Here are college basketball predictions for the 2020-2021 season, which should be as unique as any other season before:
Final Four: Gonzaga, Villanova, Tennessee and Arizona State
Gonzaga will have yet again another talented roster with one of the best perimeters in college basketball. Furthermore, Corey Kispert brings a very good upside to his position and is a very consistent and efficient scorer. Joel Ayayi has the potential to take a massive jump forward being a threat on both ends. Additionally, the addition of Jalen Suggs could put Gonzaga over the top giving them a physical point guard to lead this team. Next, the frontcourt is always the stable of Gonzaga’s teams in their ball screen continuity offense and Drew Timme will need to elevate into that main role. Continuing, the development of Anton Watson and Oumar Ballo will be the difference in Gonzaga’s ceiling as a team.
Villanova will have the most complete team in college basketball and have the most veteran-laden team. They will have Collin Gillespie leading the way at the point being one of the best players in the country. Villanova also has a really good frontcourt player in Jeremiah Robinson-Earl who will take a massive step forward. Now, the most important player could be Justin Moore having the ability to take over the perimeter scoring role for Villanova. Having players who fit really well in their system like Jermaine Samuels and Cole Swider will continue to make a major difference. The addition of Caleb Daniels only adds to this perimeter and he will fit very well in the four out one in in concepts of Villanova. Jay Wright’s team will have a tremendous opportunity to win his third National Championship this season.
Tennessee will have one of the deepest teams in college basketball giving Rick Barnes possibly his best team at Tennessee. The frontcourt will be their best aspect to the team with veterans John Fulkerson and Yves Ponds, along with the transfer addition of E.J. Anosike who will make a major difference with his physicality on the boards. Next, the perimeter will be very talented. Now it will be a matter of it all coming together. Therefore, the development of Josiah-Jordan James will be crucial and Victor Bailey, the transfer, will have a big impact. Star freshman Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer will be active as well. The biggest x-factor will be Santiago Vescovi leading this team at the point guard position. Tennessee’s chemistry and development of talent will be the key for them to make a Final Four run.
Bobby Hurley has the opportunity to have a historic season at Arizona State. Furthermore, the perimeter of this team could very well be the deepest in the country. They are led by one of the best players and point guards in the country with Remy Martin. Next, the scoring of Alonzo Verge Jr. will be impactful and star freshman Josh Christopher will have an immediate impact. Additionally, Marcus Bagley and Kimani Lawrence will give them really good versatility on the wing as well and should be better defensively. The most important factor for Arizona State will be the frontcourt replacing Romello White. Therefore, Jalen Graham and Chris Osten will be crucial for the overall development of this team over the season. Arizona State will be one of the more dynamic offenses in the country.
National Championship Villanova over Gonzaga
Player of the Year- Luka Garza
Coach of the Year- Bobby Hurley
All American 1st Team
Cade Cunningham Oklahoma State
Cunnigham is staying at Oklahoma State, making them a must-watch team next season despite their ineligibility for the NCAA tournament. Furthermore, he will be in competition to be the first overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft with his great size and skill. He will be a really good distributor for Oklahoma State with his size along and passing ability being a forming a great backcourt with Issac Likekele. He can get to the rim well and finishes with good touch consistently.
Also, his ability to have a great feel will make him the focal point of the Oklahoma State offense. Next, his ability to defend will be good with his size and athleticism being able to move laterally well. His shooting should improve throughout the season and once that develops he will be a complete offensive threat. Cunningham will be the best point guard in the country with his versatility and dominant size.
Jared Butler Baylor
Butler is one of the best guards in the country and had an exceptional sophomore season. Now, his scoring ability is outstanding, and his ball control skills are excellent, along with the ability to attack in transition getting to the basket well and pulling up for perimeter jumpers. Furthermore, he has sneaky athleticism with his ability to use his speed to get by players and finish strong around the basket. Additionally, his ability to shoot off the dribble and catch is very good. Butler is the key to the Baylor offensive and is very efficient with the ability to get others involved.
The ability to score in one on one opportunities could improve. Now defensively, he does a very good job of being active off the basketball and being in help consistently. Also, he does a good job of containing the ball with his activity. Butler will be one of the best point guards in the country looking to lead Baylor to a National Championship.
Marcus Zegarowski Creighton
Zegarowski had a phenomenal season and was one of the most improved players in the country. He is one of the best guards in the country. Next, he is a very good shooter off the catch and dribble and plays with a great feel. Furthermore, his ability to move off the ball and make shots at a consistent rate is superior. Also, he is really good at making plays with the basketball going downhill in ball screen action.
He also pulls up in transition consistently with knockdown ability. He does a good job of getting others involved with his passing ability. Zegarowski is an elite shooter and scorer who will be one of the best players in college basketball next season. Now defensively, he does a very solid job on the ball and doesn’t take any chances. He moves well laterally and is in a good position off the ball as well. Zegarowski will lead Creighton towards the top of the Big East and potentially lead the country in scoring.
Corey Kispert Gonzaga
Kispert is a knockdown shooter who really took great strides in becoming the go-to option for Gonzaga on the perimeter. He’s very good in transition getting a 3-point spot-up shot with great ease or using his size to get to the basket effectively. Also, he moves extremely well without the basketball creating space to get open for shots and his great shooting ability. Furthermore, he’s capable of being a really good cutter to the rim and having the size to finish very well. Additionally, he can be very good in ball screen action getting to the middle of the lane with runners and short jumpers.
His area of improvement could be making more shots off the dribble and getting to the rim more often. Kispert is a very good scorer, not just a shooter which he’s great at he has the potential to be a player of the year candidate next season. As for the defensive end, he moves well laterally and has the size to defend drives effectively. He’s a well-rounded defender who is solid in everything he does. Kispert will be one of the best players in college basketball looking to contribute to Gonzaga winning the National Championship.
Luka Garza Iowa
Garza is the best big man in college basketball and is a dominant force with his ability to score at all three levels with the size and skill he brings. He’s physically imposing but his feel and ability to move great with his back to the basket is great. Also, he has the ability to face up and attack very effectively with his short jumper and ability for a drop step. Furthermore, he’s dynamic in ball screen action with stepping out to the 3-point line where he is very good. In addition, he will roll off being a major factor around the rim. Next, his overall mobility and footwork is exceptional and is what really makes him so good and difficult to guard.
He is a really good screener opening himself and others well. Additionally, the touch around the rim is elite and the positioning by Garza is better than any big in the country. As for defensively, he could improve his post positioning and overall technique. Garza will be the leader for National Player of the Year and helping Iowa compete for the National Championship and Big Ten title next season.
Mid Major Run
Saint Louis has the potential to be the Dayton or San Diego State of this season. They played very well against Dayton last season, having a very good roster and having experience. Next, Jordan Goodwin is one of the best two-way players in all of college basketball. Now, Javonte Perkins has the ability to the go-to scorer for Saint Louis and A-10 player of the year potential. Additionally, the physical presence of Hasahn French can not go unnoticed with his ability to score inside and set the tone for this team. Continuing, Yuri Collins and Fred Hatch are player’s who could take a major step forward in his development giving Saint Louis even more consistency to the perimeter. Travis Ford will have this Saint Louis team in a position to make an NCAA tournament run.
Glue Guy of the Year
Mark Vital Baylor
Vital is a perfect fit in what Scott Drew and his program want his overall toughness and versatility defensively is exceptional. He’s the ultimate glue guy who will contribute to winning in any aspect for the team he’s one of the best all-around contributors in the country. Furthermore, he runs the floor hard and can be a factor in transition, and rebounds exceptionally well even though he’s undersized. His offensive ability needs to improve with his shot-making and skill set.
Additionally, he will score on second-chance opportunities and any loose ball is going to be Vital’s, there’s no question about that. Vital’s offensive game needs to work to be somewhat of a factor for them in the scoring department. Now defensively, he’s elite with the ability to guard all positions and give tremendous effort on each position. The ability for him to guard the ball with ease then be able to guard any big very well is extremely impressive. Vital is super important to the success of Baylor and will look to be part of a National Championship team next season.
6th Man of the Year
Malik Hall Michigan State
Hall has the ability to be a very effective stretch four with his ability to move and shoot the basketball. He can make mid-range jumpers effectively stepping away from the interior effectively. In addition, he fits very well into the ball screen roll and replaces offense with his ability to finish at the rim diving strong and shooting from 3. He brings good physicality and toughness on the boards on both ends. The mobility of Hall is his best trait on the offensive end and he has solid hands and touches around the basket.
His sneaky athleticism also makes him dangerous in transition as he runs the floor well. Now defensively, he needs to do a better job defending on the perimeter with his mobility. Furthermore, he must improve in his ball screen defense to guard switches effectively. Hall fits into the Michigan State style as a big and will have a massive role off the bench for Michigan State.
Ed Cooley will have one of his best teams at Providence this season with a veteran team being a factor in the Big East. Next, the backcourt of this team will be very good with Jared Bynum transferring in giving them a true point guard. David Duke has the ability to score and play off the basketball really well. Also, A.J. Reeves gives Providence a go-to player on the wing that can be really dependable. Now, the frontcourt will be solid with the addition of Noah Horchler’s versatility and Nate Watson’s consistent presence inside for Providence. Furthermore, they could have a scorer off the bench in Brycen Goodine and another interior player in Ed Croswell as both of these players can be impact transfers. Providence will be one of the toughest teams to play against each game with the added talent and leadership of Ed Cooley.
The expectations are extremely high for Iowa and anything short of a Final Four type run will be disappointing. Furthermore, they have the best player in the country entering this season in Luka Garza. They have a very good backcourt of Jordan Bohannon and C.J. Frederick who both can fill it up offensively. Next, the ability of Connor McCaffery’s versatility is perfect for Iowa and Joe Wieskamp has great potential on both ends of the floor. However, Wieskamp will only player on Iowa who is continually dependable on the defensive end.
Last year Iowa ranked 257th in the country in opponents’ points per game at 72.3. The defense for Iowa is a major concern entering this season and could hold them make from reaching their potential. Not having great individual defenders is a massive concern for Iowa. Therefore, with there inability to get stops at a consistent rate will cost them at some point in the NCAA Tournament.
Images Courtesy of, Arizona Sports, Creighton University Athletics, Michigan State University Athletics, NBC Sports
You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles written by other great TGH writers along with James!
“From Our Haus to Yours”