Candid Coaches: Who would be the greatest faculty basketball group this season?

CBS Sports activities faculty basketball insiders Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander spent a month surveying 100-plus Division I males’s basketball coaches for our annual Candid Coaches collection. They polled throughout the game’s panorama: a few of the greatest names in faculty basketball, but in addition small-school assistants in low-major leagues. Coaches agreed to share unfiltered opinions in change for anonymity. We requested them 10 questions, and can submit the outcomes over a three-week span.

I posted Model 1.0 of the CBS Sports activities preseason High 25 And 1 faculty basketball rankings instantly after the title sport of the 2023 NCAA Match and have up to date it a complete of 19 instances over the previous 5 months. In my head, it is now clear that Kansas must be No. 1 because of the presence of Corridor of Fame coach Invoice Self and the addition of former All-American Hunter Dickinson through the switch portal.

KU is loaded.

For what it is price, the Jayhawks (+350) are the favorites within the betting markets to win the 2024 NCAA Match — however what do faculty coaches assume? With this in thoughts, we determined to wrap our annual Candid Coaches collection by asking roughly 100 faculty basketball coaches the next query:

Who would be the greatest group this season?

Quotes that stood out

On Kansas

  • “In my view, it is Kansas. They’ve a extremely good combination of younger and previous guys [after] cleansing up within the portal with Hunter Dickinson, Arterio Morris, Nicolas Timberlake. Generally with youthful groups it takes a month or two for them to be hitting on all cylinders, however with the veterans that Kansas has, this may very well be the group that cuts down the nets when it is all stated and finished.”
  • “It is tough to select in opposition to Kansas contemplating how proficient they’re mixed with the actual fact that also they are very skilled and deep. They’ve a coach that is aware of methods to win in March, and they won’t be counting on any freshmen to play starters’ minutes, which I imagine is vital in immediately’s faculty basketball panorama.”
  • “Invoice Self’s teaching [is the difference-maker]. He wins — and now he is bought Dickinson. They are going to be superior. Nothing in opposition to different [highly ranked preseason teams], however there’s nothing fairly like Kansas. They’re simply capable of reload so effectively.”

On Purdue

  • “Purdue may’ve received all of it final season and so they introduced practically everyone again. [Matt] Painter would possibly get his first Remaining 4 and his first nationwide championship in the identical yr.”
  • “I really feel that they are going to make the most of final yr’s expertise much like what Virginia did in 2019.”

On Duke

  • “[Jon] Scheyer goes to get these guys taking part in high-level ball — and they’ll play their greatest ball in direction of the tip of the yr because the expertise features expertise and will get snug in taking part in at this degree.”

On Michigan State

  • “It must be Duke on paper — however I doubt it will likely be. Actually, I feel the addition of Hunter Dickinson is overrated for Kansas as a result of, whereas he’s rattling good, he additionally makes your protection suck. So I’ll go with Michigan State. Expertise and expertise with Tom Izzo teaching, I am going to take that mixture.”

On Marquette

  • “[Shaka Smart’s the] good coach for that place. Guys stayed as a result of they know [they can win it all.]”

The takeaway

As you may see from the breakdown of votes, the coaches we polled largely agree with the betting markets and the High 25 And 1. The coaches additionally made Kansas their de facto favourite to win the 2024 NCAA Match — though greater than half who answered picked any individual aside from the Jayhawks.

Purdue bought votes.

Duke bought votes.

In all, 10 completely different faculties bought votes — however 45.4% of the vote did go to Kansas with no one else getting greater than 17.9%. In different phrases, the Jayhawks bought greater than twice as many votes as anyone else, presumably as a result of they actually do test each field it’s essential to test to have an affordable probability to win a nationwide championship.

This is KU’s possible beginning lineup:

  • G: Dajuan Harris 3
  • G: Nick Timberlake 5
  • G: Kevin McCullar 4
  • F: KJ Adams 2
  • C: Hunter Dickinson 3

As I’ve defined earlier than, that is a lineup with dimension, taking pictures and expertise — one so sturdy that five-star highschool prospects Elmarko Jackson and Arterio Morris will probably start video games on the bench. Harris is arguably the nation’s greatest run-the-team level guard. Timberlake shot above 41% from 3-point vary on 6.7 makes an attempt per sport final season. McCullar is a double-digit scorer and two-time Naismith Memorial Defensive Participant of the Yr semifinalist. Adams began 36 instances for the reigning Large 12 champions final season. And Dickinson is possibly the very best heart in faculty basketball not named Zach Edey.

These 5 gamers have already mixed to play components of 17 seasons of school basketball, which implies Kansas’ beginning lineup must be one of many oldest within the sport. That is a bonus on this period, the place groups too closely reliant on freshmen are inclined to wrestle greater than flourish.

Nothing is assured, in fact.

Any single-elimination event that requires six straight victories to carry a trophy lends itself to upsets, which is why even the favourite in any given season is an underdog to the sphere. Kansas is an underdog to the sphere. However, on paper, the Jayhawks have lengthy projected because the group most probably to win the 2024 NCAA Match, and 45.4% of the coaches we polled advised us that they agree with that sentiment.

Earlier Candid Coaches questions

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