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North Carolina Tar Heels are No. 1 in Way-Too-Early Top 25 men's college basketball rankings for 2022-23

The first edition of our 2022-23 Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 rankings came out at the final buzzer of Kansas' national championship victory over North Carolina. Since then, a couple of things have changed -- like more than 1,600 players entering the transfer portal and more than 250 submitting their name to the NBA draft's early-entry process.

But both deadlines have now passed, with the early-entry one coming in late April and the one for immediately eligible transfer portal coming late Sunday night. (There is a chance a couple of names could pop into the portal over the next 24 hours. Schools have up to 48 hours to submit names into the portal after receiving a student-athlete's paperwork, which was due at 11:59 p.m. on May 1.)

Naturally, it was time for a complete makeover in the rankings.

So, what's changed?

Well, we have a new No. 1 after the majority of North Carolina's core announced it was returning to Chapel Hill. And Creighton went flying into the top five after a key transfer portal addition.

Just a quick refresh on the guidelines:

First, any player on the early-entry list currently projected by ESPN to be selected in June's NBA draft is considered a departure, for now. So, that's anyone in the top 60. That means we're counting Drew Timme, Jaylin Williams, Trevor Keels, Christian Braun and Dalen Terry as gone. If they return, that will be reflected in the next rankings update.

Second, seniors with another year of eligibility due to the COVID year are considered departures, unless they have stated they are planning to return or are considering a return to school. We'll adjust as players decide.

1. North Carolina Tar Heels

Previous: 5

No team in the country had a better April than North Carolina. The Tar Heels had four of their five starters opt to return to Chapel Hill rather than enter the NBA draft, and they also landed elite high school junior G.G. Jackson, although he does not plan to reclassify into the 2022 class. But getting four veteran starters back from a team that made the national title game and was one of the best teams in the country over the final two months of the previous season is a great starting point.

Caleb Love and R.J. Davis seemed to figure things out in the backcourt down the stretch, while Armando Bacot will be among the preseason Wooden Award favorites. Leaky Black is an elite defender. As for replacing Brady Manek, coach Hubert Davis will likely hope Puff Johnson builds on his title game performance: 11 points and six rebounds.

Projected starting lineup:

Caleb Love (15.2 PPG)
R.J. Davis (13.4 PPG)
Leaky Black (4.9 PPG)
Puff Johnson (2.8 PPG)
Armando Bacot (16.5 PPG)

2. Houston Cougars

Previous: 2

After coming within a game of back-to-back Final Four appearances, Kelvin Sampson once again has the players to make another deep NCAA tournament run. Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark should be back and healthy, while late-season breakout guard Jamal Shead will round out the starting perimeter. Five-star recruit Jarace Walker is one of the best frontcourt prospects in the country and should step immediately into the starting lineup, while fellow ESPN 100 recruit Terrance Arceneaux is a big-time scorer. Sampson should have unprecedented offensive firepower at his disposal to go along with elite defense and offensive rebounding. Keep an eye on Louisiana Tech transfer Kenneth Lofton Jr. too. Houston is very much in pursuit.

Projected starting lineup:

Jamal Shead (10.0 PPG)
Marcus Sasser (17.7 PPG)
Tramon Mark (10.1 PPG)
Jarace Walker (No. 10 in ESPN 100)
J'Wan Roberts (3.2 PPG)

3. Kentucky Wildcats

Previous: 7

It has been an eventful offseason for John Calipari's program. On the plus side, consensus national player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe opted to come back to Lexington for another season. But there also have been several departures. Kellan Grady and Davion Mintz are out of eligibility, and TyTy Washington Jr. is going pro, while Keion Brooks Jr., Dontaie Allen and Bryce Hopkins all entered the transfer portal.

Then there's the Shaedon Sharpe situation. Sharpe appears likely to go to the NBA without playing a minute for the Wildcats. But there will still be plenty of talent for Calipari. Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston are five-star recruits, while Illinois State transfer Antonio Reeves was one of the best scorers in the portal. A breakout season also could be coming for Jacob Toppin, who brings a different dimension in terms of physical skills to the frontcourt than Brooks did.

Projected starting lineup:

Sahvir Wheeler (10.1 PPG)
Cason Wallace (No. 20 in ESPN 100)
Antonio Reeves (20.1 PPG at Illinois State)
Chris Livingston (No. 12 in ESPN 100)
Oscar Tshiebwe (17.4 PPG)

4. UCLA Bruins

Previous: 3

UCLA was one of the programs to watch in terms of the early-entry deadline, and the Bruins went 1-for-3. Johnny Juzang and Peyton Watson took off to the NBA, while Jaime Jaquez Jr. opted to return to Westwood. Jules Bernard is the lone player in limbo, as he has entered the draft but could come back to UCLA. With Jaquez, Tyger Campbell and potentially Bernard back, along with five-star recruits Amari Bailey and Adem Bona, Mick Cronin has the makings of a highly talented core.

Jaylen Clark has been touted as a potential breakout candidate, so there is some insurance in case Bernard opts to keep his name in the draft. Bailey will add some legitimate explosiveness, while Bona is a rim protector to help anchor the defense and brings a weapon in the open floor.

Projected starting lineup:

Tyger Campbell (11.9 PPG)
Amari Bailey (No. 5 in ESPN 100)
Jules Bernard (12.8 PPG)
Jaime Jaquez Jr. (13.9 PPG)
Adem Bona (No. 16 in ESPN 100)

5. Creighton Bluejays

Previous: 9

The only thing keeping Creighton from legitimate preseason Final Four consideration at the end of last season was the lack of an elite scorer. That hole was filled on Tuesday morning, as the Bluejays landed South Dakota State transfer Baylor Scheierman, a top-five transfer all spring and one of the best offensive players in the portal. He's an elite passer and perimeter shooter who also makes plays on the glass. He could be the missing piece for Greg McDermott's team, which was already bringing back four players who started at least 13 games this past season. Ryan Nembhard and Trey Alexander are both playmaking guards in the backcourt, while Arthur Kaluma showed flashes and Ryan Kalkbrenner was the best defensive player in the Big East. If last season's top-20 defense carries over, the addition of Scheierman on the offensive end should be the difference-maker for Creighton's Big East title hopes.

Projected starting lineup:

Ryan Nembhard (11.3 PPG)
Baylor Scheierman (16.2 PPG at South Dakota State)
Trey Alexander (7.4 PPG)
Arthur Kaluma (10.4 PPG)
Ryan Kalkbrenner (13.1 PPG)

6. Arkansas Razorbacks

Previous: 1

Arkansas drops from the top spot after a couple of the Razorbacks' NBA decisions -- those of JD Notae and Au'Diese Toney -- went against them. Meanwhile, they still wait for a decision from Jaylin Williams, who is projected inside the top 60 of ESPN's mock draft and is therefore out of the fold for now. The latest information is that it's a genuine 50-50 decision right now.

If Williams does leave, Eric Musselman will have to rely on one of Makhel or Makhi Mitchell at the center spot. The coach did revamp the frontcourt in the portal, landing the Mitchell twins alongside Arizona State's Jalen Graham and Missouri's Trevon Brazile, who is a versatile and high-upside forward. Musselman, who is known for preferring an older lineup, could even legitimately start three freshmen, with a trio of five-star prospects entering the program.

Projected starting lineup:

Nick Smith (No. 3 in ESPN 100)
Davonte Davis (8.3 PPG)
Anthony Black (No. 15 in ESPN 100)
Jordan Walsh (No. 11 in ESPN 100)
Makhel Mitchell (10.7 PPG at Rhode Island)

7. Duke Blue Devils

Previous: 6

It's going to be a new era in Durham, North Carolina. Not only is Jon Scheyer taking over for Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils also are going to lose at least four of their top five scorers from this past season. Paolo Banchero, Wendell Moore Jr., Mark Williams and AJ Griffin are all gone, while Trevor Keels is in limbo. While Keels' stock dipped a bit during the season, there is a chance he returns to the Blue Devils. That would be a huge boost for Duke, which looks frontcourt-heavy at this point in the offseason. Scheyer brings in the nation's top-ranked recruiting class, including the top two recruits in the country, Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead. The coach also went into the portal for Ryan Young (Northwestern) and Kale Catchings (Harvard), who will add experience and depth up front.

Projected starting lineup:

Jeremy Roach (8.6 PPG)
Dariq Whitehead (No. 2 in ESPN 100)
Mark Mitchell (No. 26 in ESPN 100)
Kyle Filipowski (No. 7 in ESPN 100)
Dereck Lively (No. 1 in ESPN 100)

8. Kansas Jayhawks

Previous: 4

Bill Self certainly won't have the experienced, veteran-laden group he had with this past season's national championship team. Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, Remy Martin, Mitch Lightfoot and Jalen Coleman-Lands are all gone, while Christian Braun could keep his name in the draft, as well. Kansas is showing interest in a couple of players in the transfer portal, particularly on the perimeter, but the Jayhawks could start multiple freshmen next season, either way. Gradey Dick had a terrific high school season and will add a lot of offensive pop right off the bat, while M.J. Rice and Ernest Udeh are top-30 prospects and could push for early minutes. Jalen Wilson should take a step forward, as he will no longer need to take a back seat offensively.

Projected starting lineup:

Dajuan Harris Jr., (5.4 PPG)
Gradey Dick (No. 14 in ESPN 100)
M.J. Rice (No. 30 in ESPN 100)
Jalen Wilson (11.0 PPG)
Ernest Udeh (No. 23 in ESPN 100)

9. Baylor Bears

Previous: 8

Scott Drew saw great impact from his newcomers last season, with James Akinjo stepping right in at the point guard spot and Kendall Brown and Jeremy Sochan having impressive stretches as freshmen. The Bears will need something similar in 2022-23, especially after Matthew Mayer entered the transfer portal on Monday morning.

Keyonte George is one of the elite guard prospects entering college basketball, and he should form a terrific perimeter trio alongside Adam Flagler and a healthy LJ Cryer. But there are questions in the frontcourt. Flo Thamba returns at the center spot, but Drew will need to rely on transfers Jalen Bridges (West Virginia) and Caleb Lohner (BYU) to replace Mayer, Brown and Sochan. There also is the question of Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua's health.

Projected starting lineup:

Keyonte George (No. 6 in ESPN 100)
Adam Flagler (13.8 PPG)
LJ Cryer (13.5 PPG)
Jalen Bridges (8.4 PPG at West Virginia)
Flo Thamba (6.2 PPG)

10. Villanova Wildcats

Previous: 13

For the first time since 2001, there's going to be a new face of Villanova basketball, following Jay Wright's shocking retirement in April. Kyle Neptune has taken over the Wildcats after one season at Fordham, and he'll be expected to keep arguably the best culture in college basketball rolling along. Fortunately, Neptune looks to have plenty of experience and talent on the roster. Brandon Slater has announced he is going to take advantage of his extra year, and Caleb Daniels plans to do the same. Justin Moore might not be healthy for the season, but ESPN 100 guard Mark Armstrong is a talented playmaker at the point. Five-star recruit Cameron Whitmore could be the X factor for the Wildcats. He has a high motor, is an elite athlete and is powerful driving and finishing at the rim. Should fit perfectly on Philadelphia's Main Line.

Projected starting lineup:

Justin Moore (14.8 PPG)
Caleb Daniels (10.2 PPG)
Brandon Slater (8.3 PPG)
Cameron Whitmore (No. 21 in ESPN 100)
Eric Dixon (9.1 PPG)

11. Auburn Tigers

Previous: 16

For a team that lost top-three draft pick Jabari Smith and defensive player of the year Walker Kessler, Auburn has had a great start to the spring. The Tigers landed Morehead State's Johni Broome, one of the best players in the portal, and top-30 prospect Yohan Traore, who was once committed to LSU. Those two will form the core of a revamped frontcourt, and Bruce Pearl is still in pursuit of five-star forward recruit Julian Phillips.

If he doesn't land Phillips, Pearl will have to hope former first-round prospect Allen Flanigan returns to his form of two seasons ago. The other key will come in the backcourt, where Wendell Green Jr. and K.D. Johnson bring playmaking and aggressiveness -- but also questionable decision-making that cost the Tigers late in games last season.

Projected starting lineup:

Wendell Green Jr. (12.0 PPG)
K.D. Johnson (12.3 PPG)
Allen Flanigan (6.3 PPG)
Yohan Traore (No. 27 in ESPN 100)
Johni Broome (16.8 PPG at Morehead State)

12. Texas Longhorns

Previous: 22

We had Texas ranked low in our first top 25 -- and that was before starters Marcus Carr and Timmy Allen, the team's two leading scorers, chose to take advantage of their extra year of eligibility and go back to Austin. Chris Beard will now have two anchors to rely on, while adding five-star recruits Dillon Mitchell and Arterio Morris. Mitchell is a truly elite leaper and transition player, while Morris is an aggressive playmaker off the dribble.

Up front, Christian Bishop and a healthier Dylan Disu should be back; Disu, in particular, should be an asset for the Longhorns. The one question is perimeter shooting, although incoming transfer Sir'Jabari Rice took more than five 3s per game the last two seasons at New Mexico State. The Longhorns are still involved in the portal too.

Projected starting lineup:

Marcus Carr (11.4 PPG)
Arterio Morris (No. 17 in ESPN 100)
Dillon Mitchell (No. 4 in ESPN 100)
Timmy Allen (12.1 PPG)
Christian Bishop (7.0 PPG)

13. TCU Horned Frogs

Previous: Unranked

When we did our initial rankings, it looked as if Mike Miles and Chuck O'Bannon Jr. were both gone, Miles early to the NBA and O'Bannon given his senior status. But then Miles changed course and announced he was returning to the Horned Frogs, while O'Bannon said he was taking advantage of his extra year of eligibility. Suddenly, Jamie Dixon was bringing back his top six scorers from a team that won 21 games and took top-seeded Arizona to overtime before falling in the second round of the 2021 NCAA tournament.

This is a team that beat Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas, LSU, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Seton Hall -- all in the final two months of the season. Miles is the star, and Dixon has a few complementary players around him. But if Eddie Lampkin can play the way he did against Arizona -- 20 points, 14 rebounds -- TCU could be a second-weekend team.

Projected starting lineup:

Mike Miles (15.4 PPG)
Damion Baugh (10.6 PPG)
Chuck O'Bannon Jr. (9.5 PPG)
Emanuel Miller (10.3 PPG)
Eddie Lampkin (6.8 PPG)

14. Michigan Wolverines

Previous: 11

Juwan Howard should have one of the best frontcourts in the country next season, with the return of Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson tested the NBA draft waters last summer, but he didn't get that far this season, opting to return to Ann Arbor for his junior campaign. Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate are testing the draft, but neither is ranked inside the top 60 of ESPN's draft rankings, so we'll project them to return, for now.

The backcourt has questions, although one of them was answered in the form of Princeton transfer Jaelin Llewellyn. The Wolverines have gone with grad transfer point guards the past two years in Mike Smith and DeVante' Jones, to varying levels of success, and they'll hope Llewellyn is more along the Smith trajectory. They'll also need to figure out the two-guard situation.

Projected starting lineup:

Jaelin Llewellyn (15.7 PPG at Princeton)
Jett Howard (No. 41 in ESPN 100)
Caleb Houstan (10.1 PPG)
Moussa Diabate (9.0 PPG)
Hunter Dickinson (18.6 PPG)

15. Indiana Hoosiers

Previous: 21

While this ranking comes down mostly to whether Trayce Jackson-Davis opts to go pro or return to Bloomington, the Hoosiers do have some insurance in the form of five-star big man Malik Reneau, who decommitted from Florida following the coaching change there and picked Indiana. If Jackson-Davis does come back to the Hoosiers, though, Mike Woodson will return four starters from a team that won 21 games, reached the NCAA tournament -- and then added two five-star recruits. Due to the continuity and experience, the Big Ten's No. 1 defensive team should again impress at that end of the floor. But the Hoosiers will need to be more consistent offensively. They ranked near the bottom of the league in shooting, both inside and outside the arc, and were 10th in the Big Ten in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Projected starting 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)

16. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Previous: 12

The Zags are going to be lower in our Way-Too-Early rankings than most others', simply due to the fact that Drew Timme is ranked as a second-round pick, and we're therefore projecting him as gone, for now. Should he return to Spokane, Washington, Mark Few's team will rise back up the rankings. Timme is joined in the NBA draft by Julian Strawther, who also could come back to Gonzaga. The keys for next season, aside from the draft decisions, will be the development of Nolan Hickman and Hunter Sallis in the backcourt. Hickman and Sallis were five-star prospects who never quite hit their stride as freshmen. Hickman showed flashes in the second half of the season, while Sallis was a nonfactor down the stretch. If both players can live up to their billing coming out of high school, Few will have a highly talented backcourt.

Projected starting lineup:

Nolan Hickman (5.1 PPG)
Hunter Sallis (4.3 PPG)
Julian Strawther (11.8 PPG)
Anton Watson (7.3 PPG)
Efton Reid (6.3 PPG at LSU)

17. Arizona Wildcats

Previous: 10

I don't think Arizona is done crafting its 2022-23 roster just yet. But as it stands, Bennedict Mathurin and Christian Koloko are both gone, and Dalen Terry is on the fence. Terry could use another year in Tucson, but he is projected as a second-round pick at this point. If he returns, the Wildcats will rise up the rankings, given their returnees at guard and down low. Kerr Kriisa and Pelle Larsson can both make shots and handle the ball, while Oumar Ballo took a step forward after transferring in from Gonzaga. Azuolas Tubelis needs to become a star if the Wildcats are going to compete for another Pac-12 title though. Tubelis can be one of the best frontcourt players in the country, but he struggled down the stretch and had bouts of inconsistency. Also, look for Adama Bal to be a factor; there's optimism about him inside the program.

Projected starting 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)

18. Alabama Crimson Tide

Previous: 15

Nate Oats has a much-changed squad since the start of the offseason, but we still think it's a clear-cut top-25 group. Jaden Shackelford, Keon Ellis, JD Davison, Juwan Gary and James Rojas all appear to be gone, but Jahvon Quinerly announced he was coming back, and the Crimson Tide are welcoming two five-star prospects and one of the best transfers in the country. In Quinerly and Ohio transfer Mark Sears, Alabama has a guard duo capable of playing on or off the ball, creating plays off the bounce and making shots from the perimeter. Five-star guard Jaden Bradley is more of a distributor and facilitator, but having three ball handlers and playmakers on the floor will make the Tide awfully difficult to defend. Five-star forward Brandon Miller has a high ceiling, and former Texas Tech transfer Nimari Burnett should be healthy. There are some questions down low, but Charles Bediako and Noah Gurley are both back. I could see Bama making a move for a true wing in the portal too.

Projected starting lineup:

Jahvon Quinerly (13.8 PPG)
Mark Sears (19.6 PPG at Ohio)
Jaden Bradley (No. 19 in ESPN 100)
Brandon Miller (No. 9 in ESPN 100)
Charles Bediako (6.7 PPG)

19. Tennessee Volunteers

Previous: 14

Tennessee has seen a lot of its depth leave the program so far this offseason, but Rick Barnes has enough to stay inside the top 20 nationally. And he is still active in the transfer portal. Four players who started at least 21 games last season -- Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James, Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic -- are expected back in Knoxville, as is Zakai Zeigler. Zeigler proved himself to be a game-changer in the second half of last season, putting pressure on opponents at both ends of the floor and giving the Volunteers a third playmaker in the backcourt. He'll have a bigger role next season. Tennessee also landed Indiana State transfer Tyreke Key, who averaged 17.2 points two seasons ago for the Sycamores. The Tennessee native should provide instant offense off the bench.

Projected starting 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)

20. Dayton Flyers

Previous: 18

Dayton is going to be an awfully intriguing team entering the season. The Flyers had some of the best wins of anyone in the country -- against Kansas, Virginia Tech and Miami. But they also had a slew of dreadful losses, and they missed the NCAA tournament as a result. All five starters are back for Anthony Grant, as well as his first two players off the bench. Grant also brings in ESPN 100 prospect Mike Sharavjamts and Georgia transfer Tyrone Baker, who has size and a high ceiling. The key will be consistency, but given that six of Dayton's top seven players were freshmen, that should come with experience. Malachi Smith, Toumani Camara and DaRon Holmes II should form one of the best trios in the Atlantic 10. And Holmes, who averaged 20 points, six rebounds and two blocks on 68.3% shooting in his final five games last season, is an NBA prospect.

Projected starting lineup:

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

21. Virginia Cavaliers

Previous: Next in line

Tony Bennett's team landed just outside the top 25 in early April. Then Kihei Clark and Jayden Gardner announced they were returning to Charlottesville for another year, and Ohio transfer Ben Vander Plas committed to the Cavaliers. That means all five starters and the top six scorers from this past season will be back for Virginia, along with three ESPN 100 transfers and an all-conference transfer in Vander Plas. After seemingly not having enough offensive weapons in 2021-22, Bennett should be able to attack teams in a number of ways at that end of the floor. We also should expect Virginia to return to form defensively after ranking in the middle of the pack in the ACC last season. The Cavaliers never quite found their groove, but they did beat Duke and Miami (twice) in a two-week span in February, so the ceiling was there.

Projected starting lineup:

Kihei Clark (10.0 PPG)
Reece Beekman (8.2 PPG)
Armaan Franklin (11.1 PPG)
Jayden Gardner (15.3 PPG)
Kadin Shedrick (6.9 PPG)

22. Miami Hurricanes

Previous: Unranked

In an unusual turn of events, the Hurricanes owned college basketball's headlines over the final couple weeks of April. First, they landed Kansas State transfer Nijel Pack -- the top transfer in the portal at the time of his commitment -- and it emerged shortly after that he also had signed a name, image and likeness (NIL) contract worth $800,000 over two years, plus a car. Then they landed Arkansas State transfer Norchad Omier, a top-10 transfer when he committed.

They then had the Isaiah Wong situation, in which he threatened to enter the transfer portal if his NIL compensation wasn't increased. He opted the next day not to enter the portal. Drama aside, Jim Larranaga has quickly rebuilt this roster after losing three starters from an Elite Eight team.

Projected starting lineup:

Nijel Pack (17.4 PPG at Kansas State)
Isaiah Wong (15.3 PPG)
Jordan Miller (10.0 PG)
Anthony Walker (4.9 PPG)
Norchad Omier (17.9 PPG at Arkansas State)

23. Saint Louis Billikens

Previous: 25

The Billikens were ranked at the bottom of the first iteration of these rankings, and then they went out and landed physical Missouri transfer Javon Pickett. Pickett is a solid two-way player who continued to make strides offensively during his time in Columbia. He'll slot in well for Jordan Nesbitt, who transferred out of Saint Louis.

Travis Ford also received some good news when Yuri Collins, the nation's leading assist man, withdrew from the transfer portal after initially announcing he was going to leave the Billikens. Combine Collins with high-scoring guard Gibson Jimerson and the return of all-league guard Javonte Perkins and SLU will have one of the more productive perimeter trios in the country. Fred Thatch Jr. and Terrence Hargrove Jr. also are back as reserves. Francis Okoro will anchor the interior once again. This team is deep, experienced and talented.

Projected starting lineup:

Yuri Collins (11.1 PPG)
Javonte Perkins (17.1 PPG in 2020-21)
Gibson Jimerson (16.1 PPG)
Javon Pickett (11.1 PPG at Missouri)
Francis Okoro (10.8 PPG)

24. UConn Huskies

Previous: Unranked

After not utilizing the transfer portal last spring, UConn has been one of the busier programs in terms of comings and goings. The Huskies saw Jalen Gaffney, Akok Akok, Rahsool Diggins and Corey Floyd Jr., enter, and they responded by solidifying their backcourt with the additions of Tristen Newton (East Carolina) and Nahiem Alleyne (Virginia Tech). Newton was one of the best point guards in the portal, while Alleyne is a very good shooter with size. Star big man Adama Sanogo returns up front, and he'll anchor the team offensively and on the glass. Andre Jackson and Jordan Hawkins will look to take the next step in their development on the wings, with talented freshmen Donovan Clingan and Alex Karaban providing frontcourt reinforcements. If they can shore up the backcourt depth, the Huskies are in very good shape.

Projected starting lineup:

Tristen Newton (17.7 PPG at East Carolina)
Jordan Hawkins (5.8 PPG)
Nahiem Alleyne (9.6 PPG at Virginia Tech)
Andre Jackson (6.8 PPG)
Adama Sanogo (14.8 PPG)

25. Xavier Musketeers

Previous: 20

With the graduation of Paul Scruggs and Nate Johnson, and the transfer of Dwon Odom, there were questions about Xavier's backcourt -- but Sean Miller found a potential answer on Monday night in the form of UTEP transfer Souley Boum. Boum led Conference USA in scoring and shot nearly 37% from 3. That doesn't quite give the Musketeers a pure point guard, but he and Kam Craft -- an underrated recruit -- should form a hard-to-guard backcourt duo, and Adam Kunkel returns as an effective outside shooter. Xavier returns three regulars up front in double-figure scorers Jack Nunge, Colby Jones and Zach Freemantle. The 7-foot Nunge was one of the most impactful transfers in the country last season, averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds and shooting 36.5% from 3 after leaving Iowa.

Projected starting lineup:

Souley Boum (19.8 PPG at UTEP)
Kam Craft (No. 59 in ESPN 100)
Colby Jones (11.6 PPG)
Jack Nunge (13.4 PPG)
Zach Freemantle (10.4 PPG)

Dropped out: Illinois Fighting Illini (No. 17), Oregon Ducks (No. 19), Purdue Boilermakers (No. 23), Texas Tech Red Raiders (No. 24)

Next in line:

Texas Tech Red Raiders (previous: No. 24)
Wyoming Cowboys (previous: Unranked)
Purdue Boilermakers (previous: No. 23)
San Diego State Aztecs (previous: Unranked)
Ohio State Buckeyes (previous: Next in line)