Chris Beard is widely regarded as the best hire any school made this offseason based on a Division I head-coaching career that’s been exceptional by any standard through six years — the first coming at Little Rock, the previous five at Texas Tech. It’s not unreasonable to assume he’ll someday guide Texas to its first national championship in men’s basketball history. And the wildest part is that the 48 year-old — who led Texas Tech to its first Final Four three seasons ago — has already assembled a roster good enough to maybe do it in what will be his first season at his alma mater.
The latest development came Saturday afternoon when former Minnesota standout Marcus Carr announced he’s transferring to Texas for his fourth year of college basketball. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 19.4 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 35.8 minutes per game last season for the Golden Gophers and is one of five transfers who will enroll at Texas after averaging double-figures in points last season — with the others being Tre Mitchell (UMass), Timmy Allen (Utah), Dyson Disu (Vanderbilt) and Christian Bishop (Creighton). His addition is why Texas is up to No. 3 in Version 21.0 of the 2021-22 CBS Sports Preseason Top 25 And 1.
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Gonzaga remains No. 1.
The Zags have won at least 31 games in five consecutive seasons, played in two of the past four national title games, and finished first or second at KenPom in four of the past five years — and it’s possible the best is yet to come considering the roster Mark Few has in place. The West Coast Conference power should bring back Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme, the latter of whom is the likely preseason national player of the year. They’ll be joined by the top-ranked prospect in the Class of 2021 (Chet Holmgren) and two other consensus top-30 freshmen (Hunter Sallis, Nolan Hickman). meaning this should be the most-talented roster in program history.
The latest with recruiting and major transfers are covered in the newest episode of Eye on College Basketball.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
The Zags are expected to bring back Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard, both of whom started for a team that finished 31-1. They’ll combine with a star-studded recruiting class – highlighted by five-star prospects Chet Holmgren and Hunter Sallis – and allow Gonzaga to enter the season as the favorite to win the national title.
Every player who helped the Bruins make the Final Four is returning – among them NCAA Tournament star Johnny Juzang. UCLA will add five-star prospect Peyton Watson and Rutgers transfer Myles Johnson to that core and have all of the pieces necessary to compete for the national title.
Chris Beard has used the transfer portal to add five players who averaged double-figures in points last season — namely Marcus Carr (Minnesota), Tre Mitchell (UMass), Timmy Allen (Utah), Christian Bishop (Creighton) and Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt). As a result, he appears to have enough experienced talent to compete for a national championship in his first year at Texas.
The Jayhawks are expected to return four of the top five scorers from a team that beat Baylor in February and finished second in the Big 12. The addition of high-level transfers Remy Martin (Arizona State) and Joseph Yesefu (Drake) should make Kansas the favorite to win what would be the 20th conference championship of Bill Self’s career.
The return of Collin Gillispie and Jermaine Samuels means the Wildcats will return four of the top five scorers from a team that won the Big East title by multiple games. So Jay Wright will have the pieces necessary to compete for his third national championship.
The return of Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks provides Juwan Howard with high-level experienced pieces to pair with the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class that features five-star prospect Caleb Houstan, five-star prospect Moussa Diabate and reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year DeVante’ Jones. The Wolverines should be the favorite to win what would be a second straight Big Ten title.
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 with Matthew Hurt and DJ Steward both leaving school early, Mike Krzyzewski should have enough talent to take the Blue Devils back to the top of the sport.
The Bears are losing Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler to the NBA Draft. But with a returning core of Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, and a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star wing Kendall Brown and Arizona transfer James Akinjo, Scott Drew has the pieces to make another run at a national title.
The Razorbacks are losing a lot – including projected first-round pick Moses Moody. But JD Notae is returning as a double-digit scorer, and Eric Musselman is adding at least four other experienced double-digit scorers via the transfer market, most notably Chris Lykes (Miami) and Au’Diese Toney (Pitt).
The Boilermakers are returning the top eight scorers 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 while setting himself up to be a possible First Team All-American next season.
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 hurts, but probably not too much with Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark set to return and be joined by Texas Tech transfer Kyler Edwards.
John Calipari has solved Kentucky’s point guard problems by enrolling five-star prospect TyTy Washington and Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler. Combine that with the return of Davion Mintz and Keion Brooks, and the additions of transfers Kellan Grady (Davidson), Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia) and CJ Frederick (Iowa), and the Wildcats look like a team set to have the biggest year-over-year turnaround in the sport.
The return of Armando Bacot and Caleb Love will give Hubert Davis a chance to keep the Tar Heels nationally relevant in his first season after replacing Roy Williams. They’ll be joined by a couple of proven transfers – namely forwards Brady Manek (Oklahoma) and Dawson Garcia (Marquette) – who will make UNC’s frontcourt one of the sport’s best.
Dana Altman has been among the best at reloading his roster each offseason via the transfer market — and now he’s doing it again. The additions of Oklahoma transfer De’Vion Harmon, Syracuse transfer Quincy Guerrier and Rutgers transfer Jacob Young to an experienced core of Will Richardson, Eric Williams and N’Faly Dante should make the Ducks the biggest threat to UCLA in the Pac-12.
The return of Kofi Cockburn allows Illinois to return four of its top six scorers from a team that earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. So even with the massive loss of Ayo Dosunmu to the NBA Draft, Brad Underwood’s team shouldn’t slip too much in the Big Ten standings.
Duane Washington’s decision to remain in the NBA Draft (despite the possibility that he’ll go unselected) is an obvious blow to Ohio State’s roster. But Chris Holtmann is still returning six of the top eight scorers from a team that earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and the addition of Louisiana transfer Cedric Russell will provide the Buckeyes with another proven shooter.
Alabama is losing four of the top five scorers from a team that won the SEC regular-season title and SEC Tournament – most notably Jaden Shackelford and Herb Jones. But the enrollment of a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star point guard JD Davison, four-star big Charles Bediako and transfers Nimari Burnett (Texas Tech) and Noah Gurley (Furman) should give Nate Oats a chance to compete for back-to-back conference championships.
The Seminoles should be good again despite losing four of their top five scorers – among them projected lottery pick Scottie Barnes. A veteran core of Anthony Polite and Malik Osborne will be joined by a top-five recruiting class highlighted by former Houston standout Caleb Mills and five-star wing Matthew Cleveland.
John Fulkerson’s decision to return for another season means Tennessee is bringing back five of the top eight scorers from a team that earned a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That experienced core will pair nicely with a recruiting class highlighted by one of the best point guards 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).
Mark Turgeon has used the transfer market to add a quality guard (Fatts Russell) and big (Qudus Wahab). That should help offset the losses of Aaron Wiggins and Darryl Morsell and get the Terrapins to the Big Dance for the sixth time in a span of seven NCAA Tournaments.
Auburn’s frontcourt of Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler might end up being the best frontcourt in the SEC. That’s two bigs who were five-star prospects in high school joining a roster returning two double-digit scorers, most notably Allen Flanigan, who averaged 14.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season.
Dan Hurley has rebuilt UConn to the point where it should 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 – especially with Tyler Polley set to return for a fifth season.
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.
Trey Murphy left school early for the NBA Draft, which means Virginia is losing 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, and the addition of East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner could be a big boost.
Andy Enfield should have the Trojans back in the NCAA Tournament despite the loss of one-and-done star Evan Mobley. A top-15 recruiting class highlighted by Reese Dixon-Waters and Memphis transfer Boogie Ellis will help offset the departures and pair nicely with Isaiah Mobley, who averaged 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game last season.
Roster breakdowns 1. Gonzaga
Coach: Mark Few | 2020-21 record: 31-1
Notable players expected to leave: Corey Kispert, Jalen Suggs, Joel Ayayi, Aaron Cook, Oumar Ballo, Pavel ZakharovNotable players expected to return: Drew Timme, Andrew Nembhard, Anton Watson, Julian Strawther, Dominick Harris, Ben GreggExpected additions: Chet Holmgren, Hunter Sallis, Nolan Hickman, Rasir Bolton, Kaden Perry 2. UCLA
Coach: Mick Cronin | 2020-21 record: 22-10
Notable players expected to leave: Chris SmithNotable players expected to return: Johnny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez, Jules Bernard, Tyger Campbell, Cody Riley, David Singleton, Jake Kyman, Mac Etienne, Jaylen Clark, Kenneth NwubaExpected additions: Peyton Watson, Will McClendon, Myles Johnson3. Texas
Coach: Chris Beard | 2020-21 record: 19-8
Notable players expected to leave: Matt Coleman, Greg Brown, Jericho Sims, Kai Jones, Donovan Williams, Kamaka Hepa, Royce Hamm Jr.Notable players expected to return: Andrew Jones, Courtney Ramey, Jase Febres, Brock CunninghamExpected additions: Marcus Carr, Tre Mitchell, Timmy Allen, Dylan Disu, Devin Askew, Christian Bishop, Jaylon Tyson, Avery Benson 4. Kansas
Coach: Bill Self | 2020-21 record: 21-9
Notable players expected to leave: Marcus Garrett, Bryce Thompson, Tyon Grant-Foster, Tristan Enaruna, Gethro MuscadinNotable players expected to return: Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, Jalen Wilson, Christian Braun, Mitch Lightfoot, Dajuan Harris, Chris TeahanExpected additions: Remy Martin, Joseph Yesufu, Cam Martin, Jalen Coleman-Lands, Zach Clemence, KJ Adams, Bobby Pettiford 5. Villanova
Coach: Jay Wright | 2020-21 record: 18-7
Notable players expected to leave: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Cole SwiderNotable players expected to return: Collin Gillespie, Jermaine Samuels, Justin Moore, Caleb Daniels, Brandon Slater, Eric Dixon, Bryan Antoine, Chris Arcidiacono, Trey PattersonExpected additions: Jordan Longino, Nnanna Njoku, Angelo Brizzi 6. Michigan
Coach: Juwan Howard | 2020-21 record: 23-5
Notable players expected to leave: Isaiah Livers, Franz Wagner, Mike Smith, Chaundee Brown, Austin DavisNotable players expected to return: Hunter Dickinson, Eli Brooks, Brandon Johns, Terrence Williams, Zeb Jackson, Jace Howard, Adrien Nunez, Jaron Faulds.Expected additions: DeVante’ Jones, Caleb Houston, Moussa Diabate, Kobe Bufkin, Frankie Collins, Isaiah Barnes, Will Tschetter 7. Duke
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski | 2020-21 record: 13-11
Notable players expected to leave: Matthew Hurt, DJ Steward, Jordan Goldwire, Jaemyn Brakefield, Patrick Tape, Henry ColemanNotable players expected to return: Wendell Moore, Jeremy Roach, Mark Williams, Joey BakerExpected additions: Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin, Trevor Keels, Theo John, Jaylen Blakes 8. Baylor
Coach: Scott Drew | 2020-21 record: 28-2
Notable players expected to leave: Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell, MaCio Teague, Mark VitalNotable players expected to return: Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer, Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchouwa, L.J. Cryer, Flo Thamba, Zach Loveday, Jordan TurnerExpected additions: James Akinjo, Kendall Brown, Langston Love, Jeremy Sochan, Dain Dainja, Dale Bonner 9. Arkansas
Coach: Eric Musselman | 2020-21 record: 25-7
Notable players expected to leave: Moses Moody, Justin Smith, Jalen Tate, Desi Sills, Vance Jackson, Ethan HendersonNotable players expected to return: JD Notae, Davonte Davis, Connor Vanover, Jaylin Williams, Khalen RobinsonExpected additions: Au’Diese Toney, Chris Lykes, Stanley Umode, Kamani Johnson, Trey Wade, Chance Moore, Jaxson Robinson 10. Purdue
Coach: Matt Painter | 2020-21 record: 18-10
Notable players expected to leave: Aaron Wheeler, Emmanuel DowuonaNotable 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 11. Houston
Coach: Kelvin Sampson | 2020-21 record: 28-4
Notable players expected to leave: Quentin Grimes, Dejon Jarreau, Justin Gorham, Bryson Gresham, Cameron TysonNotable players expected to return: Marcus Sasser, Tramon Mark, Fabian White, Reggie Chaney, Jamal Shead, Kiyron Powell, J’Wan RobertsExpected additions: Kyler Edwards, Ja’Vier Francis, Taze Moore, Ramon Walker, Robbie Armbrester, Josh Carlton 12. Kentucky
Coach: John Calipari | 2020-21 record: 9-16
Notable players expected to leave: Brandon Boston, Olivier Sarr, Terrence Clarke, Isaiah Jackson, Devin Askew, Cam’Ron FletcherNotable players expected to return: Davion Mintz, Keion Brooks, Dontaie Allen, Jacob Toppin, Lance WareExpected additions: TyTy Washington, Kellan Grady, Oscar Tshiebwe, Sahvir Wheeler, C.J. Frederick, Daimion Collins, Bryce Hopkins13. 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 ManleyNotable players expected to return: Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, R.J. Davis, Kerwin Walton, Leaky Black, Anthony Harris, Puff Johnson.Expected additions: Dawson Garcia, Brady Manek, Dontrez Styles, D’Marco Dunn, Justin McKoy 14. Oregon
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, Jalen TerryNotable players expected to return: Will Richardson, Eric Williams, N’Faly Dante, Aaron Estrada, Franck Kepnang, Lok WurExpected additions: Quincy Guerrier, De’Vion Harmon, Jacob Young, Rivaldo Soarez, Nathan Bittle, Isaac Johnson15. Illinois
Coach: Brad Underwood | 2020-21 record: 24-7
Notable players expected to leave: Ayo Dosunmu, Adam Miller, Giorgi BezhanishviliNotable players expected to return: Kofi Cockburn, Trent Frazier, Andre Curbelo, Da’Monte Williams, Jacob Grandison, Coleman Hawkins, Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk, Austin HutchersonExpected additions: Omar Payne, Alfonso Plummer, Luke Goode, Ramses Melendeez, Brandin Podziemski16. Ohio State
Coach: Chris Holtmann | 2020-21 record: 21-10
Notable players expected to leave: Duane Washington, CJ Walker, Musa Jallow, Jimmy SotosNotable players expected to return: E.J. Liddell, Justice Sueing, Kyle Young, Justin Ahrens, Zed Key, Seth Towns, Meechie Johnson, Eugene BrownExpected additions: Cedric Russell, Malaki Branham, Kalen Etzler, Jamari Wheeler, Joey Brunk 17. Alabama
Coach: Nate Oats | 2020-21 record: 26-7
Notable players expected to leave: Jaden Shackelford, John Petty, Herb Jones, Joshua Primo, Jordan Bruner, Alex ReeseNotable players expected to return: Jahvon Quinerly, Keon Ellis, Juwan Gary, James Rojas, Darius Miles, Keon Ambrose-HyltonExpected additions: Noah Gurley, JD Davison, Charles Bediako, Jusaun Holt, Nimari Burnett, Alex Tchikou 18. Florida State
Coach: Leonard Hamilton | 2020-21 record: 18-7
Notable players expected to leave: MJ Walker, RaiQuan Gray, Scottie Barnes, Balsa Koprivica, RayQuan Evans, Nathaniel Jack, Tanor NgomNotable players expected to return: Anthony Polite, Malik Osborne, Sardaar Calhoun, Wyatt Wilkes, Quincy BallardExpected additions: Caleb Mills, Cam’Ron Fletcher, Matthew Cleveland, Jalen Warley, John Butler, Naheem McLeod 19. Tennessee
Coach: Rick Barnes | 2020-21 record: 18-9
Notable players expected to leave: Jaden Springer, Keon Johnson, Yves Pons, EJ Anosiki, Davonte Gaines, Drew PemberNotable players expected to return: Victor Bailey, John Fulkerson, Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James, Olivier Nkamhoua, Uros PlavsicExpected additions: Kennedy Chandler, Justin Powell, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, Jonas Aidoo, Jahmai Mashack, Quentin Diboundje20. Maryland
Coach: Mark Turgeon | 2020-21 record: 17-14
Notable players expected to leave: Aaron Wiggins, Darryl Morsell, Galin Smith, Chol Marial, Aquan Smart, Reese Mona, Jairus HamiltonNotable players expected to return: Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Donta Scott, Hakim Hart, James Graham III, Marcus DockeryExpected additions: Qudus Wahab, Fatts Russell, Julian Reese, Ike Cornish, Ian Martinez, Pavlo Dziuba 21. Auburn
Coach: Bruce Pearl | 2020-21 record: 13-14
Notable players expected to leave: Sharife Cooper, Justin Powell, JT Thor, Jamal Johnson, Javon FranklinNotable players expected to return: Allen Flanigan, Jaylin Williams, Devan Cambridge, Dylan Cardwell, Chris Moore, Babatunde AkingbolaExpected additions: Walker Kessler, K.D. Johnson, Jabari Smith, Zeb Jasper, Wendell Green 22. UConn
Coach: Dan Hurley | 2020-21 record: 15-8
Notable players expected to leave: James Bouknight, Brendan Adams, Josh CarltonNotable players expected to return: R.J. Cole, Tyrese Martin, Isaiah Whaley, Tyler Polley, Adama Sanogo, Jalen Gaffney, Andre Jackson, Akok Akok, Richie SpringsExpected additions: Rahsool Diggins, Jordan Hawkins, Samson Johnson 23. Michigan State
Coach: Tom Izzo | 2020-21 record: 15-13
Notable players expected to leave: Aaron Henry, Joshua Langford, Rocket Watts, Foster Loyer, Thomas KithierNotable players expected to return: Joey Hauser, Gabe Brown, Malik Hall, Julius Marble, Marcus Bingham, AJ Hoggard, Mady SissokoExpected additions: Tyson Walker, Max Christie, Jaden Akins, Pierre Brooks 24. St. Bonaventure
Coach: Mark Schmidt | 2020-21 record: 16-5
Notable players expected to leave: Alejandro Vasquez, Jalen Shaw, Jermaine TaggartNotable players expected to return: Kyle Lofton, Jaren Holmes, Jalen Adaway, Dominick Welch, Osun Osunniyi, Alpha Okoli, Eddie CrealExpected additions: Linton Brown, Justin Ndjock, Quadry Adams, Abdoul Karim, Coulibaly, Oluwasegun Durosinmi 25. Virginia
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 McKoyNotable players expected to return: Kihei Clark, Reece Beekman, Kody Stattman, Kadin Shedrick, Francisco Caffaro, Carson McCorkle, Chase Coleman, Malachi PoindexterExpected additions: Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner, Taine Murray 26. USC
Coach: Andy Enfield | 2020-21 record: 25-8
Notable players expected to leave: Evan Mobley, Tahj Eaddy, Noah BaumannNotable players expected to return: Isaiah Mobley, Isaiah White, Drew Peterson, Ethan Anderson, Chevez Goodwin, Max Agbonkpolo, Reese WatersExpected additions: Boogie Ellis, Malik Thomas, Harrison Hornery, Kobe Johnson, KJ Allen