My Pre-Season Top 25
You can view collective thoughts on the Top 25 at benchpoints.com
1. Michigan State
6. North Carolina
7. West Virginia
* Assuming eligibility issues are resolved
Why Michigan State over consensus Kansas? Well, first off they beat KU twice last season. The loss of Walton is eased by their wing talent, and should actually become much better on the perimeter this season. The loss of Suton is big, but give Tom Izzo bodies (which he has) and he’ll get enough out of them. The potential they have to go small with Lucas, Allen, Summers, Morgan and Roe is intriguing. And still, give me Izzo over Self in a big game. The recent troubles in Lawrence don’t help, either.
Why West Virgina over Villanova? You don’t lose your starting front court and best player and win the Big East. Period.
Butler, Siena and Dayton. The consensus non BCS teams to sneak in most Top 25’s. Siena has the most talent and depth in the history of the program. Butler returns everyone. Dayton has a stud in Chris Wright with their nucleus back. If I were to add more non BCS teams, BYU and Utah State would likely lead the list.
Willie Warren is great. But who helps him. I am not high on Tiny Gallon. Tony Crocker for the better part of last year was dreadful. Mason Griffin is a good addition and likely his sidekick for the year.
Maryland and Minnesota. Short on talent, but posses coaching and experience. Maryland is short on talent and is no real threat to anyone but Gary can still X and O. Tubby has a program on the rise.
Watch out for Vanderbilt. Ogilivy is nearing 100%, Kevin Stallings can coach, Jenkins may be the best shooter in the freshmen class and Jeff Taylor can play.
The Big 10 is pretty good. Boring, but good.