The Top 5 College Basketball Teams for the 2016-17 Season
As college football season slowly works towards the end, all eyes have turned to basketball with tournaments underway all around the country. Here is a preview of some of the top teams that college basketball will showcase this season.
Coming off of an impressive 2015-16 season which included a Big 10 championship and an appearance in the Sweet 16, the Indiana Hoosiers will look to repeat their success while maintaining most of their core. Although they did lose a large piece of their offensive production in the sensational Yogi Farrell, the Hoosiers will return Troy Williams as well as James Blackmon Jr to the lineup and try to defend their Big 10 title. Moreover, keep an eye out for Thomas Bryant who was pivotal in the teams run through the NCAA Tournament last season. Ultimately, Tom Crean wasn’t able to put together as competitive of a recruiting class as he had liked, but the 17th overall list should provide some depth for the Hoosiers.
Unfortunately, Sean Miller’s legacy at Arizona has been one of great success that has ultimately fell short of providing the ultimate prize to the University of Arizona. A prime example is last year, when the Wildcats came off of back to back Elite Eight appearances only to lose in the first round of the 2016 tournament. However, Miller was able to put together the sixth best recruiting class in the nation for the upcoming season, as well as benefit from Allonzo Trier staying in Tucson for one more year. The Wildcats will surely be put through the ringer in Pac-12 play, however will be battle-tested come March.
Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. This is where John Calipari has thrived in recent memory as the head coach at Kentucky, and the story is the same this year as he once again landed himself at the top of the ESPN recruiting list. Despite losing loads of underclassmen talent including Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis, this news is nothing new to the Wildcats as reloading has become a key trend in the program’s success over the years. Moreover, Isiah Briscoe will return and provide Big Blue Nation with some veteran leadership as they strive to greatness once more.
Duke Blue Devils
Success breeds tradition in college basketball, and no one has had more success than Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke Blue Devils. Although they did lose a primary scoring option in Brandon Ingram to the NBA, the Blue Devils do return sophomore guard Grayson Allen as well as reload with two of the top players out of the ESPN Top 100 recruiting class. These commitments have landed Duke as the second highest ranked recruiting class for the upcoming season, and situate them to find themselves in the Final Four once again. This is not to mention they play in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
North Carolina Tar Heels
College basketball analysts have established the Tar Heels as the most all around built team in the country in the early going. After literally falling seconds short of another NCAA title in last year’s championship game, the Tar Heels did lose a lot of production in the offseason due to the departures of both Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige. However, Roy Williams and company will have to rely on veterans Kennedy Meeks and Isiah Hicks to repeat the teams recent success. And really, having to depend on those two for offensive output is a problem that most coaches in the country would probably ask for.