I'm a Syracuse fan, and as such don't care for UConn, but unlike any other sport, I find I have an allegiance to the conference, and I root for the conference in the big tournament even though they may be mortal enemies during the year (I think it's an outspring of my going to the Big East Tournament for 20+ years).
Anyway, I really look forward to seeing UConn play this year. Drummond looks like an absolute beast. And I really like Lamb. My hope is that they can play a more mobile offense this year, as opposed to last year where it was so reliant on Kemba, and my fear is that Napier feels like he can just step into that role and take all the bad shots he wants. But with that front line, they should really be playing inside out this year. I don't have a ton of confidence in Calhoun as an offensive coach. He's a great recruiter, in that he has a better eye for talent than most, he's better at finding underrated prospects than anyone. And he's a great defensive coach, his 2-2-1 press is diverse in looks, and controls tempo, and is one of the most unique things in basketball. And he's a great motivator, his teams always play hard. But whenever his teams elevate to genuine championship contender, it doesn't seem to be a coincidence that it's when he's got a big time creator on the floor with the ball, like Kemba, or Khalid. Because he just doesn't seem to be able to generate offense on his own. He needs a player to do it for him.
I have every intention of going to see Drummond play a game this year at St. T's.
One little thing on UNC, as far as I know Dexter Strickland will still be the starting SG and back-up PG. I haven't read or heard anything about Bullock starting in his place. Bullock has a much higher ceiling and a lot of potential (and he's a future NBA player) but he missed most of last season, Dexter came on VERY strong towards the end of the year, and Roy is usually pretty "set in his ways" when it comes to things like that.
1. north carolina - best front court in the nation, not too reliant on freshmen, great depth, only question is shooting guard. barnes could easily be player of the year.
2. kentucky - top recruiting class, calipari's best yet, and that says something, to join terrence jones, darius miller, and doron lamb. anthony joesn could be no.1 overall pick, a ton of talent on their roster. its their inexperience that puts them behind north carolina, not a lack of raw talent
3. ohio state - sullinger is for my money, the best player in the country, hes surrounded by solid player in buford and craft, as well as deshaun thomas who scored well when he played last year.
4. uconn - if drummond plays as well as others think, uconn could be special, i dont think he will dominate tho, too many lackluster games in hs, and a lack of intensity will be exposed in college, he'll still be very good though. returning napier, oriakhi, and lamb who gained a lot of experience
5. vandy - great trio of jeff taylor, festus ezuli, and john jenkins, nice experienced team.
6. duke - good backcourt depth, but lacking an experienced true point guard. rivers could be great, but we'll have to wait and see what kind of freedom coach k gives him. the plumlees and ryan kelly form a long front court. if mason plumlee or ryan kelly live up to thier potential duke could be a real contender
7. syracuse - nice well-rounded experienced team, featuring kris joseph, a good true pg in jardine, and brandon triche. dione waiters could be a great scorer if he fulfills his potential
8. florida - nice experienced backcourt with irving and boyton, with 5 star recruit beal joining them. i think beal could be a really good player, no real holes in his game, smooth and under control is how he plays. if patric young can control the paint this team could be dangerous, a lot on his shoulders though, with their thin frontcourt
9. pitt - experienced and solid, gibbs should be one of the best scorers in the country next year
10. louisville - well rounded team with two blue chip recruits in behanan and blackshear
Villanova won't be top 10 in the Big East, never mind the country. I don't get why they are on your just missed list. Yes, Kansas is talented. But way too many question marks to call them a top 10 team this early. Anyways mine is: