Tip-off for the 2009-10 college basketball season is more than seven months away. Few sports have as quiet an off-season as college hoops, but there will still be several storylines worth following between now and the start of practice in October..
As always, the most dominant story of the offseason will be which players stay in college and which enter -- and don't back out of -- the NBA draft. The rash of NBA declarations has already begun, with several top players (most notably National Player of the Year
There is no clear front-runner for next year's title, but if
Other difference-makers this year, who have yet to declare, are Davidson's
This year's coaching carousel has already begun, with several high-profile openings at name-brand schools like Kentucky and Arizona snagging just-as-high-profile coaches. Some other desirable jobs, such as at Georgia, Alabama and Memphis have also been filled.
The latest school to need a coach is Xavier, which has thrived for years as a stepping-stone for the likes of
One job worth keeping an eye on is one that no one could have imagined would be coming open anytime soon: UConn. Huskies coach
Calipari won't be able to coach any of his new players until October, but he can -- and almost assuredly will -- spend the summer trying to convince other prep stars to join him at Kentucky. He will also have to reach out to college basketball's most passionate fan base and help restore order to a program that seemed unusually dysfunctional as the Wildcats missed the NCAA tournament this year for the first time since 1991.
Three of the top 10 high school players in the Class of 2009 remain unsigned. Guards
Here are four teams likely to begin the season outside the top 10, but, depending on which players return to school, they could be Sweet 16-level good come tournament time. Those teams are: