Once the buzzer sounds to end the National Championship game, people from all over sports media hit the keyboards to write up a way-too-early ranking list. The beginning of the off-season has been absolutely incredible so far with all the transfers and coaching changes. At the end of the day, this list is all just prediction so let’s just have fun with it. Here is a way-too-early top 10 for the 2021-22 college basketball season starting with number 10.
Way-too-early Top 10
#10- Florida State Seminoles
2020-21 record: 18-7
To start off the way-too-early top 10, we have the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles will lose some key pieces like Raiquan Gray and Scottie Barnes. MJ Walker is most likely in the mix as well. Leonard Hamilton will have some key pieces returning in 2021-22 as well as a second-ranked recruiting class in the country, led by 5-star forward, Matthew Cleveland. Florida St should be right there once again in the ACC.
#9- Purdue Boilermakers
2020-21 record: 18-10
The Boilermakers flew under the radar in the Big Ten last season finishing fifth behind some really talented top-tier teams in the conference. Next season, Purdue plans to return everyone of importance to the roster. That includes star big man, Trevion Williams, and also Jaden Ivey, the top two scorers on the team. They look to be a front-runner to win the Big Ten next season.
#8 Kansas Jayhawks
2020-21 record- 21-9
The way-too-early top 10 rankings continue down to number eight where the Kansas Jayhawks sit. Kansas is looking at bringing back the majority of their starters, apart from a recent departure of Jalen Wilson to the NBA Draft. Wilson averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds per game. Bill Self also recently added Drake transfer, Joseph Yesufu, who is very familiar with getting the ball in the basket consistently. A very pure offensive player.
#7- Alabama Crimson Tide
2020-21 record: 26-7
Alabama made a run at the Sweet 16 this season, and next year will have the pieces to make an even deeper run. Nate Oats should have the majority of his scorers returning to Tuscaloosa and has a top-15 recruiting class coming in, led by 5-star JD Davison. Nate Oats has also been active in the transfer portal, bringing in a couple of transfers. One being Texas Tech transfer, Nimari Burnett. Alabama should be in a good spot to defend their SEC regular season and SEC Tournament championships.
#6- Arkansas Razorbacks
2020-21 record: 25-7
If there is a team that can make a run against Alabama for the 2021-22 SEC title, it is Arkansas. The Razorbacks may not be bringing in a huge freshman class, but they are bringing in great experience from the portal. Eric Musselman reeled in Miami transfer Chris Lykes and Pittsburgh’s Au’Diese Toney. The latest pickup was South Dakota’s Stanley Umude, a nice-sized guard standing at 6-6, 210 pounds, who averaged 21 points and 7 rebounds this past season. The Hogs aren’t going anywhere.
#5- Duke Blue Devils
2020-21 record: 13-11
The way-too-early top 10 has hit the final five teams. Next up are the Blue Devils. Duke’s 2020-21 season was very surprising. But 2021-22 is a new year, and Coach K is bringing in the next wave of one-and-done players. The Blue Devils have a top-three recruiting class next year, led by Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin. Coach K still might have a chance at top 2021 recruit, Patrick Baldwin, with Mattew Hurt putting his name into the NBA draft.
#4- Baylor Bears
2020-21 record: 28-2
Baylor was at the top of the mountain at the end of the 2020-21 season, as they were crowned NCAA Tournament champions. Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell are most likely going to the NBA Draft. Matthew Mayer is testing the waters, but it would be a shock if he stayed in. Scott Drew has a top-10 recruiting class coming in, led by 5-star Kendall Brown. Baylor will have the pieces to stick around the top five next season.
#3- Ohio State Buckeyes
2020-21 record: 21-10
It is time for the final three teams in the way-too-early top 10 rankings for next season, and at number three is Ohio St. The biggest key for this ranking is that EJ Liddell and Duane Washington return, as well as another key piece, Justice Sueing. It may have been a disappointing end to the season when the Buckeyes lost to #15 Oral Roberts, but the light should shine brightly once again for Ohio St.
#2 UCLA Bruins
2020-21 record: 22-10
UCLA showed out in the 2021 NCAA Tournament as an 11-seed, going all the way from the First Four to the Final Four. Mick Cronin will bring back a ton of the core that made the run, and that may include Johnny Juzang. The Bruins also add a very talented 5-star forward, Peyton Watson. This could be a very exciting year for a UCLA team that made a ton of fireworks this past season.
#1 Gonzaga Bulldogs
2020-21 record: 31-1
The Gonzaga Bulldogs will round out your 2021-22 way-too-early top 10 by staying put where they were all of last season. Suggs and Ayayi are both gone, but getting an addition of 5-star Hunter Sallis and potentially the number one player in the 2021 class, Chet Holmgren will make up for what is gone. Mark Few still has players like Andrew Nembhard who was a key contributor this season, as well as a question mark surrounding Drew Timme’s future. Remember, he was only a Sophomore this past season. Gonzaga should be in real good shape.
That just about wraps up the way-too-early top 10 ranking list for the 2021-22 college basketball season. Remember, this is all just a prediction based on what is happening right now in the off-season. Later on in the summer and fall when rosters are complete, another one of these will come out.
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