CBB REVIEW RANK 2020-21: TEAMS 45-41
We’re ringing in the college basketball season with a ranking of the top 100 teams heading into 2020! Follow CBB Review Rank all month long.
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*All recruiting and transfer ratings from 247sports.com. All player and team statistics from sportsreference.com*
Credit: Busting Brackets
2019/2020 Record: 21-11 (10-8 Pac-12)
Key Returns: Jemarl Baker Jr. (5.7 PPG, 2.3 APG, 2.3 RPG)
Key Losses: Zeke Nnaji (NBA Draft), Nico Mannion (NBA Draft), Josh Green (NBA Draft), Dylan Smith (graduated), Stone Gettings (graduated), Max Hazzard (graduated), Chase Jeter (graduated)
Key Recruits/Transfers: Dalen Terry (4-star recruit, ranked 49th by 247sports), Azuolas Tubelis (4-star recruit, ranked 57th by 247sports), Kerr Kriisa (4-star recruit, ranked 85th by 247sports), Daniel Batcho (4-star recruit), Bennedict Mathurin (4-star recruit), James Akinjo (transfer from Georgetown), Terrell Brown Jr. (transfer from Seattle, eligible immediately), Jordan Brown (transfer from Nevada, sat out last season)
There’s a good chance there’s never been a team quite like Arizona who lost an impeccable amount of talent from last season but brings in even more. Mannion, Green, Nnaji, and Smith are all gone, which leaves the Wildcats’ fifth-leading scorer as their top returner. Other key role players are gone too, but Sean Miller brings in FIVE 4-star recruits. While none of them are even ranked inside the top-40, perhaps that ‘slept-on and ready to prove the doubters wrong’ mindset could be the slogan for ‘Zona in 2020-21.
Outside of the fabulous freshmen, Arizona also landed Terrell Brown Jr., a 20.8 points per game scorer from Seattle. He can also lead an offense, averaging 4.8 assists last year, on his way to earning his second All-WAC honor in as many years. James Akinjo, a transfer from Georgetown also chose Arizona, and is waiting to hear on his eligibility, but should be able to play by the second half of the season. With the Pac-12 canceling college basketball until January 1, he could be available by the start of the season. If Miller can gel all of these pieces together, the Wildcats are a heavy sleeper.
2019/2020 Record: 22-9 (11-7 Pac-12)
Key Returns: Isaiah Mobley (6.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG), Ethan Anderson (5.5 PPG, 4.2 APG)
Key Losses: Onyeka Okongwu (NBA Draft), Jonah Mathews (graduated), Nick Rakocevic (graduated), Daniel Utomi (graduated), Elijah Weaver (transfer)
Key Recruits/Transfers: Evan Mobley (5-star recruit, ranked 3rd by 247sports), Tahj Eaddy (grad transfer from Santa Clara), Isaiah White (transfer from Utah Valley), Drew Peterson (transfer from Rice), Chevez Goodwin (grad transfer from Wofford), Joshua Morgan (transfer from Long Beach State)
Another Pac-12 team with a huge overhaul of players. Andy Enfield will have his hands full but hit the transfer market hard. With the exception of Joshua Morgan (who still averaged 8.4 PPG at LBSU), every single transfer he brought in were double-digit scorers at their former schools. Eaddy and Goodwin will be eligible since they are grad transfers, but Peterson and White will just have to wait, along with Morgan.
However, the big get for Enfield was Evan Mobley, a 5-star recruit and talented center who can easily replace the loss of Okongwu. Ethan Anderson is also back and proved to be a solid playmaker in his freshman campaign. If Mobley can dominate like expected, USC can compete for a solid NCAA Tournament spot and then some.
2019/2020 Record: 18-14 (10-10 ACC)
Key Returns: Buddy Boeheim (15.3 PPG), Joe Girard III (12.4 PPG, 3.5 APG), Marek Dolezaj (10.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG), Quincy Guerrier (6.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG), Bourama Sidibe (6.0 PPG, 7.6 RPG)
Key Losses: Elijah Hughes (NBA Draft), Brycen Goodine (transfer), Howard Washington (transfer), Jalen Carey (transfer)
Key Recruits/Transfers: Kadary Richmond (4-star recruit), Woody Newton (3-star recruit), Alan Griffin (transfer from Illinois)
Losing Elijah Hughes will hurt, but the ACC’s leading scorer has been receiving looks as high as of late first-round and should be drafted no later than the early second. However, Boeheim and Girard come back to form one of the top shooting duos in all of college hoops, will Dolezaj, Guerrier, and Sidibe bring back over 20 rebounds per game from last season.
Neither Goodine, Washington, or Carey had proven much of anything during their time on The Hill, but because all of them would have been able to compete for a starting job, or at least the sixth man, the Orange will have to look elsewhere. Richmond is a talented combo guard who could fill that role. If Griffin is eligible, Syracuse will make the NCAA Tournament and could be a sleeper to make some noise.
2019/2020 Record: 16-15 (8-10 SEC)
Key Returns: Jaden Shackelford (15 PPG, 4.5 RPG), John Petty Jr. (14.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG), Alex Reese (8.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG), Herb Jones (7.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG)
Key Losses: Kira Lewis (NBA Draft), James Bolden (Graduated)
Key Recruits/Transfers: Jordan Bruner (Transfer from Yale), Josh Primo (4-Star Recruit), Keon Ambrose-Hylton (4-Star Recruit), Darius Miles (3-Star Recruit), Alex Tchikou (Signed Letter of Intent)
Alabama brings back a lot of scoring from last year, but the incoming players are what is going to push the Crimson Tide over the edge. Bruner is coming off a near double-double season at Yale and will provide the much needed size for Alabama. Primo is another guard who can have a big impact and if Tchikou enrolls before the season, Alabama could have one of the best young teams in the country.
2019/2020 Record: 19-12 (9-9 Big 12)
Key Returns: Austin Reaves (14.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG), Brady Manek (14.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG), De’Vion Harmon (7.4 PPG, 1.1 SPG)
Key Losses: Kristian Doolittle (Graduated)
Key Recruits/Transfers: N/A
Oklahoma is bringing back nearly the same team that won 19 games last season. Manek and Reaves will use their experience to lead this Sooner team to wins and De’Vion Harmon is bound to have a great year following a strong freshman season. While they are not necessarily bringing in any new talent, they’re good enough to be a tournament team as is.
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Featured Image Credit: USA Today