Guide to the 2019-20 college basketball season
Virginia starred in the ultimate redemption story last season, rolling to a national championship a year after being the first top seed to get knocked off by a No. 16.
Seven long months later, college basketball is finally back.
The 2019-20 season charges out of the starting blocks with a blueblood doubleheader this week and a nonconference slate full of must-see games.
To get you ready, we’ve got a rundown of the top teams, players and early-season matchups in what figures to be another wild ride.
Kentucky. Coach Cal has another top-10 recruiting class and some veterans to go with the newcomers. Another deep March run could be coming.
Kansas. The Jayhawks were charged with major NCAA violations before the season started. If they’re allowed to play in the NCAA Tournament, they could charge through bracket with what may be coach Bill Self’s deepest roster since the 2008 title team.
Duke. Zion, R.J. and Cam are gone, but the Blue Devils may be deeper and more balanced. They also have Tre Jones back.
Louisville. The Cardinals could go from scandal to title in two short years under Chris Mack. They’re that good.
Maryland. Deep, talented, mature. These Terps are built for a deep March run.
Cassius Winston, Michigan State. Usually isn’t the tallest or most athletic player on the floor. Almost always the best player on the floor.
Jordan Nwora, Louisville. Scores in bunches, knocks down 3s, backs down smaller players in the paint, rebounds, snatches steals. Yeah, the 6-foot-8 junior can do it all.
Myles Powell, Seton Hall. Emerged as a star last season. Figure on the trajectory continuing upward.
Utah State. Coach Craig Smith has quickly built a juggernaut in Logan. Keep an eye on volume-scoring guard Sam Merrill.
Saint Mary’s. Randy Bennett has nearly everyone back from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, led by high-scoring guard Jordan Ford.
Virginia Commonwealth. Like lockdown defense? The Rams are for you.
Cole Anthony, North Carolina. The son of former NBA player Greg Anthony will slide right into Coby White’s point guard spot — and possibly do it better.
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke. Another son of a professional athlete — his father was an NFL offensive lineman — the 6-10, 275-pound Carey is an intimidating presence inside.
MUST-SEE NONCONFERENCE GAMES
Michigan State vs. Kentucky, Nov. 5, New York. No. 1 against No. 2 in Madison Square Garden? Yes, please.
Kansas vs. Duke, Nov. 5, New York. No. 3 vs. No. 4 at the Garden will make for one hard-to-top doubleheader.
No. 8 Gonzaga at No. 21 Arizona, Dec. 14. McKale Center is going to be rockin’ when two of the West’s best teams meet.
No. 4 Duke at No. 1 Michigan State, Dec. 3. Blueblood showdown, Izzo vs. Coach K, talent bursting at the seams. Going to be a fun night in East Lansing.
No. 17 Utah State at No. 20 Saint Mary’s, Nov. 29. Marquee game of the mid-major schedules.
- Arizona Wildcats
- Coby White
- Davidson Wildcats
- Duke Blue Devils
- Florida Gators
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Kentucky Wildcats
- Louisville Cardinals
- Memphis Tigers
- Michigan State Spartans
- Vermont Catamounts
- Vernon Carey
- Washington Huskies