St. John’s sneaks into the 2023-24 men’s Way-Too-Early Top 25

When St. John’s employed Rick Pitino in March, it was instantly thought-about among the best teaching strikes of the cycle. A Corridor of Fame coach with success at each cease taking up a program determined to return to nationwide relevance.

However this rapidly? And on this dramatic trend?

The Crimson Storm have undergone one of many greatest roster transformations within the nation this offseason, with 9 gamers leaving through the portal and 12 recent faces — together with 10 transfers — coming into. It is clear Pitino did not plan on losing any time trying to flip issues round and instantly get again to the NCAA event.

Their exercise within the spring put them into place, bringing within the likes of Ivy League Participant of the 12 months Jordan Dingle from Penn and top-30 recruit Simeon Wilcher, who had initially dedicated to North Carolina. However the last piece to the puzzle did not land till late July, when Harvard switch Chris Ledlum picked the Crimson Storm days after decommitting from Tennessee. Ledlum was a first-team All-Ivy choice after averaging 18.8 PPG and eight.5 RPG, and can give Pitino versatility, expertise and inside-outside scoring means.

With Ledlum within the fold, St. John’s now strikes into the most recent version of our Means-Too-Early Preseason High 25.

Up to date Aug. 1, 2023

Earlier: 1

Kansas jumped to the highest spot within the rankings after the return of Kevin McCullar Jr. Whereas the incoming gamers, most notably Hunter Dickinson, are getting many of the consideration to date this offseason, the returning trio of Dajuan Harris Jr., McCullar and Okay.J. Adams Jr. is what makes the Jayhawks a nationwide championship contender. Harris is without doubt one of the elite pass-first guards within the nation and a terrific defender, whereas McCullar is flexible and actually defends. Adams’ position will change subsequent to Dickinson, however he was one of many breakout stars of final season and will take a good larger step subsequent season.

Projected beginning lineup:

Dajuan Harris Jr. (8.9 PPG)
Nick Timberlake (17.7 PPG at Towson)
Kevin McCullar Jr. (10.7 PPG)
Okay.J. Adams Jr. (10.6 PPG)
Hunter Dickinson (18.5 PPG at Michigan)

Earlier: 2

The Blue Devils rose to the highest of the rankings with the return of Kyle Filipowski, who would have been a first-round choose had he entered the NBA draft. However he returned to anchor the frontcourt, whereas Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell additionally determined to return again to Durham. Jeremy Roach’s resolution to go again to the Blue Devils and run the offense makes them the first competitors to Kansas for the No. 1 spot. Jon Scheyer will want one of many wings to step up offensively; Jared McCain might be that man.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jeremy Roach (13.6 PPG)
Tyrese Proctor (9.4 PPG)
Jared McCain (No. 12 in ESPN 100)
Mark Mitchell (9.1 PPG)
Kyle Filipowski (15.1 PPG)

Earlier: 3

Purdue made the largest rise following the withdrawal deadline, because of the return of Zach Edey. The reigning Wood Award winner took it to the ultimate day however opted to return to West Lafayette, Indiana, the place he’ll as soon as once more be probably the most dominant participant in school basketball. Matt Painter now has all 5 starters again from a staff that gained each the Massive Ten regular-season and convention event championships and earned a 1-seed within the NCAA event earlier than the beautiful upset to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson.

Projected beginning lineup:

Braden Smith (9.7 PPG)
Fletcher Loyer (11.0 PPG)
Ethan Morton (3.8 PPG)
Mason Gillis (6.8 PPG)
Zach Edey (22.3 PPG)

Earlier: 4

We actually favored Tom Izzo’s staff coming into the offseason, and that was earlier than Tyson Walker and Malik Corridor introduced they had been benefiting from their additional 12 months of eligibility attributable to COVID-19 and returning to East Lansing. Then A.J. Hoggard and Jaden Akins determined to return to the Spartans after testing the NBA draft waters. Michigan State now has expertise and a high-level backcourt, in addition to added depth and explosiveness with the arrival of five-star recruits Xavier Booker, Coen Carr and Jeremy Fears.

Projected beginning lineup:

Tyson Walker (14.8 PG)
A.J. Hoggard (12.9 PPG)
Jaden Akins (9.8 PPG)
Malik Corridor (8.9 PPG)
Xavier Booker (No. 7 in ESPN 100)

Earlier: 5

UConn opened the offseason at No. 1 following its dominant nationwide championship run, then dropped a number of spots after the departures of Adama Sanogo and Andre Jackson to the NBA draft. However Dan Hurley bought Tristen Newton again, and in addition brings in a top-five recruiting class that features 4 ESPN 100 prospects. Donovan Clingan is poised for an enormous season down low, whereas Alex Karaban ought to tackle a much bigger position offensively. The addition of Rutgers switch Cam Spencer has boosted the Huskies again into the highest 5 because of his expertise and high-level capturing means.

Projected beginning lineup:

Tristen Newton (9.9 PPG)
Stephon Fort (No. 15 in ESPN 100)
Cam Spencer (13.2 PPG at Rutgers)
Alex Karaban (9.5 PPG)
Donovan Clingan (7.1 PPG)

Earlier: 7

With Marcus Sasser a possible first-round choose and Tramon Mark hitting the switch portal, it appeared like Kelvin Sampson’s perimeter group was certain to take successful. As a substitute, he went out and landed two of the very best guards available on the market in Baylor switch LJ Cryer and Temple switch Damian Dunn. Jamal Shead can also be again after testing the NBA draft waters, and Emanuel Sharp confirmed flashes of his potential final season. Houston’s transition to the Massive 12 is perhaps the largest query mark for the Cougars.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jamal Shead (10.5 PPG)
LJ Cryer (15.0 PPG at Baylor)
Emanuel Sharp (5.9 PPG)
Damian Dunn (15.3 PPG at Temple)
J’Wan Roberts (10.0 PPG)

Earlier: 8

We knew Mark Few would discover a approach to reload his roster following the departures of Drew Timme, Julian Strawther, Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith — and he landed three transfers to assist offset the losses: Ryan Nembhard (Creighton), Graham Ike (Wyoming) and Steele Venters (Jap Washington). The Zags additionally acquired optimistic information on deadline day, with Anton Watson deciding to return to Spokane, Washington, for one more 12 months up entrance.

Projected beginning lineup:

Ryan Nembhard (12.1 PPG at Creighton)
Nolan Hickman (7.7 PPG)
Steele Venters (15.3 PPG at Jap Washington)
Anton Watson (11.1 PPG)
Graham Ike (19.5 PPG at Wyoming in 2021-22)

Earlier: 6

Tennessee dropped a few spots following the departure of Chris Ledlum, who decommitted in July after transferring to Knoxville from Harvard earlier this offseason. Even with out him, although, Rick Barnes’ staff is well-positioned to be ranked across the prime 10 to begin the season. The Vols nonetheless herald Dalton Knecht (Northern Colorado) and Jordan Gainey (South Carolina Upstate) to spice up their perimeter scoring, whereas getting all-SEC guard Santiago Vescovi and veteran starter Josiah-Jordan James again for one more 12 months. Zakai Zeigler’s well being and availability would be the key.

Projected beginning lineup:

Zakai Zeigler (10.7 PPG)
Santiago Vescovi (12.5 PPG)
Dalton Knecht (20.2 PPG at Northern Colorado)
Josiah-Jordan James (10.0 PPG)
Jonas Aidoo (5.1 PPG)

Earlier: 9

Rating the Owls ninth within the nation might sound lofty, given they had been a 9-seed within the NCAA event and practically misplaced to Memphis within the first spherical. However that is additionally a staff that gained 35 video games, made a Closing 4 run and is bringing again all 5 starters. It is a testomony to Dusty Could that he was capable of hold the core of this group collectively, with zero gamers coming into the switch portal or NBA draft. FAU is stepping up in competitors to the AAC, however the Owls would be the favourite to win it in 12 months 1.

Projected beginning lineup:

Bryan Greenlee (7.4 PPG)
Nick Boyd (8.9 PPG)
Johnell Davis (13.9 PPG)
Alijah Martin (13.1 PPG)
Vladislav Goldin (10.3 PPG)

Earlier: 10

There was minimal roster motion for Marquette for the primary two months of the offseason, however then Olivier-Maxence Prosper impressed scouts and NBA groups on the draft mix and opted to remain within the draft. Thankfully for coach Shaka Sensible, his most efficient bench participant final season ought to slot proper into the lineup. David Joplin scored in double figures in three of his last 4 video games and shot 40% from 3 for the season.

Projected beginning lineup:

Tyler Kolek (12.9 PPG)
Stevie Mitchell (7.1 PPG)
Kam Jones (15.1 PPG)
David Joplin (9.2 PPG)
Oso Ighodaro (11.4 PPG)

Earlier: 11

Arizona was lively within the portal and on the worldwide circuit to rebuild its roster, however the Wildcats saved their greatest splash for final — touchdown North Carolina switch Caleb Love, among the best guards within the portal. He’ll staff with Alabama switch Jaden Bradley and returnees Pelle Larsson and Kylan Boswell on the perimeter, whereas Oumar Ballo will once more anchor the inside. San Diego State switch Keshad Johnson ought to carry protection and toughness.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jaden Bradley (6.4 PPG at Alabama)
Caleb Love (16.7 PPG at North Carolina)
Pelle Larsson (9.9 PPG)
Keshad Johnson (7.7 PPG at San Diego State)
Oumar Ballo (14.2 PPG)

Earlier: 12

Brian Dutcher misplaced a handful of veteran items from a staff that reached the nationwide championship sport, however he introduced again 4 gamers who noticed a minimum of 17 minutes within the title sport, together with two starters. Lamont Butler and Jaedon LeDee each withdrew from the draft shortly earlier than the deadline, whereas Darrion Trammell is benefiting from his additional 12 months. USC switch Reese Dixon-Waters is an underrated addition, too.

Projected beginning lineup:

Darrion Trammell (9.9 PPG)
Lamont Butler (8.7 PPG)
Micah Parrish (7.7 PPG)
Reese Dixon-Waters (9.8 PPG at USC)
Jaedon LeDee (7.8 PPG)

Earlier: 13

Greg McDermott had an up-and-down offseason, with starters Ryan Nembhard and Arthur Kaluma coming into the switch portal, however Baylor Scheierman, Trey Alexander and Ryan Kalkbrenner all withdrew their names from the NBA draft to return to Omaha, Nebraska. Utah State switch Steven Ashworth ought to step into the backcourt, whereas Mason Miller and Virginia switch Isaac Traudt ought to assist offset Kaluma’s departure.

Projected beginning lineup:

Steven Ashworth (16.2 PPG at Utah State)
Baylor Scheierman (12.8 PPG)
Trey Alexander (13.6 PPG)
Mason Miller (2.3 PPG)
Ryan Kalkbrenner (15.9 PPG)

Earlier: 14

Arkansas was busy on NBA draft deadline day, seeing prime recruiting goal Ron Holland go to the G League, whereas retaining Devo Davis and shedding Jordan Walsh to the NBA. Eric Musselman’s staff is totally loaded on the perimeter, with Davis and top-30 recruit Layden Blocker becoming a member of 4 skilled switch guards. If Trevon Brazile is wholesome, the frontcourt should not be a difficulty, both. Cincinnati switch Jeremiah Davenport gives a distinct dimension at energy ahead.

Projected beginning lineup:

Khalif Battle (17.9 PPG at Temple)
Devo Davis (10.9 PPG)
Tramon Mark (10.1 PPG at Houston)
Trevon Brazile (11.8 PPG)
Makhi Mitchell (7.0 PPG)

Earlier: 15

Hubert Davis began the offseason with two anchors: R.J. Davis at one guard spot and Armando Bacot down low. He then went out and surrounded these two returning stars with intriguing complementary gamers. Notre Dame switch Cormac Ryan is a veteran shooter, whereas Harrison Ingram from Stanford is a flexible wing. Then top-10 2024 prospect Elliot Cadeau opted to reclassify and swimsuit up for the Tar Heels this fall. He is a really elite passer and playmaker who may have the ball in his palms from day one.

Projected beginning lineup:

Elliot Cadeau (No. 10 in ESPN 100)
R.J. Davis (16.1 PPG)
Cormac Ryan (12.3 PPG at Notre Dame)
Harrison Ingram (10.5 PPG at Stanford)
Armando Bacot (15.9 PPG)

Earlier: 16

After Villanova missed the NCAA event for the primary time since 2012, Kyle Neptune clearly needed to keep away from a repeat coming into the second season of his teaching tenure. The Wildcats had as a lot success within the switch portal as any staff within the nation, touchdown TJ Bamba (Washington State), Hakim Hart (Maryland) and Tyler Burton (Richmond), whereas additionally returning veteran stalwarts Justin Moore and Eric Dixon. The beginning 5 is as skilled and confirmed as you will discover within the Massive East.

Projected beginning lineup:

Justin Moore (13.5 PPG)
TJ Bamba (15.8 PPG at Washington State)
Hakim Hart (11.4 PPG at Maryland)
Tyler Burton (19.0 PPG at Richmond)
Eric Dixon (15.4 PPG)

Earlier: Unranked

Whereas questions stay over the expertise and youth of this season’s squad, there aren’t any doubts concerning the expertise stage in Lexington. In ESPN’s 2024 mock draft, launched late final month, the Wildcats have two of the 4 highest-ranked school gamers (Justin Edwards, D.J. Wagner) and 5 gamers (Edwards, Wagner, Ugonna Onyenso, Aaron Bradshaw, Robert Dillingam) ranked inside the highest 40 general. If the newcomers can get on the identical web page, Calipari is spoiled for choices.

Projected beginning lineup:

D.J. Wagner (No. 4 in ESPN 100)
Antonio Reeves (14.4 PPG)
Justin Edwards (No. 3 in ESPN 100)
Tre Mitchell (11.7 PPG at West Virginia)
Ugonna Onyenso (2.5 PPG)

Earlier: 17

Nijel Pack and Norchad Omier each examined the NBA draft waters however opted to return to Coral Gables, Florida. These two will kind among the best inside-outside duos within the ACC subsequent season. Jim Larranaga additionally changed Jordan Miller with an ACC-proven ahead in Florida State switch Matthew Cleveland, who ought to add extra rebounding and paint manufacturing. The Hurricanes are nonetheless within the hunt for one more guard to assist fill Isaiah Wong’s footwear.

Projected beginning lineup:

Nijel Pack (13.8 PPG)
Wooga Poplar (8.7 PPG)
Bensley Joseph (5.2 PPG)
Matthew Cleveland (13.8 PPG at Florida State)
Norchad Omier (13.3 PPG)

Earlier: 19

Will the Aggies choose up the place they left off within the second half of 2022-23, after they gained 19 of twenty-two video games earlier than falling within the SEC championship sport and the primary spherical of the NCAA event? Having Wade Taylor IV again to run the present is a big plus, whereas Buzz Williams additionally has three different returning starters after Tyrece Radford determined to return again. Dexter Dennis is the lone starter leaving, however transfers Jace Carter (UIC) and Eli Lawrence (Center Tennessee) will assist substitute him.

Projected beginning lineup:

Wade Taylor IV (16.3 PPG)
Tyrece Radford (13.3 PPG)
Jace Carter (16.6 PPG at UIC)
Henry Coleman III (9.0 PPG)
Julius Marble (9.1 PPG)

Earlier: 20

Scott Drew is actually ranging from scratch on the perimeter, with Keyonte George and Adam Flagler coming into the NBA draft and LJ Cryer transferring to Houston. However he is bringing in two influence freshmen in Ja’Kobe Walter and Miro Little and welcomes again Langston Love. The Bears additionally landed two high-level transfers in RayJ Dennis (Toledo) and Jayden Nunn (VCU). Jalen Bridges’ return to Waco was vital for Drew; he might be poised for a breakout marketing campaign within the frontcourt.

Projected beginning lineup:

RayJ Dennis (19.5 PPG at Toledo)
Jayden Nunn (9.3 PPG at VCU)
Ja’Kobe Walter (No. 14 in ESPN 100)
Jalen Bridges (10.3 PPG)
Josh Ojianwuna (4.2 PPG)

Earlier: 21

Andy Enfield could have one of many nation’s premier backcourts subsequent season in returning all-conference guard Boogie Ellis and elite incoming freshman Isaiah Collier, the No. 1 recruit within the 2023 class. Count on these two to deal with many of the scoring tasks, whereas Kobe Johnson and Washington State switch DJ Rodman will present toughness and 3-point capturing. If Bronny James is ready to play, USC’s perimeter can be as deep and versatile as any in school basketball.

Projected beginning lineup:

Isaiah Collier (No. 1 in ESPN 100)
Boogie Ellis (17.7 PPG)
Kobe Johnson (9.2 PPG)
DJ Rodman (9.6 PPG at Washington State)
Joshua Morgan (7.0 PPG)

Earlier: 18

The roster machinations haven’t slowed in Tuscaloosa. After an NBA draft withdrawal deadline that noticed Jahvon Quinerly and Mark Sears return however Charles Bediako depart, Quinerly then opted to enter the switch portal. Nate Oats responded by touchdown North Dakota State switch Grant Nelson and five-star huge man Jarin Stevenson — and continues to be in pursuit of extra gamers within the portal. The Tide can be closely reliant on transfers and will nonetheless use one other participant up entrance.

Projected beginning lineup:

Aaron Estrada (20.2 PPG at Hofstra)
Mark Sears (12.5 PPG)
Latrell Wrightsell Jr., (16.3 PPG at Cal State Fullerton)
Grant Nelson (17.9 PPG at North Dakota State)
Nick Pringle (3.5 PPG)

Earlier: 22

Randy Bennett acquired nice information early within the offseason when Alex Ducas introduced he was returning for one more season. The Gaels now have three key returnees to construct round subsequent season: Ducas, Aidan Mahaney and Mitchell Saxen. Mahaney may change into a family identify with one other 12 months. The Gaels additionally introduced again Augustas Marciulionis and welcome four-star guard Jordan Ross and Harvard switch Mason Forbes.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jordan Ross (four-star)
Aidan Mahaney (13.9 PPG)
Augustas Marciulionis (5.9 PPG)
Alex Ducas (12.5 PPG)
Mitchell Saxen (11.6 PPG)

Earlier: 24

Rodney Terry did an unbelievable job taking up for Chris Beard final season, guiding the Longhorns to 29 wins, a Massive 12 convention event title and an Elite Eight look. However now comes the reloading course of. Texas brings again Tyrese Hunter at level guard and landed Oral Roberts switch Max Abmas, one of many premier scorers in school basketball. Dillon Mitchell taking a step ahead would be the key, though top-50 recruit and former Kansas commit Chris Johnson gives an alternative choice.

Projected beginning lineup:

Tyrese Hunter (10.3 PPG)
Max Abmas (21.9 PPG at Oral Roberts)
Dillon Mitchell (4.3 PPG)
Dylan Disu (8.8 PPG)
Kadin Shedrick (6.2 PPG at Virginia)

Earlier: Subsequent in line

It would take time for the revamped St. John’s roster to get going, however on paper, there’s greater than sufficient expertise to be an element towards the highest of the Massive East — particularly when factoring in Rick Pitino on the sideline. Joel Soriano is without doubt one of the most efficient huge males within the nation, whereas Jordan Dingle and Chris Ledlum had been high-level scorers within the Ivy League. With a mix of Daniss Jenkins, Glenn Taylor Jr., RJ Luis, Simeon Wilcher and Nahiem Alleyne on the wings, it is laborious to not envision early success for Pitino.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jordan Dingle (23.4 PPG at Penn)
Daniss Jenkins (15.6 PPG at Iona)
Glenn Taylor Jr. (11.6 PPG at Oregon State)
Chris Ledlum (18.8 PPG at Harvard)
Joel Soriano (15.2 PPG)

Dropped out:

Colorado Buffaloes (No. 25)

Subsequent in line:

Colorado Buffaloes
Wisconsin Badgers
Florida Gators
Auburn Tigers
Kansas State Wildcats

Source link

Spread the love

Leave a Reply