Assuming Brad Beal, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Thomas Robinson and Jared Sullinger turn pro ...
This is an article from the April 9, 2012 issue
The next step in Tom Crean's Hoosier Revival is to chase a national title. IU has 84.7% of its scoring back, including savvy 6'11" rising sophomore forward Cody Zeller, a Wooden Award candidate, and brings in Rivals.com's No. 2 recruiting class.
Power forward Chane Behanan is poised for sophomore stardom. He and shot-swatting Senegalese center Gorgui Dieng will help the Cardinals reprise the country's most efficient defense as the team runs away with the Big East championship.
John Calipari may lose his starters to the NBA, but he'll reload with N.C. State transfer Ryan Harrow at point and at least one of the top unsigned recruits, 6'10" Nerlens Noel or 6'6" Shabazz Muhammad. (If the Cats land both, they vault to No. 1.)
Power forward Patric Young and guard Kenny Boynton are one of the nation's top inside-outside duos. The Gators could feature three deadeye sharpshooters in Boynton, point guard Scottie Wilbekin and pick-and-pop forward Erik Murphy.
If point guard Trey Burke skips the draft, the Wolverines can win the Big Ten. Forward Glenn Robinson III becomes their third NBA progeny (along with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jon Horford). They also add top power forward recruit Mitch McGary.
Wings C.J. Fair and James Southerland can take on expanded scoring roles, and athletic sophomore-to-be Michael Carter-Williams and veteran Brandon Triche will give the Orange one of the Big East's best backcourts.
The Zags have an elite backcourt in point guard Kevin Pangos and gunner Gary Bell Jr. If German hybrid forward Elias Harris sticks around for his senior season, they should battle Arizona and San Diego State for the title of Best in the West.
8. NORTH CAROLINA
Should power forward James Michael McAdoo pass on the draft and build on his impressive NCAA tournament performance, he'll be surrounded with five quality guards who'll help the Heels repeat as ACC champs.
The Wildcats have the No. 1 recruiting class, led by forward Brandon Ashley and 7-foot Kaleb Tarczewski, and power forward Solomon Hill is back. But the status of point guard Josiah Turner (suspended for violating team rules) is uncertain.
Do-everything guard Will Barton is gone, but all the other key Tigers return, including point guard Joe Jackson and 6'6" wing Adonis Thomas. They'll dominate Conference USA one last time before bouncing to the Big East.