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TOP 10 2013-14

April 15, 2013
April 15, 2013

Table of Contents
April 15, 2013

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
MARCH MADNESS
DRAFT PREVIEW
  • SLAMMED BY A MOST SCATHING SCOUTING REPORT, GENO SMITH IS OUT TO PROVE A GREATER TRUTH: THAT HE'S MUCH MORE THAN JUST THE BEST BET IN A SUBPAR QUARTERBACK CLASS

VERNE LUNDQUIST
LARRY SANDERS
  • THE NBA'S FIERY ANGEL HAS SEEN THE DARKEST CORNERS OF CRAZY, HE'LL TELL YOU. BUT THEN HE FOUND HIS HAPPY (IF STILL OCCASIONALLY VOLATILE) PLACE. LET THE GAME'S FIERCEST DEFENDER DRAW THE PICTURE FOR YOU

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TOP 10 2013-14

This season may have just ended, but it's never too early to start thinking about which teams will be at the top of the polls next fall

1. KENTUCKY

This is an article from the April 15, 2013 issue

To a class that already includes six McDonald's All-Americans (page 48), the Wildcats could still add the class of 2013's top overall recruit, Andrew Wiggins. They will benefit from the return of sophomores-to-be Willie Cauley-Stein (8.3 ppg) and Alex Poythress (11.2).

2. MICHIGAN ST.

If 6'10" forward Adreian Payne comes back, the Spartans will make a title run. Next year Gary Harris (shoulders), Branden Dawson (knee) and Travis Trice (concussions) should be healthy.

3. DUKE

Incandescent 6'8" newcomer Jabari Parker will team with 6'8" Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood to give the Blue Devils a pair of wings who can play at a level Duke hasn't seen in the last few years.

4. LOUISVILLE

The Cardinals will be a top team if Russ Smith, Chane Behanan and Luke Hancock return (none have said for sure). Either way, expect 6'8" forward Montrezl Harrell to make a huge leap, but keep in mind that the speed of Kevin Ware's recovery will be a factor.

5. ARIZONA

Aaron Gordon chose the Wildcats hours before being named MVP of the McDonald's All-American game, ensuring that Arizona—which has Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski returning—will have the nation's best frontcourt.

6. MEMPHIS

Even if 6'6" swingman Adonis Thomas turns pro, the Tigers will be loaded on the perimeter with Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson. Their latest top five freshman class includes 6'8" forward Austin Nichols.

7. OHIO STATE

Big Ten scoring champ Deshaun Thomas is declaring for the draft, but defensive menace Aaron Craft and breakout offensive star LaQuinton Ross will be back in Columbus.

8. SYRACUSE

The Orange will be stocked in the frontcourt for the school's first year in the ACC, with DaJuan Coleman recovered from a knee injury and ready to link up with veterans C.J. Fair and Rakeem Christmas.

9. MARQUETTE

The nucleus of the Golden Eagles' Elite Eight squad returns with Vander Blue, Davante Gardner, Jamil Wilson and Todd Mayo. Coach Buzz Williams adds a pair of Milwaukee products, 6'3" guard Duane Wilson and 6'5" forward Deonte Burton.

10. FLORIDA

The Gators lost their backcourt with the graduation of Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario, but they bring in two great freshmen from the Sunshine State—both top 10 recruits—in 6'1" guard Kasey Hill and 6'9" forward Chris Walker.

PHOTOJOHN BIEVER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PAYNE)PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (ROSS)