NCAA Men’s Basketball: Top-60 preseason team rankings, No. 1-30


This 2021-2022 college basketball season, will, in all likelihood, be one for the ages. Literally. It is doubtful that college basketball will ever be older than it is this season because of the one-time NCAA waiver allowing athletes an extra year of eligibility to replace the lost postseason opportunity from the 2019-20 season.

Many of the teams in this top-60 ranking are old in terms of average roster age, and the top-30, specifically, is no different. Having a bumper crop of seniors and super-seniors will mean that a lot of teams are heavily indexed in one of the four required components of winning-big in college basketball: veteran experience, top-notch coaching, NBA-level talent and, of course, luck.

The Michigan State Spartans are not the oldest, nor the most talented, but MSU does have both in good measure. The Spartans also have one of the top-five coaches in college basketball (assuming last year was an aberration on Tom Izzo’s sterling record), and they are more than due for some luck.

If you missed part one, No. 31-60, then read here.

Without further ado…

Here are the current depth charts and rankings of the top-60 NCAA men’s basketball teams for the 2021-2022 season:

(Disclaimer: I have no ability to predict the future regarding roster developments and may have completely forgotten, omitted, or mis-depth-charted various players due to signings, transfers, or NBA decisions I have not accounted for. Please DO let me know about factual or obvious omissions and errors both with regard to individual players and to teams.)

I view this as a fun collective exercise: please offer your thoughts and critiques and don’t be surprised if I change my rankings and depth charts based on your excellent input!

Following each team, I provide my thoughts, questions and comments on that particular school.

1. Gonzaga

1 – Andrew Nembhard, Dominik Harris
2 – Nolan Hickman, Rasir Bolton
3 – Hunter Sallis, Julian Strawther, Marytnas Arlauskas
4 – Chet Holmgren, Anton Watson
5 – Drew Timme, Kaden Perry

We will see how this prediction turns out, but for now Gonzaga’s mix of returning talent and explosive newcomers should give the Bulldogs the best team in the country. Nembhard and Timme are returning stars, while Bolton (Iowa State transfer), Watson, Harris and Strawther give head coach Mark Few another four veteran/talented players that he could rely on to create a group of six that could easily be a top-15 team on their own.

But the freshman class of Hickman, Sallis, Perry and, especially, Holmgren puts the Zags at the top spot. Hickman is a serious competitor, with a veteran demeanor, paint-attacking offensive game, and a defensive capacity that will ease the departure of Jalen Suggs. Sallis is a new kind of player for Few — a larger, longer, skilled wing with a finesse game that oozes pro potential while still possessing NBA athleticism and aggression. Perry is a top-50 or so center with athleticism and a confident scoring game….

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Read More: NCAA Men’s Basketball: Top-60 preseason team rankings, No. 1-30 2021-07-30 15:00:00

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