30 October 2015: Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski (left) with assistant Jon Scheyer (right). The Duke University Blue Devils hosted the Florida Southern College Moccasins at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina in a 2015-16 NCAA Men's Basketball Exhibition game. Duke won the game 112-68. (Photograph by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)
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Rothstein’s Top 25: Duke tops preseason edition

Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire

Check out below for the preseason edition of the FanRag Sports Top 25, which will be updated every Monday during the regular season.

1. Duke

The Skinny: Mike Krzyzewski has the team to beat — again.

2. Villanova

The Skinny: No Omari Spellman, no problem.

3. Kansas

The Skinny: Death, taxes, and Bill Self at Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

4. Xavier

The Skinny: Edmond Sumner is a volcano just waiting to erupt.

5. Kentucky

The Skinny: People will be comparing Bam Adebayo to Blake Griffin by Christmas.

6. Wisconsin

The Skinny: The Badgers return over 99.0 percent of their scoring from last year’s team that reached the Sweet 16.

7. Oregon

The Skinny: Dana Altman’s squad is more talented than it was a year ago — seriously.

8. Virginia

The Skinny: Memphis transfer Austin Nichols is a legitimate All-ACC first-team candidate.

17 February 2016: North Carolina's Joel Berry II. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels hosted the Duke University Blue Devils at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in a 2015-16 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball game. Duke won the game 74-73. (Photograph by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)

(Photograph by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)

9. North Carolina

The Skinny: Joel Berry is on the verge of being one of the sport’s top point guards.

10. Indiana

The Skinny: Don’t blink, you’ll miss Pitt transfer Josh Newkirk.

11. Michigan State

The Skinny: Tom Izzo’s best recruiting class ever should keep the Spartans in position for yet another Big Ten title.

12. Louisville

The Skinny: Rick Pitino has two burgeoning stars in sophomores Donovan Mitchell and Deng Adel.

13. Arizona

The Skinny: The Wildcats are noticeably more talented than they were a year ago.

14. Gonzaga

The Skinny: Mark Few will likely start three transfers — Nigel Williams-Goss (Washington), Jordan Mathews (Cal), and John Williams (Missouri).

15. UCLA

The Skinny: Five-Star freshmen Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf should both be instant starters.

16. Syracuse

The Skinny: Freshman wing Tyus Battle is the best first-year player that nobody is talking about.

March 12, 2016: Michigan Wolverines forward Mark Donnal (34) defends Purdue Boilermakers forward Caleb Swanigan (50) during the men's Big Ten Tournament basketball game between the Michigan Wolverines and Purdue Boilermakers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

17. Purdue

The Skinny: Matt Painter might have the sport’s best three-four-five triumvirate with Vincent Edwards, Caleb Swanigan, and Isaac Haas.

18. West Virginia

The Skinny: The Mountaineers look like the Big 12’s second best team behind Kansas.

19. UConn

The Skinny: Freshman point guard Alterique Gilbert will form a potent back court combination with Jalen Adams.

20. Cincinnati

The Skinny: NC State transfer Kyle Washington has a chance to be the best offensive big man that Mick Cronin has ever coached.

21. Dayton

The Skinny: Archie Miller has four players on his roster — Scoochie Smith, Kyle Davis, Charles Cooke, and Kendall Pollard — that will be 22 during Atlantic 10 play.

22. Rhode Island

The Skinny: This is the season that Danny Hurley finally takes the Rams to the NCAA Tournament.

23. Virginia Tech

The Skinny: Buzz Williams has the best team in the ACC that nobody’s talking about.

24. Cal

The Skinny: Sophomore big man Ivan Rabb is a legitimate national player of the year candidate.

25. Colorado

The Skinny: Remember the name Derrick White.

07 January 2016: Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey watches from the sideline. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Boston College Eagles 82-54 in an ACC conference game at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photograph by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

(Photograph by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

Five on the cusp:

Saint Mary’s

The Skinny: The Gaels return everybody from a team that won 29 games last season.

Notre Dame

The Skinny: Betting against Mike Brey is like betting against Christian Bale in a Batman movie.


The Skinny: Greg McDermott may have the Big East’s best back court in Maurice Watson and Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster.


The Skinny: Five starters return from last year’s team that reached the NCAA Tournament.

Seton Hall

The Skinny: Kevin Willard has the most underrated defensive team in the sport, but who steps in for Isaiah Whitehead?

Jon Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and is the lead college basketball columnist for the FanRag Sports Network. He is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks, which is available via iTunes. Rothstein is also a regular in-studio correspondent for both WFAN and CBS Sports Radio. He currently lives in Manhattan. 

Rothstein’s Top 25: Duke tops preseason edition
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