Monday, April 7, 2008

Teams to watch for in 2008-09

Well, here's to wrapping up another season of college hoops. On the whole, this was a below-average season and tournament, mainly because there was a huge talent gap between the top few teams and everyone else. Next year should be much more balanced, with many schools returning all their pieces while the top schools lose key players.

Improved Teams

Virginia Tech- the Hokies had 6 freshman playing key minutes this season. They lose Deron Washington, but should still be a top 25 team next season.

Wake Forest- the Demon Deacons had 0 seniors on this year's roster and will also add a recruiting class full of talented big men. They could be one of the most dangerous teams in the country come tournament time next year.

Pittsburgh- led by Fields, Young, and Blair, this team should one of the favorites next year in the Big East

Notre Dame- the Irish only lose one starter (Rob Kurz). They should be a top 10 team next season.

Villanova- they had 0 seniors on the roster this year. The Wildcats should be back in the NCAAs next year, and this time won't have to sweat the bubble to make it.

Syracuse- their entire core group will be back next season. While I don't think they'll be as good as these other big east schools, they'll be good enough to get back to the NCAAs.

Purdue- Considering the fact that they were a 6 seed this year with a starting lineup composed of 4 freshmen and 1 sophomore, they will be a top 10, possibly top 5 team.

Oklahoma- they return every starter except Longar Longar, and add another talented recruiting class. Jeff Capel is building a strong program in Norman.

Oklahoma State- Led by James Anderson, Byron Eaton, and Terrel Harris, the pokes should once again be a big factor in the Big 12. If they land a bigtime coach with the money they're willing to spend, that's an added bonus.

Creighton- with all but two players returning next year, the Bluejays should once again be on top of the Valley.

Arizona State- the Sun Devils showed flashes of brilliance this year, even with 0 seniors on the roster. With the Lopez twins leaving for the NBA, this could be the 2nd best team in the Pac-10 next season.

Florida- the Gators had 0 seniors this year and add a top 5 recruiting class. They will be once again contending for the SEC next season.

Gonzaga- the Zags return everyone except Pendergraph and Kuso next season, and will once again be a top 15 team.