Next year it's ... Duke!


College basketball writer Marcus Jackson takes an extremely early look at the Top 10 teams for the 2014-15 season.

 

1. Duke

There’s a 50/50 chance Jabari Parker returns. If he does, along with that Kentucky-esque recruiting class headlined by Jahlil Okafor, the Blue Devils could be celebrating in a year.

 

2. Wisconsin

The Badgers were a miracle shot away from playing in the title game and they lose only sharp-shooter Ben Brust from Bo Ryan’s best team.

 

3. Arizona

Aaron Gordon is likely gone, but Pac-12 Player of the Year Nick Johnson is back, Brandon Ashley will be healthy and McDonald’s All-American Stanley Johnson joins the rotation.

 

4. Kansas

Bill Self returns Naadir Tharpe, Wayne Selden and Perry Ellis to go along with super recruits Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre to take aim at an 11th straight Big 12 title.

 

5. Virginia

The nation’s best defensive team loses two starters, but the system is in place and the balance on the offensive end will once again make Tony Bennett’s team a favorite in the ACC.

 

6. Michigan

Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas is likely gone, along with Glenn Robinson III, but John Beilein has built a strong program where guys like Caris LeVert, Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton are ready to step in.

 

7. Kentucky

The ‘Cats likely lose Julius Randle, the Harrison twins, Willy Cauley-Stein and James Young. But four more McDonald’s All-Americans enter the program and could find themselves in the title game next season.

 

8. North Carolina

The Tar Heels were up and down, but found chemistry down the stretch. Marcus Paige is back, along with three McDonald’s All-Americans to give Roy Williams some punch.

 

9. Villanova

The Wildcats spent much of the season in the Top 5 and thought the tournament run ended quickly, Jay Wright returns four starters, who should win the Big East.

 

10. Florida

The Gators lose four starters from their Final Four team, but a strong freshman class, along with transfers Eli Carter and Alex Murphy will step in for Billy Donovan. 

College basketball writer Marcus Jackson takes an extremely early look at the Top 10 teams for the 2014-15 season.

 

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