Pre-Season College Basketball Top 25 Poll, Part 1

Honorable Mentions:

Texas A&M Aggies- Big time recruiting class could lead to a big time improvement.

Oregon Ducks- Still a talented roster, but is there enough to replace Joseph Young?

Boise State Broncos- Anthony Drmic is probably (definitely) the best player you’ve never heard of.

Providence Friars- As potential Wooden Award winner Kris Dunn goes, so will the Friars.

Miami Hurricanes- Can Angel Hernandez and Sheldon McClellan have their team compete with the top dogs of the ACC?

TOP 25

  1. Xavier Musketeers- The losses of Dee Davis and Matt Stainbrook will be huge, no doubt. But the Musketeers bring back a lot of talent, including sophomore Trevon Bluiett, Jalen Reynolds, Remy Abell and James Farr. Behind Villanova, Xavier will be in a dogfight with Georgetown to be the Big East’s second best team.
  1. SMU Mustangs- The Mustangs will have one of the deeper rosters in the entire NCAA during the 2015-2016 season. This is a team that lost on a very controversial goaltending call against UCLA in the tournament last year. This team brings back just about every key player from last years squad, including, Sterling Brown, Nic Moore, Markus Kennedy and Keith Frazier (when he’s not academically suspended). Among the key additions will be Duke transfer Semi Ojeleye, Texas Tech transfer Jordan Tolbert and true freshman Shake Milton. Look for SMU to battle UConn for the top spot in the AAC.
  1. Georgetown Hoyas- The Hoyas will have an interesting mix of upperclassmen and young faces on their roster. This team was given a big lift when D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera took his name out of the NBA draft pool to come back for his senior year. Last year’s recruiting class included 5-star recruits L.J. Peak and Isaac Copeland. This year’s class may not have the star power, but between 7 footer Jessie Govan, and wings Marcus Derrickson and Kaleb Johnson, the Hoyas should have some great depth.
  1. Connecticut Huskies- The Huskies will have one of the best starting fives in all of college basketball this upcoming season. Even with the loss of Ryan Boatright, the Huskies will still have Sterling Gibbs, Daniel Hamilton, Amidah Brimah, Rodney Purvis and presumably 5-star freshman Jalen Adams in the starting lineup. Although it is a small lineup, Brimah’s shot blocking prowess will intimidate anyone from coming into the lane on this team.
  1. Florida State Seminoles- Florida State will be just about everyone’s sleeper team this year. The Noles will bring back one of the best scorers in the country in Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who become Internet famous after he dropped a whopping 30 points in four minutes (yes, you read that correctly). The amount of talent brought in is incredible. However, all the talent is at the shooting guard position. If the freshman can produce immediately, the only thing preventing this team from being a national championship contender will be the lack of a presence in the paint.
  1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish- The Irish lost two bonafide studs in Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton. Those two were the main cogs in the most efficient offense in the nation last year. Demetrious Jackson was Robin to Grant’s Batman, but Jackson is still a special player with great speed, athleticism and shooting touch. Alongside him will be Steve Vasturia, Bonzie Colson and Zac Auguste, who was one of the stars in the tournament. Notre Dame may take a step back, but they are still in great hands.
  1. UCLA Bruins- The UCLA Bruins will be overlooked a lot this year. They somewhat under preformed in the eyes of many last year despite making it to the Sweet Sixteen. This roster is quietly very deep as Isaac Hamilton, Bryce Alford, Tony Parker, Jonah Bolden and a duo of freshman guards in Aaron Holiday (younger brother of former UCLA and current New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday) and Prince Ali will see regular minutes for this team. UCLA may only be ranked 19 now, but come tourney time, if the pieces jell, this could be a top 10 team (or not).
  1. Baylor Bears- Rico Gathers is an animal, plain and simple. If he were in 2k, he would be a tenacious rebounder. He averaged a double-double last year against tough Big 12 competition. He and Taurean Prince will be the go to guys, but without Kenny Chery running the point, it will be interesting to see who exactly will be getting those guys the ball on a consistent basis.
  1. Louisville Cardinals- Rick Pitino lost one of his all time great players in Montrezl Harrell. Harrell was the heart and soul of Pitino’s squad last year; along with Celtics draft pick Terry Rozier. But getting Damion Lee and Donovan Mitchell will ease some of the pain. The holdovers on this team ain’t so bad themselves, as Quentin Snider, Mangok Mathiang, Deng Adel and Chinanu Onuaku will be more than enough for Pitino to lead them back for a deep run.
  1. LSU Tigers- The Tigers will be one of the most hyped up teams coming into this season. I mean, its hard not to be hyped when you get the top overall player in the class in Ben Simmons, along with a stud scorer in Antonio Blakenely, With all the hype, people forget that this team lost half of its scoring after both Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey went pro. It will be tough to replace those guys and that is what keeps LSU from being in the top 15.
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