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Post-NBA Draft Withdrawal Deadline College Basketball Top 25

Ayo Dosunmu and Illinois, No. 7
August 3rd is not typically an important date on the college basketball calendar, but the delayed NBAmy last Top 25, published shortly after the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, making this exercise even more fun.
Draft ended up making it the most crucial day of the college basketball off-season. It was the final day for players who had previously entered their name in the NBA Draft to withdraw and return to school. Deadline day always gives college basketball fans plenty to talk about, but this year seemed to be even more exciting than usual. A number of huge names opted to return to school, ensuring the sport's return in 2020-21 will be an absolute thrill. Now that we know who's staying and who's going, it's time to update the Top 25 accordingly. A lot has changed since

1. Villanova Wildcats
Villanova's outlook for next season didn't change much these last few months as their lone loss remains Saddiq Bey, who was always going to turn pro. Bey is certainly a notable subtraction, but the Wildcats return every other significant piece from one of college basketball's most consistent programs. Steady guard Collin Gillespie returns to run the offense, and is joined by Justin Moore, Jermaine Samuels and Bryan Antoine. Add in Tulane transfer Caleb Daniels, who averaged nearly 17 PPG with the Green Wave last season, and there is no shortage of talent or depth on this roster. Could Jay Wright win his third National Title since 2015 with this group? It certainly looks like a real possibility.

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Bulldogs recorded the top spot in my last Top 25 iteration, but they had an unexpected departure this off-season when Filip Petrusev decided to turn pro. Petrusev was never considered a big name in NBA Draft circles, but he left to take a professional opportunity overseas. Even so, Gonzaga returns a bunch of talent, with Corey Kispert deciding to withdraw his name from the Draft. He'll be joined by veteran Joel Ayayi and sophomore Drew Timme. On the newcomer front, five-star guard Jalen Suggs will almost surely start right away, and big man Oumar Ballo has the talent to lead the frontcourt.

3. Baylor Bears
Baylor was another team whose outlook didn't change a lot as a result of the NBA Draft withdrawal deadline, as their core has been locked in place for a few months now. They bring back Jared Butler, MaCio Teague, Tristan Clark and Mark Vital, one of the best defenders in college basketball. All four of those guys were instrumental in the Bears' strong 2019-20 campaign, as they locked down the No. 1 overall ranking for a number of weeks. Presbyterian transfer Adam Flagler and true frosh Dain Dainja also add much-needed depth. With all that, it's hard not see Baylor as the Big 12 favorite next fall, particularly with Kansas set to enter a rebuilding stage.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes
The biggest name to withdraw from the NBA Draft was undoubtedly Luka Garza. Garza instantly becomes the National Player of the Year favorite looking ahead to next year and if he's able to get even more support down low, he could truly be unstoppable. However, this Iowa team is more than just Garza. They feature an abundance of talented guards who can create, with Joe Weiskemp, Jordan Bohannon and C.J. Frederick being the big names. The Hawkeyes will have to improve on defense to be worthy of a Top 5 ranking, but they could enter this season as the Big Ten favorites.

5. Virginia Cavaliers
Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers are technically still the reigning National Champions, and they'll be a tough out once again. Kihei Clark, Jay Huff and Casey Morsell took a little bit of time to get going this past season, but by March they were playing as well as anybody in the ACC. That core should be ready to roll from the get-go this year, and they'll have help in the form of Marquette transfer Sam Hauser. Hauser averaged 14.9 points per game two seasons ago for the Golden Eagles, and he has plenty of experience playing in tough environments.

6. Duke Blue Devils
Per usual, Duke loses a number of youngsters to the NBA, namely center Vernon Carey, wing Cassius Stanley, and point guard Tre Jones. Jones will be the toughest to replace, as the veteran point guard was the unquestioned leader of this team, and one of the best defenders in the country. Coach K does still have some holdovers returning, in the form of forward Matthew Hurt and Wendell Moore. Those two will provide the "experience" while a host of fresh faces arrive, most notably five-star Jalen Johnson.

7. Illinois Fighting Illini
The other big winner of the NBA Draft withdrawal deadline was Illinois, who learned that they would get both Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn back in Champaign for another year. Dosunmu is an explosive scorer who really emerged down the stretch for the Illini in '19-'20, while Cockburn is the type of physical big you need to win in the Big Ten. Those two will be aided by a number of other returnees, namely guard Trent Frazier and swingman Giorgi Benhanishvili. On paper, this looks like the best Illinois team since the 2005 team, who were National Runner-Ups.

8. Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State may lose one of their best players in program history in the form of Cassius Winston, but Tom Izzo has proven time and time again that he can reload in East Lansing. Sophomore Rocket Watts is expected to take over for Winston as the point guard, and he'll be joined by a group of athletic, talented playmakers that includes Aaron Henry, Gabe Brown, and Malik Hall. The Spartans could also utilize Joey Hauser, the younger brother of Sam, who was ineligible a year ago. There's a good shot he starts right away for the Spartans.

9. Kansas Jayhawks
There's a good chance Kansas enters 2020-21 in uncharted territory, not being the league's favorite. That doesn't mean they won't still be a Final Four threat, even as Devon Dotson and Udoka Azuikbe, their two most important pieces, move on. Bill Self will have to rely on a number of role players to step up, most notably Marcus Garrett, David McCormack, and Christian Braun. The big newcomer is Bryce Thompson, who is a five-star shooting guard from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

10. Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers ended this past season on a tear and might have been ready for a deep postseason run if the Tournament wasn't cancelled. They had a great off-season, retaining nearly every single important piece, with the lone departure being Brevin Pritzl. D'Mitrik Trice, Nate Reuvers and Brad Davison have all proven themselves in the Big Ten, and Micah Potter could be in store for a monster year now that he is completely eligible. Wisconsin may not have a "star", but returning your top five scorers from a team that claimed a share of the Big Ten Title is nothing to scoff at.

11. Tennessee Volunteers
Yves Pons' decision to come back to school might secure Tennessee as the SEC favorite heading into next season. They return everybody but Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bowden, and head coach Rick Barnes brings in one of the better recruiting classes in the entire nation, headlined by Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer. Both will see heavy minutes right away, and add the scoring punch that this Volunteers team lacked for a large part of last season.

12. Kentucky Wildcats
Out of respect to John Calipari and what he's done at Kentucky, I keep the Wildcats in the mix for the Top 10, but they are losing a ton. Without their top six scorers from last season, Calipari will once again have to rely on completely untested freshmen and transfers. B.J. Boston, Terrence Clarke and Devin Askew are extremely talented, but we've seen Calipari-coached teams struggle to adjust to the collegiate game. Adding Creighton transfer Davion Mintz helps, but this could be still a very thin roster if transfer Oliver Sarr doesn't get a waiver.

13. Texas Tech Red Raiders
There are some notable pieces gone from Lubbock, but head coach Chris Beard was able to once again work his magic, landing perhaps the biggest name on the transfer market in the form of Mac McClung. McClung and VCU transfer Marcus Santos-Silva will join a veteran-laden group that includes Kyler Edwards, Terence Shannon and Avery Benson. It might not be enough to overtake Baylor or Kansas in the Big 12, but it should be enough to keep them in the hunt.

14. Houston Cougars
Kelvin Sampson has done a truly incredibly job in his return to coaching, building Houston into the American Athletic Conference's best program at the moment. He returns a bunch from a dangerous Cougar team that includes DeJon Jarreau, Caleb Mills, Quentin Grimes, and Fabian White. Simply consider this when you see how quickly Houston has risen: Grimes, a former Kansas transfer and five-star recruit, might not even start this year. That certainly wouldn't have been the case at UH in the years prior to Sampson's arrival.

15. West Virginia Mountaineers
The return of Derek Culver and Oscar Tshiebwe bodes extremely well for a West Virginia team that faded down the stretch last season. Culver and Tshiebwe should help set the tone for a physical, aggressive WVU team, but they'll need others to step up on the outside. The Mountaineers struggled down the stretch because of poor shooting, and they'll get nothing easy in the Big 12. Point guard Miles McBride was named to the conference's All-Freshman Team last year, and he could be ready for a breakout.

16. North Carolina Tar Heels
It was an awfully forgettable '19-'20 for the North Carolina Tar Heels, but expect them to be back in full force this upcoming season. Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot could form one of the best backcourts in the entire country if they play up to their potential, and Roy Williams brought in one of the best recruiting classes in school history. Caleb Love is expected to take over for Cole Anthony at point guard, and the five-star guard appears ready to run the show.

17. Creighton Bluejays
The Bluejays take quite the stumble in these rankings due to the loss of Ty-Shon Alexander, who kept his name in the Draft. Alexander was probably the Big East Player of the Year favorite if he returned, but his absence will force Creighton to look elsewhere for instant offense. The cupboard is not bare, as Marcus Zegarowski and Denzel Mahoney helping lead the way. The frontcourt might be a slight question mark, as depth is a concern at this point in the off-season.

18. Arizona State Sun Devils
Remy Martin's decision to come back to Tempe moves Arizona State from a fringe Top 25 team into a legit Pac-12 Title contender. He'll be aided by a nucleus that includes Alonzo Verge and highly touted newcomer Josh Christopher. Christopher, a five-star recruit from California, was projected to go to Michigan but made the surprising decision to play for the Sun Devils. He may be the most talented player Arizona State has had on campus since James Harden.

19. Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes might have a hard time keeping up with the elite of the Big Ten next year, but they still have serious potential. Kaleb Wesson is an obvious loss, but most of Ohio State's core remains intact. That includes Duane Washington, C.J. Walker, E.J. Liddell, and glue guy Kyle Young. Ohio State also landed one of the top grad transfers on the market in Harvard's Seth Towns, who should anchor their frontcourt.

20. Florida State Seminoles
Leonard Hamilton has built Florida State into a consistent face atop the ACC, and they'll be tough once again in '20-'21. Patrick Williams, Devin Vassell and Trent Forrest are all significant losses, but the Seminoles still return M.J. Walker, Raiquan Gray, and Anthony Polite. Plus, Hamilton managed to reel in a rare highly prized recruit, as Scottie Barnes comes to Tallahassee. The Montverde Academy product is rated as the top power forward in the nation, according to 247Sports.

21. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
The resurgence of Rutgers was one of the truly great stories of last season, even if there was no satisfying conclusion at the end of it. The good news for Steve Pikiell is that he brings back nearly everyone from an NCAA Tournament team, namely Geo Baker, Myles Johnson, and Ron Harper. Rutgers will be incredibly deep, with eight of their top nine scorers back in the fold. That will be huge once the grind of the Big Ten schedule begins.

22. UCLA Bruins
Mick Cronin engineered quite the turnaround in Westwood in Year One, despite a shaky start. Now, the Bruins have some momentum entering this next fall, with Chris Smith announcing he is coming back. Smith averaged 13.1 PPG as a junior last year, and the lengthy 6'9" guard is one of the better on-ball defenders in the Pac-12. He is joined by Tyger Campbell, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill, plus the immediately eligible Kentucky transfer, Johnny Juzang. Losing highly touted newcomer Daisen Nix, who decided to go to the G-League hurts.

23. Texas Longhorns
Once one of the most sought after coaches in the country, Shaka Smart's seat is starting to warm in Austin. The good news is that he returns a bunch for 2020, and adds on a five-star recruit in the form of Greg Brown. Brown was ranked as the top player in the state of Texas and Smart managed to keep him away from a number of other blue bloods, namely Kentucky. He joins shot-blocking machine Jericho Sims in one of the Big 12's best frontcourts.

24. LSU Tigers
LSU head coach Will Wade had a great start to his August, as three players removed their names from the draft pool and decided to return to Baton Rouge. That list included Ja'Vonte Smart, Darius Days, and Trendon Watford, who all seemed 50-50 on whether they were returning or leaving prior to their announcements. Wade also adds on another strong recruiting class, meaning his Tigers could look to challenge Kentucky and Tennessee at the top of the league.

25. Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas second-year coach Eric Musselman also got good news on deadline day when one of his top playmakers, Isaiah Joe, decided he was returning to school. Joe was instrumental for the Razorbacks when he was healthy, as the team went 19-7 when he was in the lineup. He will be joined by a bunch of fresh faces, as Mussleman loaded up on transfers. Indiana and Northern Kentucky grad transfers Justin Smith and Jalen Tate should contribute right away.

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