As we look beyond the summer, into the 2015-16 season, there’s no one team nearly as loaded as Kentucky was a year ago, which opens the door for multiple teams to lay claim to the No. 1 spot in the preseason Top 25 poll.
I personally have the Maryland Terrapins atop my poll heading into the season after the addition of former Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon, but there is no shortage of teams that could make a case to start at No. 1.
And while the final vote is more likely to narrow the group to a few teams, here are 10 programs that could at least make a valid case to start the season on top:
Mark Turgeon went from the hot seat to the coach of a team that can win it all within a year. How? Well, the most important aspect was that Melo Trimble was better than anyone anticipated at the point guard spot -- and he opted to return to College Park for his sophomore campaign. Jake Layman is also returning after flirting with the NBA, and the Terps added a pair of much-needed big men: freshman Diamond Stone (ESPN’s No. 6 overall player) and transfer Robert Carter, who averaged 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds at Georgia Tech as a sophomore.
But what put Maryland in the No. 1 spot for this writer was the recent addition of former Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon, who is eligible to play this season due to the graduate transfer rule. The Terps will also have quality depth with Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens, Michal Cekovsky and Damonte Dodd likely coming off the bench.
You’ll see many with the Tar Heels as the preseason No. 1, and you can certainly make a valid argument.