The Fab 50 for 2014-15
Ranking, previewing nation's top teams after departures, adding recruits
Editor's Note: Updated May 19.
With nothing but a long, hot summer of recruiting separating college basketball fans from next season, we thought it was a good time to build off the latest Way Too Early Top 25, and take a detailed look ahead at the nation's top programs and how they're positioning themselves for the 2014-15 campaign ... and beyond.
With the NBA draft entry deadline already over, we present the unveiling of the Fab 50, which is the most comprehensive preseason poll of its kind -- one that gives you everything you need to know about the top 50 programs in America heading into the fall. You'll get the returnees, the newcomers (including transfers) and even the top recruits that each program is tracking in the Class of 2015.
Without further ado, here's how the nation's top 50 teams stack up entering the summer:
Key Riser: Dakari Johnson -- He only averaged 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds as a freshman, but much of that was because he played limited minutes behind Cauley-Stein the first half of the season. He played well in the NCAA tourney and he should get more playing time as a sophomore, even with Cauley-Stein returning.
Analysis: The Wildcats are absolutely loaded -- at every position. In fact, John Calipari is two-deep at every spot. They have six quality big men with returnees Cauley-Stein, Johnson, Lee and Poythress and the addition of two guys who are more talented than any of them in Towns and Lyles. The return of the Harrison twins was critical, though, because now UK has backcourt depth with the twins and the addition of point guard Ulis and talented wing Booker.
Summer Buzz: As usual, John Calipari and his staff have targeted most of the elite players in the country. They missed on Luke Kennard (Duke), but already have shooting guard Charles Matthews (ESPN No. 12) and are in pursuit of big men Ivan Rabb, Stephen Zimmerman, Diamond Stone, Cheick Diallo, Skal Labissiere and Carlton Bragg as well as guard Malik Newman and wing Derrick Jones.
Key Riser: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson -- He played well following the season-ending foot injury to Ashley, but he can be far more effective once he becomes comfortable shooting the ball from the wing. He'll quickly become a focal point on both ends of the court in Tucson next season.
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