Wednesday, July 2, 2008

2008-2009 College Basketball Pre-Season Rankings


Here's an early look at our pre-season College Basketball Rankings since the NBA Draft is over with.

1. North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels have to be the clear-cut favorites for next year. Basically everybody returns, Player of the year Tyler Hansbrough is back along with speedy PG Ty Lawson and sharpshooter Wayne Ellington. UNC will be deep and talented. Their guards will be one of the best in the nation. Backup PG Bobby Frasor is back from injury and Danny Green decided to pull out of the draft. Don't forget forward Deon Thompson plus a stellar recruiting class lead by Tyler Zeller and Ed Davis.

2. Connecticut Huskies
UConn is also a title favorite. A talented squad returns which includes Hasheem Thabeet, Jeff Adrien, A.J. Price (should be ready by next season with injury), Stanley Robinson, Jerome Dyson, and Craig Austrie, plus a great recruiting class should help with the bench. The Huskies have tremendous talent and now have the experience to make it to a Final Four and possibly a national championship.

3. UCLA Bruins
UCLA may have lost Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and Luc Ruchard Mbah a Moute, but they still have one of the best PGs in the nation in Darren Collison and Josh Shipp looked like one of the best players in the early part of last season. Alfred Aboya and James Keefe are both capable post presences and Michael Roll should be healthy. Also, the top recruiting class in the nation should help with the draft losses. Recruit Jrue Holliday should fill in right away at SG.

4. Louisville Cardinals
The Cards should be another Final Four threat this season. They should have some of the best guard depth again lead by Andre McGee, Jerry Smith, and Edgar Sosa. Earl Clark decided to comeback and should be one of the best players in the Big East. David Padgett is gone but in-coming freshmen Samardo Samuels is one of the top center recruits in the nation.

5. Texas Longhorns
Texas should be the Big 12 favorite. They did lose floor general D.J. Augustin but A.J. Abrams is more than capable to take over at PG. Damion James, Connor Atchley, Justin Mason, and Gary Johnson are all back and should help them contend for a national title.

6. Duke Blue Devils
Duke may have struggled in the NCAA Tournament but they still won 28 games last season. They return everyone of significance except for DeMarcus Nelson. Gerald Henderson and Kyle Singler will be a great scoring duo for Duke, plus they have plenty of experience in Greg Paulus, Jon Scheyer, Lance Thomas, and David McClure. They still lack a premier inside presence which could hurt them throughout the season.

7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
ND returns everybody and I mean everybody. Big East Player of the Year Luke Harangody returns and should be a candidate for National Player of the Year again. Kyle McAlarney is back as well. Expect the Irish to compete for a Big East Title and even a Final Four berth.

8. Memphis Tigers
Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Joey Dorsey, and Andre Allen are gone, but the Tigers should still win the C-USA. Robert Dozier, Antonio Anderson, Shawn Taggart, Willie Kemp, and Doneal Mack are a very solid core returning. Add one of the top PGs in the country in Tyreke Evans and you have another Final Four contender.

9. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga should be a top 10 team again with 4 starters back and a good bench, plus they have a good recruiting class coming in with Demetri Goodson. Jeremy Pargo decided to return. Matt Bouldin, their leading scorer is back along with Austin Daye, Steven Gray, and Micah Downs. Also, Josh Heytvelt will be one of the top big men in the country.

10. Marquette Golden Eagles
Even with Tom Crean gone, Buzz Williams can lead this team not only to the NCAA Tournament but deep into it. The great guard trio in Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, and Wesley Matthews all return for one last hurrah.

Other teams to keep an eye on:
Pittsburgh, Miami, Purdue, Michigan St., Arizona St., Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arizona, Georgetown, Villanova, Wisconsin, Davidson, and Xavier

49 comments:

NDIrish11 said...

Pretty big predictions here. Uconn 2? I do love the Irish in the Final Four though!

I have my own blog and I would consider linking to you, if you would want to.

Stefan Ming said...

Yeah, that would be great. What's your blog I will put it up too.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know Stanley Robinson is susspended for at least the first half of next season if not the entire season due to academics. They were thinking about having him transfer but his grades are so bad he cannot get into other schools. Looks like he will be waiting it out...

Anonymous said...

I'm not that big of a Tennessee Vol fan but not to include them in the top 10, maybe even the top 5, is crazy. They had a fantastic recruiting class and are returning a great frontcourt.

NDIrish11 said...

Sorry I have not been on in a while.

If you still want to link my blog is:

http://notredamebasketballblog.blogspot.com/

I'll link yours too.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody here think Nova has a good chance to win the Big East

Stefan Ming said...

they're a dark horse, they will a pretty good team but I don't think they will win the Big East. I think it will be between UConn, L'Ville, Notre Dame, Marquette, Pitt, and Georgetown. But they are capable of pulling it off.

Nate Gonner said...

Stefan I like the poll for the most part but Pitt is definitely getting the snub in your poll. The have way more experience coming back than both UCLA and Louisville do combine. Other than that very good job dude I like it I agree UConn is high but they are definitely top 10.

Stefan Ming said...

I think Pitt is only a top 15 team. Remember they struggled for a lot of the season, they only got hot for the Big East tourney in which they always play well in NYC. Louisville and UCLA are still better than them in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Pitt can't have alot more experience coming back that Louisville, we return 4 starters. We lost 2 centers and a backup PF. We bring in 2 top centers.

No way Tennessee belongs in the top 5. They lost alot and even if they didn't, they were not really as good as their record indicated last season. Playing in the SEC last season was like playing in the OVC. Hopefully that will change, but that conference was awefully over-rated last year.

Anonymous said...

pitt struggled during the 'season' (i imagine you mean the big east season because they were undefeated till they played dayton, including wins over duke and @washington) because of multiple injuries. Two starters, including all-BE point guard Levance Fields were injured. This year Pitt definitely returns as much or more talent than Louisville. Whereas Louisville loses a 1st team all-BE player, Pitt returns Sam Young (1st team), and former All-Big Easters in Dejuan Blair and Fields. Pitt has a dominant frontcourt and a good backcourt and is being shafted in these polls whereas a team with a completely unproven frontcourt (UCLA) is somehow third because they have a supposedly elite backcourt (that counts on a frosh and a guy who was a poor shooter last year (Shipp) and who disturbingly struggled once he hit conf play).

Pitt doesn't just 'turn it up' in MSG--they've consistently been one of the best teams in conf as well for the last half decade or so.

And before you try to dismiss this as a homer's analysis--i'm a gtown fan.

Stefan Ming said...

How is Pitt getting shafted? They finished 10-8 in conference. They only made it to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. Louisville still returns McGee, Clark, Smith, Sosa, and more plus a good recruiting class. UCLA is still UCLA. They do have some capable posts. They have proven themselves especially in the NCAA Tournament, unlike Pitt. Pitt is a solid team but they still need to prove they can get it done in March and not just in New York.

Jeff Smith said...

UNC for the title - nuff said.

Anonymous said...

That is right i am telling u unc is going to be awesome w/ ty hansbrough, ty lawson, danny green, wayne ellington,frasor, and a boat load of talent in the recruiting class, UNC TARHEELS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS FOR 2008-2009

Anonymous said...

Loving Uconn at 2 :) (Alright, I'm a Connecticut boy). Lol, I actually do think Uconn is a little high, but still, I think it's a very accurate list you have here.

Oh don't worry though, NC will find some way to screw it up in the tourny like they always seem to do though.

Anonymous said...

Florida not even in the "Other Teams to Keep an Eye on" List! I think they could be top 10!

Anonymous said...

Xavier had their best recruiting class ever....raided the big 10 prospects

Gus said...

were is Michigan state! yes we lost drew neitzel to the NBA but we return our leading scorer in Raymar Morgan who is a potentiall All American this year, we also bring back are three freshman guards including kalin lucas the freshman sensation , Chris Allen who coach izzo states could be the best shooter in MSu basketball history and darrell summers a sturdy back up. Yes we lost anpther important role player in Drew Naymick but we are returning our best post scoreer in goran suton folled by a legion of biggs in idong Ibok, Marquise Grey, and developing 7 footer Tom Herzhog some people have state as high as #2 in there preseason ranks you should at least have a spot for them in your top 10!

Anonymous said...

CAROLINA ALL THE WAY!!!!!!! NO DOUBT AT ALL.

Anonymous said...

Purdue should be u there for sure! look out for them this year!

Anonymous said...

Whether you have purdue in your preseason poll or not doesn't matter. they'll be a top 5 team for the majority of the year and at the end when it counts.

Stefan Ming said...

That's a bold prediction. Purdue wil be a very solid team this year, they could win the Big 10 in what should be a down year for that conference though.

Frederick said...

Stefan, where do you have Wake Forest? Their top 7 scorers are all returning, and they have arguably the best recruiting class in the nation.

Chad Johnson said...

GU & Memphis should be higher
Uconn & ND should be lower

Anonymous said...

I'm a Georgetown fan, but watch out for UofL in the Big East this season. W/ 4 returning starters along w/ a couple of top recruits, they're poised for title contention. I went to the GU-UofL game last year in Freedom Hall, and their fan support is tremendous... That could be a real boost for them come March...

Anonymous said...

you dont think Pitt deserves a top 10 ranking??? are you crazy buddy. Big East is the sickest conference this year, those teams are on another level this year.

PS P - I - T - T LETS GO PITT!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Pitt does not deserve a top 10 ranking, but Duke should be in the top 5 since they now have Elliot Williams.

Frederick Cody said...

Pitt is easily top 5, let alone top 10.

Young + Fields + Blair = Best trio in college hoops (except Hansbrough, Lawson, and Ellington at UNC)

Pitt's D is top notch, too.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure were their ranked, but Pitt is deffinately not a top 5 team and obviously not a top 10 team either. I know for some people this is hard to read, buti think i would even pull for duke over Pitt besides the fact that Pitt beat duke last year.

the truth said...

u guys most be retarted ur right about unc and uconn and luisville
but ucla there recruiting class sucks and memphis there getting one good point gaurd or should i call him awesome he makes derrick rose look like he has two left feet

oh! yet ur suprise team this is georgetown

Stefan Ming said...

you call us retarded yet you can't spell? lol... and UCLA's recruiting class was number one overall.

Anonymous said...

its not gonna be fair next year with how much better UNC is then the next team

Anonymous said...

I hate UNC!!!!

emily said...

carolina is amazing!!!! go heels!!!

Anonymous said...

The tarhills may be good, but they will still split with Duke again this year, and probably find some way to blow it in the final four like last year!!!!

Alan said...

Not having Kansas in the top 10??? I guess that makes sense since KU never rebuilds...they reload. Oh, and they're the defending champs. It's a wonder ESPN isn't employing you to do their rankings.

Stefan Ming said...

This is 2008-2009 not 2007-2008.... Kansas lost Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers, Darrell Jackson, Russell Robinson, and Sasha Kaun... they return one starters in Sharron Collins and one other player of significance in Cole Aldrich... sure Kansas will be pretty solid team next year again, but they are no where near a top 10 team. They return only 2 legit players. Just because they won the NC last year, doesn't mean much... last year was last and they lose a solid core of players.

Jordan said...

I think your right about Kansas not being much of a powerhouse this year. Alan is obviously a Kansas fan because everyone already knows that Kansas is the defending champs. We didn't need to be informed or re informed of this.

The College BBall Fanatic said...

The most underrated team right now? The Syracuse Orange. NBAdraft.net listed the 'Cuse as the preseason no.13 team in the country. SU is deep, talented, and has a suprisingly good shot to win the Big East title. They get 2 great shooters back, Donte Green left, which although seemingly a trouble spot, may have been a blessing as he was extremely overrated. Look for the Orange to get the momentum early and shock many a sports fan.

The truth said...

It will take more than just a few early wins to shock me!!!

Anonymous said...

trust me, i live in syracuse, i'm a die-hard fan...Syracuse is going to stun the country this year...Devo is back, he can do it all...Rautins can launch it anywhere from the 3...Flynn is one of the best point guards in the country, he can shake defenders and take you to the basket, he's a better shooter than people thought, and his biggest weapon is his passing. Do It All Paul Harris is improving his shot, a HUGE body can knock over any one. Arinze Onuaku is a beast down low, i dont even think Harrongody from ND can move this big guy. hustle all around from Ongenaut. 'Cuse rolls this year! We're already dancing......

Anonymous said...

ok, so because IU is going to suck the big one, a conference with two legitimate top 10-15 teams and several other (Wisconsin, Ohio State, maybe Minnesota) that could find their way into the top 25 at some point during the season is considered a weak conference (granted Iowa, NU, and PSU will probably suck pretty bad)? Now I understand the Big Ten is not the Big East this year, but besides UNC, the Big Ten will be on the level of the ACC and SEC and Big 12 this year. The Pac-10 might not be all they're cracked up to be either. IU is going to be down for a LONG LONG time, but they don't make or break the conference.

The truth said...

The BIG 10 is not and proabably will never be as strong as the ACC. Basketball is king in the ACC where UNC will be a powerhouse this year with there top 5 recruiting class, and Duke wont just be a push over this year bacause they have some incredible talent.I would say Virginia Tech will be strong this year and Wake Forest could surprise you.

Anonymous said...

Kentucky will beat NC on Nov. 18th 2008

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latest sports news said...

I'm sure North Carolina will be on top again this year.

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I am such a big fan of the Connecticut huskies, and sometimes I wish they could play better and have a more competitive team