CBS Sports Ridiculous EARLY 2015-2016 Top 25 and One

  • Consequently, it’s time to reassess the Top 25 (and one).

    Here’s an updated version:


    •Notable players definitely gone: J.P. Tokoto

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, Justin Jackson, Joel Berry, Joel James, Natre Britt, Theo Pinson

    •Others expected to join the roster: Kenny Williams, Luke Maye

    Why the Tar Heels are ranked here: The top four scorers – and every rotation player except J.P. Tokoto – are returning from a team that finished 11th in KenPom’s final ratings and made the Sweet 16. The late addition of Kenny Williams adds a shooter to the roster. So the Tar Heels are talented, experienced and deep, which is a nice combination.


    •Notable players definitely gone: Dez Wells, Evan Smotrycz, Richaud Pack, Jon Graham

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Melo Trimble, Jake Layman, Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens, Damonte Dodd, Michal Cekovsky

    •Others expected to join the roster: Diamond Stone, Robert Carter, Jaylen Brantley

    Why the Terrapins are ranked here: Maryland is among the big winners this offseason because two potential pros (Melo Trimble and Jake Layman) both passed on the NBA Draft while a five-star recruit (Diamond Stone) committed. Add Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter to the roster, and there’s no ceiling on what’s possible for Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins.

    3. KANSAS

    •Notable players definitely gone: Kelly Oubre, Cliff Alexander

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Perry Ellis, Frank Mason, Wayne Selden, Jamari Traylor, Brannen Greene, Devonte’ Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Landen Lucas

    •Others expected to join the roster: Cheick Diallo, Carlton Bragg

    Why the Jayhawks are ranked here:

    So many quality pieces from a Big 12 championship team are returning that it would be silly to have Kansas any lower than this – especially after the addition of five-star forward Cheick Diallo. In other words, yes, the Jayhawks should win a 12th straight league title under Bill Self.


    •Notable players definitely gone: Karl-Anthony Towns, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker, Dakari Johnson, Willie Cauley-Stein

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Tyler Ulis, Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress, Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins

    •Others expected to join the roster: Skal Labissiere, Isaiah Briscoe, Charles Matthews, Mychal Mulder

    Why the Wildcats are ranked here: It’s amazing that John Calipari missed on basically every high-level prospect he targeted over the past month. What’s also amazing is that he’ll still have a roster talented enough to make a fifth Final Four in six seasons.


    •Notable players definitely gone: Bryce Dejean-Jones, Dustin Hogue, Daniel Edozie

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Georges Niang, Abdel Nader, Monte Morris, Naz Long, Jameel McKay, Matt Thomas

    •Others expected to join the roster: Deonte Burton, Hallice Cooke, Nick Noskowiak

    Why the Cyclones are ranked here: Fred Hoiberg has turned Iowa State into a consistent winner, and there’s no reason to think that’ll change next season given that the Cyclones’ top three scorers are returning. Consequently, they’ll have a shot at the Big 12 title, assuming their homecourt advantage remains one of the nation’s best.

    1. DUKE

    •Notable players definitely gone: Quinn Cook, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Grayson Allen, Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones, Marshall Plumlee

    •Others expected to join the roster: Derryck Thornton, Brandon Ingram, Chase Jeter, Luke Kennard, Sean Obi, Antonio Vrankovic

    Why the Blue Devils are ranked here: Derryck Thornton’s reclassification and commitment to Duke was big and crucial to replacing Tyus Jones, and the Blue Devils backed that by landing in-state star Brandon Ingram. Is this recruting class as talented as last year’s recruiting class? No. But it’ll allow Duke to endure the loss of its top four scorers as well as anybody could’ve reasonably expected.


    •Notable players definitely gone: Darion Atkins, Justin Anderson

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill, Mike Tobey, London Perrantes, Marial Shayok, Evan Nolte, Devon Hall

    •Others expected to join the roster: Darius Thompson, Jack Salt, Jarred Reuter

    Why the Cavaliers are ranked here: Justin Anderson entering the NBA Draft dropped Virginia from the top spot. The Cavaliers will still be good. But they’ll now be without two of the top four scorers from a team that won the ACC this past season.


    •Notable players definitely gone: Travis Trice, Branden Dawson

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Denzel Valentine, Marvin Clark, Matt Costello, Gavin Schilling, Alvin Ellis, Bryn Forbes, Lourawls Nairn

    •Others expected to join the roster: Caleb Swanigan, Eron Harris, Deyonta Davis, Matthew McQuaid, Kyle Ahrens

    Why the Spartans are ranked here: The loss of Travis Trice and Branden Dawson will hurt. But the addition of Eron Harris, a West Virginia transfer, should be a big boost, and a late – not to mention surprising – commitment from five-star prospect Caleb Swannigan gives Michigan State a possible star in the frontcourt who should contribute immediately.


    •Notable players definitely gone: TaShawn Thomas, Frank Booker

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Buddy Hield, Isaiah Cousins, Jordan Woodard, Ryan Spangler, Khadeem Lattin, Dinjiyl Walker

    •Others expected to join the roster: Akolda Manyang, Christian James, Rashard Odomes

    Why the Sooners are ranked here: Buddy Hield’s decision to return for his senior season means he could be a First Team All-American. It also means Kansas and Iowa State will have a third legitimate challenger for the Big 12 crown.

    1. GONZAGA

    •Notable players definitely gone: Kevin Pangos, Gary Bell, Angel Nunez, Byron Wesley

    •Others expected to leave: None

    •Notable players expected to return: Kyle Wiltjer, Przemek Karnowski, Domantas Sabonis, Silas Melson, Kyle Dranginis, Eric McClellan, Josh Perkins

    •Others expected to join the roster: None

    Why the Zags are ranked here: Gonzaga is returning six of the top nine players from a team that won 35 games and made the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Kyle Wiltjer will have a strong case to be a preseason First Team All-American.

  • @RockChalkinTexas Thanks for posting this.

    To me looks like kind of a less top heavy year in college ball. It appears that a lot of teams have talent and there should be fewer teams that coast through the season.

    Last year Kentucky, Duke and Wisconsin really dominated all regular season and then made it to the Final 4. Arizona dominated almost the entire year. Nova dominated almost the entire year. I could of course be wrong but I don’t see as many teams with 5 losses and under this year. The Big 12 is going to be really tough. The ACC will be really tough. No way a team like Duke only losses a few games against that conference this year, especially with their most hated rival as the pre-season #1 in the land.

    It is certainly nice to see how many teams have players coming back. The top 10 on this list includes a bunch of studs from last year. Maybe not the same OAD talent of the last few years but that is fine with me.

    Looking forward to a great year. How is it 5 months away?

  • @RockChalkinTexas

    I believe you left “early” off of the thread title. The actual title of the story was " UNC moves to No. 1 in Ridiculously Early Preseason Top 25 (and one)" It does convey a different meaning as the story uses “Ridiculously…” for the timing of the ranking rather than the ranking itself…which other than having KU maybe too high is really not too bad.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Not being a homer at all but who would you put ahead of KU and why?

  • @JayHawkFanToo I realized that after posting at work, didn’t get to go back (work to do) and have now fixed. Thanks.

  • @joeloveshawks

    ISU will have its key and proven players back plus some transfers and by all accounts it will have the best team Hoiberg has had there; in my opinion, they will start out as the favorite to win the conference. Until we see what Bragg and Diallo can do, KU will have a lot of potential and upside but not quite the proven team ISU will be. UK will be good, obviously they lost lot of players and will not be able to platoon but they still have the #2 recruiting class. Same thing with Duke, the lost 3 valuable players but they have the #1 class coming in. Virginia was legitimate top 4 team last season and they bring back just about everybody. Those are a few team off the top of my head that could be better than KU in addition to the ones mentioned ion the story. Keep in mind that ISU won 2 out of 3 against KU last season and they will be a better team next season. I believe KU will be very good but until we see them play some we really don’t know how good.

  • @JayHawkFanToo OMG! That is one of the most rational posting I have seen concerning our prospects for the next year after we have signed a top 10 recruit. Usually people project a NC after getting people like Wigs and Selden or Kelly and Cliff. When this doesn’t happen for one reason or another the sky is falling and we’re doomed to follow mizery down the drain.

    Both Bragg and Diallo have a lot going for them, but we will know after seeing them play with the rest of the team and whomever else we may still get.

  • @JayHawkFanToo keep in mind ISU lost to TT, right? ISU has beat us the last 2 con. Champ. Tourneys, minus Embiid and Perry and Cliff. ISU lost to uab! Floor burns!!! Don’t forget naz long had surgery too!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Like I said before and much like in the NCAA Tournament, some team match up better with some teams than they do with others. Texas Tech is apparent not a good match up for ISU; it did not help, if I recall correctly, that ISU decided to play only on the last few minutes of the game. ISU seem to be a tough match up for KU and Stanford was even worse. In conference you better come to play every game otherwise you will handed your rear end; there is no way that KSU was a better team than KU and yet they beat us in Manhattan. This is one of the reason why I appreciate the Conference Title more than other posters, because to me it means continuous excellence throughout the season, rather than getting lucky for a few games.

  • @JayHawkFanToo said:


    Until we see what Bragg and Diallo can do, KU will have a lot of potential and upside but not quite the proven team ISU will be.

    Isn’t this statement a little contradictory of the rest of that post? Wait and see what KUs new guys do but assume that the ISU, UK, and Duke new guys, be it freshmen or transfers, will all be interchangeable to what they lost??

  • @Kip_McSmithers

    Not really, ISU and Virginia are bringing the bulk of their teams back and Duke and Kentucky have the #1 and #2 ranked classes. The highest I have seen KU is #13 and that was after Cheeckey Baby picked KU; Bragg is ranked as low a #22 and before Diallo KU class was ranked in the upper 20s lower 30s., and if KU would have picked one of the other remaining top players it would have moved to the top 5. As of now, and if KU picks one of the quality players it is still pursuing it could move into the top 10…still a long ways from the top 2 ranked classes I would think.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Are you counting Skal in that UK class? Not sure if his guardians, Gerald Hamilton, make believe prep school “Reach Your Dream” is going to clear the NCAA much like Deion Prime Time Sanders prep school didn’t for Mudiay last year. And if the NCAA listens to the coaches that have said the Hamilton was shopping the kid around UK will have to do some under the table crap to get him to play. Wonder if Emmert is a JayZ or Drake fan? Cal could probably set up a concert for him…

  • Banned


    Ok I have a one beef with ya here. When you responded to who could be better than KU you mention ISU, then you backed that up with because KU doesn’t know what to expect from Bragg and Diallo. OK which is fair, but then you mention Duke and UK? Now I know you didn’t mean it this way but you always stir the pot so I thought I would return the favor. Why are Dukes and UK new recruits better? Why are they given the automatic to be successful? I remember not to long ago UK had a top recruiting class and they didn’t even make the tournament. 😉

    Duke and UK lost a lot of not only talented players but key players too. KU lost Cliff which was a bust and Oubre who showed flashes but was never really the go to guy on KU’s team last year. If anything KU has returned a very battle tested team, and recruited some real talent to fill positions of need. Meaning KU got stronger. While Duke and UK got weaker.

    Duke and UK have bigger question marks than KU does.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I think that Duke and UK are the #1 and #2 classes for sure but that is all relative. There is no Wiggins this year or Jabari Parker or Julius Randle or Okafor. This is not an incredible crop of players. Duke has 2 highly ranked guys coming in. Really not that great of a class. It just so happens that a lot of the high ranked players this year went to different schools instead of going as groups like many of the recent UK classes or of course Duke last year.

    Personally I would take a seasoned team with a lot of returning pieces like KU, ISU or Maryland over Duke. Kentucky has a number of pieces coming back but not a whole lot of guys who have ever played big minutes.

  • @DoubleDD and @joeloveshawks

    I believe I mentioned in one of my posts (maybe a different thread) that if UK does not get Skal Labisiere it would be a game changer.

    I will stick with the premise that the chance of getting good play from new players is much higher when you have the #1 or #2 ranked class than the #14 ranked class (per ESPN). Even if 50% of the players turn out great, Duke would get good players 2 out of 5 and UK 2 out of 4, where KU would get (so far) 1 out of 2. As per ESPN, Diallo is ranked #7 and Bragg #21. Remember how high we all were on Alexander last season? How did that work out for us? We did get good results from Oubre thouigh…so 1 out of 2 ain’t bad. Would you agree that this is a reasonable view?

    As far as not being a Wiggins or Parker or Randle this year… have you seen Ben Simmons play? IMHO, he is better than any of the players you mentioned, although he is going to LSU; dude is just about NBA ready now.

    KU had a big problem with the front line last season, and we all firmly believe that Bragg and Diallo will help, and it is a valid although hypothetical assumption. all things being equal, you have to give the edge to the team with the least unknowns, and at this time ISU has less of those than KU does, although the upside and potential (and precedent) for KU is much higher, no question about it.

    Again, I am not presenting any of these views as facts; they are not. They are just MY opinion and I do not claim to be right; they just represent MY current views based on the information available to date and I could be wrong…or not.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    In your rebuttal you say “you have to give the edge to the team with the least unknowns…”

    I think that sort of proves my entire point. Teams who have mostly guys who have played in the NCAA against NCAA competition are proven. KU, ISU, Maryland, Virginia. These are veteran teams. UK and Duke have prospects coming in that are unproven at key spots. I give the edge to the teams who have NBA level players that are older and have played in college for 1-3 years.

    To my eye Ben Simmons is not Wiggins or Parker or Durant or D. Rose. This is a soft year. I may be a homer since Wiggs is a Jayhawk but the kid was the most coveted recruit since Melo and he proved why in his first year of the NBA when he won ROY.

  • @joeloveshawks

    In your rebuttal you say “you have to give the edge to the team with the least unknowns…”

    That comparison was strictly between KU and ISU. I guess we agree to disagree on Simmons.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Ok, gotcha.

    Good posts. Crazy that Simmons is going to LSU no matter how good he is!

Log in to reply