It’s never too early to start looking ahead!
Check below for our list of 5 teams that should be vastly improved during the 2022-23 college basketball season.
In no particular order:
Oregon: Several programs would celebrate a 20-15 season that concluded in the Postseason NIT. Don’t tell that to Dana Altman. The veteran coach was disgusted last spring with how Oregon performed down the stretch after beating both UCLA and USC on the road in January. Expect the Ducks to bounce back in a major way in 2022-23. All-Pac-12 guard Will Richardson returns for a fifth season along with a pair of veteran frontcourt pieces in Quincy Guerrier and N’Faly Dante. Oregon also added two perimeter transfers in Jermaine Couisnard (South Carolina) and Keeshawn Barthelemy (Colorado), who should both compete for starting spots after averaging double figures last season. Meanwhile, 7-foot freshman Kel’el Ware is a projected lottery pick in 2023 and the best long-term prospect in the Ducks’ program. Expect Oregon to compete for a Pac-12 regular season title and a high seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
Butler: Several Big East coaches believe that the Bulldogs are the sleeper team in the conference. It’s hard to argue when you dissect their current situation. Thad Matta’s second tour of duty at Hinkle Fieldhouse began with solidifying his point guard and center spots thanks to a pair of transfers — Eric Hunter Jr. (Purdue) and Manny Bates (NC State) — with power conference experience. The 6-11 Bates averaged 2.7 blocks two seasons ago and should be one of the more impactful newcomers in the Big East. Akron transfer Ali Ali (13.9 points) also figures to be in the mix for a starting spot at power forward. Butler also returns several pieces from last season’s team that won 14 games under LaVall Jordan, most notably three perimeter players — Chuck Harris, Jayden Taylor, and Simas Lukosius — who averaged 6.8 points or more. Don’t be shocked if Butler is a bubble team — or better — in 2023.
Georgetown: A 21-game losing streak and winless record in Big East play raised questions about Patrick Ewing’s job security. He answered with major reinforcements. Transfers Brandon Murray (LSU), Qudus Wahab (Maryland), Jay Heath (Arizona State), and Akok Akok (UConn) all arrive at Georgetown as potential starters who were consensus Top-100 recruits a few years ago. The Hoyas are currently awaiting a waiver on Heath’s eligibility for the 2022-23 season. Duquesne transfer Primo Spears is also expected to have a major impact at point guard, where the Hoyas already have junior Dante Harris (11.9 points, 4.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds), who was the Big East Tournament MVP in 2021. It may not be realistic for Georgetown to triple its win total after a six-win season, but Ewing has enough talent on his roster to flirt with a .500 overall record and the middle of the conference standings.
San Diego: Year One for the Toreros under Steve Lavin comes with tangible expectations after San Diego added two Pac-12 starters — Jaiden Delaire (Stanford) and Eric Williams (Oregon) — from the transfer portal. San Diego also returns its only two double figure scorers — Marcellus Earlington and Jase Townsend — from last season’s team that finished 15-16 and seventh in the WCC. An elite recruiter, Lavin led UCLA and St. John’s to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and two Postseason NIT appearances during his 12 years as a head coach. He’s assembled enough talent to push for a spot in the top half of the WCC standings in his first season at San Diego.
George Mason: After finishing 14-16 in his first season as a head coach, Kim English has the Patriots well positioned to make a move towards the top of the Atlantic 10. Veteran forward Josh Oduro (17.7 points, 7.5 rebounds) headlines a talented roster, which features a quality blend of returning experience and talented newcomers. In addition to Oduro, DeVon Cooper and Davonte “Ticket” Gaines are back as double figure scorers while three transfers — Victor Bailey (Tennessee), Saquan Singleton (New Mexico), and Ginika Ojiako (Virginia Tech) — are in line for significant roles. Top-100 freshman Justyn Fernandez and 6-9 newcomer Elvis Nnaji also figure to be important members of the Patriots’ rotation. Don’t be shocked if this is the best team in the Atlantic 10 after Saint Louis, Dayton, and VCU.
- The Breakfast Buffet: Oscar Tshiebwe, Xavier/Creighton, Keyontae Johnson/Florida
- Midseason All-Americans for the 2022-23 season
- The Breakfast Buffet: Xavier begins its massive week at UConn, Jahvon Quinerly, Bryce Hopkins
- The Breakfast Buffet: Kansas State gets a crack at Hilton Coliseum, North Carolina/Syracuse, Trayce Jackson-Davis
- Episode 378 — Xavier’s Sean Miller