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Reagan’s Rankings – That Didn’t Take Long

Well, it didn’t take long to have to edit Reagan’s Rankings. After some surprise decommits and transfers, there has been some movement before the schedule has even been released.

25. Indiana

Getting Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., and Troy Williams back for another year is something so good even Tom Crean can’t mess it up, right? Now if they just learn how to play some defense.

24. Dayton

Holding onto Archie Miller was one of the biggest surprises and successes of any team this offseason. He’s one of the best young coaches in the country and will have his best team yet at Dayton. A run to the second weekend shouldn’t surprise anyone this year.

23. Vanderbilt

People will need to learn just how good Damian Jones is this year. The Commodores were one of the hottest teams in the country at the end of last season and another year of Jones and Riley LaChance will keep this team relevant.

22. Notre Dame

One of the benefits of playing just six-seven guys last season is everyone coming back has great experience. Demetrius Jackson will look to be the next Jerian Grant, while the Irish can play with some size thanks to the growth of Zach Auguste and Bonzie Colson.

21. Texas A&M

What Billy Kennedy has done on the recruiting trail isn’t getting talked about enough. After bringing in Houston transfer Danuel House, he’s loaded up with a top-10 recruiting class. Next year’s team can be historically great for the Aggies.

20. UCLA

Based on what we saw Bryce Alford and Tony Parker due in the NCAA Tournament, there’s no reason UCLA can’t contend in the Pac-12 next year. This could be a sleeper Final Four team based solely on the talent.

19. SMU

Larry Brown has three of his top players returning in what will be his best team at SMU. The Mustangs were a No. 6 seed last year in the NCAA Tournament and expect that number to be better this year. AAC Player of the Year Nic Moore will make a run at National Player of the Year.

18. Baylor

The Bears will be dominant up front again next year but will have plenty of questions at the point guard position. After losing Kenny Cherry, the responsibility falls on Lester Medford to be the full-time point guard.

17. Georgetown

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera coming back could keep John Thompson III’s name off the hot seat for a year. The Hoyas will need to have someone step up on the interior though as they lose Joshua Smith.

16. Xavier

Like a lot of the other teams in the 16-25 range, Xavier has a ton of talent but has one glaring question. For the Muskies, it’s who can play the point guard position after the graduation of Dee Davis. They will have a ton of talent on the wings with Treveon Bluiett expected to be an All-Big East player.

15. Wichita State

The transfer of Anton Grady solidifies the roster and adds some depth. However, I still think the loss of Tekele Cotton will hurt the Shockers more than most people realize. He didn’t put up the stats of Fred VanVleet or Ron Baker but was just as important.

14. LSU

A lot of people will bring up how it’s a bunch of freshmen as the core to this group. It doesn’t matter because Ben Simmons is that good. If Craig Victor can develop into a slightly above average center, this team will be fine.

13. Virginia

The Cavaliers are going to have to rely heavily on Malcolm Brogdon, something that usually doesn’t have to happen with Tony Bennett’s offensive system. However, this team took a major hit losing Justin Anderson and won’t be strong enough to rely on good defense to win.

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 31 Duke at Virginia

The Cavaliers wil have to rely heavily on Malcolm Brogdon to create offense.

12. Michigan State

Tom Izzo got a bad beat with the loss of five-star Caleb Swanigan. He’s not as talented as some of the other freshmen with the five-star label, but he was perfect for Michigan State. However, the Spartans still have Denzel Valentine and former West Virginia guard Eron Harris.

11. California

When did Cuonzo Martin turn into John Calipari? Getting Jabari Bird and Ty Wallace back for another year and surrounding them with Jaylen Brown and Ivan Raab is pretty impressive. This team will be a favorite to win the Pac-12.

10. Arizona

At what point do we start to acknowledge that Arizona will be a top-10 team every preseason as long as Sean Miller is the head coach? He’s built a great program at Arizona after it was destroyed post-Lute Olson.

9. Villanova

Villanova will get to play normal Villanova basketball with the one stretch post player and surrounding him with guards. Get to know the name Josh Hart this year as he’ll make a run at Big East Player of the Year. He was essentially the sixth starter this past season and averaged over 10 points in 25 minutes.

8. Duke

The Blue Devils will have to rely on a ton of talented freshmen yet again this year, but people will refuse to talk about Coach K and the one-and-dones. Grayson Allen will need to play like NCAA title game Grayson Allen for Duke to stay in the top 10.

7. Michigan

This team isn’t being talked about because of how Michigan struggled last season. But, when you look and see it’s because everyone was injured and the Wolverines return everyone, it’s pretty simple to see why this team is going to be loaded. Caris LaVert will be in the race for National Player of the Year.

6. Oklahoma

Depth is still the question at Oklahoma, but the return of four starters including Buddy Hield makes life easier in Norman. If the Sooners can get someone to fill in for TaShawn Thomas, the race for the Big 12 title will have at least three teams.

5. Kansas

A front line of Perry Ellis, Carlton Bragg, Cheick Diallo and Landen Lucas is pretty impressive, especially when you surround that with Wayne Selden, Frank Mason. Brannen Greene and Devonte’ Graham. Bill Self should have a ton of fun coaching this team.

4. Kentucky

Yes, people want to say this team whiffed on the recruiting trail this year, but it’s still a top-5 class. On top of that there’s still Alex Poythress, Tyler Ulis and Marcus Lee returning. Why are people acting like the Wildcats can’t make another Final Four?

3. Maryland

Rasheed Sulaimon transferring to the Terps doesn’t move the needle a ton, but it solidifies depth for Maryland. The biggest thing for Mark Turgeron is finding a way to get Jake Layman minutes at the four spot, where Maryland played better last season.

2. Iowa State

As long as Fred Hoiberg returns to Ames, this team is going to be a favorite to win the title, no matter what happened in the NCAA Tournament. There are of course transfers coming into Iowa State, including Hallice Cooke, who is a volume scorer from Oregon State.

1. North Carolina

Nothing changed for UNC. For right now they hold onto the No. 1 spot.

 

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