A post-draft deadline look at college basketball's 2017-18 preseason Top 25

Allonzo Trier's return catapulted Arizona to the top of Yahoo's 2017-18 preseason poll. (Getty)
Allonzo Trier’s return catapulted Arizona to the top of Yahoo’s 2017-18 preseason poll. (Getty)

At last, we have some clarity regarding next season’s college basketball landscape.

The deadline for early-entry prospects to withdraw from the NBA draft passed Wednesday night at midnight, so we now know which teams were hardest hit by draft declarations and which will begin next season in better-than-expected shape. With that in mind, here’s a new edition of Yahoo’s 2017-18 no-longer-way-too-early preseason top 25:

Key losses: G Kadeem Allen, F Lauri Markkanen, G Kobi Simmons, C Chance Comanche
Key returners: G Allonzo Trier, G Rawle Alkins, G Parker Jackson-Cartwright, C Dusan Ristic, F Keanu Pinder
Notable newcomers: G Dylan Smith, F DeAndre Ayton, G Brandon Randolph, F Ira Lee, G Alex Barcello, G Emmanuel Akot
Outlook: Next season will be a golden opportunity for Sean Miller to shed the label of college basketball’s best coach never to reach a Final Four. Miller boasts a roster with an enviable blend of talented newcomers and experienced veterans. The key for Arizona is the return of wings Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins, both of whom could have been selected in the NBA draft had they turned pro. Trier is a preseason All-American candidate after averaging 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists last season. Alkins is a bulldozing wing with the strength to finish through contact, the toughness to play through a fractured finger and the skill to sink 37 percent of his threes. With those two back, seniors Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright also returning and a top-five recruiting class set to arrive, Arizona is the Pac-12 favorite and a threat to start next season atop the polls.

Key losses: G Frank Mason, C Landen Lucas, F Josh Jackson, F Carlton Bragg, F Dwight Coleby
Key returners: G Devonte’ Graham, F Svi Mykhailiuk, G Lagerald Vick, C Udoka Azubuike, F Mitch Lightfoot
Notable newcomers: G Malik Newman, G Sam Cunliffe (eligible second semester), F Billy Preston, G Marcus Garrett, F Jack Whitman
Outlook: For a program that loses the national player of the year, a top-five NBA draft pick and a two-year starter at center, Kansas enters next season in astonishingly good shape. Devonte Graham is ready to be a lead guard after a couple years as Frank Mason’s sidekick. Bill Self has already predicted that heralded Mississippi State transfer Malik Newman will be all-Big 12 caliber. Svi Mykhailiuk, Lagerald Vick and Marcus Garrett will battle for wing playing time, as will Sam Cunliffe when he becomes eligible. And five-star freshman Billy Preston and returning center Udoka Azubuike form a talented if unproven frontcourt duo. It should all add up to a familiar outcome for Kansas: A team that’s favored to win the Big 12 for the 14th straight year and capable of achieving much more than that.

Key losses: G Eron Harris, G Alvin Ellis,
Key returners: F Miles Bridges, F Nick Ward, G Cassius Winston, G Josh Langford, G Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, G Matt McQuaid, F Kenny Goins, F Gavin Schilling, F Ben Carter
Notable newcomers: F Jaren Jackson, C Xavier Tillman
Outlook: Only a handful of times in Tom Izzo’s decorated career has he had a championship-caliber roster. Next season should be one of those years. The unexpected return of would-be lottery pick Miles Bridges gives Michigan State a star around which to build. Bridges, who averaged 16.7 points and 8.9 rebounds as a freshman, is an early candidate for preseason player of the year. Surrounding Bridges will be all but two rotation players from last year’s 20-win NCAA tournament team, a supporting cast highlighted by forward Nick Ward and point guard Cassius Winston. The Spartans will also add talented freshman power forward Jaren Jackson and veteran big men Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter, both of whom missed all of last season due to injury.

Key losses: F Derek Willis, G Dominique Hawkins, G Mychal Mulder, G Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, F Bam Adebayo, G Isaiah Briscoe, F Isaac Humphries
Key returners: F Wenyen Gabriel, F Sacha Killeya-Jones
Notable newcomers: G Hamidou Diallo, F Kevin Knox, F P.J. Washington, C Nick Richards, G Jarred Vanderbilt, G Quade Green, F Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Outlook: John Calipari’s ability to reload on the fly will be tested like it seldom has before. Eight of Kentucky’s nine leading scorers from last season either turned pro or graduated. Forward Wenyen Gabriel, who averaged 4.6 points and 4.8 rebounds last season, is the most accomplished returner. Kentucky remains a clear-cut preseason top 10 team thanks to a heralded incoming class featuring a half dozen five-star freshmen. The Wildcats caught a massive break Wednesday night when prized wing Hamidou Diallo withdrew from the draft rather than making the preps-to-pros leap. He’ll be one of the centerpieces of next year’s team along with incoming point guard Quade Green and versatile forward Kevin Knox.

Key losses: G Daishon Smith
Key returners: F Markis McDuffie, G Landry Shamet, F Shaq Morris, F Zach Brown, G Conner Frankamp, F Darral Willis, F Rashard Kelly, F Rauno Nurger, G Austin Reaves
Notable newcomers: G Samajae Jones, C Asbjorn Midtgaard
Outlook: Wichita State should have no problem handling the step up in competition from the Valley to the American Athletic Conference. The Shockers will be preseason favorites in their new league thanks to the return of their entire rotation from a team that won 31 games last season and pushed Kentucky into the final minute before falling in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Whereas previous Wichita State teams leaned heavily on Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, the hallmark of last year’s Wichita State team was its balance. The Shockers were top 15 nationally in offensive efficiency despite having nobody averaging more than forward Markis McDuffie’s 11.5 points per game. Wichita State was also an elite defensive team last year. Opponents shot poorly from the field and seldom made a dent on the offensive glass against the Shockers’ aggressive man-to-man.

Key losses: F Amile Jefferson, G Matt Jones, F Jayson Tatum, F Harry Giles, F Chase Jeter, G Luke Kennard, G Frank Jackson
Key returners: G Grayson Allen, C Marques Bolden, F Antonio Vrankovic, F Javin DeLaurier
Notable newcomers: G Trevon Duval, F Wendell Carter, G Gary Trent Jr., G Alex O’Connell, G Jordan Tucker, G Jordan Goldwire
Outlook: One of the reasons Duke fell short of expectations last season was the absence of a true point guard. That shouldn’t be an issue next season now that the Blue Devils have landed elite recruit Trevon Duval. An explosive athlete with the strength, quickness and body control to get wherever he wants on the floor, Duval excels making plays in the open court. His jump shot needs work and his decision making in half-court sets can be erratic, but he should be an ideal fit alongside Grayson Allen and Gary Trent Jr. in the Duke backcourt. The only missing piece for Duke next season might be a small-ball power forward in the mold of Justise Winslow, Brandon Ingram or Jayson Tatum. With Kevin Knox unexpectedly choosing Kentucky over Duke, the Blue Devils may opt for two traditional big men with heralded freshman Wendell Carter alongside Marques Bolden.

Grayson Allen returned to Duke for his senior season, keeping the Blue Devils in the title picture. (Getty)
Grayson Allen returned to Duke for his senior season, keeping the Blue Devils in the title picture. (Getty)

Key losses: F Josh Hart, F Kris Jenkins, C Darryl Reynolds
Key returners: G Jalen Brunson, F Mikal Bridges, G Donte DiVincenzo, G Phil Booth, F Eric Paschall, C Omari Spellman
Notable newcomers: F Jermaine Samuels, F Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree
Outlook: Even though All-American Josh Hart, title game hero Kris Jenkins and key role player Darryl Reynolds are all graduating this spring, Villanova has a good chance to extend its run of Big East dominance next season. The Wildcats bring back a strong nucleus highlighted by unanimous first-team all-Big East selection Jalen Brunson and wing Mikal Bridges, both of whom decided to stay in school without even testing the NBA draft process. Brunson averaged 14.7 points and 4.1 assists last season and should be a preseason All-American candidate next fall. He’ll be surrounded by an excellent supporting cast that includes Bridges and rapidly blossoming Donte DiVincenzo, versatile forward Eric Paschall, promising big man Omari Spellman and presumably healthy guard Phil Booth.

Key losses: G Tarik Phillip, F Nathan Adrian, G Teyvon Myers, F Brandon Watkins, F Elijah Macon
Key returners: G Jevon Carter, F Esa Ahmad, G Daxter Miles, F Lamont West, F Sagaba Konate
Notable newcomers: F Derek Culver, G Brandon Knapper, F D’Angelo Hunter
Outlook: West Virginia received the good news it needed earlier this week when Jevon Carter withdrew from the NBA draft. Carter, the Mountaineers’ leading scorer and top perimeter defender last season, averaged 13.5 points and 2.6 steals per game and led the Mountaineers to the Sweet 16. The return of Carter solidifies West Virginia as the top challenger to Kansas in the Big 12 next season. With three starters and several key reserves back from last season, the Mountaineers could be even better than they were a year ago. Carter will initiate the offense, provide outside shooting and anchor Press Virginia. Guard Daxter Miles and forward Esa Ahmad are both breakout candidates. And West Virginia replenishes its depth with a five-man recruiting class highlighted by four-star center Derek Culver.

9. USC
Key losses: None
Key returners: F Chimezie Metu, F Bennie Boatwright, F Shaqquan Aaron, G Jordan McLaughlin, G Elijah Stewart, G De’Anthony Melton, G Jonah Mathews, F Nick Rakocevic
Notable newcomers: G Derryck Thornton, G Charles O’Bannon Jr., G Jordan Usher
Outlook: With UCLA, Oregon and Cal each hemorrhaging talent, USC could be the program poised to take advantage. The Trojans may be the top challenger to Arizona in the Pac-12 next season after stretch forward Bennie Boatwright withdrew from the NBA draft and standout center Chimezie Metu opted not to even go through the early-entry process at all. Their return ensures USC will bring back virtually every key player from last year’s 26-win team that won two NCAA tournament games. The Trojans’ only departure is seldom-used forward Charles Buggs. In addition to returning its starting five intact, USC will also add former Duke point guard Derryck Thornton and top 50 incoming freshman Charles O’Bannon Jr. Andy Enfield’s biggest problem with a roster so deep may be managing playing time issues.

Key losses: C Mangok Mathiang, G Tony Hicks, G David Levitch, G Donovan Mitchell, F Jaylen Johnson
Key returners: G Quentin Snider, F Deng Adel, C Anas Mahmoud, F Ray Spalding, G V.J. King, G Ryan McMahon
Notable newcomers: F Dwayne Sutton, F Lance Thomas, C Malik Williams, G Darius Perry, F Jordan Nwora
Outlook: The early departure of Donovan Mitchell leaves Louisville without a proven go-to threat, but the Cardinals have enough pieces returning to take that blow in stride. They’ll build around a backcourt featuring incumbent starter Quentin Snider at point guard and leading returning scorer Deng Adel and breakout candidate V.J. King on the wing. With Ray Spalding and Anas Mahmoud anchoring the frontcourt and a strong recruiting class pushing the starters for playing time, Louisville will be long, athletic and deep once again next season. Look for the Cardinals to once again emerge as an upper-echelon ACC team that uses outstanding defense and lethal transition offense to make up for occasional struggles scoring against a set defense.

Key losses: G Kasey Hill, G Canyon Berry, F Justin Leon, F Devin Robinson
Key returners: G KeVaughn Allen, C John Egbunu, G Chris Chiozza, F Kevarrius Hayes,C Gorjok Gak
Notable newcomers: G Jalen Hudson, F DeAundrae Ballard, F Isaiah Stokes G Michael Okauru, F Chase Johnson, G/F Egor Koulechov
Outlook: Not even three years into his tenure as Florida head coach, Mike White already has the program back to the level it had been under former coach Billy Donovan. The Gators won 27 games and advanced to the Elite Eight last season, achievements they could come close to matching this year despite the departure of standouts Devin Robinson, Kasey Hill and Canyon Berry. Florida is in good shape in the backcourt as Chris Chiozza, KeVaughn Allen and Virginia Tech transfer Jalen Hudson are the projected starters with Rice transfer Egor Koulechov capable of making an impact off the bench at wing. The frontcourt is more uncertain with starting center John Egbunu not expected to fully recover from a late-season torn ACL until January, but Kevarrius Hayes and Gorjok Gak should be solid in the meantime.

Key losses: G Troy Caupain, G Kevin Johnson
Key returners: G Jacob Evans (projected), F Kyle Washington, F Gary Clark, G Jarron Cumberland, F Nysier Brooks
Notable newcomers: G Cane Broome, G Keith Williams
Outlook: For all Mick Cronin’s success leading Cincinnati to seven straight NCAA tournaments, it has to gnaw at him that the Bearcats have yet to put together a deep run. They’ve typically played to their seed but seldom better, reaching the second round four times but advancing to the Sweet 16 only once. Next year’s Cincinnati team is capable of more than that with four of last year’s top five scorers back and impact transfer Cane Broome set to take over at point guard for Troy Caupain. Broome, seventh in the nation in scoring at 23.1 points per game two years ago at Sacred Heart, should provide instant offense, while Jarron Cumberland is a breakout candidate in support of leading returning scorers Jacob Evans and Kyle Washington. That nucleus makes Cincinnati the top threat to Wichita State in an improved American Athletic Conference.

13. UCLA
Key losses: Lonzo Ball, F TJ Leaf, G Isaac Hamilton, G Bryce Alford, C Ike Anigbogu
Key returners: G Aaron Holiday, C Thomas Welsh, F Gyorgy Goloman, G Prince Ali
Notable newcomers: F Kris Wilkes, G Jaylen Hands, F Cody Riley, F Jalen Hill, F Chris Smith, F LiAngelo Ball
Outlook: Had Thomas Welsh and Aaron Holiday both chosen to remain in the NBA draft, UCLA would have needed to replace its top seven scorers from last year’s Sweet 16 team. Both instead are returning to school for the 2017-18 school year, providing the Bruins with a pair of badly needed veteran leaders to anchor a young but talented lineup. UCLA likely won’t be as explosive offensively with Lonzo Ball, T.J. Leaf, Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton all gone from last year’s 31-win team, but there will still be ample talent surrounding Holiday and Welsh. The Bruins return explosive shooting guard Prince Ali, who missed all of last season due to injury, and Hungarian forward Gyorgy Goloman, a rotation player on last year’s team. They also welcome another heralded recruiting class highlighted by point guard Jaylen Hands and forwards Cody Riley and Kris Wilkes.

Key losses: G Akeem Springs
Key returners: G Nate Mason, F Amir Coffey, C Reggie Lynch, G Dupree McBrayer, F Jordan Murphy, F Eric Curry, F Davonte Fitzgerald
Notable newcomers: G Isaiah Washington
Outlook: At this time last year, Minnesota fans were calling for Richard Pitino’s firing after a dreadful season marred by a series of off-court incidents. Now Pitino has things rolling again with almost everyone due back from a 24-win team, one that didn’t lose in February, and claimed a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. “Almost everybody” includes an All-Big Ten point guard (Nate Mason), a shot-blocker extraordinaire (Reggie Lynch) and rising star (Amir Coffey). Another year of experience for McBrayer, Murphy and Curry, plus the addition of Washington, a top-100 guard, should give Pitino a strong enough seven- or eight-man rotation to emerge as a potential challenger to Michigan State for the Big Ten crown.

Key losses: F Davon Reed, F Kamari Murphy
Key returners: G Ja’Quan Newton, G Bruce Brown, F Anthony Lawrence, G Dejan Vasilijevic, F Dewan Huell, C Ebuka Izundu
Notable newcomers: G Lonnie Walker, G Chris Lykes, C Deng Gak, F Sam Waardenburg
Outlook: Six of Miami’s top eight players are back from a team that won 21 games last season and secured a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament. What’s even more encouraging is the potential for several of those returners to make a big leap next season, most notably guard Bruce Brown and forward Dewan Huell. The graduation of forwards Davon Reed and Kamari Murphy will hurt, but Miami also welcomes a top-10 recruiting class headlined by McDonald’s All-American Lonnie Walker, a wing known as an explosive scorer. All in all, this is a guard-heavy roster that almost certainly will take Miami to a third NCAA tournament in a row and could have it challenging for a top-four ACC finish.

Theo Pinson and Joel Berry both withdrew from the draft to give North Carolina one of the nation's top backcourts next season. (Getty)
Theo Pinson and Joel Berry both withdrew from the draft to give North Carolina one of the nation’s top backcourts next season. (Getty)

Key losses: C Kennedy Meeks, F Isaiah Hicks, G Nate Britt, G Stilman White, F Justin Jackson, F Tony Bradley
Key returners: G Joel Berry, G Theo Pinson, F Luke Maye, G Kenny Williams, G Seventh Woods
Notable newcomers: G Jalek Felton, F Garrison Brooks, F Brandon Huffman
Outlook: Producing the program’s first one-and-done in a decade could be a longterm boost for North Carolina on the recruiting trail, but the departure of Tony Bradley is a massive loss for the Tar Heels next season. They now must replace the top three big men from last year’s national title team, a task for which they are ill prepared with only former walk-on Luke Maye and incoming freshmen Garrison Brooks and Brandon Huffman available. What should keep North Carolina relevant is a backcourt that will be among the nation’s best. Joel Berry might be the ACC’s top point guard, Theo Pinson and Kenny Williams form a capable wing duo and freshman Jalek Felton should push for immediate playing time off the bench.

Key losses: C Przemek Karnowski, G Jordan Mathews, F Zach Collins, G Nigel Williams-Goss
Key returners: F Johnathan Williams, G Josh Perkins, F Killian Tillie, G Silas Melson, F Rui Hachimura, C Jacob Larsen, G Zach Norvell
Notable newcomers: G Corey Kispert, G Joel Ayayi, G Jesse Wade
Outlook: The hallmark of Gonzaga’s program under Mark Few has been its consistency, but the Zags will face a daunting challenge next season. They’ll try to remain nationally relevant despite the departure of four pillars of the program’s first Final Four team. McDonald’s All-American center Zach Collins became the Gonzaga’s first one-and-done, elite point guard Nigel Williams Goss also turned pro and starters Przemek Karnowski and Jordan Mathews both graduated. That means Gonzaga must replace its leading scorer, its two best rim protectors and its premier 3-point specialist. The Zags won’t contend for the national title again next year, but they also shouldn’t fall too far. This is still a preseason top 20 team with four of last year’s top eight players returning, a strong group of newcomers and the possibility of a late graduate transfer still coming aboard.

Key losses: F Sanjay Lumpkin, F Nathan Taphorn
Key returners: G Bryant McIntosh, F Vic Law, G Scottie Lindsey, C Dererk Pardon, F Aaron Falzon, F Gavin Skelly, G Isiah Brown
Notable newcomers: G Anthony Gaines
Outlook: This — 2017-18 — was supposed to be the year. Not last year. But now that last year was the year, the upcoming season looks even more promising. Lumpkin is the only significant loss from a team that not only ended the program’s NCAA tournament drought but also beat Vanderbilt in the opening round. The McIntosh-Law-Lindsey perimeter trio will be even better. Pardon is at worst a second-tier Big Ten big man. Falzon will return from a knee injury that took his entire 2016-17 campaign. The only issue: Northwestern won’t play a true home game all season. It has been pushed 15 miles west of campus to Allstate Arena by renovations to its normal home, Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Key losses: G J.C. Hampton, F Tavario Miller
Key returners: F Robert Williams, F D.J. Hogg, G Admon Gilder, F Tyler Davis, F Tonny Trocha-Morelos, G J.J. Caldwell
Notable newcomers: G Duane Wilson, G Savion Flagg, G D.J. Starks, G Jay Jay Chandler
Outlook: Had Robert Williams entered the NBA draft after his impressive freshman season, he would have almost certainly been a top 20 pick with a chance to crack the lottery. The athletic, high-upside 6-foot-9 forward instead chose to come back to Texas A&M for his sophomore season, gambling that he can improve his stock next season if his skill set takes a leap forward. The return of Williams gives Texas A&M an excellent chance to bounce back from last year’s disappointing 16-15 season. The Aggies welcome back their top five scorers including standouts Tyler Davis, D.J. Hogg and Admon Gilder. If J.J. Caldwell or graduate transfer Duane Wilson can solidify the point guard position and allow Gilder to move off ball, Texas A&M should be an upper-echelon SEC team next season.

Key losses: G Joe Rahon, F Dane Pineau
Key returners: F Jock Landale, G Emmett Naar, G Calvin Hermanson, F Evan Fitzner, F Tanner Krebs, G Jordan Ford
Notable newcomers: G Kristers Zoriks, G Cullen Neal
Outlook: Skeptics questioned whether Saint Mary’s gaudy record and national ranking was legitimate or schedule-aided for much of last season, but the Gaels proved themselves in March. They outclassed VCU in the opening round of the NCAA tournament before leading second-seeded Arizona well into the second half. Four starters are back for Saint Mary’s from that team including standout big man Jock Landale and fellow all-league contenders point guard Emmett Naar and wing Calvin Hermanson. The biggest loss for Saint Mary’s is senior guard Joe Rahon, the team’s best perimeter defender. His playing time should be split between Ole Miss transfer Cullen Neal and sophomore guards Jordan Ford and Tanner Krebs.

Key losses: F V.J. Beachem, G Steve Vasturia, F Austin Torres, F Matt Ryan
Key returners: F Bonzie Colson, G Matt Farrell, G Temple Gibbs, G Rex Pflueger, F Martinas Geben
Notable newcomers: F D.J. Harvey
Outlook: Two years ago, they didn’t miss a beat despite losing standout guards Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton. Last year, they weathered the loss of forward Zach Auguste and point guard Demetrius Jackson to remain in the ACC’s upper echelon. Perhaps Notre Dame will have a tougher time replacing stars Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem next season, but the Irish have certainly earned the benefit of the doubt. Depth may be a season-long issue for Notre Dame, but the Irish have two stars capable of carrying them in hard-nosed point guard Matt Farrell and undersized double-double machine Bonzie Colson. If sophomore Temple Gibbs and junior Rex Pflueger can both take a step forward next season, Notre Dame has the potential to finish near the top of the ACC once more.

Key losses: G Corban Collins, F Jimmie Taylor, F Bola Olaniyan
Key returners: F Riley Norris, F Braxton Key, G Dazon Ingram, F Donta Hall, G Avery Johnson Jr., G Ar’mond Davis
Notable newcomers: C Daniel Giddens, G Collin Sexton, G John Petty, F Alex Reese
Outlook: Having lost in the first round of the NIT during his first two years in Tuscaloosa, Alabama coach Avery Johnson might finally be ready for a breakthrough. The Crimson Tide return their three leading scorers from last year’s middling 19-win team and welcome a talented crop of newcomers that includes five-star guards Collin Sexton and John Petty and Ohio State transfer Daniel Giddens, a former top-50 prospect who’s still raw offensively but projects as an excellent rebounder and rim protector. Add that trio to Alabama’s young core of Braxton Key, Dazon Ingram and Riley Norris, and there’s a lot to like about the Crimson Tide. Making the NCAA tournament should be the expectation for Alabama next season and doing some damage is not beyond the real of possibility.

Key losses: G Edmond Sumner, F RaShid Gaston, G Malcolm Bernard
Key returners: G Trevon Bluiett, G J.P. Macura, G Quentin Goodin, C Sean O’Mara, F Kaiser Gates, F Tyrique Jones
Notable newcomers: G Paul Scruggs, F Naji Marshall, G Elias Harden, F Jared Ridder, C Kentrevious Jones, F Karem Kanter
Outlook: One of the last at-large teams to make the NCAA tournament last March after a rash of late-season injuries, Xavier caught fire at the right time. Riding the torrid shooting of star Trevon Bluiett, the Musketeers reeled off four straight wins culminating with a stunning upset of second-seeded Arizona in the Sweet 16. Four key players from that run are back: Bluiett, sharpshooter J.P. Macura, guard Quentin Goodin and center Sean O’Mara. Mix in transfer Karem Kanter and the Big East’s top recruiting class and the Musketeers should be among the top challengers to Villanova once again this year.

Key losses: G Madison Jones, F Rashed Anthony, G Michael Dowdy
Key returners: F Angel Delgado, G Khadeen Carrington, G Myles Powell, F Ismael Sanogo, F Desi Rodriguez
Notable newcomers: G Jordan Walker, F Sandro Mamukelashvili, F Romaro Gill
Outlook: The surprising return of forward Angel Delgado elevated Seton Hall into the Big East’s upper echelon next season. The power forward was among the most unheralded players in the country last season, averaging 15.2 points and 13 rebounds for a Pirates team that made the NCAA tournament as a No. 9 seed. He withdrew from the NBA draft two days before Wednesday’s deadline in hopes of improving his stock next season. Delgado likely will start alongside several other members of the 2014 recruiting class that has led Seton Hall to back-to-back NCAA bids. Guard Khadeen Carrington and forward Desi Rodriguez are also back, as is promising sophomore-to-be Myles Powell. If Carrington can make a successful transition to point guard, look for Seton Hall to not only return to the NCAA tournament but perhaps advance a round or two.

Key losses: F Caleb Swanigan, G Spike Albrecht
Key returners: C Isaac Haas, F Vince Edwards, G Carsen Edwards, G Dakota Mathias, G P.J. Thompson, G Ryan Cline
Notable newcomers: G Sasha Stefanovic, F Nojel Eastern, F Eden Ewing, F Aaron Wheeler, C Matt Haarms
Outlook: While the return of Isaac Haas and Vince Edwards ensures that Purdue remains nationally relevant, the departure of first-team All-American Caleb Swanigan derails the Boilermakers’ hopes of a truly special season. Swanigan waited until just hours before Wednesday’s midnight deadline before announcing his intent to stay in this year’s NBA draft. Swanigan blossomed into the most productive big man in the country last year, averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds while showcasing a much improved perimeter game. He’d have been the national player of the year favorite had he returned to school. Without him, Purdue will likely slide Edwards to power forward and lean heavily on him and rapidly blossoming guard Carsen Edwards.

Almost famous: TCU, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Butler, Baylor, Providence, Nevada, Virginia Tech, Rhode Island.

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!