The 2021-2022 college basketball season has come to a close. Fans will be looking forward to next season, even if it is hard to forecast. Things will be even more up in the air this season with over 1,000 players in the transfer portal. Either way, here is the way too early 2021-2022 college basketball top 25.
1. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga is coming off of a great season and can keep things going for next year. Corey Kispert and Jalen Suggs are likely gone next year, but Gonzaga could return just about everyone else. They’ll likely have to do some work on the recruitng class and on the transfer market, but the Bulldogs will be competitive again.
2. Michigan Wolverines
Hunter Dickinson is likely going to be back in Ann Arbor. To go along with the developing big man, the Wolverines have the top-rated recruiting class according to 247 sports. Even the possibility of losing Franz Wagner and Mike Smith won’t hold the Wolverines back too much.
3. Villanova Wildcats
The Wildcats’ season had a wrench thrown into it after Collin Gillespie had a season-ending knee injury. If he comes back for a fifth season, the Wildcats will be right in the thick of the National Championship contenders. Justin Moore and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl should also be back to go with a top five recruiting class.
4. Baylor Bears
This rankings is very much dependent on Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell‘s NBA Draft decisions. If they are both back, they will join Matthew Meyer and hope to make another Final Four. Their departures would drop Baylor way down the rankings.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
6. Houston Cougars
As with every team on this list, if some players use their extra year of eligibility or if others decide to not go pro, these teams will benefit. Houston could return Quentin Grimes to go with Marcus Sasser. If they get some seniors, like Dejon Jarreau, to stay too, Houston will be really good again.
7. Maryland Terrapins
Maryland hit the transfer market hard and came away with Rhode Island guard Fatts Russell and Georgetwon center Qudus Wahab. With Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins returning, Maryland could really improve next season.
8. Duke Blue Devils
Duke had a disappointing season, but that shouldn’t hold them back next year. The Blue Devils have a top five recruiting class to help things. If Matthew Hurt comes back, Duke will have National Champiosnhip aspirations.
9. Virginia Cavaliers
10. Florida State Seminoles
Scottie Barnes is likely heading to the pros and M.J. Walker was a senior. Even if Walker decides to not utilize his fifth year, Florida State will be fine. Those are the only major contributors the Seminoles will lose and they have the second-best recruiting class coming in for 2021-2022.
11. UCLA Bruins
Mick Cronin has done a fantastic job at UCLA. Can they recapture what they found during their run in March? It wil take Johnny Juzang returning and Chris Smith healing from his ACL tear. If the Bruins get those two things right, they could win the Pac-12.
12. Arkansas Razorbacks
13. Alabama Crimson Tide
Herb Jones and John Petty may leave, but even if they do, Alabama has Jaden Sackelford, Jahvon Quinerly and Joshua Primo ready to take that next step. Nate Oats will have the team ready to be competitive next season.
14. Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue has a chance to return all key players from last season. They were a young team last season and now can grow to be even better.
15. Kansas Jayhawks
Losing Marcus Garrett will hurt, but Kansas should return almost everyone else, including David McCormack, Jalen Wilson and Ochai Agbaji. The Jayhawks may or may not be eligible for the postseason based on NCAA rulings, but they will be tough if they retain their talent.
16. Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky has become “Transfer U”. Kellan Grady and Oscar Tshiebwe will play major roles. If Davion Mintz, Isaiah Jackson or any other players return, it would be another huge boost. Even if all else fails, they will have their transfers to pair with a top five recruiting class.
17. Illinois Fighting Illini
Adam Miller has entered the transfer portal, which moves Illinois down a bit. They could lose Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu, which would mean Trent Frazier would need to really step up. if he returns, along with Andre Curbelo.
18. Michigan State Spartans
The Spartans had a down year, but they should get a lot of key players, including Aaron Henry back. With a top 10 recruiting class, Tom Izzo will likely rebound well next season.
19. UConn Huskies
20. Arizona Wildcats
There are still some questions about the NCAA investigation, but Arizona has a solid roster. James Akinjo will lead a veteran team next season.
21. North Carolina Tar Heels
UNC will lose some players to graduation and others to transfer. They’ll also have a new coach in Hubert Davis. The Tar Heels still should have enough talent to improve on the last two seasons. Amando Bacot and Caleb Love could improve a ton before next season.
22. Oregon Ducks
Oregon could lose their top three scorers, but Dana Altman has done a fantastic job of keeping the roster stocked with talent.
23. Creighton Blue Jays
24. Wichita State Shockers
Tyson Etienne had a great sophomore season and should be able to lead the Shockers to some success in the AAC.
25. Tennessee Volunteers
Getting Justin Powell as a transfer to replace their one and done freshmen helps. Rick Barnes will have his team ready to play in 2021-2022.
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