Earlier this week, I did an article featuring the 25 best teams’ “backcourts” in all of NCAA Basketball for the upcoming season. And some big names were included. This time, I’ll be looking on the inside, focusing on the best collective frontcourts. This will only include true forwards and centers, not guards who play the four-spot in various small lineups.
Some may disagree with the players I included but as far as which “frontcourts” rank among the best, I like where I have the teams list. Here’s my top 25 list, including some honorable mentions.
HM: Texas Longhorns
Bringing back Dylan Disu was big for a team needing an offensive focal point, while Virginia transfer Kadin Shedrick offers them new interior defense. If former five-star recruit Dillon Mitchell does indeed have a big sophomore breakout campaign, Texas will have a nicely balanced roster to go along with the talented scoring guards.
HM: Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes bring back starting forward Zed Key, who dealt with injuries throughout last season. Center Felix Okpara is a potential breakout candidate, while Minnesota transfer Jamison Battle gives them a needed scoring punch on the wing to replace Brice Sensabaugh. If freshmen Scotty Middleton and Devin Royal provide an impact as well, Ohio State will be back to the NCAA Tournament.
HM: Duquesne Dukes
Duquesne may not have an individual “star” in the frontcourt but they’re the definition of “depth” in the A-10. Starting forward Tre Williams is one of the better defenders in the league, while both Halil Barre and David Dixon got minutes as well. Then there’s four frontcourt transfers joining the team in Andrei Savrasov, Dusan Mahorcic, and twins, Fousseyni and Hassan Drame. Dayton may have the best individual big man in the league (DaRon Holmes) but the Dukes easily has the best depth overall.
HM: Houston Cougars
The losses of top-10 NBA Draft pick Jarace Walker as well as the late Reggie Chaney will impact the Cougars on the defensive end. Starting forward J’Wan Roberts and Ja’Vier Francis should be a good starting frontcourt but now in the Big 12 instead of the AAC, that’s going to be a test of how well Coach Sampson continues to use his bodies inside. Freshmen Joseph Tugler and Jacob McFarland will need to have an impact as well.
HM: Wisconsin Badgers
The Badgers have one of the better starting forward duos in NCAA Basketball in Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl, both of whom averaged over 11.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg last season. But it wasn’t good enough to make the NCAA Tournament last season and there’s next to no depth behind them, outside of Carter Gilmore and Markus Ilver. It’s an opportunity for freshman Gus Yalden to come in and get in the rotation.
HM: Miami Hurricanes
Miami has one of the best true big men in NCAA Basketball in Norchad Omier, who averaged 13.1 ppg and 10.0 rpg last season. The problem is that they have next-to-no depth overall, with FSU transfer Matthew Cleveland being the only other proven “forward” on the roster. If three-star freshman center Matthew Nwoko can’t play at the ACC level, the depth will truly be tested.