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Early College Basketball Top 25 for 2017-18

College Basketball Top 25

College Basketball Top 25

The deadline for college basketball underclassmen considering entry into the NBA draft passed last month. Barring a handful of transfers – like Pittsburgh guard Cameron Johnson – and straggling 2017 recruits, rosters for the 2017-18 season are set.

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Thanks to the revised draft deadline, in its second year, college basketball is awash in returning talent. The bevy of veteran leadership returning to the NCAA hardwood promises for a competitive and wildly entertaining season to come.

Some honorable mentions that did not make the Top 25:

- Oregon

- Butler

- Baylor

- VCU

- Virginia Tech

- TCU

- Texas

- Texas A&M

- South Carolina

- Arkansas

As we journey into the summer, the following is your updated college basketball Top 25 for 2017-18:

1. Arizona Wildcats

Key Returners: Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins, Dusan Ristic, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Keanu Pinder

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Departures: Kadeem Allen, Lauri Markkanen, Kobi Simmons, Chance Comanche

New Arrivals: DeAndre Ayton, Emannuel Akot, Ira Lee, Brandon Randolph, Alex Barcello

Buzz: Rarely does a team lose four prominent players, including its defensive stopper (Kadeem Allen) and a rare offensive talent (Lauri Markkanen), yet seemingly improve the next season. Such is the case for Arizona.

Arizona scored big this spring, with both Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins opting to return for at least one more season. The Wildcats got further good, unexpected news in May when 5-star prospect Emmanuel Akot reclassified into the class of 2017. He joins DeAndre Ayton to headline a stellar crop of recruits joining a veteran roster. Among the returners with breakout potential are Dusan Ristic and Parker Jackson-Cartwright, and reserve Keanu Pinder has high upside.

The Wildcats have not been to the Final Four since losing the 2001 national championship game. Four Pac-12 championships and three Elite Eight trips under head coach Sean Miller have fans and pundits alike antsy for Arizona to get back to the Final Four. The pressure is on, as UA will likely enter this comings season as the No. 1 team in the nation.

2. Kansas Jayhawks

Key Returners: Devonte' Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk, Lagerald Vick

College Football Rankings: Kansas

Departures: Frank Mason III, Josh Jackson, Carlton Bragg, Landen Lucas

New Arrivals: Billy Preston, Marcus Garrett, Charlie Moore, Sam Cuncliffe, Dedric Lawson, K.J. Lawson

Buzz: Despite losing some playmakers critical to Kansas' success last sesason — namely Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Frank Mason III and freshman phenom Josh Jackson — the Jayhawks have reloaded nicely.