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Question 1: Which team is the most overrated in the country?
Ariel: The North Carolina Tar Heels. They lost 4 starters, all 4 arguably their best players. Cole Anthony is good, but I expect them to be ranked 15-20 for most of the season.
Mat: Michigan. The Wolverines lost their three best players and Coach Beilein in the process. Still think it’s a tournament team, but in a year where seniors will dominate college basketball, I don’t see Michigan as a team to fear.
Collin: I’m with Mat. The Michigan Wolverines. Not only did they lose Coach Beilein, who helped Michigan get to the Final Four and National Championship in the past three years, they lost their three most efficient players. Sure, bringing in previous Fab Five player Jawun Howard may add some fire to their game, but they won’t be what they have been.
Sam: I’m not big on Memphis. The recruits are good, but they lack experience and a glue guy to keep things going smoothly. Penny is inexperienced as a coach, and it’s tough to manage that many top recruits at once as a new coach
Question 2: Which team is the most underrated in the country?
Ariel: The Washington Huskies. A lot of people are saying that they will barely be a top 25 team, however with two top 10 recruits, transfer Quade Green (who was a 5 star out of high school), and Mike Hopkins as their coach, this team should be able to be top 10.
Mat: Maryland. I know, I know, the Terrapins are a top ten team in every poll. However, I’m going to take it a step further. This team has FINAL FOUR written all over it. Great guards? Check. Big men to compliment? Check. A good coach? Check. Maryland should be top five, no doubt.
Collin: The USC Trojans. No, I’m not kidding. USC collapsed in conference play where the Pac 12 has been open for competition for the past couple years. Now, they bring in a decent recruiting class led by Isaiah Mobley and Onyeka Okongwu. They won’t be incredible this year, but they will shake off the slump they’ve been in recently.
Sam: I’m with Ariel. Washington recruits well, is coached well, and plays in a weak conference. The Huskies will have a strong record and will make some more noise in March.
Question 3: Which player is the most overrated in the country?
Ariel: Sam Merrill of Utah State. He can score, and that’s about it. He couldn’t make a shot to save his life in the tournament last year, and I don’t see him really becoming a top college player next year even though he’s listed as one.
Mat: Tre Jones of Duke. He can defend and pass, but I really don’t see the hype. At 6-foot-2 he doesn’t have great height, and can’t hit threes consistently, so has to really on driving to the bucket – where he really doesn’t have a lot of explosive moves either. Again, good kid and can play point guard pretty good, but I don’t see him working out in the NBA or leading Duke anywhere major this season.
Collin: Ariel gets my vote on this one. Sam Merrill may have led Utah State to a 28-win season, but in the Mountain West conference. Just like Ariel said, when it was really time to prove to the country who he was, he collapsed against Washington in the First round. He’s good and all, but doesn’t deserve to be preached by college basketball announcers.
Sam: Cassius Stanley. Cam Reddish had the same problem. Elite recruiting class, touches are tough to come by. Especially for a shooter like Stanley, when he will get the ball, he will shoot it, which bodes well for a bad shooting percentage, similarly to what happened to an elite shooter in Reddish last year.
Question 4: Which player is the most underrated in the country?
Ariel: Anthony Lamb of Vermont for me. Playing in the mid majors may hurt his popularity, but he is arguably the best forward in college and should make an All- NCAA team next season.
Mat: Saddiq Bey of Villanova. Maybe it’s because he was overshadowed by yet another great Wildcats team, but this kid is good. In 30 minutes per game as a freshman, he put up over eight points per game and five rebounds each contest. I expect those numbers to go up to something more like 15 and 8 this season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes all Big East first team either.
Collin: Killian Tillie is my choice. Last year, he suffered an injury early in the season and his name became a background dancer behind Rui Hachimura and Brandon Clarke. This year, the spotlight will be on him. He has shot 47% from 3 over his career and could be the Bulldogs leader into March.
Sam: Jay Huff of Virginia. Huff has been a role player his first two years at UVA, but he will be stepping into a starting role this year. The seven footer can play in the paint, shoot the long ball, and has some serious ups. Huff will be huge for the defending national champions offensively.
Question 5: Which teams recruiting class is going to disappoint?
Ariel: Louisville. Samuel Williamson is talented, but I don’t think he’s a 5 star. The rest of the recruits are all good, but not enough to really take this team to the next level.
Mat: Arizona. There isn’t enough leadership to be able to help this team out, and I’m really not sure if Sean Miller will be the same after all of the recruiting problems and allegations. I think a 10 seed is viable, but no way this team performs to the capability they may have.
Collin: The Oregon Ducks. I like CJ Walker a lot but he can’t be the only guy on that Oregon team to perform. CJ Walker was a great building block for the Ducks, but they went downhill with their other recruiting additions.
Sam: Completely stink? No. But disappoint? Duke. Before I’m ridiculed in the comments, Duke comes into every year with a recruiting class that is expected to win national championships. That rarely happens, and it is even tougher for kids with that expectation. Duke will obviously have a very good team, but unless they win it all, the recruiting class will be considered disappointing.
Question 6: Which teams recruiting class is going to perform?
Ariel: Villanova. Bryan Antoine and Jeremiah Robinson- Earl are both insanely talented and will be the focal point of the Jay Wright coached Nova team. These two guys might be better than the 3 five stars Kentucky got.
Mat: Memphis. Not only do they have the best recruiting class in the country, but also the coolest coach in Penny Hardaway. I wouldn’t want to let Penny down and I’m sure they won’t either. Memphis is poised for a March run.
Collin: Memphis. Remember when Memphis had Derrick Rose and went to the National Championship game? Yeah, Memphis is that good again. The best recruiting class in the country got better when Boogie Ellis hopped on after his decision to leave Duke. I’m not saying this team will get to the ‘Chip this year, but they are that good again.
Sam: Florida. Two five stars including Scottie Lewis are a formula for success. Also, if you consider transfers in recruiting, Kerry Blackshear is an incredible pickup. Florida’s front-court is one of the best in the nation, and they are all coming in for their first years.