A new offseason means a new weekly column post NBA Draft Deadline!
Check out below for this offseason’s first installment of “Weekend Brunch”, which started a year ago and is published every Friday in June, highlighting all the latest happenings in the world of college basketball.
A La Carte
Gonzaga has reloaded
No one had better fortune during this week’s NBA Draft deadline than the Bulldogs. The decisions of Drew Timme, Julian Strawther, and Rasir Bolton to withdraw from the draft and return to school means that Gonzaga will return three double-figure scorers and six of its top eight scorers from a team that finished 28-4 last season and was the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Arkansas in the Sweet 16. Mark Few’s squad also landed a commitment on Thursday from Chattanooga transfer Malachi Smith, who averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, and three assists last season en route to leading the Mocs to a SOCON Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Gonzaga is currently ranked second in the ROTHSTEIN 45, only behind North Carolina.
Indiana emerges as Big Ten favorite
The decisions by both Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate to remain in the 2022 NBA Draft instantly lowered Michigan’s ceiling for next season and therefore made the Hoosiers the consensus favorite in the Big Ten. Mike Woodson’s team returns five of its top six scorers — Trayce Jackson-Davis, Xavier Johnson, Race Thompson, Miller Kopp, and Trey Galloway — from last season’s team that lost in the NCAA Tournament to Saint Mary’s and also adds a pair of five-star freshmen in Jalen Hood-Schifino and Malik Reneau. Veteran reserves Jordan Geronimo and Tamar Bates also return. The 6-9 Jackson-Davis is a prime candidate to be Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year and a first-team All-American after averaging 18.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks last year as a junior. Indiana is currently ranked 13th in the ROTHSTEIN 45.
Jeremy Roach will be Duke’s most important player next season
The Blue Devils have the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class entering next season according to 247Sports, but only one player on their roster — Roach — has NCAA Tournament experience. “We don’t necessarily have a lot of experience coming back,” Duke head coach Jon Scheyer said earlier this week on the College Hoops Today Podcast. “Jeremy Roach is going to be the main guy and Jaylen Blakes — who grew up a lot last year — is also returning.” The 6-1 Roach averaged 11.8 points and four assists in five NCAA Tournament games last spring. Five members of the Blue Devils’ freshmen class — Dereck Lively II, Dariq Whitehead, Kyle Filipowski, Mark Mitchell, and Tyrese Proctor — are all rated as five-star prospects according to 247Sports. Duke is currently ranked ninth in the ROTHSTEIN 45.
On The Side
- Arizona has a chance to have three players selected in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft in Bennedict Mathurin, Christian Koloko, and Dalen Terry. The 6-6 Mathurin is projected to be selected somewhere in the middle of lottery.
- Creighton will play two neutral site games in three days this December in Las Vegas against BYU and Arizona State respectively. The Bluejays — who are the consensus favorite in the Big East entering next season — are currently ranked third in the ROTHSTEIN 45.
- Only three teams in the ROTHSTEIN 45 — TCU, Virginia, and Dayton — are set to return all five starters from last season.
- The Big East suffered a major loss when Jay Wright retired as Villanova’s head coach in April, but the league has had one heck of an offseason via the transfer portal. All 11 teams in the conference are capable of beating each other and that’s something that wasn’t possible a year ago. The 22-23 season should bring the most competitive Big East season that we’ve seen in recent memory.
- Need more proof that returning personnel is more important than incoming personnel in college basketball? 17 of the 20 starters in last season’s Final Four were all a part of their respective programs in the previous season.
Where To Eat
Who’s Jac W.?, 84th Street and 2nd Ave.
This hip new eatery is a new addition to the Upper East Side and features a big-time bar selection along with an elite ambiance. The pork chop is as good as any in the city and the zucchini chips are a perfect appetizer to get a great meal going!
- Episode 349 — Davidson’s Matt McKillop
- Atlantic 10 Offseason Breakdown
- Weekend Brunch: Pac-12 basketball hanging in the balance, Michigan State’s non-conference schedule, Derek Kellogg deserved better from LIU Brooklyn
- San Diego State, Saint Mary’s to play in Phoenix on 12/10
- Auburn, Memphis to meet at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on 12/10