Your Intro to 2021-2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball – The Brock Press
South of the border, the NCAA’s other flagship sport resumed its regular season this week. It’s like it was yesterday when the Baylor Bears hosted a Championship Clinic in the men’s basketball final, but the beauty of college basketball is that every year we can reset and start all over again.
Perhaps the biggest title of the college basketball season this season is the impending retirement of longtime Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Krzyzewski announced his retirement this offseason through a very weird press conference. Coach K will complete this season – his 42nd as Duke’s head coach – with the goal of adding to his case not only the best college basketball coach, but one of the best coaches regardless. the sport. The Blue Devils opened the season 9th in the AP poll and first on the ACC teams. Duke has a solid roster this season, balanced with five-star rookies such as 6’10 forward Paolo Banchero and electrifying Trevor Keels, as well as returning veterans such as Wendell Moore and Jeremy Roach. Look for center Mark Williams to have a second breakout season with his ridiculous 7’7 wingspan.
While Coach K’s farewell tour may devour much of the ACC headlines this year, there are several other teams in the conference to watch out for. Staying on Tobacco Road, the North Carolina Tar Heels themselves have experienced a big change in coaching. Head coach Roy Williams has said goodbye to the bench after 18 seasons with the team this summer, and he will be replaced this season by Tar Heel’s tall and longtime assistant Hubert Davis.
The Heels have fired quite a few players from their disappointing 2020-21 campaign, including four current holders with team experience. The starting 4-man will be Oklahoma transfer Brady Manek, who is an early contender for “How is he still in college?” All-star team. The Tar Heels veteran experience will allow them to be a serious contender in the ACC this year.
Moving on to Big Ten country and talking about the oldest statesmen of college basketball players, Brad Davison is back with the Wisconsin Badgers for the fifth year in a row. Davison picked up on Perry Ellis’ legacy of never leaving college, and while the Badgers are unlikely to make much noise nationally, they will be a hair-raising foe of the Big Ten as always. Still, it’s nice to see Davison stay loyal to his squad amid the wave of transfers the sport has seen in recent years.
One school that has capitalized on the strong transfer market is the Michigan Wolverines. Juwan Howard’s team at Ann Arbor may have been the surprise last season, reaching the Elite Eight after winning the Big Ten regular season championship. The Wolverines won’t surprise anyone this year, as they place 6th in the AP poll. This year’s squad returns the Big Ten player of the year contender in 7’1 center Hunter Dickinson, as well as veteran play Eli Brooks and Brandon Johns Jr .; two key contributors to last year’s team. Michigan also added Sun Belt Player of the Year to Coastal Carolina transfer Devante ‘Jones to stabilize the backcourt.
For some Canadian content (because Michigan appears to be Canada’s de facto favorite NCAA team), this year’s squad includes five-star rookie Caleb Houstan, 6’8 Mississauga product who could very well be the next pick of NBA Lottery of Canada. Canadian hoop enthusiasts should also watch the play of Arizona State’s Bennedict Mathurin, as well as Purdue’s 7’4 “giant Zach Edey. Both players were teammates and rising stars of the Canadian national team. under 19 this summer.
While a lot can be done about these traditional varsity basketball powerhouses on the East Coast and the Midwest, the real best dogs for the coming season could be found in the West. Two teams from the last four at Gonzaga and UCLA (who played an all-time classic game in the Final Four last year) enter the season ranked number one and two in the AP poll, respectively.
Gonzaga lost only one of their 32 games last season, but the one they lost was the most important of all – the national title game against Baylor. The loss raised even more questions from Bulldogs skeptics about their abilities to win in March. Skeptics will point to the Bulldogs’ loose conference schedule in the WCC, but Gonzaga has responded in recent years by scheduling games against particularly strong non-conference teams. This year is no exception, as the Bulldogs will face players like Texas, Duke, Alabama and UCLA before the conference begins in January. After losing three starters from last year’s squad in the NBA Draft, Gonzaga retooled and added number one-ranked rookie Chet Holmgren, along with fellow five-star rookie Hunter Sallis. This team has a lot more depth than last year’s heaviest team, and center Drew Timme comes into the year as one of the favorites for National Player of the Year. The Bulldogs might even be better than last year’s 31-1 juggernaut.
If you mean depth, the UCLA Bruins can boast more depth than any other team in the country. It’s weird to call Cinderella a team with more national titles than any other school, but that’s exactly what the 11th-seeded Bruins were last year when they ran their run. magical march. It’s incredibly rare these days for a team to fire all five of last year’s squad starters, but last March’s squad centerpieces have returned for more. Not only has Johnny Juzang, Jules Bernard and Jaime Jaquez Jr.’s triple-J punch been revived, but 5-star Peyton Watson and Rutgers transfer and prominent Myles Johnson have joined a rotation that is rightfully going up to 10. The Bruins could be scary this year.
One of the joys of college basketball is that the sheer number of teams ensures that there will always be something for fans to watch out for. These are just a few of the interesting teams for the coming season, but the country is really full of contenders. With fans returning to the stands for the first time in some time, this season has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory.