5 NCAA Tournament teams likely to regress next season


hot arizona state basketball cheerleader

College basketball teams are experiencing more year-by-year turnover than ever before due to graduation, players leaving early for the NBA Draft (click here for a list of 2014 NBA Draft early entries), and transfers galore (click here for an up-to-date list of college basketball transfers.)   Here are five teams who made the 2014 NCAA Tournament this season but will likely take a step back next year and probably miss out on the NCAA Tournament.

Here are five teams who missed the tourney this year but should be dancing in 2014-15.

Arizona State
With it pretty much being a forgone conclusion that Jahii Carson will leave for the NBA Draft, the Sun Devils lose their top four scorers who combined to average more than 53 points per game. That leaves Herb Sendek with a ton of holes to fill and ASU figures to drop near the bottom of the Pac-12 standings.

Outside of Sean Klipatrick, Cincy struggled to score the basketball this season. Add in the losses of second and third leading scorers, Justin Jackson and Titus Rubles, and Mick Cronin has his work cut out for him in replacing 57% of the team’s offense. Yes, the Bearcats should continue to be a ferocious defensive team and will benefit from playing in a weaker American Athletic Conference. However, they won’t be competing for a conference crown and could find themselves missing out on the NCAA Tournament.

As if losing Doug McDermott isn’t damaging enough, key role players Ethan Wragge, Grant Gibbs, and Jahenns Manigat also graduate meaning Greg McDermott will be without four starters next year. The Bluejays have some decent players returning but asking them to replace the aforementioned players including the enormous productivity of Dougie McBuckets would be foolish.

Oklahoma State
We saw how mediocre the Cowboys were without Marcus Smart when he was serving his suspension. Take he and Markel Brown off the OK State roster next year and Travis Ford’s team will be rebuilding a bit. If LeBryan Nash follows Smart and leaves early for the NBA Draft, the drop will be even greater than anticipated. JUCO transfer Jeff Newberry is a crucial piece to the Pokes’ chances for next season.

St. Louis
The A-10 regular season champs lose four starters and five of their top six scorers. While Jim Crews has built a successful formula at SLU predicated on tough half-court defense, that is an awful lot of talent to replace. Austin McBroom will be the only returning player who averaged more than four points per game (7.7) so expect St. Louis to take a step back in the Atlantic 10 and possibly miss out on the NCAA Tournament.

Other Teams Considered: New Mexico, St. Joseph’s, UMass, Syracuse

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Milwaukee to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag), and finished with the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft (nearly a three-peat.) You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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