2015-2016 College Basketball Way-Too Early Preseason Top 25
PLEASE NOTE: We have since updated our Preseason Top 25.
The updated rankings, which reflect decisions made by the likes of Buddy Hield, Yogi Ferrell, Caris LeVert, Kyle Wiltjer and Derryck Thornton, can be found here.
1. North Carolina
- Who’s back: Everyone. Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson, Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks.
- Who’s gone: Desmond Hubert.
- Who they’re getting: Luke Maye
- Why they’re here: Marcus Paige is going to be healthy, the Tar Heels return their entire front line and Joel Berry and Justin Jackson will have a full offseason to turn into the complimentary players they showed flashes of being at the end of the season.
2. Iowa State
- Who’s back: Georges Niang, Monte’ Morris*, Naz Long, Jameel McKay, Matt Thomas, Fred Hoiberg*
- Who’s gone: Bryce Dejean-Jones
- Who they’re getting: Hallice Cooke, Deonte Burton, Chieck Diallo*
- Why they’re here: Assuming that Hoiberg is back in Ames next season, it looks like he’s going to have the best team of his coaching career. Morris and Niang will be back with Burton, a Marquette transfer, getting eligible in December and McKay back to control the paint. Even if they miss on Diallo, the Cyclones are looking at being a top five team.
- Who’s back: Melo Trimble, Jake Layman*, Jared Nickens, Michal Cevosky
- Who’s gone: Dez Wells, Richaud Pack
- Who they’re getting: Robert Carter, Diamond Stone, Jaylen Brantley
- Why they’re here: Getting Trimble to announce that he will be coming back to school is huge, as would the return of Layman, because the Terps are going to have plenty of firepower up front. Georgia Tech transfer Carter and top ten recruit Stone will headline one of the better front lines in the Big Ten.
- Who’s back: Tyler Ulis*, Marcus Lee*, Alex Poythress*, Dakari Johnson*
- Who’s gone: Karl Towns*, Willie Cauley-Stein*, Aaron Harrison*, Andrew Harrison*, Trey Lyles*, Devin Booker*
- Who they’re getting: Isaiah Briscoe, Skal Labissiere*, Charles Matthews
- Why they’re here: So much of Kentucky’s 2015-2016 team is in the air. Who is returning to school? Who is going pro? Will they get any of the McDonald’s All-Americans that have yet to commit to a school? Will Labissiere be eligible? We’ll have a much better idea by the end of the month.
- Who’s back: Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill, Mike Tobey, London Perrantes
- Who’s gone: Darion Atkins, Justin Anderson*
- Who they’re getting: Jarred Reuter
- Why they’re here: The Cavs return essentially their entire roster from the 2015-2016 team with the notable exception of Anderson. Without him, they really struggled to score at times. If Anderson does actually return to school, UVA would probably shoot up as high as No. 2.
- Who’s back: Perry Ellis*, Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham, Wayne Selden*, Brannen Greene*, Svi Mykhailiuk
- Who’s gone: Kelly Oubre, Cliff Alexander*
- Who they’re getting: Carlton Bragg
- Why they’re here: Bill Self. Beyond that, there’s not a lot that I love about this team next season beyond Bill Self. Mason and Graham will be a very good back court, and getting Selden back will be a key. How much does Mykhailiuk develop, and will Bragg turn into a low-post hoss?
- Who’s back: Ryan Arcidiacono, Josh Hart, Daniel Ochefu
- Who’s gone: JayVaughn Pinkston, Darrun Hilliard
- Who they’re getting: Jalen Brunson, Tim Delaney, Donte Divincenczo
- Why they’re here: Losing Hilliard and Pinkston is really going to hurt, but there are two things that make be feel really good about this Villanova team: Hart is going to be an all-Big East player this season, and Brunson is the real deal.
- Who’s back: Rico Gathers*, Taurean Prince*, Jonathan Motley, Lester Medford
- Who’s gone: Kenny Chery, Royce O’Neale
- Who they’re getting: King McClure, Jake Lindsey, Wendell Mitchell, Joseph Acuil
- Why they’re here: Assuming that Gathers and Prince return, the Bears will have one of the best front lines in the country. The big issue for them is going to be their ball-handling. Can Lester Medford handle full time point guard duties?
9. Michigan State
- Who’s back: Denzel Valentine, Lourawls Nairn, Bryn Forbes
- Who’s gone: Travis Trice, Branden Dawson
- Who they’re getting: Eron Harris, Deyonta Davis, Matt McQuaid
- Why they’re here: West Virginia transfer Harris is going to have a chance to be a very, very good player in this back court. They need Nairn to take a significant step forward, particularly offensively, but Valentine may end up being the Big Ten Player of the Year.
- Who’s back: Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Elliott Pitts, Dusan Ristic, Gabe York
- Who’s gone: Stanley Johnson*, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson*, Brandon Ashley, T.J. McConnell, Kaleb Tarczewski*
- Who they’re getting: Justin Simon, Ray Smith, Chance Comanche, Allonzo Trier, Ryan Anderson
- Why they’re here: Sean Miller is once again bringing in a loaded class, which he’ll need as the Wildcats will likely end up losing their entire starting lineup from a season ago. There will likely be a learning curve here, but there is enough talent -- on the roster and the coaching staff -- to make some noise.
- Who’s back: Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines, Yante Maten, J.J. Frazier
- Who’s gone: Marcus Thornton, Nemanja Djurisic
- Who they’re getting: Jaylen Brown*, William Jackson, William Ogbeide, E’Torrion Wilridge
- Why they’re here: If they don’t get Brown -- which is probably more likely than them landing him -- we’re looking at a top 20-25 team.
12. N.C. State
- Who’s back: Trevor Lacey, Cat Barber, BeeJay Anya, Kyle Washington
- Who’s gone: Ralston Turner, Desmond Lee
- Who they’re getting: Terry Henderson
- Why they’re here: The Wolfpack have enough talent on their roster to compete for an ACC title next season.
- Who’s back: Trevon Bluiett, Jalen Reynolds, Myles Davis
- Who’s gone: Dee Davis, Matt Stainbrook
- Who they’re getting: Kaiser Gates
- Why they’re here: We’re expecting Bluiett and Reynolds to take a big step forward.
- Who’s back: Matt Jones, Grayson Allen, Marshall Plumlee, Amile Jefferson
- Who’s gone: Tyus Jones*, Jahlil Okafor*, Justise Winslow*
- Who they’re getting: Brandon Ingram*, Luke Kennard, Chase Jeter, Sean Obi
- Why they’re here: If Jones comes back, they’ll be a top ten team. If they don’t end up getting Ingram, they’re probably closer to No. 25.
- Who’s back: Quentin Snider, Shaqquan Aaron, Mangok Mathiang
- Who’s gone: Terry Rozier, Montrezl Harrell, Wayne Blackshear
- Who they’re getting: Trey Lewis*, Donovan Mitchell, Ray Spalding, Deng Adel
- Why they’re here: Part of it is loving their freshmen class, part of it is faith in Rick Pitino and part of it is the assumption that they have more additions coming.
- Who’s back: Ty Wallace*, Jabari Bird*, Jordan Mathews, Kameron Rooks
- Who’s gone: David Kravish
- Who they’re getting: Ivan Raab*, Caleb Swanigan*, Stephen Domingo, Davon Dillard
- Who’s back: Bryce Alford, Tony Parker, Isaac Hamilton*, Thomas Welsh
- Who’s gone: Kevon Looney, Norman Powell
- Who they’re getting: Jonah Bolden, Prince Ali, Aaron Holiday, Alex Olesinki
- Who’s back: Isaac Copeland*, L.J. Peak, Tre Campbell, Paul White
- Who’s gone: D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Josh Smith, Mikael Hopkins
- Who they’re getting: Marcus Derrickson, Jessie Govan, Kaleb Johnson
- Who’s back: Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig
- Who’s gone: Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker*, Josh Gasser, Traevon Jackson, Duje Dukan
- Who they’re getting: Brevin Pritzl, Charlie Thomas, Alex Illikainen, Jahlil Iverson
- Who’s back: Duane Wilson, Sandy Cohen, Jajuan Johnson, Luke Fischer
- Who’s gone: Juan Anderson, Matt Carlino, Derrick Wilson
- Who they’re getting: Henry Ellenson, Matt Heldt, Traci Carter, Haanif Cheatham, Sacar Anim
21. Notre Dame
- Who’s back: Zach Auguste, Demetrius Jackson, Steve Vasturia, Bonzie Colson
- Who’s gone: Jerian Grant, Pat Connaughton
- Who they’re getting: Rex Pflueger, Elijah Burns, Matt Ryan
- Who’s back: Kyle Wiltjer*, Przemek Karnowski, Domas Sabonis, Josh Perkins
- Who’s gone: Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell, Byron Wesley
- Who they’re getting: None as of right now (Jesse Wade will be on his LDS mission)
- Who’s back: Damian Jones, Riley LaChance, Wade Baldwin
- Who’s gone: James Siakam
- Who they’re getting: Camron Justice, D’jery Baptiste, Samir Sehic, Joseph Toye
- Who’s back: Dillon Brooks, Jordan Bell, Dwayne Benjamin, Elgin Cook
- Who’s gone: Joseph Young
- Who they’re getting: Tyler Dorsey, Kendall Small, Trevor Manuel
- Who’s back: Kellen Dunham, Roosevelt Jones, Andrew Charbacsz, Kelan Martin
- Who’s gone: Alex Barlow, Kameron Woods
- Who they’re getting: Nate Fowler, Sean McDermott