Arkansas is No. 1 in Method-Too-Early High 25 faculty basketball rankings for 2022-23


After an NCAA match that featured a 15-seed within the Elite Eight, a Duke-North Carolina rivalry sport with unprecedented stakes, the ultimate sport of Mike Krzyzewski’s legendary profession and as hyped a Last 4 as we’ll ever see, all of us want a minute to catch our breath and recharge.

Executed? OK, good. Hope you are refreshed, as a result of it is already time to stay up for the 2022-23 faculty basketball season.

Let’s get a few floor guidelines out of the best way shortly.

One, any participant presently projected by ESPN to be chosen in June’s NBA draft will probably be thought-about a departure for now. If that participant opts to return to high school, clearly we’ll modify sooner or later. Gamers not projected to be picked will probably be included as a returnee, until there’s sufficient dependable data pointing to a sure departure.

Two, for seniors with one other season of eligibility as a result of COVID yr, we’ll challenge them as departures — until they’ve formally introduced they’re returning to high school for one more yr. Once more, we’ll modify as gamers go for one other yr in faculty.

Each issues are topic to alter, however we had to attract a line within the sand someplace at this level within the calendar.

Suppose that is it for now — there are solely 219 days till the season ideas off, so it is time to dive in!

There’s not a transparent No. 1 getting into the offseason, however five-star guard Anthony Black‘s dedication to Arkansas in late March offers the Razorbacks the sting. Eric Musselman, who has established himself as among the finest switch recruiters and coaches within the nation, is bringing the nation’s second-best highschool recruiting class to a program coming off back-to-back Elite Eight appearances. Nick Smith is in rivalry to be the No. 1 choose in 2023, whereas Jordan Walsh and Black are additionally five-star prospects who may begin immediately. There are some roster questions, primarily centered on Jaylin Williams and Au’Diese Toney, but when one of many two returns, I feel that is the very best group within the nation.

Projected beginning lineup:

Nick Smith (No. 6 in ESPN 100)
Devo Davis (8.3 PPG)
Anthony Black (No. 20 in ESPN 100)
Jordan Walsh (No. 10 in ESPN 100)
Au’Diese Toney (10.5 PPG)

Houston got here one step in need of back-to-back Last Fours, however it’s clear Kelvin Sampson has discovered one thing that works and has turned the Cougars into one of the constantly bankable groups over the previous a number of seasons. Jamal Shead had a terrific NCAA match, and Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark must be again wholesome after having their seasons lower brief as a result of damage. Jarace Walker provides some severe expertise to Houston’s frontcourt, and I am of the opinion that fellow incoming freshman Terrance Arceneaux is among the finest pure scorers within the 2022 class. This group can have extra scoring choices than ever to go along with its normal elite defensive and offensive rebounding prowess. Additionally of potential significance: The 2023 Last 4 will probably be held at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jamal Shead (10.0 PPG)
Marcus Sasser (17.7 PPG)
Tramon Mark (10.1 PPG)
Jarace Walker (No. 9 in ESPN 100)
J’Wan Roberts (3.2 PPG)

For now, we’re projecting Johnny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Peyton Watson to all return to Westwood, on condition that not one of the three is presently inside ESPN’s top 60 for the 2022 NBA draft. That truly taking place seems like a stretch, however it’s tough to determine at this level. If it does occur, Mick Cronin’s group may finally have a case to be preseason No. 1. The Bruins are including Amari Bailey, arguably the very best guard within the 2022 class and somebody who will add loads of backcourt dynamism, in addition to five-star middle Adem Bona. There’s so much left to play out this offseason for UCLA, however the Bruins are beginning off in a fairly good place.

Projected beginning lineup:

Tyger Campbell (11.9 PPG)
Amari Bailey (No. 2 in ESPN 100)
Johnny Juzang (15.6 PPG)
Jaime Jaquez Jr. (13.9 PPG)
Adem Bona (No. 13 in ESPN 100)

After seeing its nationwide championship goals get canceled by COVID-19 in 2020, Kansas was capable of get to Monday evening for the primary time in 10 years — the final time the Last 4 was in New Orleans — and end the job with its fourth nationwide championship. Subsequent yr the Last 4 is in Houston, however the Jayhawks may get there once more. Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, Christian Braun, Mitch Lightfoot and Remy Martin are all prone to be gone, however there will probably be some continuity with Dajuan Harris Jr. and Jalen Wilson anticipated again. Invoice Self can be bringing in a stellar recruiting class, highlighted by elite scorer Gradey Dick and highly effective offensive participant MJ Rice. A 3rd top-25 recruit, Ernest Udeh, will assist exchange the frontcourt expertise — however returnees K.J. Adams and Zach Clemence will assist, too.

Projected beginning lineup:

Dajuan Harris Jr. (5.4 PPG)
Gradey Dick (No. 8 in ESPN 100)
MJ Rice (No. 19 in ESPN 100)
Jalen Wilson (11.0 PPG)
Ernest Udeh (No. 23 in ESPN 100)

Previous to the NCAA match run, it is extremely unlikely Carolina would have been at this spot within the rankings. However Hubert Davis clearly discovered one thing that labored together with his quartet of stars and proved his teaching chops on the largest stage within the sport. The one detrimental for the nationwide runners-up is that Caleb Love might need performed himself out the door after his excellent performances. Armando Bacot might need already been heading in that route. However for now, each are included on this projection — and a trio of Love, R.J. Davis and Bacot could be pretty much as good because it will get in faculty basketball subsequent season. Throw within the improvement of some returnees and the addition of two top-50 recruits, and Davis can have loads of expertise once more.

Projected beginning lineup:

Caleb Love (15.2 PPG)
Seth Trimble (No. 45 in ESPN 100)
R.J. Davis (13.4 PPG)
Dontrez Styles (2.0 PPG)
Armando Bacot (16.5 PPG)

For the primary time since 1980, Mike Krzyzewski is not going to be a part of the Duke program. That can result in extra uncertainty than ever for the Blue Devils. However Jon Scheyer’s first recruiting class on the helm is by far the very best within the nation, with three top-five prospects main the best way. Sadly, Scheyer might need to begin 4 of them, on condition that as much as six of Duke’s high seven gamers are leaving this system after this season. A primary-year head coach with a beginning lineup that includes 4 freshmen? There are actually going to be some rising pains. However there’s additionally going to be an amazing quantity of expertise on the roster, with returning level guard Jeremy Roach conserving the whole lot collectively.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jeremy Roach (8.6 PPG)
Dariq Whitehead (No. 4 in ESPN 100)
Mark Mitchell (No. 31 in ESPN 100)
Kyle Filipowski (No. 5 in ESPN 100)
Dereck Lively (No. 1 in ESPN 100)

The Wildcats would transfer into rivalry for the No. 1 spot ought to Oscar Tshiebwe or Shaedon Sharpe return to Lexington, however given their present draft statuses, we have now each gamers departing. However John Calipari can have a gifted group subsequent season both means. Sahvir Wheeler and Keion Brooks Jr. each return to the beginning lineup, and the additions of five-star recruits Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston will add some extra playmaking to the lineup. There should be a breakout participant up entrance, whether or not it is former five-star recruit Daimion Collins, Jacob Toppin or another person, however there are alternatives. Remember about former Iowa switch CJ Fredrick, one of many elite shooters in faculty basketball, who missed final season with a hamstring damage.

Projected beginning lineup:

Sahvir Wheeler (10.1 PPG)
Cason Wallace (No. 14 in ESPN 100)
Chris Livingston (No. 12 in ESPN 100)
Keion Brooks Jr. (10.8 PPG)
Daimion Collins (2.9 PPG)

Baylor will look very totally different subsequent season, with two seniors and two potential first-round picks all exiting Waco. There’s at all times an opportunity Matthew Mayer returns for one more season, however he is gone for now. Scott Drew will probably use a a lot smaller lineup subsequent season, with two ESPN 100 recruits — together with elite guard Keyonte George, among the finest offensive gamers within the class — becoming a member of returnees Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer on the perimeter. The frontcourt has some questions, with Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua‘s well being atop the record. He suffered an damage to a number of ligaments in mid-February. Flo Thamba‘s determination to reap the benefits of his additional yr of eligibility and return to Waco is big for Drew.

Projected beginning lineup:

Dillon Hunter (No. 54 in ESPN 100)
Keyonte George (No. 3 in ESPN 100)
Adam Flagler (13.8 PPG)
LJ Cryer (13.5 PPG)
Flo Thamba (6.2 PPG)

Creighton getting into the season because the Large East favourite is an enormous name, however given the best way the Bluejays have been enjoying late within the season and the returnees to Omaha, it is exhausting to argue in any other case. They gained 10 of their closing 14 video games this previous season, together with an NCAA match victory over San Diego State and a 27-point win over Windfall within the Large East match. Ryan Nembhard and Ryan Kalkbrenner ought to each be wholesome in loads of time for the season, whereas freshmen Arthur Kaluma and Trey Alexander are additionally again as starters. Greg McDermott would possibly want to search out just a little extra scoring pop with Ryan Hawkins and Alex O’Connell gone, however the portal may be very a lot open.

Projected beginning lineup:

Ryan Nembhard (11.3 PPG)
Rati Andronikashvili (1.8 PPG)
Trey Alexander (7.4 PPG)
Arthur Kaluma (10.4 PPG)
Ryan Kalkbrenner (13.1 PPG)

That is one other rating that may fluctuate wildly within the coming weeks. For now, we’re assuming Bennedict Mathurin is actually gone, whereas Christian Koloko and Dalen Terry are additionally projected to be picked in ESPN’s newest mock draft. If Tommy Lloyd loses all three gamers, this rating would possibly look just a little excessive. If both Koloko or Terry returns, then we may see the Wildcats rise. Arizona was clearly not the identical group with out a totally wholesome Kerr Kriisa, however he and Pelle Larsson ought to kind a top quality backcourt — whereas Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo will proceed to offer Arizona a dimension benefit over most groups up entrance. The query is on the wing, the place Adama Bal could possibly be poised for an enormous step ahead.

Projected beginning lineup:

Kerr Kriisa (9.7 PPG)
Pelle Larsson (7.2 PPG)
Adama Bal (1.5 PPG)
Azuolas Tubelis (13.9 PPG)
Oumar Ballo (6.8 PPG)

Hunter Dickinson almost left Ann Arbor for the NBA draft final summer time, and he may actually take the subsequent step this yr, however newest projections have him going undrafted — so there’s an opportunity Juwan Howard will get him for one more marketing campaign. If he does return, Michigan will once more have one of many greatest frontcourts within the nation, with Howard hoping Caleb Houstan can grow to be extra constant on the wing. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see how the Wolverines exchange DeVante’ Jones and Eli Brooks; Frankie Collins confirmed flashes down the stretch, whereas Dug McDaniel is a tricky, fast freshman getting into the fold. Kobe Bufkin, a former McDonald’s All American, may also return on the perimeter.

Projected beginning lineup:

Dug McDaniel (No. 60 in ESPN 100)
Frankie Collins (2.8 PPG)
Caleb Houstan (10.1 PPG)
Moussa Diabate (9.0 PPG)
Hunter Dickinson (18.6 PPG)

Maybe the largest NBA draft determination to affect the rankings within the coming weeks will probably be that of Drew Timme. Among the best gamers in faculty basketball all through his profession, Timme may legitimately go both means. He is projected as a late second-round choose, however he may additionally return and look to set every kind of data in Spokane. If he leaves, Mark Few can have his least confirmed roster in a very long time. Nolan Hickman and Hunter Sallis, each former five-star recruits, ought to get their likelihood to shine within the backcourt, whereas Julian Strawther and Anton Watson return up entrance. The place does Few flip if Timme would not return? He’ll probably pursue quite a few switch bigs.

Projected beginning lineup:

Nolan Hickman (5.1 PPG)
Hunter Sallis (4.3 PPG)
Julian Strawther (11.8 PPG)
Anton Watson (7.3 PPG)
Ben Gregg (2.4 PPG)

On paper, Villanova would not have a ton of confirmed expertise able to go subsequent season. However who’re we to depend out Jay Wright? The person has gained two of the previous six nationwide championships and is coming off one other Last 4 look. However there are actually some questions. Justin Moore — assuming he is wholesome — and Eric Dixon are the lone returning starters, until Brandon Slater comes again for one more yr. Cameron Whitmore matches Villanova completely as a tricky, bodily, high-motor frontcourt participant. However the backcourt is up within the air. Is Mark Armstrong able to make an affect? Does Jordan Longino or Bryan Antoine or Chris Arcidiacono present some consistency?

Projected beginning lineup:

Mark Armstrong (No. 63 in ESPN 100)
Jordan Longino (1.8 PPG)
Justin Moore (14.8 PPG)
Cameron Whitmore (No. 29 in ESPN 100)
Eric Dixon (9.1 PPG)

After trying like among the finest groups within the nation over the ultimate six weeks of the common season and within the SEC match, Tennessee’s season got here to a halt with a loss to Michigan within the second spherical. Just one starter is gone, however that is Kennedy Chandler, among the finest freshmen within the nation final season. That can put extra strain on Zakai Zeigler, who emerged as a key piece for Rick Barnes’ group. Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James and Uros Plavsic are again as starters, whereas Olivier Nkamhoua must be wholesome. Tennessee had some stretches early within the season the place the offense disappeared for lengthy intervals of time; with out Chandler, the Vols will want somebody to step as much as present scoring pop.

Projected beginning lineup:

Zakai Zeigler (8.8 PPG)
Santiago Vescovi (13.3 PPG)
Josiah-Jordan James (10.3 PPG)
Olivier Nkamhoua (8.6 PPG)
Uros Plavsic (4.2 PPG)

Previous to Jaden Shackelford‘s determination on Sunday to enter the NBA draft — with a press release that does not point out a lot of an curiosity in returning to Tuscaloosa — I had the Crimson Tide ranked inside the highest 10. Now, they drop a number of spots, however I nonetheless like Nate Oats’ group. Jahvon Quinerly is again, as are three different key items of the Alabama rotation. Loads of the optimism stems from an elite recruiting class that options five-star prospects Jaden Bradley and Brandon Miller, in addition to ESPN 100 recruits Rylan Griffen and Noah Clowney. We even have to attend and see whether or not JD Davison and Keon Ellis — two projected draft picks — return to Tuscaloosa for one more season.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jahvon Quinerly (13.8 PPG)
Jaden Bradley (No. 15 in ESPN 100)
Darius Miles (5.8 PPG)
Brandon Miller (No. 18 in ESPN 100)
Charles Bediako (6.7 PPG)

Bruce Pearl’s greatest job will probably be changing future first-round picks Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler, who solely spent one season at Auburn however grew to become arguably the very best frontcourt duo within the nation at each ends of the ground. Pearl took an enormous step towards discovering reinforcements in late March, when former LSU commit Yohan Traore picked Auburn — he ought to begin immediately. Wendell Green Jr., K.D. Johnson and Zep Jasper are all again on the perimeter; the important thing for them will probably be decision-making and shot choice. Will probably be attention-grabbing to see whether or not Allen Flanigan can return to his 2020-21 kind. He entered final season as a projected first-round choose after averaging 14.3 factors, however missed the primary half of the season as a result of damage and struggled to get going offensively.

Projected beginning lineup:

Wendell Inexperienced Jr. (12.0 PPG)
Ok.D. Johnson (12.3 PPG)
Allen Flanigan (6.3 PPG)
Jaylin Williams (5.6 PPG)
Yohan Traore (No. 36 in ESPN 100)

One other key pivot level within the preseason rankings for subsequent season will probably be whether or not Kofi Cockburn comes again to Champaign for one more go-round. As a result of he isn’t projected to be chosen, we have now him returning — and that is primarily the lone motive Illinois is ranked within the High 25 proper now. However Cockburn has made his NBA determination late within the course of the previous couple of years, and he would possibly determine it is time to transfer on no matter draft standing. If that occurs, Brad Underwood doubtlessly has an enormous rebuild on his arms with Alfonso Plummer, Trent Frazier, Da’Monte Williams and Jacob Grandison all seniors this previous season. It is no shock the Preventing Illini are within the combine for a number of remaining excessive schoolers and switch targets.

Projected beginning lineup:

Jayden Epps (No. 90 in ESPN 100)
RJ Melendez (3.8 PPG)
Luke Goode (2.0 PPG)
Coleman Hawkins (5.9 PPG)
Kofi Cockburn (20.9 PPG)

After falling simply in need of the NCAA match, Anthony Grant and the Flyers should not must sweat out Choice Sunday in 2023. Dayton returns all 5 starters from a group that beat Kansas, Miami, Virginia Tech and Davidson — and with six of its high seven gamers final season solely freshmen, it could possibly be the beginning of a really profitable run for Grant. Malachi Smith was among the finest freshman level guards within the nation this previous season, whereas 6-foot-10 large man DaRon Holmes II is a future NBA participant. Dayton was elite capturing the ball final season and in addition had a top-40 protection for many of the season. If the younger core takes the anticipated step ahead, the Flyers could possibly be very, superb.

Projected beginning lineup:

Malachi Smith (9.3 PPG)
Kobe Elvis (8.9 PPG)
R.J. Blakney (6.5 PPG)
Toumani Camara (10.9 PPG)
DaRon Holmes II (12.8 PPG)

I am a proponent of giving Dana Altman-coached groups the advantage of the doubt, and that backfired on me this previous season, with the Geese lacking the NCAA match after being ranked inside the highest 20 within the preseason. However 2021-22 will probably find yourself as an outlier. De’Vion Harmon, Quincy Guerrier, N’Faly Dante, Franck Kepnang and Rivaldo Soares are all again from the rotation, whereas the Geese are bringing in high-level recruits Kel’el Ware and Dior Johnson. Ware has as a lot potential as anybody within the 2022 class, whereas Johnson has had hype surrounding him since early in his highschool profession and will probably be able to make a direct affect.

Projected beginning lineup:

De’Vion Harmon (10.8 PPG)
Dior Johnson (No. 28 in ESPN 100)
Quincy Guerrier (10.1 PPG)
Kel’el Ware (No. 16 in ESPN 100)
N’Faly Dante (8.1 PPG)

I had Xavier ranked inside the highest 15 earlier than Dwon Odom entered the switch portal Monday morning; with out him, so much will probably be placed on the shoulders of incoming freshman Desmond Claude (four-star) on the level guard spot. Or the Musketeers may hit the portal. Expertise wasn’t a difficulty this previous season; they only hit a wall in early February and could not snap out of it earlier than Choice Sunday. However they put it collectively to make a run and win the NIT championship. And now they’ve Sean Miller, who was one of the constantly profitable coaches within the nation throughout his time at Arizona and Xavier. Three double-figure scorers are again from this previous season, whereas Kam Craft ought to make a direct affect as a freshman as a scorer. The Musketeers are additionally undoubtedly nonetheless trying so as to add items this month.

Projected beginning lineup:

Desmond Claude (four-star)
Kam Craft (No. 59 in ESPN 100)
Colby Jones (11.6 PPG)
Jack Nunge (13.4 PPG)
Zach Freemantle (10.4 PPG)

Trayce Jackson-Davis falls into the identical class as Cockburn, Dickinson and the UNC and UCLA gamers — not projected to be drafted in 2022 at this level, however may actually decide to go away. If Mike Woodson does get Jackson-Davis again, nevertheless, Indiana will return many of the core items that obtained the Hoosiers again to the NCAA match. Miller Kopp was the one senior, and he seems prone to return for one more yr. Xavier Johnson and Race Thompson are again within the beginning lineup, and Woodson had different choices in Trey Galloway, Jordan Geronimo and Tamar Bates. Jalen Hood-Schifino is a top-25 recruit, and I am very excessive on fellow incoming freshman Kaleb Banks.

Projected beginning lineup:

Xavier Johnson (12.1 PPG)
Jalen Hood-Schifino (No. 24 in ESPN 100)
Miller Kopp (6.0 PPG)
Race Thompson (11.1 PPG)
Trayce Jackson-Davis (18.3 PPG)

It is tough to challenge what Texas will seem like subsequent season. Timmy Allen, Marcus Carr, Andrew Jones, Courtney Ramey and Jase Febres are all seniors. Christian Bishop is the one projected returnee who averaged greater than 3.7 factors per sport. However there’s some optimism in Austin. Dylan Disu must be more healthy subsequent season up entrance; he was a double-double menace each evening at Vanderbilt, and Chris Beard will hope he returns to kind. The Longhorns are additionally welcoming two five-star recruits on the perimeter, with playmaking guard Arterio Morris and explosive Dillon Mitchell getting into the fold. Mitchell is a respectable one-and-done prospect who makes his greatest affect defensively and in transition.

Projected beginning lineup:

Arterio Morris (No. 22 in ESPN 100)
Devin Askew (2.1 PPG)
Dillon Mitchell (No. 7 in ESPN 100)
Dylan Disu (3.7 PPG)
Christian Bishop (7.0 PPG)

Outdoors of Duke, Purdue might need had the hardest loss to swallow of anybody within the NCAA match. The Boilermakers noticed their area open up with the highest two seeds shedding within the first weekend, however they then misplaced to Saint Peter’s within the Candy 16. And now Matt Painter has to exchange All-American Jaden Ivey and 4 gamers who began at the very least 19 video games — together with Trevion Williams, among the finest large males within the sport the previous few years. The frontcourt must be OK with Mason Gillis, Caleb Furst and Zach Edey, however the backcourt has main questions. Ethan Morton and Brandon Newman have seen minutes on the perimeter, however is Fletcher Loyer prepared for a significant position?

Projected beginning lineup:

Ethan Morton (2.4 PPG)
Fletcher Loyer (No. 94 in ESPN 100)
Mason Gillis (6.4 PPG)
Caleb Furst (4.1 PPG)
Zach Edey (14.4 PPG)

Does Mark Adams get the “advantage of the doubt” remedy already? At this level final season, we had no clue what the Crimson Raiders’ roster was going to seem like — and all Adams did was construct a group that ultimately took Duke to the wire within the Candy 16. And it is extra of the identical this spring. Kevin McCullar is the one returning starter, though three rotation items are additionally again within the fold, in addition to former top-50 recruit Jaylon Tyson, who left Texas after eight video games. However we all know Tech goes to hit the portal for gamers, and we all know it’s going to be among the finest defensive groups within the nation. That is sufficient for me to place the Crimson Raiders within the high 25 for now.

Projected beginning lineup:

Mylik Wilson (2.5 PPG)
Clarence Nadolny (3.5 PPG)
Jaylon Tyson (1.8 PPG at Texas)
Kevin McCullar (10.1 PPG)
Daniel Batcho (2.2 PPG)

This could be my out-on-a-limb choose for the Method-Too-Early Preseason High 25. Final yr I began out with Virginia Tech within the high 10, and I had Creighton at No. 2 in 2020, so it would not at all times work out. By which case — sorry, Saint Louis. However I am an enormous fan of the Billikens’ roster for subsequent season. Travis Ford’s high seven scorers are again from this previous season, together with Yuri Collins, the nation’s help chief, and elite 3-point shooter Gibson Jimerson. Saint Louis can be getting again Javonte Perkins, a second-team All-Atlantic 10 choice in 2021 who missed all of final season with a torn ACL. They will must make strides defensively, however they’ve the firepower to compete with anybody.

Projected beginning lineup:

Yuri Collins (11.1 PPG)
Javonte Perkins (17.1 PPG in 2020-21)
Gibson Jimerson (16.1 PPG)
Jordan Nesbitt (8.2 PPG)
Francis Okoro (10.8 PPG)

Subsequent in line:

Virginia Cavaliers
Ohio State Buckeyes
USC Trojans
Texas A&M Aggies
Michigan State Spartans

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