Apparently releasing lists of projected preseason top 25 teams the day after the title game is a thing. Several Seton Hall opponents have found their way on these way-too-early lists.
All three outlets have pegged Virginia (potential Charleston Classic opponent), Wichita State, Villanova and Butler as top 25 caliber heading into next season. CBT surprisingly has Marquette at No. 20 on their list and Georgetown at No 18; neither of the other two sources agree with that, although USA Today said they also considered the Golden Eagles.
CBT also has Georgia at No. 11 on their list, while the other two don’t have the Bulldogs at all.
What this means
Not too much, as is the case with most polls and rankings, but it’s fun to use as a speculation tool.
I do agree with CBT that Georgia will be a solid top-50 team next year that has a shot at making the NCAA tournament again, and if that’s the case, Seton Hall has the chance at playing three NCAA-caliber teams in their non-conference if they meet Virginia at the Charleston Classic. At the very least, the Hall will host both UGA and Wichita State at the Rock. Those are attractive games RPI- and entertainment-wise.
Looking at the Big East, it looks like Butler and Villanova will be favorites to receive preseason top 25 rankings going into next season. I don’t think Marquette is ready to take that leap yet despite a top-10 recruiting class and Georgetown loses four seniors (Josh Smith, Jabril Trawick, Mikael Hopkins, Aaron Bowen) plus D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who had declared for the NBA Draft but reconsidered as I was writing this.
The Hoyas, like Seton Hall, were looking like they would have to rely a lot on the development of their current freshman classes plus incoming freshmen bigs Marcus Derrickson (247Sports No. 95) and Jessie Govan (No. 49), but DSR’s return really helps.
When considering a third top-25 caliber team to join Butler and Villanova, I was indecisive between Georgetown and Xavier since Kris Dunn looks to be leaning toward the NBA (edit: or maybe not); Smith-Rivera’s return definitely tips the scales in the Hoyas’ favor. However, if I’ve learned one thing, it’s to not count a Chris Mack-coached team out.
Like last summer, all of these teams will be previewed in-depth over the coming months.