Just because Coach K retired from the prestigious Blue Devils program, it doesn't mean that all of the sudden Duke is going to get flushed down the toilet. This is still a legendary program and expectations are always going to be sky high for anyone who comes in and either plays or coaches the team. Jon Scheyer begins his journey as Duke's head coach as the favorite to cut down the nets in 2023, with some huge shoes to fill and lofty goals to achieve immediately. Look what Hubert Davis did at North Carolina this year and tell me that Scheyer can't make it all the way to the title game in his first year.
The Blue Devils may have lost to that North Carolina team in the Final Four this past season, but they will be right back at it again next year. They will be missing several stars that will be headed to the NBA, including Paolo Banchero, but Duke never has a problem getting top end talent to commit. The Blue Devils have the top ranked recruiting class for 2022, and three of the top five ranked recruits in the nation.
They'll be just fine.
Didn't take long for the Tar Heels to come roaring back into relevancy, did it? Hubert Davis, in his debut season as the Tar Heels' head coach, led the team to the National Championship game. Not to mention the fact that he beat Coach K twice in his final season, both at his last home game and in the Final Four. That's what we call a sweet victory for all North Carolina fans, who wondered when their blue blood program would work its way out from under the woodshed. I think we can safely say the team is back.
After being a very under-seeded #8 team in the tournament this past year, expectations will be through the roof once again for this program, and they have the second-shortest odds to win the title in 2023. The lineup may change a bit when the season starts up, but this team is extremely talented and ready to run it back.
Armando Bacot and Leaky Black could all return as the star upperclassman, and that would immediately send the team into the stratosphere.
The theme today apparently is take all the blue bloods, who all wear blue jerseys, and one even has "blue" in its name. Either way, the Wildcats are the third favorite to win it all next year. Last season, Kentucky benefited largely from a great group of transfer players from other schools, which is very different than what John Calipari has done in the past. Usually he's recruiting all the best players in the nation, but toned that down last season. Apparently that worked, but also didn't work. Kentucky had a huge rebound from their poor performance in 2021, and managed to grab a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, it also failed them. Despite being pitched as one of the favorites to win the national title, the Wildcats were bounced in the first round of the Tournament by No. 15 Saint Peter’s in a shocking upset.
There will always be players that want to go to Kentucky and play basketball under Calipari, but a huge aspect of this offseason depends on the recruiting he does. He has to go back out and do what he did best for years. It obviously would also help if Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe returns, but either way, Kentucky is in good hands.
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