This team is a bit different than recent Baylor squads. Baylor’s traditional calling card has been length and athleticism. However, their lack of shooting from multiple positions ends up burning them once the tourney rolls around. That won't be the case this year.
They’re a little bit smaller than usual, but are equipped with some deadly marksmen. Belgian guard Manu Lecomte is a blur with the ball in his hands, and is capable of having a Kemba Walker-like impact on any given night. The injury to Terry Maston will hurt for the start of the season, but as long as they’re clicking during Big 12 play, they’ll be in the mix.
23. West Virginia
Bob Huggins and “Press” Virginia return to annoy opposing players and fans all across the country. The feisty Mountaineers are an absolute nightmare to play against. Huggins is an expert at getting his players to buy into his system. WVU completely wears opponents down with their constant trapping and active hands. Offensively, they have their limitations -- though they create turnovers at a rapid pace. This then allows them to earn extra possessions. When Jevon Carter is connecting from the field, they’re a serious threat.
The 2017 NBA Draft decimated a team that won 31 games last year, but the Bruins did a commendable job retooling by adding top recruits in Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands. Both freshman look to make an immediate impact in Westwood.
Retaining junior Aaron Holiday and senior Thomas Welsh was huge for their outlook this season. Holiday will take over the point guard duties as a shifty slasher with some playmaking ability. Welsh was a major contributor in 2017, and is as dependable as they come on the collegiate level. They don’t have the shooting of last year, but they’re loaded with athletes that will thrive in an up-tempo offense.
21. Seton Hall
Desi Rodriguez, Angel Delgado and Khadeen Carrington create arguably the best group of seniors in all of college basketball – and that’s not an exaggeration.
Rodriguez is an efficient wing that can bring the house down in transition. Delgado is a double-double machine with size, toughness and a soft touch around the basket. Carrington is a left-handed microwave that heats up an instant. They’ve been in big games, and haven’t succumbed to the pressure of the moment (2016 Big East title game against Villanova). It’s time for this team to break out and secure a signature win for a quality program.
Image Sources: Dustin Safranek/USA TODAY Sports, Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports, Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports, Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports