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5 Emerging College Basketball Programs


Mark Pope in year one had this team playing as well as any offense in the country. That success has the potential to grow in the West Coast Conference. Moreover, the image of the program is emerging as a national team who is active on the transfer market landing Matt Haarms from Purdue, as well as being heavily in the mix for combo guard Mac McClung from Georgetown. Now, they return talent as well with Kolby Lee, Alex Barcello and Gavin Baxter. The player development will be key for Mark Pope’s continued success but he’s off to a strong start and should only continue to excel during his time at BYU with advantages that other mid-major programs do not have.

Dan Hurley Is Hired as UConn Men's Coach - The New York Times


Dan Hurley is heading into year three and entering the Big East next season. Furthermore, UConn has a star point guard in sophomore guard James Bouknight who will set the tone for the Huskies next season. Also, the recruiting success for UConn and Hurley will continue with being part of the Big East going forward. Next, in the 2020 class they landed two talented frontcourt players in Adam Sanogo and Andre Jackson who will make an instant impact for UConn. UConn is coming back to be one of the premier programs in the country and will reach the NCAA tournament in Hurley’s third season as the start of their future successes.


Steve Piekell has started to figure it out at Rutgers and would have made the NCAA tournament this past season if not for its cancellation. Furthermore, the recruiting routes of New Jersey and the Tri-State area will set up well for Rutgers. Next, as a result of the success recruiting is turning with landing a high-level recruit in Cliff Omoruyi who will have an instant impact on Rutgers’ frontcourt. Continued, he will have a very good team again this season with Geo Baker returning who is as good as any shot maker in the country. They also have a major home-court advantage that they have at their disposal. The emergence of their sophomore class will be very important with Myles Johnson, Montez Mathis, Caleb McConnell and Ron Harper Jr. all taking the next steps forward. Steve Piekell has Rutgers becoming a factor in the Big Ten.

Katz Chats #WCChoops | USF's Todd Golden - YouTubeSan Francisco

Todd Golden is one of the best young head coaches in the country with his analytics background under Kyle Smith and understanding of the game. Next, being in the West Coast Conference, a league that is becoming more well rounded throughout and has the powerhouse in Gonzaga at the top of the league. Further, he will continue to evolve and improve San Francisco with the ability to schedule and use analytics as good as anyone in the country. They have a veteran backcourt, which will be huge with the play of Khalil Shabazz and Jamaree Bouyea. Golden will continue to grow into one of the best young coaches in the country and make San Francisco a major factor in the West Coast Conference.

Arizona State

Bobby Hurley has had good success at Arizona State this far going 93-69 in his first five seasons. Now, they are about to emerge even further with landing higher-level recruits in Joshua Christopher and Marcus Bagley. They will be joining Remy Martin and Alonzo Verge on the perimeter making them really hard to guard. The toughness that Hurley brings to the sidelines goes through his team and will continue to show. They could very well be the PAC 12 favorites this season and could set the tone for Hurley’s future success at Arizona State. A PAC 12 conference that has lacked consistency could be taken over by Hurley for years to come if they have a massive season coming up.

Images Courtesy of, KSL Sports, The New York Times, YouTube

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