Now that the start of the regular season is just around the corner, my national college basketball preview is hitting those green boxes (and hopefully your doorstep) tomorrow morning and will pop up online later tonight.
In it, I’ll be looking at some of the rule changes hitting the game this year. Will the result be a higher-scoring more exciting product on the court? I talked to a lot of folks who had a lot of different opinions about that. Also included are some preseason predictions. I take a gander at some of the country’s best players, shakiest coaching jobs, dark horses to consider and storylines in the Big Ten. And in my national rankings, Iowa State –yes, Iowa State – makes a curtain call despite last year’s flop (albeit not as bold this time around).
So be sure to pick up your copy and hold me accountable on Twitter though four months of twists and turns that I could not possibly foresee!
In the meantime, a little tease of the bounty of college hoops gold that awaits – my top 8 teams at the start of 2015-16:
- North Carolina – A healthy Marcus Paige will make all the difference, which is good for Roy Williams and the Tarheels. They need to make hay while the sun shines with NCAA sanctions over the school’s widespread academic fraud looming.
- Kentucky – Once again, we’re looking at the Wildcats wondering how quickly their youth will click. With Haitian forward Skal Labissiere cleared by the NCAA last week, I’m guessing it will happen sooner rather than later.
- Maryland –Boasting the league’s best player, top freshman recruit and plenty of depth, the Terrapins should continue their rise.
- Virginia – Yes, Justin Anderson is gone. But coach Tony Bennett’s system is solid and his defense is going to be a nightmare for opponents again this year.
- Kansas – Bill Self’s 11-year Big 12 title streak is not ending this year with Frank Mason, Perry Ellis and presumably freshman big man Cheick Diallo – whose eligibility is still pending – in the fold.
- Wichita State – Last chance to watch the dynamic senior backcourt duo of Fred Van Vleet and Ron Baker destroy opponent defenses. Should be fun.
- Iowa State – Ok, so the Cyclones definitely did not win the NCAA tournament, as I predicted back in March. Their early exit will only add fuel to the fire, even without the Mayor, former coach Fred Hoiberg.
- Michigan State – Three starters from a Final Four squad return along with plenty of depth and athleticism. Don’t count Tom Izzo out.