, they will share it with Tennessee, who should also have a great season.

2.The Mountain West will have as many teams in the NCAA Tournament than the Pac-12

The Mountain West is back this year as Nevada looks to be a Top-10 team, while the Pac-12 is set to have one of the worst seasons in the conferences history. I think Nevada’s high NET rating should help carry over to other Mountain West teams like San Diego State, which could help propel them to an At-large bid. Meanwhile the Pac-12 will struggle in non-conference play and most teams won’t have enough quality wins to get into the Tournament. I think the Mountain West and Pac-12 will both get two NCAA Tournament bids this season.

3.Purdue will win the Big Ten regular-season title, Carsen Edwards will win National Player of the year because of it

The Big Ten is up for grabs this season and while Michigan State is everyone’s favorite, other teams could sneak into the mix. One of those teams in the Purdue Boilermakers, who lost a lot from last season but they will have the best player in the conference. I think Edwards puts up huge stats this season, while he will help lead Purdue to enough wins to win the Big Ten outright. His ability to carry Purdue to the Big Ten title should help him become the National Player of the year.

4.The ACC will have a record 11 teams make the NCAA Tournament

The ACC is absolutely loaded this season, as they have seven preseason Top-25 teams, while teams like NC State, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Miami all look poised to pull off some upsets in the regular season. The ACC should be able to get a high NET rating by having so many good teams, while those four will be able to accumulate the number of wins needed to make the NCAA Tournament.

5.Five AP Preseason Top-25 Teams will miss the NCAA Tournament

The Preseason AP Top-25 is always a good outline for the upcoming season, however, there are some outlier teams that will miss the NCAA Tournament from the list of 25. I think the number will be five this year, as there are multiple teams that could miss the NCAA Tournament. Washington, LSU, Mississippi State, and Oregon all missed the NCAA Tournament last year, they are top contenders to miss the Tournament. UCLA has seen almost their entire team get injured before the season has even started. TCU, Michigan, Purdue and West Virginia all lost some pretty big pieces from this past season. All these teams are all are in the Preseason Top-25, however, at least five of these or other teams will miss the NCAA Tournament.

6.Texas is Back

When it comes to Texas the phrase recently around the football is whether or not Texas is back, this carries over to Basketball where the Longhorns are looking to return to national relevancy. They have a solid core of veterans with Kerwin Roach, Dylan Osetkowski, and Matt Coleman, while they have a lot of great group of young players that will get key minutes this season. This year is that year where they will do that as I think they will finish outright third in the Big 12 and make a second-weekend run, which would make for the most successful season for Shaka Smart and the Longhorns.

7.The Big 12 will have just as many NCAA Tournament teams than the SEC

The Big 12 is always stacked, however, most people think though that the SEC will get more bids because their league is more stacked this season. I think the Big 12 will continue to have a high NET rating, which should help them get seven at-large teams. I think the bottom of the SEC will hurt their NET ratings, hurting teams like South Carolina and Vanderbilt who are pushing for that eight bid, this indirectly will help the Big 12 get just as many bids as the SEC.

8.UCLA misses the NCAA Tournament, Steve Alford gets fired

UCLA is a Top-25 team in the preseason, which is way too high, considering they lost such a big player from last year in Aaron Holiday. Wilkes and Hands are now expected to be the team leaders and while they do have a solid group of incoming freshmen none are star worthy. Plus they also have had a ton of injuries already this season, I think all these things will combine to keep UCLA out of the NCAA Tournament. After missing the NCAA Tournament when they were a preseason Top-25 team, UCLA will pull the plug on Steve Alford and they will fire him.

9.DePaul will finish 9th in the Big East, not last

DePaul is once again expected to finish last in the Big East, however, with the duo of Eli Cain and Max Strus the Blue Demons should be decent for DePaul standards. The Blue Demons will be able to have a decent season, while teams like Creighton, Georgetown, and Seton Hall could struggle in Big East play this season. I look for the Blue Demons to have a decent season, which should help them make have a record that won’t be last in the Big East this season.

10.St. John’s will win the Big East Tournament

The Big East is up for grabs this season, as Villanova doesn’t look as decent as they have in years past, I still do think they’ll win the Big East regular-season title but they could fall in the Big East Tournament. This leaves the door wide open for a hometown team like St. John’s to win the Big East Tournament. I think Shamorie Ponds will have a big tournament run, while Mustapha Heron will help play second fiddle to Ponds. This team will be scrappy in March, which I think will help them win the league tournament.

11.Loyola-Chicago will not win the Missouri Valley Conference

Loyola-Chicago had a great run in the NCAA Tournament, as they made it to the Final Four. While that was great, they do lose a lot with Aundre Jackson, Donte Ingram, and Ben Richardson all graduating. While most think Loyola will still be great with Clayton Custer and Marques Townes coming back, I think they will struggle this season, having somewhat of a hangover from last year. Meanwhile teams like Southern Illinois and Illinois State will all have good teams this season, that look poised to knock off the Ramblers.

12.Memphis will win the AAC

The AAC is up for grabs this season as Cincinnati, Wichita State and Houston all lost huge pieces from last years team. Most think UCF will be the favorites to win the conference, however, I think Memphis will surprise everyone by winning the AAC title. Jeremiah Martin will have a great season, while Kareem Brewton Jr, Kyvon Davenport, Tyler Harris, and Alex Lomax will help propel Memphis to the top of the AAC title in year one of the Penny Hardaway era.

13.The AAC will be a better conference than the Pac-12

The Pac-12 is expected to have a down season, as I think only two teams will make the NCAA Tournament from this conference, while only six teams will be projected Top-75 teams in the sport. While the AAC doesn’t have Oregon or Washington, who are Top-25 worthy teams, the depth of their league 1-9 will be better than the Pac-12, which will lead the AAC to having a better computer rating than the Pac-12 this season.

14.Buffalo will make the Sweet 16

Buffalo surprised everyone last year by beating Arizona in the NCAA Tournament as a 13 seed. They return mostly everyone from last years team, which should help them win the MAC once again. I think they enter the NCAA Tournament as a 11 or 12 seed, they’ll pull off one of two early upsets, which would get them into the Sweet 16 this season.

15.Nevada and Gonzaga will face each other in the Elite Eight

Nevada and Gonzaga are both going to be contending for the top seed in the West Region this year, I think they’ll wind up being the top two seeds in the West Region. I think both teams avoid upsets and will set up the biggest game in mid-major history as Nevada and Gonzaga will play each other to make it to the Final Four. Either team could win this game but the main part is that one of these teams will make a Final Four.

16.Virginia will make the Final Four

As we all know, Virginia lost to a 16 seed last year, which is why it would only be fitting for my 16th hot take to have them avenging their NCAA Tournament nightmares, while making the Final Four this season. Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome will both continue to be a great duo in the backcourt, while De’Andre Hunter and Braxton Key should help push Virginia over the edge this season.

Making The Madness Preseason All-American Awards Predictions

Making The Madness Preseason All-American Awards Predictions

Player of the year

Carsen Edwards – Purdue – 6’1” – Junior – Guard

As a sophomore Carsen Edwards put up huge numbers scoring 18.5 points per game while chipping in close to 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Edwards did that despite playing alongside 4 all-program level seniors, however, they left leaving him as the lone player. He will be given a lot more touches this year, which means his numbers should only go up, look for him to lead the Big Ten in scoring, while if Purdue can be a Top-25 team with Edwards doing that he should win player of the year.

Defensive Player of the year

De’Andre Hunter – Virginia – 6’7” – Sophomore – Forward

Virginia is always one of the best defensive teams in the sport and this year they will have a lockdown defender with De’Andre Hunter. Hunter is 6’7” with guard-like quickness and with a 7-foot wingspan he can guard big men inside. Hunter should have a high steal and block rate, which will all help the Cavaliers win games throughout the season.

Freshman of the year

RJ Barrett – Duke – 6’7” – Freshman – Guard

Barrett is the top-ranked recruit in the class for good reason, as he is a long and athletic guard who can hit shots from all over the court. He should put up big numbers this season, which should help lead him to be the top pick in the upcoming draft while getting some All-American accolades.

Coach of the year

Shaka Smart – Texas

Most people have the Longhorns being a middle of the pack team in the Big 12, however, I am much higher on Texas this season, as I think they will be a Top-20 team. If they can play to that Top-20 level this season, while Smart deals with some adversity with Andrew Jones’ health concerns, Smart could be win Coach of the year this season.

Transfer of the year

Dedric Lawson – Kansas – 6’9” – Junior – Forward

The transfer of the year award will likely go to Dedric Lawson, he put up huge numbers at Memphis in his sophomore season. Last year he sat out but many people said that he was the best player in practice. I look for him to come in right away and make a big impact as he looks poised to be a First-Team All-American while leading Kansas to another Big 12 title.

All-American Teams

First Team

Carsen Edwards – Purdue – 6’1” – Junior – Guard

RJ Barrett – Duke – 6’7” – Freshman – Guard

Dedric Lawson – Kansas – 6’9” – Junior – Forward

Tremont Waters – LSU – 5’11” – Sophomore – Guard

Waters is a good scorer and passer, he should put up good stats this season while leading LSU to an NCAA Tournament.

Luke Maye – North Carolina – 6’8” – Senior – Forward

The only senior on this list is North Carolina forward Luke Maye, Maye is a good stretch big man who looks poised to lead the Tar Heels in scoring and rebounding.

Second Team

Shamorie Ponds – St. John’s – 6’1” – Junior – Guard

Shamorie Ponds has put up huge numbers in the past for the Red Storm, he should continue to do so this season while helping St. John’s get back to the NCAA Tournament.

Markus Howard – Marquette – 5’11” – Junior – Guard

Howard is one of the most prolific scorers in the sport, as he has proven he can make shots from anywhere, look for him to put up big numbers this year for a Marquette team that should be Top-25 good.

Caleb Martin – Nevada – 6’7” – Senior – Forward

Caleb Martin is the Wolf Pack’s best scorer, he has proven the ability to make shots from everywhere, he should lead a great Nevada team in scoring.

Grant Williams – Tennessee – 6’7” – Junior – Forward

Williams is the reigning SEC player of the year, he allows the offense to run through him, scoring at a high level, while he is a good rebounder and defender.

Dean Wade – Kansas State – 6’11” – Senior – Forward

Kansas State has one of the best big men in the sport in Dean Wade, Wade has the ability to make shots from anywhere on the court, while he is a good interior defender.

Third Team

Cassius Winston – Michigan State – 6’0” – Junior – Guard

The Spartans have one of the best point guards in the country in Cassius Winston, he is an elite passer, while being a good shooter from the field and from three, knocking down over 50 percent of his shots last season.

Tyus Battle – Syracuse – 6’6” – Junior – Guard

Tyus Battle put up good numbers last year for a struggling Syracuse team if the Orange become a top-20 team this season like most expect he should become an All-American.

Nassir Little – North Carolina – 6’6” – Freshman – Forward

Little is more of a pro prospect, however, he looks poised to put up good numbers this season, as he should be able to score and rebound with ease.

Eric Paschall – Villanova – 6’7” – Junior – Forward

Paschall has been a great glue-guy for Villanova in the past but this year he looks poised to break out and put up big numbers for the Wildcats this season.

PJ Washington – Kentucky – 6’7” – Sophomore – Forward

Kentucky is going to be really good this year, which means someone from their team will make an All-American team, Washington could be the leading scorer and rebounder for the team which would allow him to make it on this list.

What bets to take while picking a National Champion

What bets to take while picking a National Champion

Good Bets

Kansas +950

Kansas is the preseason number one team in the country by everyone, yet based off the Bovada sportsbook they have the fifth-best odds in the sport. Pretty much if you can get any preseason number one team at the fifth best odds, I would recommend looking into this as a bet.

North Carolina +1500

North Carolina is a team that always seems to do well in the NCAA Tournament, especially when they have teams with this much talent. The Tar Heels should at least make it to the second weekend and a Roy Williams led team always has the potential to deliver.

Virginia +1800

Yes Virginia has been a consistent disappointment in the NCAA Tournament in years past, however, that doesn’t mean they won’t deliver this year. The Cavaliers should be a Top-2 seed and they look poised to get some redemption this season, so getting them at +1800 is good value.

Syracuse +4000

The Orange have a recent history of making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament and that could continue this year as they return everyone, while adding some solid freshmen. I’m not saying this team will win a National Championship (they probably won’t) but if they did this would be a nice payout.

Kansas State +10000

This might be the best value bet in the sport, as Kansas State is a consensus Top-15 team in the country and they have great value. Kansas State might not deliver but they have the talent to make another deep NCAA Tournament run and you never know, Kansas State could win it all and then you would make a great profit.

Bad Bets

Duke +500

The Blue Devils definitely have the talent to win a National Championship but they have no where near the experience needed to be a favorite to win it all. The Blue Devils should be good this season but can you really rely on a team like this to win six straight games in March? Even if they do win it all, their odds aren’t even good enough to get you a good payout.

Nevada +800

I like this Nevada as much as anyone but having them at +800 might be a little high. This is a Wolf Pack team that hasn’t ever made it to the Final Four, I’ll wait until they do that before betting on them to win it all, especially with these odds.

West Virginia +4000

West Virginia had Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles Jr. on their team last year and they didn’t even make it to the Final Four, why would they do so without them? They should still be a decent team, however, betting for them to win a title would be a little crazy.

UCLA +4000

UCLA has a lot of issues surrounding them right now, so why would you waste money by picking them to win a title. They have very little experience, they have lost two role players to season-ending injuries, and they also don’t have a team with that much talent, to begin with. Picking them to win it all, especially with these odds would be just a waste of your money.

Wichita State +5500

Gregg Marshall is an elite head coach, who wins at a high level, however, his roster this year is not good at all. The Shockers are a long-shot to make the Tournament not to mention win a title, it would be dumb to bet them at +5500.

All Bets according to Bovada Sports Book based on odds listed in the link below:

https://www.bovada.lv/sports/basketball/college-basketball/2019-ncaa-men-s-championship-odds-to-win-201903311900

Making the Madness is not responsible for any money lost by gambling.

Southeastern Conference Preview

SEC Conference Preview

Conference Outlook

The SEC has been known to be a football conference in the past but this year that will change, as they have the talent to be one of the best conferences in the sport. The league has three teams in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Auburn that are reasonable Top-10 teams and they will have a legitimate chance to win a National Championship in addition to winning the SEC. LSU, Mississippi State, and Florida are all Top-25 level teams, although they are likely a tier behind the trio at the top. Alabama and Vanderbilt look to push for NCAA Tournament bids, as both teams have the talent to beat quality teams. The final six of South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Mississippi are all teams that seem to be behind the curve but all have the talent to push for a tournament bid. The SEC has had good years in the past, headlined by Florida and Kentucky but this year the league looks to be a strong as it has ever been, as the conference will look for multiple Final Four teams, and a goal of having the National Champion come out of their conference.

Power Rankings along with team Breakdowns

1.Kentucky Wildcats: The Wildcats always bring in a good recruiting class, which is no different from most years, however, this year they have a good core of experienced veterans. The dominant duo inside will be with Reid Travis and PJ Washington, while Quade Green and Nick Richards both have a year of experience behind them. As usual, the Wildcats have a great recruiting class, this year that is headlined by Keldon Johnson, EJ Montgomery, Tyler Herro, Immanuel Quickley, and Ashton Hagans. Look for Kentucky to be dominant in non-conference play, while staving off other teams for another SEC regular season title.

2.Tennessee Volunteers: The Volunteers surprised everyone last season by winning a share of the SEC regular-season title. This year they return almost everyone, headlined by the reigning SEC Player of the year Grant Williams, while Admiral Schofield, Kyle Alexander, Jordan Bone, Jordan Bowden, and Lamonte Turner all were key for Tennessee last year. Look for the Volunteers to challenge Kentucky at the top of the SEC standings, while they seem poised for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

3.Auburn Tigers: The Tigers overcame the FBI Investigation and losing two great players in route to their first regular season title since 1999. The Tigers were forced to play small as both Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley both were suspended, however, both of them return this season to mix with a good core of Jared Harper, Bryce Brown, Anfernee McLemore, Malik Dunbar, Horace Spencer, Samir Doughty, and Chuma Okeke. Look for this team to be one of the main challengers to Kentucky and Tennessee atop the SEC standings, while they will look to make a deeper NCAA Tournament run than last year.

4.LSU Tigers: The Tigers look poised in year two of the Will Wade era to not only make it back to the NCAA Tournament but also be one of the best teams in the SEC. The Tigers have an All-American level player in Tremont Waters leading them, while freshmen Naz Reid and Emmitt Williams, and Ja’Vonte Smart look to be great this season, and other players like Skylar Mays, Marlon Taylor, and Kavell Bigby-Williams look to be key contributors. Look for the Tigers to be in that 4-6 range of teams in the SEC, which would be a much improved season for the Tigers.

5.Florida Gators: The Gators lose an all-program level player in Chris Chiozza but they were able to bring back Jalen Hudson and KeVaughn Allen to help the Gators continue to be a Top-25 level team. Hudson looks to be one of the best players in the conference, while Allen should improve this season but the real key will be with Andrew Nembhard playing the point guard position, while players like Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone will be key playing down low. Look for the Gators to continue to be a successful team under Mike White, while they look to be a Top-25 team while being in the 4-6 range in the SEC.

6.Mississippi State Bulldogs: The Bulldogs had a successful season last year as they were in contention late for an NCAA Tournament bid, however, this year they will be looking for more. The Bulldogs return all five starters Quinnday and Nick Weatherspoon, Aric Holman, Lamar Peters, and Abdul Ado, while adding recruits Reggie Perry, Robert Woodard, and DJ Stewart. Look for the Bulldogs to get a lot better this season, making the NCAA Tournament once again,  while competing in the 4-6 range of SEC teams.

7.Alabama Crimson Tide: Alabama comes into this season off their first NCAA Tournament appearance in the Avery Johnson era. The Tide return mostly everyone, headlined by Donta Hall, John Petty, Herb Jones, and Dazon Ingram, while players like Tevin Mack and Kira Lewis will make a difference in year one at Alabama. Look for Alabama to be a little bit above the middle of the pack of the SEC, which will help them get to the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive season.

8.Vanderbilt Commodores: Year two of the Bryce Drew era didn’t go well but this year they are able to add two Five-Star recruits with Darius Garland and Simi Shittu. Garland and Shittu both should be great for the Commodores this season, while players like Saben Lee and Notre Dame transfer Matt Ryan will be key contributors this season. Look for the Commodores to have an up and down season, where they should be in the middle of the pack in the SEC, while they will push for an at-large bid.

9.South Carolina Gamecocks: The Gamecocks were unable to follow up their Final Four in 2017 with a Tournament appearance last season, but this season they should be better. Chris Silva should continue to be a monster inside, while players like Hassani Gravett, Malik Kotsar, and Justin Minaya should continue to be good role players, while they have some good group of freshmen that should get minutes this season. Look for this team to once again be very tough on opponents and if things break right this team could push for an NCAA Tournament bid while being a middle of the pack SEC team.

10.Georgia Bulldogs: Georgia made a slam dunk hire this offseason by picking up Tom Crean, who should help Georgia be competitive on a year in and year out basis. The Bulldogs will look for the Sophomore trio of Nicolas Claxton, RayShaun Hammonds, and Teshaun Hightower to all have great seasons this year, while Turtle Jackson and Derek Ogbeide will be key veterans. Look for this team to stay out of the bottom of the pack of the SEC, while potentially staying around longer than most expect in the chase for an at-large bid.

11.Texas A&M Aggies: The Aggies had one of the best frontcourts in the country last season but that will completely change this year as they lose almost their entire frontcourt. The Aggies do bring back TJ Starks, Admon Gilder, Savion Flagg, and Jay Jay Chandler but they have a lot of questions up front. If they can figure out their frontcourt they will have a chance to push towards the middle of the pack in the SEC, if not this team could be near the bottom of the conference.

12.Missouri Tigers: The Tigers were set up this season to have one of the best frontcourts in College Basketball with Jontay Porter and Jeremiah Tilmon but unfortunately Jontay Porter tore his ACL and he will be out for the season. Tilmon should put up big numbers this year, while Kevin Puryear, Jordan Geist, and Illinois transfer Mark Smith look to have solid seasons this year. Look for the Tigers to be near the bottom of the SEC standings this year, however, the Tigers could be in for a good 2019-20 season with Porter healthy.

13.Arkansas Razorbacks: The Razorbacks made it into the NCAA Tournament as a 7 seed last season but following the season they lost six players who played key roles for them last season. Daniel Gafford will lead the Razorbacks this season, as he looks to put up monster numbers for the Razorbacks this season but they’ll be relying a lot upon a lot of Freshmen. Look for the Razorbacks to be near the bottom of the league standings this season, although you can’t count out them out of getting a few wins in SEC play with Mike Anderson as the Head Coach.

14.Mississippi Rebels: The Ole Miss Rebels let go of Andy Kennedy after another down season but they then got Kermit Davis to come in as their next Head Coach. The Rebels will have a good team leader in Terence Davis, with other good players around him that should help him out. Look for the Rebels to win a few games in the SEC, while making strides in year one under Kermit Davis, however, it would be unlikely that they get out of the basement of the conference.

All-Conference Teams

First Team

Tremont Waters (SEC Player of the year) – LSU

Grant Williams – Tennessee

PJ Washington – Kentucky

Quinndary Weatherspoon – Mississippi State

Jalen Hudson – Florida

Second Team

Bryce Brown – Auburn

Keldon Johnson – Kentucky

Reid Travis – Kentucky

Austin Wiley – Auburn

Chris Silva – South Carolina

Third Team

Darius Garland – Vanderbilt

KeVaughn Allen – Florida

Admiral Schofield – Tennessee

Daniel Gafford – Arkansas

Naz Reid – LSU

Five Best Freshmen

Keldon Johnson – Kentucky

Naz Reid – LSU

Darius Garland – Vanderbilt

Andrew Nembhard – Florida

EJ Montgomery – Kentucky

Five Best Newcomers

Reid Travis – Kentucky

Tevin Mack – Alabama

Marlon Taylor – LSU

Josh Nebo – Texas A&M

Samir Doughty – Auburn

Five Breakout Players

John Petty – Alabama

RayShaun Hammonds – Georgia

PJ Washington – Kentucky

TJ Starks – Texas A&M

Jeremiah Tilmon – Missouri

Pac-12 Conference Preview

Pac-12 Conference Preview

Conference Outlook

The Pac-12 once again comes into this season looking like the worst of the Power-6 conferences, as they look like they will get the least amount of NCAA Tournament teams, while they only have two teams that are reasonable picks to be in the preseason Top-25. Oregon should return to the top of the conference as usual, while Washington looks to challenge them at the top of the conference standings. UCLA seemed to be a challenger but different injuries have pushed them back more towards the middle of the pack. Arizona, USC, and Arizona State all will have chances to make the NCAA Tournament this season, all three should enter the year on the bubble. Colorado and Utah both will be tough outs for teams this season, while Oregon State and Stanford do have the talent to be decent. The bottom of the conference will see California and Washington State, both of whom will struggle to find wins in the Pac-12.

Power Rankings along with team Breakdowns

1.Oregon Ducks: The Ducks missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, as they never seemed to find their groove with so many grad transfers. That will change this season, as they bring back my preseason Pac-12 Player of the year in Payton Pritchard, who will mix well with a young core of Bol Bol, Louis King, Victor Bailey Jr., and Kenny Wooten. This Ducks team should be much better this season as they look to win the Pac-12 outright and potentially make another deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

2.Washington Huskies: While Washington didn’t make the NCAA Tournament in year one under Mike Hopkins, it would be crazy to call last season anything other than a success, as they beat Kansas on the road and won a game against Arizona, while they competed for a Tournament bid late into the season. The Huskies return everyone, including Jaylen Nowell, Noah Dickerson, Matisse Thybulle, and David Crisp, who all should be great players this season. Look for Washington to not only make it back to the NCAA Tournament but they also should compete with Oregon for the Pac-12 title.

3.UCLA Bruins: The Bruins looked to have one of the deepest teams in the sport but they were hit hard with Shareef O’Neal and Tyger Campbell both being forced to redshirt due to health concerns and injury issues. This team has a good duo with Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes, while Moses Brown should be good inside. This team looked to be a potential Top-25 team early in the preseason but now they look to be more in that tier of bubble teams in the Pac-12. Look for them to go around 12-6 in league play, which should get them back to the NCAA Tournament once again.

4.Arizona Wildcats: After dealing with the FBI Investigation and losing all their starters after the season this team looked to be bad but instead they filled this roster with a lot of solid role players. Transfers Ryan Luther, Chase Jeter, and Justin Coleman are all going to help out immediately, while Emmanuel Akot, Brandon Randolph, and Brandon Williams all should be good young pieces to build around. Look for this team to go around 12-6 in the Pac-12 which should get them into the NCAA Tournament once again.

5.USC Trojans: The Trojans were a solid team last year as they finished second in the Pac-12, however, that was not good enough to get them into the NCAA Tournament. They lose a lot but they have some good leadership with Bennie Boatwright, while freshman Kevin Porter Jr, Elijah Weaver will be good and they have solid players around them with Derrick Thornton Jr, Jonah Matthews, and Shaqquan Aaron should be solid role players as well. Look for this team to go around 11-7 in Pac-12 play, which should help them compete for a Tournament bid.

6.Arizona State Sun Devils: The Sun Devils used great guard play to get off to a great start last year, which led them to an NCAA Tournament bid. This year they won’t have a great backcourt but they have a great frontcourt, as Romello White, Taeshon Cherry, Kimani Lawrence, and De’Quon Lake look to form a great frontcourt, while Remy Martin should step into the starting point guard position. Look for this team to push for a Tournament bid, while likely going around 10-8 in Pac-12 play.

7.Colorado Buffaloes: The Buffaloes continue to be pretty decent as a team but with a player like McKinley Wright leading them they should be solid. Wright should put up gigantic numbers this season while helping Colorado to win a few big games in Pac-12 play. Look for this team to be a tough out for most teams in the Pac-12, especially at home, which should help them to an 8-10 conference record.

8.Utah Utes: Utah once again comes into this season looking to be solid in Pac-12 play, while trying to potentially contend for an at-large bid. Sedrick Barefield should have a monstrous season this year, while JUCO transfer Charles Jones Jr. will have an immediate impact for the Utes. This team should once again be pretty decent this season, as they look to be in the middle of the pack in the Pac-12, as they will likely go around 8-10 in conference play.

9.Oregon State Beavers: Oregon State had one good year in 2016 where they made the NCAA Tournament but other than that they usually are a bottom of the Pac-12 team, which is what many are expecting this season. Stephen Thompson Jr. and Tres Tinkle should continue to be good players that will push for All-Pac-12 selections, while they do have some good young pieces around them. Look for this team to go around 6-12 in league play, while missing the NCAA Tournament once again.

10.Stanford Cardinal: The Cardinal looked to have a team that could chase down a potential tournament bid this season but then Reid Travis announced he would transfer. The Cardinal have some solid young players like Oscar Da Silva and Daejon Davis but it would be unlikely to see this team really doing much this season. Look for the Cardinal to struggle in Pac-12 play but they should stay above teams like California and Washington State.

11.California Golden Bears: California made the NCAA Tournament as a four seed in 2016, now they look like a consistent bottom feeder in the Pac-12, this just shows how quickly things can change in this sport. Wyking Jones will be looking for strong seasons from players like Justice Sueing, as they hope to stay out of the basement of the Pac-12. Look for them to win a game or two in Pac-12 play, which will keep them at or near the bottom of the conference standings.

12.Washington State Cougars: The Cougars once again are the heavy favorites to finish last in the Pac-12, as they don’t have much talent to work with. Robert Franks will be the team leader this season, which is better than nothing, however, without Malachi Flynn, this team will struggle to find enough offense. Look for the Cougars to once again be at the bottom of the league standings as they might only win a game or two in Pac-12 play.

All-Conference Teams

First Team

Payton Pritchard (Pac-12 Player of the year) – Oregon

Kris Wilkes – UCLA

McKinley Wright IV – Colorado

Jaylen Nowell – Washington

Bennie Boatwright – USC

Second Team

Jaylen Hands – UCLA

Brandon Williams – Arizona

Sedrick Barefield – Utah

Noah Dickerson – Washington

Bol Bol – Oregon

Third Team

Remy Martin – Arizona State

Matisse Thybulle – Washington

Ehab Amin – Oregon

Tres Tinkle – Oregon State

Moses Brown – UCLA

Five Best Freshmen

Brandon Williams – Arizona

Bol Bol – Oregon

Moses Brown – UCLA

Taeshon Cherry – Arizona State

Kevin Porter Jr. – USC

Five Best Newcomers

Ryan Luther – Arizona

Ehab Amin – Oregon

Chase Jeter – Arizona

Paris Austin – California

Charles Jones Jr. – Utah

Five Breakout Players

Brandon Randolph – Arizona

Jaylen Hands – UCLA

Remy Martin – Arizona State

Daejon Davis – Stanford

Kenny Wooten – Oregon

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