School basketball preview: 5 under-the-radar groups | NCAA Basketball


School basketball is sort of again.

The 2018-19 season will tip-off Tuesday with a bunch of video games, highlighted by the Champions Basic.

Kentucky, Kansas and Duke have rightly obtained a variety of the preseason consideration, as their rosters are loaded with expertise. However a number of groups that might sneak up and shock folks with a late March run have flown underneath the radar.

Listed here are 5 value watching:


The Wolf Pack needs to be talked about as nationwide title contenders this season. Nevada was 29-Eight in 2018-19, advancing all the way in which to the Candy 16, and brings again most of its key contributors, together with twin forwards Caleb (18.9 ppg) and Cody Martin (14.0) in addition to star guard Jordan Caroline (17.7 ppg). It is going to additionally add freshman Jordan Brown, a five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American, to its rotation. Coach Eric Musselman and the Wolf Pack are set as much as make one other deep NCAA Match run this season.

St. John’s

The Pink Storm underperformed in 2017-18, however they’ll have an opportunity to show it round in coach Chris Mullin’s fourth season. St. John’s will likely be led by Shamorie Ponds, who averaged 21.6 factors per recreation final season and is likely one of the greatest particular person shot creators in school basketball. Mustapha Heron, an Auburn switch instantly eligible after receiving a hardship waiver, is a stable secondary scoring possibility whereas Justin Simon and Marvin Clark II will present veteran management. The Pink Storm ought to fairly be anticipated to achieve their first NCAA Match since 2014-15 with the roster they’ve.


The Golden Eagles have an opportunity to ship one of many program’s greatest latest seasons although the Massive East is anticipated to be down. Marquette needs to be some of the enjoyable offensive groups to look at as Markus Howard is a pure shooter (20.four ppg final season) who creates area on the ground for his teammates and ahead Sam Hauser can rating in any respect three ranges. The Golden Eagles struggled defensively final season. In the event that they repair their issues on that finish of the ground, they’ll be preventing for a prime spot within the convention standings and probably far more.


Jamie Dixon has fully rebuilt the TCU program. The Horned Frogs registered a dropping document within the 4 seasons earlier than Dixon took over in 2016-17. Since that point, TCU has racked up consecutive 20-plus win seasons and made an NCAA Match look. Jaylen Fisher and Desmond Bane ought to mix to type a potent backcourt whereas TCU may have stability throughout its roster. The Horned Frogs ought to as soon as once more be enjoying significant video games in March.

Central Florida

The Knights don’t have a historical past of success. But they may find yourself being the very best crew exterior of a Energy 6 convention in 2018-19. UCF’s three greatest gamers — B.J. Taylor, Tacko Fall and Aubrey Dawkins — missed no less than a part of final season due to accidents. The trio is again on campus and wholesome heading into 2018-19, giving the Knights the deepest rotation within the American Athletic Convention. The Knights final reached the NCAA Match in 2004-05. That streak needs to be snapped this season.

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