Here are the top college basketball season storylines entering the 2021-2022 season:
Coach K’s Farewell Tour
The Coach K Farewell Tour will be the biggest of the college basketball season storylines Now, does Mike Krzyzewski have the team set up to make major noise in the ACC and compete for a National Championship? To start Paolo Banchero will be one of the best players in the country with his versatility offensively and size at his position to attack mismatches with ease. Along with, his presence defensively on the glass with his effort and athleticism. Next, Mark Williams has the ability to be one of the best breakout bigs in the country with his ability to be an entire rim protector. As well as, the efficiency on Williams around the basket on the offensive end. The front-court duo of Banchero and Williams will be a matchup problem for opposing teams throughout the season. The backcourt of Duke will be the major question mark on their overall potential.
This begins with the development of Jeremy Roach and his ability to be more efficient on the offensive end. Continued, Trevor Keels will need to add offensive firepower from the perimeter next to Wendell Moore who’s experience should be crucial for Duke’s success. The injury of AJ Griffin is going to be a major concern for Duke because their potential without him in the lineup will not be the same. Overall, the potential is there for Duke to win the ACC and make a deep NCAA tournament if some of these question marks are answered.
Is this Finally Gonzaga’s Year?
The expectations for Gonzaga will remain the same as a year ago falling short of their perfect season against Baylor in the National Championship. Therefore, getting back there will be a challenge, but without question, Gonzaga has the players to return. This starts with the consensus preseason All-American in Drew Timme who will look to further expand his offensive game being the best big in college basketball. Gonzaga will have a major traditional look with another big entering their rotation with Chet Holmgren who will add tremendous versatility and skill next to Timme in the frontcourt. The backcourt of Gonzaga will have high expectations again with Andrew Nembhard truly taking the reins as the lead point guard, as well as being paired next to Hunter Salis and Nolan Hickman who are both highly regarded freshmen with major expectations.
The development of Julian Strawther and Anton Watson will be key components in adding to the overall depth and size of Gonzaga on the wings and frontcourt. The offensive firepower and talent are there for Gonzaga, but can they finally get that National Championship will be one of the major college basketball season storylines
Chris Beard’s Immediate Impact at Texas
Chris Beard had major success at Texas Tech taking the program to new heights reaching the National Championship in 2019. Now, he has returned to his alma mater in Texas and has an extremely talented roster with huge expectations in year one. Therefore, can this roster all come together in one season to mesh with the incoming players transferring from other schools and retaining players such as Courtney Ramey and Andrew Jones? The biggest thing for Texas will be having buy-in from the roster as a whole and determining the best rotations. The backcourt is loaded with Courtney Ramey, Andrew Jones and Marcus Carr playing the three in combinations will be intriguing to watch.
Also, having the likes of Devin Askew and Jase Febres in the mix as well will be interesting. As for the frontcourt talent is there as well with Tre Mitchell, Christian Bishop and Dylan Disu all being major contributors. Along with, having a player with the versatility on the wing in Timmy Allen who will add scoring and toughness guarding multiple positions. There is a lot of talent across the board for Chris Beard if they can be it all together lookout because Texas will be right there to win the National Championship.
Matt Painter’s Best Team at Purdue?
Matt Painter has come very close to having a Final Four team at Purdue whether in 2010 with the injury to Robbie Hummel or in 2019 losing the epic Elite 8 game to Virginia. However, Purdue has the potential now to be the best yet under Matt Painter in his tenure. To start, Purdue has one of the best front-court players in the country with Trevion Williams who can consistently average 18-20 points with 10 plus rebounds a game. They also have one of the best guards in the country who should take a massive step forward in his sophomore season in Jaden Ivey? The frontcourt will be dominant in part because of Williams, but also because Zach Edey with an off-season should become a greater force.
Next, they have one of the best shooters in the country with Sasha Stefanovic who fits in perfectly within the Purdue offense. Also, Eric Hunter should be a very good secondary option on the perimeter for Purdue next to Jaden Ivey. The depth of Purdue will be a strong suit with having Brandon Newman, Isaiah Thompson, and Caleb Furst off the bench. The dynamic duo of Trevion Williams and Jaden Ivey will headline the potential of Purdue’s chances at a National Championship.
Can Memphis live up to the Hype?
Penny Hardaway has yet another number one recruiting class for this coming season headlined by Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates, now can they finally have NCAA tournament success? Now, this team has veterans built within this roster unlike in 2019-2020 with the James Wiseman class. Therefore, Landers Nolley has the ability to be the go-to guy on the wing for Memphis. With adding perimeter scoring with his experience. Also, DeAndre Williams will be crucial for Memphis fitting within his role adding the ability to make an impact without the basketball and being a two-way player. Continued, Lester Quinones will add size and defense to the Memphis perimeter being a lead to their success defensively.
As for the dynamic freshman, Emoni Bates could have the greatest responsibility running the point guard for Memphis and will be the key for their offensive success. Also, Jalen Duren can have a significant impact adding to their defensive potential with his rim protection and being a major threat in transition as a rim runner. If the Memphis offense can find consistency with having an elite defense this will make Memphis one of the most dynamic teams and best in the country. Penny Hardaway has the talent and if they can put it all together they will make major noise come March and potentially in April.
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