10. Northwestern Wildcats
Simply put, I love….love….love what is going in Evanston, Ill.
Chris Collins was a great hire and his recruiting ties are already paying dividends in droves. Bryant McIntosh emerged last season as a huge perimeter player and has tons of potential after a great freshman season. There was also a lot of potential fellow guard Scottie Lindsey.
There is also the return of leading scorer Tre Demps, who averaged 12.5 points per game last season. Demps and McIntosh form one of the better one-two punches in the backcourt in the Big Ten heading in to next season.
However, this group will miss something up front, as Alex Olah departs and takes his 11.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game with him. The challenge will be finding a capable scorer and rebounder up front for this upcoming season.
Collins is bringing in 6-8 freshman Aaron Falzon to hopefully help with the lack of production up front, but he may be a bit more of project than someone ready to be thrown to the fire. Still, there may not be any better options and that’s what is going to hold the Wildcats back this upcoming season.
Don’t be surprised to see them compete for an NCAA tournament berth, but will likely fall just short.