College Basketball Preview: 2019-20 Season
With a new college basketball season upon us, there’s so much more excitement in the air. There seems to be more of an even playing field coming into this year. There isn’t that team that feels like the guaranteed winner, like Duke last year. With all the uncertainty, there is certainly some contenders along with some sleepers coming into this season, and maybe even some potential Cinderellas.
Where the landscape is so even this year, there are a bunch of favorites, some of which are from the same conference. Some of the favorites include the Blue Bloods of North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, and Villanova, with their great recruiting classes and their star-studded lineups. There is also Michigan State out of the Big Ten, who have a Final Four team from last year that will include the return of Joshua Langford. This is something that can’t be ignored.
We also can’t ignore Memphis, with head coach Penny Hardaway at the helm. They were able to get a loaded recruiting class highlighted by the number one overall player in the class, James Wiseman and fellow five-star recruit, Precious Achiuwa. Throw in the five four-star recruits that Hardaway brought in and you have a dangerous, dangerous Memphis squad. Out west, there is also Arizona and Washington, who each have great recruiting classes along with veteran leadership.
With there being a ton of contenders, there are also a ton of teams that are good but don’t get a lot of attention. One of these teams is Houston. Even with their starting point guard, Corey Davis, graduating, they still were able to bring back most of their team that was in the top 10 at one point last year, along with bringing in Kansas transfer Quentin Grimes.
Another sleeper team is Oregon, who was able to get five ESPN Top 100 players in their recruiting class, along with the return of sharp shooter Payton Prichard. Another team to look at is Georgia. Even though we see them more for their football program, they bring in a good team that includes the hometown hero Anthony Edwards.
When it comes to the brand and story of college basketball, there’s nothing like the Cinderella teams. With teams like VCU in 2011 and Loyola-Chicago in 2018, the Cinderellas ain’t going away, and there are a few teams that will continue the story. One team to look for is Furman. After being nationally ranked last year, the door is open for them after what looks like the digression of Wofford this year.
Another team to look for is UNC-Greensboro, with their returning most of their team from last year, they’re also looking to battle with Furman in the Southern Conference. Liberty has Cinderella potential as well. After winning their conference tournament last year, they made it to the round of 32 before losing to Virginia Tech. They also returned most of their roster and they’re looking for another conference championship.
This season is gonna be one of the most exciting ones we’ve seen in a while. With so many contenders around the country, it makes it hard to predict. The unpredictability is one of many things that make college basketball so special. It’s always hard to predict college basketball but that’s what makes it so interesting and fun from a fan’s perspective.
With the unpredictability, there is also the highly competitive nature that makes NCAA basketball so fun to watch. That competitiveness leads to more upsets and builds storied rivalries. With another season coming up, it’s time write in another chapter to the college basketball story.