The Athlon Sports College Basketball Top 25 is littered with familiar faces, especially at the top where Kansas has edged Kentucky for the No. 1 spot in our preseason rankings.
The Wildcats are once again loaded with elite freshmen, but this team also brings back three sophomores who played key roles last season — giving John Calipari’s team the type of veteran leadership usually lacking in Lexington. At Kansas, Bill Self has a roster led by junior big man Udoka Azubuike and several key transfers who will be stepping into prominent roles.
Clemson doesn’t have much history of sustained basketball success, but its chances of continuing last year’s taste of prominence increased greatly with the decisions of Marcquise Reed and Shelton Mitchell.
The two dynamic guards could’ve easily chosen to forgo their final season of college eligibility and headed overseas to turn pro. Reed is 23 years old. Mitchell has dealt with multiple knee surgeries. Both players earned their degrees in May, making a reasonable case for moving on to the next stage of their lives.
After a Wednesday night rout of Louisville, the 12th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will try to close out the regular season on a high note as they play host to the Clemson Tigers in an ACC clash at Purcell Pavilion.
Coming off yet another thrilling Tobacco Road rivalry game, the fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils get right back to work, as they play host to the Clemson Tigers in an ACC affair at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday.