Guards Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon return to lead the nation's top recruiting class, headlined by 6'10" Jahlil Okafor from Chicago, keeping the Blue Devils in the top spot even if Jabari Parker goes pro.
Frank Kaminsky (13.9 points, 6.3 boards) will be tempted to enter the NBA draft, but if the 7-footer sticks around for his senior season, the Badgers will have four starters back from their Final Four team.
April 14, 2014
Aaron Gordon is leaving and Nick Johnson may follow, but 6'6" forward Stanley Johnson from Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, Calif., a consensus top five recruit, will be the most versatile scorer in the freshman class.
The good: The Wildcats have four starters, including 6'11" junior forward Daniel Ochefu, back from a 29-win team. The bad: They won't be able to fly under the radar as they did in 2013--14.
5. N. CAROLINA
Losing James Michael McAdoo (14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds) to the NBA hurts, but the Tar Heels welcome in an elite three-freshman class, led by Justin Jackson, a 6'7" forward from Tomball, Texas.
The Jayhawks will be favored to win their 11th consecutive Big 12 crown even if center Joel Embiid turns pro, thanks to the arrival of 6'9" freshman Cliff Alexander from Chicago's Curie High.
Assuming 6'10" Mitch McGary, the breakout star of the 2013 tournament, returns after missing most of last season because of a back injury, the Wolverines will be loaded.
This ranking could fluctuate in the coming weeks depending on draft decisions, but John Calipari has again signed a stellar class, featuring 6'10" power forward Trey Lyles and 6'5" shooting guard Devin Booker.
If 6'6" senior point guard Spencer Dinwiddie recovers fully from surgery to repair his left ACL, the Buffaloes will have a veteran lineup that includes rising star Josh Scott, a 6'10" junior forward.
The Longhorns will have everybody back from one of the most surprising teams of '13--14, led by one of the Big 12's best post players, 6'9", 285-pound sophomore center Cameron Ridley.