The initial CBS Sports 2021-22 Preseason Top 25 And 1 published last Monday — just a few hours after Baylor beat Gonzaga to win the national championship. Since then, Tennessee and Illinois both lost more rotation players, Arizona lost its coach, and Kansas and Arkansas added high-level transfers that positively impacted their projected rosters.
So it’s time for an update.
Kansas and Arkansas moved up in, while Arizona and Illinois dropped out of, Version 2.0 of the 2021-22 Preseason Top 25 And 1 (for reasons previously stated). The Wildcats and Illini were replaced by Virginia Tech and West Virginia, the latter of which will obviously be ranked higher if Miles McBride returns for one more season. But, at this moment, I have McBride projected off of West Virginia’s roster. And that’s the thing about ranking 26 teams this far in advance of the start of next season: it’s a lot of projecting. Transfers are still coming and going, high school prospects are still uncommitted, NBA prospects are still deciding whether to leave or stay, and coaches are still being hired and fired, all of which makes trying to determine what a program’s roster will ultimately look like challenging. If history is an indicator, most projections will prove accurate in time. But there will no doubt be surprises. And when those surprises happen, the Top 25 And 1 will adjust accordingly, just like always.
For now, though, UCLA remains No. 1 in the Top 25 And 1 based on the assumption that every meaningful piece that helped the Bruins make the Final Four, and finish 13th at KenPom, will return. Obviously, Johnny Juzang has a decision to make about the NBA Draft. But if he comes back, and picks up right where he left off, UCLA — which is adding five-star prospect Peyton Watson to its experienced core — should have a real chance to win what would be the 12th national title in school history.
Who’s next at Arizona? Did UNC make the right hire in Hubert Davis? The latest Eye on College Basketball podcast looks at the coaching carousel.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
Every meaningful player who helped the Bruins make the Final Four is currently projected back on campus – among them NCAA Tournament star Johnny Juzang. UCLA will add five-star prospect Peyton Watson and should have all of the pieces necessary to win a national title.
Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi are both entering the NBA Draft, but Gonzaga is expected to add two five-star prospects in Chet Holmgren and Hunter Sallis, the former of whom is the consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2021. Combine them with a possible core of Drew Timme, Andrew Nembhard and Anton Watson, and the Zags should be a Final Four contender again.
The Crimson Tide should return four of the top seven scorers from a team that won the SEC regular-season title and SEC Tournament – most notably Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly. The addition of five-star point guard JD Davison and four-star big Charles Bediako gives Nate Oats a chance at back-to-back conference championships.
Duke is the only program expected to add three five-star prospects from the Class of 2021 – among them Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin, both of whom project as one-and-done top-10 NBA Draft picks. So even if Matthew Hurt joins DJ Steward in the NBA Draft, Mike Krzyzewski should still have enough talent to take the Blue Devils back to the top of the sport.
The Bears are expected to lose Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler to the NBA Draft. But if Baylor keeps a core of Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, and enrolls its top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star wing Kendall Brown, Scott Drew can make a run at another national title.
The projection here is that Ohio State will return the top three scorers – Duane Washington Jr., E.J. Liddell and Justice Sueing – from a team that earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Malaki Branham, a consensus top-30 prospect in the Class of 2021, is an incoming recruit who should make an immediate impact.
Kansas is projected to return four starters from a team that went 9-2 in its final 11 games and advanced in the NCAA Tournament. The recent addition of Joseph Yesufu, a transfer who averaged 12.8 points at Drake this season, will enhance the Jayhawks’ shot-making ability.
The Razorbacks are losing a lot – including projected first-round pick Moses Moody. But JD Notae should return as a double-digit scorer, and Eric Musselman is adding at least four experienced double-digit scorers via the transfer market, mostly notably Chris Lykes (Miami) and Au’Diese Toney (Pitt).
The Seminoles should be really good again despite the likely losses of MJ Walker, RaiQuan Gray and Scottie Barnes thanks to the expected return of proven pieces like Anthony Polite, Balsa Koprivica and Malik Osborne. To that core, Florida State will add the nation’s second-ranked recruiting class – one highlighted by former Houston standout Caleb Mills and five-star wing Matthew Cleveland.
This ranking is tied to the idea that Franz Wagner will enter the NBA Draft while Hunter Dickinson returns for his sophomore season at Michigan, where he’ll likely be the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year. The 7-foot-1 center would be the perfect experienced piece to pair with the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class featuring five star prospects Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate.
The Boilermakers have no seniors and zero obvious NBA prospects, meaning everybody who matters should return from a team that received a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The star is Trevion Williams, who averaged 15.5 points and 9.1 rebounds as a junior.
Collin Gillispie will return for one more season at Villanova. So the Wildcats should again be the favorite in the Big East even with the departure of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl.
As long as Kelvin Sampson remains the coach, Houston will likely be a mainstay in the Top 25 And 1. The early loss of Quentin Grimes will hurt, but probably not too much with Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark set to return.
Mark Turgeon has used the transfer market to add a quality guard (Fatts Russell) and big (Qudus Wahab). That should be enough to offset the loss of Darryl Morsell and get the Terrapins to the Big Dance for the sixth time in a span of seven NCAA Tournaments.
The expected return of Keion Brooks, Dontaie Allen and Jacob Toppin gives John Calipari a core of three players who averaged at least 14 minutes per game this season. He’ll fill out the roster with a top-five recruiting class and at least two impactful transfers – namely Kellan Grady (Davidson) and Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia).
North Carolina’s decision to promote Hubert Davis suggests the school should be able to keep Armando Bacot, Caleb Love and much of the rotation on campus. That’s why Year 1 of the post-Roy Williams era is likely to be successful.
Dan Hurley has rebuilt UConn to the point where it can be a consistent challenger to Villanova in the Big East. Even the early loss of James Bouknight, a projected first-round NBA Draft pick, shouldn’t change that.
Aaron Henry is following Joshua Langford and Rocket Watts out the door. But the arrival of five-star guard Max Christie and Northeastern transfer Tyson Walker should have Tom Izzo in his 24th straight NCAA Tournament.
All five starters from a team that won the Atlantic 10 regular-season title and Atlantic 10 Tournament are expected back – most notably Kyle Lofton, who averaged 14.4 points and 5.5 assists as a junior. Wake Forest transfer Quadry Adams will provide depth.
Andy Enfield should have the Trojans back in the NCAA Tournament – as long as Isaiah Mobley doesn’t join his brother, Evan Mobley, in the NBA Draft. A top-15 recruiting class highlighted by Reese Dixon-Waters will help offset the departures.
Trey Murphy is expected to enter the NBA Draft, which means Virginia will likely lose its top three scorers. But Kihei Clark will provide Tony Bennett with an experienced point guard capable of keeping the Cavaliers near the top of the ACC.
Dana Altman is among the best at reloading his roster each offseason via the transfer market. So it’s safe to assume he’ll find enough good pieces to supplement a core of Will Richardson and Eric Williams, both of whom averaged double-figures this season.
The Orange have three players in the transfer portal – among them Kadary Richmond, a talented freshman guard with size. But the top three scorers from a Sweet 16 team should be back, including Buddy Boeheim, who averaged 22.3 points in the NCAA Tournament.
Yves Pons’ decision to join Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson in NBA Draft makes it likely that Tennessee will be replacing four of its top five scorers. But a core of Victor Bailey, Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James should pair nicely with a recruiting class highlighted by the best point guard in the Class of 2021 (Kennedy Chandler) and another newcomer who just averaged 11.7 points while shooting 44.2% from 3-point range at Auburn (Justin Powell).
The top four scorers from a team that made the NCAA Tournament are expected to return – among them Keve Aluma, who averaged 15.2 points and 7.9 rebounds this season. They’ll be joined by a pair of transfers (USF’s Michael Durr and Wofford’s Storm Murphy) who should help Virginia Tech compete for the ACC title.
West Virginia is expected to lose three of its top five scorers, most notably Miles McBride, who has entered the NBA Draft. But Bob Huggins with a core of Derek Culver and Sean McNeil probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Coach: MIck Cronin
2020-21 record: 22-10
Notable players expected to leave: Chris Smith
Notable players expected to return: Johnny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez, Jules Bernard, Tyger Campbell, Cody Riley, David Singleton, Jake Kyman, Mac Etienne, Jaylen Clark, Kenneth Nwuba
Expected additions: Peyton Watson, Will McClendon
Coach: Mark Few
2020-21 record: 31-1
Notable players expected to leave: Corey Kispert, Jalen Suggs, Joel Ayayi, Aaron Cook, Oumar Ballo, Pavel Zakharov
Notable players expected to return: Drew Timme, Andrew Nembhard, Anton Watson, Julian Strawther, Dominick Harris, Ben Gregg
Expected additions: Chet Holmgren, Hunter Sallis, Kaden Perry
Coach: Nate Oats
Notable players expected to leave: Herb Jones, John Petty, Alex Reese, Jordan Bruner
Notable players expected to return: Jaden Shackelford, Jahvon Quinerly, Joshua Primo, Keon Ellis, Juwan Gary, James Rojas, Darius Miles, Keon Ambrose-Hylton
Expected additions: Noah Gurley, JD Davison, Charles Bediako, Jusaun Holt, Nimari Burnett, Alex Tchikou
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
2020-21 record: 13-11
Notable players expected to leave: Matthew Hurt, DJ Steward, Jordan Goldwire, Jaemyn Brakefield, Patrick Tape
Notable players expected to return: Wendell Moore, Jeremy Roach, Mark Williams, Joey Baker, Henry Coleman
Expected additions: Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin, Trevor Keels
Coach: Scott Drew
2020-21 record: 28-2
Notable players expected to leave: Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell, MaCio Teague, Mark Vital
Notable players expected to return: Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchouwa, L.J. Cryer, Flo Thamba, Zach Loveday, Jordan Turner
Expected additions: Kendall Brown, Langston Love, Jeremy Sochan
6. OHIO STATE
Coach: Chris Holtmann
2020-21 record: 21-10
Notable players expected to leave: CJ Walker, Kyle Young, Musa Jallow, Jimmy Sotos
Notable players expected to return: Duane Washington, E.J. Liddell, Justice Sueing, Justin Ahrens, Zed Key, Seth Towns, Meechie Johnson, Eugene Brown
Expected additions: Malaki Branham, Kalen Etzler, Jamari Wheeler
Coach: Bill Self
2020-21 record: 21-9
Notable players expected to leave: Marcus Garrett, Tyon Grant-Foster, Tristan Enaruna, Latrell Jossell, Gethro Muscadin
Notable players expected to return: Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, Jalen Wilson, Christian Braun, Bryce Thompson, Mitch Lightfoot, Dajuan Harris, Chris Teahan
Expected additions: Joseph Yesufu, Cam Martin, Zach Clemence, KJ Adams, Bobby Pettiford, Sydney Curry
Coach: Eric Musselman
2020-21 record: 25-7
Notable players expected to leave: Moses Moody, Justin Smith, Jalen Tate, Desi Sills, Vance Jackson, Ethan Henderson
Notable players expected to return: JD Notae, Davonte Davis, Connor Vanover, Jaylin Williams, Khalen Robinson
Expected additions: Au’Diese Toney, Chris Lykes, Stanley Umode, Kamani Johnson, Chance Moore, Akol Mawein
9. FLORIDA STATE
Coach: Leonard Hamilton
2020-21 record: 18-7
Notable players expected to leave: MJ Walker, RaiQuan Gray, Scottie Barnes, RayQuan Evans, Nathaniel Jack, Tanor Ngom
Notable players expected to return: Anthony Polite, Balsa Koprivica, Malik Osborne, Sardaar Calhoun, Wyatt Wilkes, Quincy Ballard
Expected additions: Caleb Mills, Matthew Cleveland, Jalen Warley, John Butler, Naheem McLeod
Coach: Juwan Howard
2020-21 record: 23-5
Notable players expected to leave: Isaiah Livers, Franz Wagner, Eli Brooks, Mike Smith, Chaundee Brown, Austin Davis
Notable players expected to return: Hunter Dickinson, Brandon Johns, Terrence Williams, Zeb Jackson, Jace Howard
Expected additions: Caleb Houston, Moussa Diabate, Kobe Bufkin, Frankie Collins, Isaiah Barnes, Will Tschetter
Coach: Matt Painter
2020-21 record: 18-10
Notable players expected to leave: Aaron Wheeler, Emmanuel Dowuona
Notable players expected to return: Trevion Williams, Jaden Ivey, Sasha Stefanovic, Zach Edey, Eric Hunter Jr., Brandon Newman, Mason Gillis, Isaiah Thompson, Ethan Morton.
Expected additions: Trey Kaufman, Caleb Furst
Coach: Jay Wright
2020-21 record: 18-7
Notable players expected to leave: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jermaine Samuels, Cole Swider
Notable players expected to return: Collin Gillespie, Justin Moore, Caleb Daniels, Brandon Slater, Eric Dixon, Bryan Antoine, Chris Arcidiacono, Trey Patterson
Expected additions: Jordan Longino, Nnanna Njoku, Angelo Brizzi
Coach: Kelvin Sampson
2020-21 record: 28-4
Notable players expected to leave: Quentin Grimes, Dejon Jarreau, Justin Gorham, Fabian White, Bryson Gresham
Notable players expected to return: Marcus Sasser, Tramon Mark, Cameron Tyson, Reggie Chaney, Jamal Shead, Kiyron Powell, J’Wan Roberts
Expected additions: Ja’Vier Francis, Taze Moore, Ramon Walker, Robbie Armbrester, Josh Carlton
Coach: Mark Turgeon
2020-21 record: 17-14
Notable players expected to leave: Darryl Morsell, Galin Smith, Chol Marial, Aquan Smart, Reese Mona
Notable players expected to return: Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Donta Scott, Hakim Hart, Jairus Hamilton, James Graham III, Marcus Dockery
Expected additions: Qudus Wahab, Fatts Russell, Julian Reese, Ike Cornish
Coach: John Caliipari
2020-21 record: 9-16
Notable players expected to leave: Brandon Boston, Olivier Sarr, Terrence Clarke, Isaiah Jackson, Devin Askew, Cam’Ron Fletcher
Notable players expected to return: Davion Mintz, Keion Brooks, Dontaie Allen, Jacob Toppin, Lance Ware
Expected additions: Kellan Grady, Oscar Tshiebwe, Daimion Colliins, Bryce Hopkins, Nolan Hickman
16. NORTH CAROLINA
Coach: Hubert Davis
2020-21 record: 18-11
Notable players expected to leave: Garrison Brooks, Day’Ron Sharpe, Walker Kessler, Andrew Playtek, Sterling Manley
Notable players expected to return: Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, R.J. Davis, Kerwin Walton, Leaky Black, Anthony Harris, Puff Johnson.
Expected additions: Dontrez Styles, D’Marco Dunn, Justin McKoy
Coach: Dan Hurley
2020-21 record: 15-8
Notable players expected to leave: James Bouknight, Tyler Polley, Brendan Adams, Josh Carlton
Notable players expected to return: R.J. Cole, Tyrese Martin, Isaiah Whaley, Adama Sanogo, Jalen Gaffney, Andre Jackson, Akok Akok, Richie Springs
Expected additions: Rahsool Diggins, Jordan Hawkins, Samson Johnson
18. MICHIGAN STATE
Coach: Tom Izzo
2020-21 record: 15-13
Notable players expected to leave: Aaron Henry, Joshua Langford, Rocket Watts
Notable players expected to return: Joey Hauser, Gabe Brown, Malik Hall, Foster Loyer, Julius Marble, Marcus Bingham, AJ Hoggard, Thomas Kithier, Mady Sissoko
Expected additions: Tyson Walker, Max Christie, Jaden Akins, Pierre Brooks
19. ST. BONAVENTURE
Coach: Mark Schmidt
2020-21 record: 16-5
Notable players expected to leave: Alejandro Vasquez, Jalen Shaw, Jermaine Taggart
Notable players expected to return: Kyle Lofton, Jaren Holmes, Jalen Adaway, Dominick Welch, Osun Osunniyi, Alpha Okoli, Eddie Creal
Expected additions: Justin Ndjock, Quadry Adams, Abdoul Karim, Coulibaly, Oluwasegun Durosinmi
Coach: Andy Enfield
2020-21 record: 25-8
Notable players expected to leave: Evan Mobley, Tahj Eaddy, Isaiah White, Noah Baumann
Notable players expected to return: Isaiah Mobley, Drew Peterson, Ethan Anderson, Chevez Goodwin, Max Agbonkpolo, Reese Waters
Expected additions: Malik Thomas, Harrison Hornery, Kobe Johnson, KJ Allen
Coach: Tony Bennett
2020-21 record: 18-17
Notable players expected to leave: Sam Hauser, Jay Huff, Trey Murphy, Tomas Woldentensae, Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Casey Morsell, Justin McKoy
Notable players expected to return: Kihei Clark, Reece Beekman, Kody Stattman, Kadin Shedrick, Francisco Caffaro, Carson McCorkle, Chase Coleman, Malachi Poindexter
Expected additions: Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner, Taine Murray
Coach: Dana Altman
2020-21 record: 21-7
Notable players expected to leave: Eugene Omoruyi, Chris Duarte, LJ Figueroa, Chandler Lawson, Amauri Hardy, Will Johnson
Notable players expected to return: Will Richardson, Eric Williams, N’Faly Dante, Aaron Estrada, Jalen Terry, Franck Kepnang, Lok Wur
Expected additions: Nathan Bittle
Coach: Jim Boeheim
2020-21 record: 18-10
Notable players expected to leave: Marek Dolezaj, Kadary Richmond, Robert Braswell, Bourama Sidibe, John Bol Ajak
Notable players expected to return: Buddy Boeheim, Quincy Guerrier, Alan Griffin, Joseph Girard, Woody Newton, Jesse Edwards, Frank Anselem
Expected additions: Benny Williams, Cole Swider
Coach: Rick Barnes
2020-21 record: 18-9
Notable players expected to leave: Jaden Springer, Keon Johnson, John Fulkerson, Yves Pons, EJ Anosiki, Davonte Gaines, Drew Pember
Notable players expected to return: Victor Bailey, Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James, Olivier Nkamhoua, Uros Plavsic
Expected additions: Kennedy Chandler, Justin Powell, Jahmai Mashack, Quentin Diboundje
25. VIRGINIA TECH
Coach: Mike Young
2020-21 record: 15-7
Notable players expected to leave: Jalen Cone, Wabissa Bede, Joe Bamisile, Cordell Pemsl
Notable players expected to return: Keve Aluma, Tyrece Radford, Nahiem Alleyne, Justyn Mutts, Hunter Cattoor, David N’Guessan, Darius Maddox, John Ojiako
Expected additions: Michael Durr, Storm Murphy, Sean Pedulla
26. WEST VIRGINIA
Coach: Bob Huggins
2020-21 record: 19-10
Notable players expected to leave: Miles McBride, Taz Sherman, Emmitt Matthews, Jordan McCabe, Gabe Osabuohien
Notable players expected to return: Derek Culver, Sean McNeil, Jalen Bridges, Isaiah Cottrell, Kedrian Johnson, Taj Thweatt, Seni Ndiaye
Expected additions: Dimon Carrigan, Seth Wilson, Kobe Johnson