November 13, 2008
Bob McClellanRivals.com College Basketball
1. North Carolina – The Tar Heels received all 31 first-place votes in the coaches' poll and deserved them.
2. Connecticut – Jim Calhoun says 7-3 center Hasheem Thabeet could be national player of the year.
3. Pittsburgh – The power trio of G Levance Fields, F Sam Young and C DeJuan Blair is as good as any threesome.
4. Purdue - Chemistry and high hoops IQs sure can go a long way. Sophomore F Robbie Hummel is the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year.
5. Notre Dame - Mr. Inside (Luke Harangody) and Mr. Outside (Kyle McAlarney) make the Irish serious contenders.
6. Duke – The guards are great. The concern for the Devils is in the paint.
7. Oklahoma – Blake Griffin stays, Willie Warren arrives, and Jeff Capel smiles.
8. Louisville – Plenty of talent returns, led by Terrence Williams and Earl Clark, from last season's Elite Eight team.
9. UCLA – To borrow from Madonna: A way to come together, and make things better ... we need a (Jrue) holiday.
10. Tennessee – Tyler Smith leads another ultra-athletic bunch for Bruce Pearl.
11. Georgetown – DaJuan Summers has to deliver without Jonathan Wallace and Roy Hibbert around.
12. Michigan State – There's talent, depth, perimeter shooting, rebounding, i.e. the makings of a Final Four team.
13. Gonzaga – The return of Jeremy Pargo, who took a long look at the NBA, makes the Zags a big-time threat.
14. Texas – Can the 'Horns compensate for the loss of D.J. Augustin?
15. Memphis – Don't feel too sorry for the Tigers: John Calipari simply reloads.
16. Kansas – No team lost more, but the Jayhawks never should be counted out.
17. Villanova – Good guards abound and rebound, score and do more for Jay Wright.
18. Wake Forest – A good young team gets younger and better with a superb recruiting class.
19. Florida – Nick Calathes is one of the better offensive catalysts in the nation.
20. Marquette – The talent is there; the one under scrutiny will be first-year (not first-choice) coach Buzz Williams.
21. USC – Out with O.J. Mayo, in with Demar DeRozan. There will be no drop-off.
22. Davidson – How far can one skinny guard take a team? Ask defending national champion Kansas.
23. UNLV – Lon Kruger has the Rebels firmly back on the national scene.
24. West Virginia – Anyone expecting the Mountaineers to take a step back isn't paying attention.
25. Arizona State – Watching James Harden figure out ways to score is one of the joys of the season.
26. San Diego – Bill Grier's Toreros are for real, as Kentucky and UConn are aware.
27. Miami – Jack McClinton keeps the Hurricanes on an upward swing.
28. Baylor – The Bears are a tough matchup with a talented stable of guards.
29. Wisconsin – The best example of how far defense can carry a team.
30. Ohio State – For the second time in three years the Buckeyes welcome the nation's top prospect.
31. Xavier – The Musketeers lost a talented group of seniors, but Sean Miller has plenty of good players available.
32. Syracuse – Eric Devendorf returns from a torn ACL and expectations are that a two-year NCAA drought will end.
33. Saint Mary's – Gaels PG Patrick Mills was the only collegiate player at the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
34. Siena – The Saints have nearly everybody back from last year's team that shocked Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
35. Clemson – The Tigers have an excellent nucleus with K.C. Rivers, Trevor Booker and Terrence Oglesby.
36. UAB – Gunner Robert Vaden leads a Blazers team that could start four guards.
37. Virginia Tech – Coach Seth Greenberg's goal: Not to be on the outside looking in at the NCAA tournament this season.
38. Arizona – F Chase Budinger will operate under his third coach in three seasons.
39. LSU – Trent Johnson finds a bevy of talent on the bayou, including the SEC's leading returning scorer in G Marcus Thornton.
40. Kentucky – Old-school F Patrick Patterson leads a talented but inexperienced squad.
41. BYU – The Cougars look to extend the nation's longest homecourt winning streak behind G/F Lee Cummard.
42. Ole Miss – Sophomore PG Chris Warren is poised to garner national acclaim.
43. Tulsa – Hard-nosed defense is the calling card of the Golden Hurricane.
44. Texas A&M – Coach Mark Turgeon will have to have the Aggies playing well to get back to the NCAA tournament.
45. Alabama – Is Mark Gottfried's job riding on guard Ronald Steele's knees?
46. Southern Miss – Guard Jeremy Wise is a crafty scorer who will light up C-USA.
47. Washington State – Tony Bennett has to regroup after losing a couple of the guys who helped him establish things in Pullman.
48. Oklahoma State – New coach Travis Ford looks to rebuild around SG James Anderson.
49. Creighton – Remember the name P'Allen Stinnett.
50. Massachusetts – New coach Derek Kellogg brings a new scheme to the high-scoring Minutemen.
51. Washington – F Jon Brockman brings the pain night in and night out.
52. St. Joseph's – Ahmad Nivins will be a focal point for the new-look Hawks.
53. Kent State – The Flashes are one of eight Division I programs to win 20 games each of the past 10 seasons.
54. UTEP – SG Stefon Jackson is the second-leading returning scorer in the nation.
55. Vanderbilt – Like a good baseball team, the Commodores are strong up the middle with C A.J. Ogilvy and PG Jermaine Beal.
56. Northeastern – The Huskies return the top nine scorers from a team that went 9-9 in the Colonial last season.
57. Miami University – The RedHawks figure to start five seniors, which makes them plenty long on experience.
58. Cleveland State – Gary Waters has the Vikings in conquer mode behind G Cedric Jackson and F J'Nathan Bullock.
59. Temple – Dionte Christmas delivers presents in the form of W's for the Owls.
60. Missouri – Can senior forwards DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons propel the Tigers to their first NCAA bid since 2003?
61. Maryland – PG Greivis Vasquez powers the Terps, who will need to find some help up front.
62. Wisconsin-Green Bay – All five starters return, including three who averaged double-figures in points.
63. Minnesota – Tubby Smith is building slowly but surely with the Golden Gophers.
64. Middle Tennessee State – The Blue Raiders are the Sun Belt favorite behind F Desmond Yates and G Kevin Kanaskie.
65. American – Eagles guards Garrison Carr and Derrick Mercer carry the flag for the Patriot League.
66. Providence – Can new coach Keno Davis weave the same kind of magic he did in one season at Drake?
67. San Diego State – Steve Fisher has the Aztecs are on the climb in the Mountain West.
68. Charlotte – A frontcourt with two seniors and sophomore all name-teamer An'Juan Wilderness makes the 49ers a tough out.
69. Southern Illinois – Senior G Bryan Mullins has to lead an inexperienced but talented Salukis team.
70. Dayton – The frontcourt figures to carry the Flyers after the graduation of star G Brian Roberts.
71. Nevada – The starting backcourt returns, and the Wolf Pack adds star frosh F Luke Babbitt.
72. Boston College – G Tyrese Rice will find ways to score. Can the Eagles give him enough support?
73. Wright State – Three starters return, including the guard tandem of Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown - the Raiders' top two scorers.
74. Mississippi State – Jarvis Varnado makes scoring against the Bulldogs a very tall order.
75. Kansas State – The backcourt becomes the focus in the post-Beasley era with lone returning starter Jacob Pullen and Miami transfer Denis Clemente.
76. Illinois – Bruce Weber must build around Demetri McCamey and Kentucky transfer Alex Legion until 2009 and 2010 recruiting hauls arrive in Champaign.
77. Cincinnati – G Deonta Vaughn is the catalyst for the Bearcats.
78. Illinois State – Three starters are gone, but G Osiris Eldridge returns to lead the Redbirds.
79. Oral Roberts – Four starters are gone, but there's no need to panic when the sixth man (Robert Jarvis) is coming back and he was your leading scorer (16.1 ppg).
80. Cornell – The Big Red went unscathed through the Ivy last season and have enough firepower to repeat the feat.
81. Utah – C Luke Nevill is the driving force, but don't overlook the three-guard lineup with Tyler Kepkay.
82. Florida State – Senior Toney Douglas and Uche Echefu give Leonard Hamilton leadership as well as a pair of go-to guys.
83. Rutgers – The Scarlet Knights signed two top-60 prospects in big man Gregory Echenique and guard Mike Rosario to go with a solid returning core of young players.
84. Seton Hall – The backcourt of Eugene Harvey, Jeremy Hazell and Paul Gause absolutely can fill it up.
85. Auburn – It's now or never for coach Jeff Lebo in a weak SEC West.
86. California – Mike Montgomery makes his return to the college game, albeit at Stanford's archrival.
87. Penn State – Coach Ed DeChellis knows the Nittany Lions need to make some headway or it's his head.
88. Marshall – A host of Big Six transfers mix with some talented holdovers to give Donnie Jones a sleeper team in C-USA.
89. Michigan – Year Two of the Beilein System should yield more fruit for the Wolverines.
90. Western Michigan – Junior G David Kool is one cool customer when it comes to dialing 3 for long distance.
91. N.C. State – F Brandon Costner must return to his freshman-season form for the Wolfpack to get back to winning.
92. VCU – Will PG Eric Maynor's final season also be the last for Anthony Grant with the Rams?
93. Stanford – New coach Johnny Dawkins doesn't have the Lopez twins to fall back on, but the cupboard isn't completely bare.
94. Old Dominion – With four returning starters and Blaine Taylor at the helm, the Monarchs are a threat in the Colonial.
95. Stephen F. Austin – The Lumberjacks have four starters returning, including reigning Southland Player of the Year Josh Alexander.
96. Drake – First-year coach Mark Phelps won't duplicate last year's stunning success, but neither will the Bulldogs fade from view.
97. New Mexico State – The Aggies have only one returning starter, but both players in the backcourt averaged double figures last season.
98. Utah State – Jaycee Carroll is a huge loss, but now the centerpiece for Stew Morrill's Aggies becomes C Gary Wilkinson.
99. Eastern Michigan – Three starters return for the Eagles, including PG Carlos Medlock - their leading scorer and distributor.
100. Portland State – The Vikings are the class of the Big Sky, led by league player of the year Jeremiah Dominguez.
101. Georgia – Coach Dennis Felton says he loves the chemistry, but is there enough talent?
102. Georgia Tech – The Yellow Jackets just got word that G Lewis Clinch, a major factor, will be academically ineligible for the first semester.
103. South Carolina – With Devan Downey, Dominique Archie and Mike Holmes, Darrin Horn could make a splash in his first season.
104. St. John's - Without dramatic improvement, Norm Roberts' tenure will come to a close.
105. Oregon – The Ducks will have a tough swim with only two returning starters, G Tajuan Porter and F Joevan Catron.
106. DePaul – The Blue Demons are young, but Dar Tucker and Mac Koshwal are reasons for hope.
107. Virginia – Dave Leitao has three returning starters but the uncertainty of being without lead G Sean Singletary.
108. Morgan State – Todd Bozeman deserves credit for establishing the Bears as the team to beat in the MEAC.
109. Nebraska – Three perimeter starters return, but can they compensate for the loss of graduated C Aleks Maric?
110. Texas Tech – Pat Knight figures to feature a predominantly guard-oriented lineup led by sharpshooter Alan Voskuil.
111. New Mexico – The return of Tony Danridge after missing last season with a broken leg helps soften the blow of losing leading scorer J.R. Giddens.
112. Richmond – The Spiders will rely on three returning starting guards after losing 6-9 F Dan Geriot for the season in July with a knee injury.
113. St. Louis – You don't bet against Rick Majerus, especially when he has a backcourt as talented as Kevin Lisch and Tommie Liddell.
114. Cal State Northridge – Big West coaches made the Matadors their runaway pick to win the league.
115. Winthrop – The Eagles lose three starters and four of their top five scorers yet still are the pick to win the Big South.
116. Bradley – If senior C David Collins continues to develop and junior G Andrew Warren snaps back into shape from a broken foot, the Braves could surprise.
117. Lehigh – The Mountain Hawks are solid at PG (Marquis Hall) and on the blocks (Zahir Carrington).
118. College of Charleston – G Andrew Goudelock and F Jermaine Johnson make Bobby Cremins' team a challenger to Davidson's supremacy.
119. Arkansas-Little Rock – The Trojans return all five starters from a team than went 20-11, 11-7 in the Sun Belt.
120. Illinois-Chicago – Josh Mayo can shoot it from Lake Michigan. If Mayo happens to miss, 7-footer Scott VanderMeer can go get it.
121. Arkansas – The Razorbacks were devastated by graduation losses and the parting with G Patrick Beverley.
122. Rhode Island – The Rams won 21 games last season but faded down the stretch. G Jimmy Baron, the son of the coach, is the top scorer.
123. Butler – The Bulldogs lost as much if not more than any team in the country. The weight shifts from a terrific senior class to post player Matt Howard.
124. Santa Clara – Kerry Keating brings in a solid recruiting class to build around All-WCC center John Bryant.
125. Bowling Green – Every player returns - including senior F Nate Miller - from a team that went 13-17, 7-9 in the MAC.
126. Central Michigan – Replacing PG Giordan Watson is priority No. 1 and could evolve into point-guard-by committee.
127. Mount St. Mary's – Junior PG Jeremy Goode helped the Mount get hot late and make it all the way to the NCAA tournament.
128. George Mason – Guards John Vaughan and Dre Smith guarantee the Patriots will be heard from in the Colonial.
129. Fairfield – The Stags return all five starters from a team that went 11-7 in the MAAC.
130. Holy Cross – The Crusaders resembled a M*A*S*H unit last season. If they can stay healthy, they'll make a push in the Patriot League.
131. Georgia State – Coach Rod Barnes turns to a host of transfers from the Big Six conferences to turn the fortunes of the Panthers.
132. Toledo – Tyrone Kent, the MAC's leading scorer a season ago, returns to fuel the Rockets.
133. Delaware – The Fightin' Blue Hens have a talented trio of guards that rivals any backcourt in the Colonial.
134. Ohio – New coach John Groce will build around senior F Jerome Tillman.
135. Colgate – Raiders captain Kyle Roemer, a fifth-year senior, is one of the best the Patriot League has to offer.
136. San Jose State – The Spartans are in position to make a big jump with all five starters returning.
137. Rider – Coach Tommy Dempsey had a security blanket in lottery pick Jason Thompson. His new blankie is Jason's little brother Ryan, a preseason All-MAAC pick.
138. Colorado – Jeff Bzdelik has a ways to go to get the Buffs' talent level up to Big 12 standards.
139. Niagara – A pair of Big East transfers join holdover Tyrone Lewis in the backcourt.
140. Boise State – There may be only one returning starter from last year's NCAA tournament team, but there are eight other returning lettermen.
141. Northwestern - Kevin Coble and Craig Moore give hope to long-suffering Wildcats fans.
142. La Salle – The Explorers should be strong in the frontcourt with a couple of returning starters.
143. Iowa – Freshman Matt Gatens eventually could be a big part of Todd Lickliter's makeover in Iowa City.
144. South Florida - Help is on the way in December when Georgia transfer Mike Mercer and 6-10 Maryland transfer Gus Gilchrist will become eligible.
145. UCF – Jermaine Taylor can fill it up, but the Knights have to find some complementary scorers.
146. Tulane – G Kevin Sims and F/C Robinson Louisme are at the forefront for the Green Wave.
147. Air Force – The Falcons have three returning starters from a team that went 16-14, 8-8 in the MWC.
148. Belmont – Longtime Bruins coach Rick Byrd has turned the Nashville school into a model program with three consecutive NCAA bids.
149. UC Santa Barbara – The Gauchos will rely on bruising post man Chris Devine.
150. Chattanooga – Three starters return for the Mocs, including two who averaged at least 12 ppg.
151. North Dakota State – Ben Woodside (20.7 ppg) and Brett Winkelman (19.2 ppg) are one of the highest-scoring 1-2 punches in the country.
152. Indiana – The Hoosiers will take their lumps this season, then start delivering them again soon.
153. UT Arlington – Three players who averaged at least 12 ppg return for a team that won 21 games and punched a ticket to the NCAA tournament.
154. Boston – All five starters return for the Terriers, who won 11 of their last 14 games.
155. Wyoming – Brandon Ewing, the MWC's leading scorer, and Wichita State transfer Sean Ogirri should make for a dynamic backcourt.
156. Murray State – With four starters back from a team that finished second in the league last season, the Racers are the favorite in the Ohio Valley.
157. George Washington – Senior F Rob Diggs returns after leading the Colonials in scoring and rebounding last season.
158. Iowa State – The Cyclones will have another rough trip through the Big 12 with not enough support around former five-star prospect Craig Brackins.
159. Gardner-Webb – The Bulldogs move to the Big South from the Atlantic Sun, and they'll contend behind the talented backcourt of Aaron Linn and Grayson Flittner.
160. Sacred Heart – If guards Chauncey Hardy and Ryan Litke make an expected jump as juniors, the Pioneers could push for the top spot in the Northeast Conference.
161. Pacific – The Tigers are regrouping after some offseason problems, but there still is plenty of talent returning.
162. Appalachian State – Kellen Brand and Donald Sims lead a four-guard lineup that is a tough matchup in the SoCon.
163. Penn – The Quakers threw three freshmen into the fray last season and suffered their lumps, but the move should start to pay dividends.
164. Montana – The Grizzlies will be built around senior F Jordan Hasquet, their top scorer and rebounder last season.
165. Northwestern State – Coach Mike McConathy has guided the Demons to the past four Southland Conference tournament championship games.
166. Cal State Fullerton – Only one starter returns, but the good news it's senior G Josh Akognon (20.2 ppg).
167. South Alabama – The Jaguars must transition from a guard-oriented lineup to relying on the frontcourt.
168. North Texas – The Mean Green will rely on guards Collin Dennis, a senior, and Josh White, last year's Sun Belt Freshman of the Year.
169. Loyola, Md. – The Greyhounds have a shot at their fourth consecutive winning season, something they last achieved from 1983-87.
170. Oakland – The Golden Grizzlies return all five starters, including three who averaged at least 14 ppg last season.
171. Houston – The Cougars have only one returning starter and look to be on a downturn while the rest of the league is surging.
172. Louisiana Lafayette – F La'Ryan Gary could be the breakout guy for the Ragin' Cajuns, who return four starters.
173. Western Kentucky – There is experience in the frontcourt for new coach Ken McDonald, but the backcourt is a do-over without Courtney Lee and Tyrone Brazelton.
174. Elon – The Phoenix gained some valuable experience and confidence last year with a surprise run to the SoCon tournament title game despite a seventh-place finish in the regular season.
175. IUPUI – George Hill is gone to the NBA, but coach Ron Hunter believes there's enough talent to be as good as last year's team that won a school-record 26 games.
176. Robert Morris – The Colonials return three starters from a team that posted a 14-game winning streak last season.
177. Lamar – The Cardinals will lean heavily on 5-9, 155-pound PG Kenny Dawkins, an all-conference pick last year.
178. Central Connecticut – The Blue Devils return three double-digit scorers and could surprise.
179. Idaho State – There are signs of progress in Pocatello, with four starters returning from a team that was .500 in the Big Sky.
180. Long Beach State – The reclamation project for Dan Monson was huge, but he's making headway behind Big West leading scorer Donovan Morris (21.2 ppg).
181. Yale – The Bulldogs return only two starters and are in the same trouble spot as the rest of the league: Cornell will be tough to beat.
182. Sam Houston State – The Bearkats posted a 12-1 non-conference slate and a school-record 22 regular-season victories by playing stout defense.
183. Vermont – The Catamounts have two of the best in the America East in reigning player of the year Marqus Blakely and G Mike Trimboli.
184. East Tennessee State – Bucs G Courtney Pigram is a big-time scorer with plenty of range on the perimeter.
185. Radford – PG Amir Johnson is adept at getting into the lane and creating for the Highlanders talented wings.
186. Southeastern Louisiana – Name the only program in Louisiana with a winning record each of the past five seasons? You guessed it.
187. Northern Iowa – The Panthers' hopes center around the health of 7-footer Jordan Eglseder, their top returning scorer and rebounder, who only recently was cleared to practice.
188. Hofstra – All-time leading scorer Antoine Agudio is gone, but Colonial freshman of the year Charles Jenkins (15.0 ppg) is ready to take the reins.
189. Wisconsin-Milwaukee – The strength is on the perimeter, where three players are back who averaged at least 7 ppg.
190. Bucknell – The Bison could struggle this season. They have a new coach and only two returning starters.
191. William & Mary – The Tribe takes its cues from G David Schneider on the outside and F Danny Sumner on the inside.
192. Akron – The Zips are one of the youngest teams in the MAC and they will have a great deal of difficulty matching last season's win total.
193. Fairleigh Dickinson – The Knights lost three starters from an 8-20 team, but three Division I transfers could make them a real sleeper.
194. Manhattan – The Jasper got knocked around last season but they return four starters and still have only one senior.
195. Arkansas State – It's an SEC affair: Former LSU coach John Brady looks to revamp the program with former Vanderbilt player JeJuan Brown.
196. Georgia Southern – Willie Powers and Trumaine Pearson are expected to lead the way for the Eagles.
197. Florida Atlantic – The Owls have their fourth coach in five years: Is Mike Jarvis the one to stick around?
198. IPFW – With only two starters returning, the Mastodons will look to some transfers for immediate help.
199. Long Island – The Blackbirds were picked last in the 11-team NEC last season and finished sixth, and now they have four starters returning.
200. Northern Arizona – The Lumberjacks return only two starters, but Mike Adras has pushed his team to the Big Sky title game three years in a row.
201. Louisiana Tech – Summer turmoil was not the best recipe for a team trying to follow up a six-win season.
202. UT Martin – Junior G Lester Hudson (25.7 ppg) is a potential All-American, and sophomore G Marquis Weddle (17.1 ppg) ensures Hudson can't be overly harassed.
203. Jacksonville – The Dolphins are building toward a push against Atlantic Sun kingpin Belmont with all five starters returning from an 18-win team.
204. Liberty – Flames coach Ritchie McKay brings in a seven-man recruiting class that includes Seth Curry, the younger brother of Davidson star Stephen Curry.
205. Chicago State – If you can't guard the perimeter, Cougars guards David Holston - the nation's leader in 3-pointers per game - and John Cantrell will kill you.
206. James Madison – The Dukes return four starters, including G Abdulai Jalloh and F Juwann James.
207. Valparaiso – The Crusaders' transition to the Horizon League from the Summit was a bit rough, but Homer Drew will keep things upbeat.
208. Ball State – The Cardinals are in a more stable position to begin this season and will be led by fifth-year senior Anthony Newell, their leading returning scorer and rebounder.
209. Indiana State – The Sycamores went 2-13 in non-home games last season, something second-year coach Kevin McKenna hopes to rectify.
210. Colorado State – Former junior-college guards Marcus Walker and Willis Gardner showed great promise in their first seasons and will lead the Rams this year.
211. High Point – It's a good thing coach Bart Lundy is enamored with his recruiting class because Big South Player of the Year Arizona Reid is no longer around.
212. Weber State – No returnee averaged more than 8.8 ppg for the Wildcats, so there are opportunities for newcomers to step in.
213. Hartford – Junior G Joe Zeglinski was the first Hawks sophomore to be named first-team all-conference since Vin Baker.
214. UMBC – Senior PG Jay Greene helped the Retrievers lead the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, which helped them make the NCAA tournament.
215. Alabama State – With three starters returning, the Hornets will battle Jackson State for supremacy in the SWAC.
216. Hampton – Three starters and nine lettermen are back to give coach Kevin Nickelberry a chance at the MEAC title.
217. Austin Peay – The focal point for the Governors is Drake Reed, and coach Dave Loos has added a recruiting class that could make a major impact.
218. Jackson State – Four starters return, including three who averaged double-figure scoring last season.
219. Louisiana-Monroe – All-Sun Belt G Tony Hooper and former Southern Miss player Jarvis Hill figure to carry the Warhawks.
220. Hawaii – Longtime Riley Wallace assistant Bob Nash found the going rough in his first season, and it could stay that way.
221. Wofford – The Terriers have three returning starters but lost their top two scorers.
222. UNC Greensboro – There is talent returning, but life will be dramatically different without two-time SoCon Player of the Year Kyle Hines.
223. Towson – The mainstays are Georgetown transfer Josh Thornton and forward Junior Hairston, who must propel the Tigers up the standings in a crucial year for Pat Kennedy.
224. Duquesne – Only two starters return from a team that tied for ninth in the Atlantic 10.
225. San Francisco – Dior Lowhorn and Manny Quezada give new coach Rex Walters two huge building blocks.
226. TCU – The Horned Frogs have only two returning starters from a seventh-place team, so new coach Jim Christian has his work cut out for him.
227. UTSA – Coach Brooks Thompson has remade the Roadrunners in his two seasons, and things are looking up. The team is led by Southland frosh of the year Devin Gibson.
228. Delaware State – The Hornets were in rebuilding mode last year and still finished fourth in the MEAC at 10-6.
229. Brown – Craig Robinson left for Oregon State and passes the reins to Jesse Agel, who could struggle without All-Ivy Leaguers Damon Huffman and Mark McAndrew.
230. Oregon State – Maybe the new coach's brother-in-law, President-elect Obama, can suit up for the undermanned Beavers.
231. UMKC – The Kangaroos take their cues from senior G Dane Brumigan, but they're still likely to struggle to reach the first division in the Summit.
232. Harvard – Tommy Amaker's first season yielded just an 8-22 mark, but all five starters return.
233. Lipscomb – The Bisons are built around a trio of sophomores who each averaged between 8-9 ppg last season.
234. UC Irvine – Without Patrick Sanders and Darren Fells the Anteaters will be hard-pressed to match last year's win total (18).
235. UNC Wilmington – The Seahawks used four senior starters last season to surprise everyone with a second-place league finish, but can they avoid crumbling without them?
236. Loyola (Chicago) – The Ramblers have a go-to guy in senior G J.R. Blount and three other returning starters.
237. Evansville – All five starters return as coach Marty Simmons tries to restore the glory to the Purple Aces program.
238. Northern Illinois – The Huskies have only two starters returning from a team that struggled mightily in year one under Ricardo Patton.
239. Mercer – New coach Bob Hoffman inherits three returning starters, including leading scorer James Florence (19.0 ppg).
240. East Carolina – The Pirates have to find some parts in a hurry to put around G Sam Hinnant or they will be battling to stay out of the C-USA cellar.
241. Morehead State – The frontcourt returns intact and it's good enough to make the Eagles a contender in the Ohio Valley.
242. Norfolk State – The Spartans surprised with a tie for second last season in the MEAC, but can they keep things pointed up?
243. Stetson – A strong finish last season (12-5) probably saved Derek Waugh's job, and now he has all five starters returning.
244. Binghamton – If all goes well for the Bearcats, former Syracuse player Emanuel Mayben and Gonzaga transfer Theo Davis will play prominent roles.
245. South Carolina State – Senior post player Jason Johnson (11.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is a preseason first-team All-MEAC selection.
246. McNeese State – Senior F John Pichon should shoulder the scoring load, while the biggest Cowboy - 6-11, 300-pound senior C Kleon Penn - anchors the defense.
247. Alabama A&M – Four starters, led by PG Trant Simpson, will keep the Bulldogs near the front of the pack in the SWAC.
248. Fordham – The recruiting class will have a chance at significant minutes. Last season, all five starters were seniors.
249. Portland – The Pilots have nice bloodlines: G Nik Raivio's brother Derek starred at Gonzaga; F Luke Sikma is the son of NBA great Jack Sikma.
250. Utah Valley State – The Wolverines are in their final year of transition to Division I, and they're led by G Ryan Toolson, the school's all-time leading scorer.
251. Fresno State – Arizona State transfer Sylvester Seay figures to emerge as the Bulldogs' go-to guy.
252. Navy – The Middies feature a lot of firepower on the wings, led by Kaleo Kina and Chris Harris.
253. Detroit – Xavier Keeling spent a season with new coach Ray McCallum at Indiana. Returnee Chris Hayes, a 6-9 post player, also figures in the mix.
254. Wichita State – The Shockers experienced heavy losses and will be hard-pressed to contend for a spot in the MVC's upper division.
255. Buffalo – All five starters return from a Bulls team that won only three games in conference play.
256. St. Bonaventure – Washington State transfer Chris Matthews isn't bothered by the new 20-9 3-point line.
257. Iona – Three starters return as the Gaels try to work their way back from going 2-28 just two seasons ago.
258. Denver – The Pioneers may need nametags with nine newcomers on the roster.
259. FIU – The Golden Panthers return four starters, and fifth-year coach Sergio Rouco believes there is reason for optimism after a 9-20 season.
260. Army – The Black Knights lost only one starter, but Jarell Brown accounted for more than 30 percent of the team's scoring.
261. Tennessee State – The Tigers return three starters and hope to build off the momentum of a run to the OVC title game a year ago.
262. Charleston Southern – If coach Barclay Radebaug brings in more players like Big South Freshman of the Year Omar Carter, the Buccaneers will start climbing.
263. Northern Colorado – The Bears have made a solid transition to full-fledged D-I team, and F Jabril Banks aims to keep things moving forward.
264. Quinnipiac – The Bobcats have three returning starters, but Tom Moore still has a way to go to get the program on solid footing.
265. Southern – The Jaguars are loaded on the perimeter with four guards returning who started at least 15 games last season.
266. Coppin State – Fang Mitchell guided the Eagles to a surprise MEAC tournament title, making them the first team to enter the NCAA tournament with 20 losses.
267. Tennessee Tech – You can't help but root for Mike Sutton, and his Golden Eagles can go 6-9, 6-9, 6-8 across the frontline – sizable for the OVC.
268. Savannah State – Once a laughingstock, coach Horace Broadnax cajoled 13 wins out of the Tigers last season.
269. Furman – The Paladins return four starters and look to make some headway in the SoCon.
270. SMU – Bamba Fall and Papa Dia are nice talents, but the Mustangs have a long way to go in Conference USA.
271. Southern Utah – The Thunderbirds managed a .500 finish in the Summit but will be hard-pressed to match that this season.
272. Western Carolina – Juniors Brandon Giles and Jake Robinson led the Catamounts in scoring last season and hope to make a push in the SoCon North.
273. New Orleans – The Privateers could have used 3-point shooter Doneal Mack, who transferred from Memphis in the summer than hightailed it back to the Tigers.
274. Loyola Marymount – New coach Bill Bayno has his work cut out for him: The Lions haven't made the postseason since 1986.
275. Rice - New coach Ben Braun faces a tough task: The Owls went 3-27 last season, including a winless slate in Conference USA.
276. VMI – Four starters return from the nation's highest-scoring team (91.3 ppg), including twins Chavis and Travis Holmes.
277. Albany – The Great Danes have only two returning starters, so replicating last year's tie for second in the America East will be a tall order.
278. Campbell – F Jonathan Rodriguez was one of seven players to average at least 20 ppg and 10 rpg last season, along with guys named Beasley, Hansbrough and Harangody.
279. Coastal Carolina – Cliff Ellis has the Chanticleers pointed north in the Big South with three returning starters.
280. Wagner – The Seahawks will need bigger contributions from fifth-year seniors Jamal Smith and Joey Mundweiler after heavy graduation losses.
281. Eastern Washington – The Eagles hope that four returning starters can help boost them into the upper division of the Big Sky.
282. UC Davis – The Aggies were humbled their first full season in Division I, going 9-22 and finishing last in the Big West.
283. Samford – The Bulldogs move into the North Division of the Southern Conference, which at least isn't the same side as Davidson.
284. Troy – The outlook is bleak for the Trojans, who lose four starters from a team that went 12-19, 4-14 in the Sun Belt.
285. Pepperdine – The Waves have been nothing but a ripple in the WCC over the past three seasons with 26 total wins.
286. Missouri State – Former Purdue standout Cuonzo Martin takes his first head-coaching job, but the Bears are picked to finish last in the MVC preseason vote.
287. South Dakota State – F Kai Williams is a keeper, but the Jackrabbits managed only eight wins and a 10th-place finish in the Summit last season.
288. Columbia – The Lions will struggle in the Ivy with only one starter back from a team that went .500 in the league.
289. Nicholls State – Four starters return, but the Colonels have won at least 10 games only once in the past five years.
290. Eastern Kentucky – Another team nicknamed the Colonels and another team that could take its lumps this season.
291. Kennesaw State – The Owls will rely on a frontcourt led by 7-1 Scottish center John Allison.
292. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – Islanders coach Perry Clark started three freshmen in every game last season, which should start to pay dividends soon.
293. Cal Poly – The league preseason poll lists the Mustangs in eighth as they look to rebound from a 12-18 season.
294. Youngstown State – The Penguins won only nine games last season and lost their top two scorers.
295. Canisius – The Golden Griffins finished in last in the 10-team MAAC; climbing out of the basement starts with PG Frank Turner.
296. Drexel – The Dragons took a major dive last season and could dip further with only two starters returning from a team that tied for 10th in the Colonial.
297. Lafayette – PG Andrew Brown will have to carry the Leopards while they figure out who can fit around him.
298. St. Peter's – A talented sophomore class that already has played major minutes hopes to get the Peacocks ready to strut.
299. Texas Pan-American – Tom Schuberth coaxed an amazing 18 wins out of the Broncs last season, but they may get busted this season with four starters gone.
300. North Carolina A&T – The Aggies are coming off consecutive 15-win seasons, but this team comes up short on talent with only two starters returning.
301. UNC Asheville – The loss of 7-7 center Kenny George is a sad one, and there are other significant personnel losses as well.
302. Texas State – Four starters return for the Bobcats as they try to claw their way up the Southland standings.
303. Southeast Missouri State – How do you figure out a team that has one returning starter and a head coach on leave because of NCAA allegations?
304. Mississippi Valley State – The Delta Devils have a new head coach (former Kentucky standout Sean Woods) and three returning starters.
305. Western Illinois – The Leathernecks will look to Summit League all-newcomer team member David Dubois to lead them.
306. Marist – The Red Foxes have only one returning starter but hope to get some immediate help from the recruiting class.
307. UC Riverside – The Highlanders are low dwellers in the Big West with 41 total wins over the past five seasons.
308. Dartmouth – Big Green senior F Alex Barnett is the leading returning scorer and rebounder in the Ivy.
309. Florida A&M – F Lamar Twitty is the known quantity; freshman G Dale Hughes dropped 30 in an exhibition victory.
310. Monmouth – Senior G Whitney Coleman has watched the Hawks slide from NCAA tournament team his freshman year to 7-24 last year.
311. Montana State – Four starters departed from a team that managed only a sixth-place finish in the Big Sky.
312. Presbyterian – Sophomore C Al'Lonzo Coleman is the real deal, but the Blue Hose will struggle.
313. Florida Gulf Coast – The Eagles have a big-time non-conference slate that includes Kansas, Florida, Butler and Michigan. Yikes.
314. New Hampshire – The guard play is solid but the Wildcats have won more than 10 games only once in the past five seasons.
315. Grambling – The Tigers return only two starters from a team that didn't win a game outside the SWAC.
316. USC Upstate – Bobby Davis, the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, is a load on the blocks at 6-6, 230.
317. Texas Southern – First-year coach Tony Harvey has been out of the game since 2004 after resigning amid NCAA problems while an assistant at Missouri.
318. Howard – All five starters return, but the Bison has produced only 33 wins total in the past five years.
319. Maine – The Black Bears went 3-13 in the America East last season and will battle to stay out of the cellar this season.
320. Centenary – The Gents have a new coach, former Duquesne assistant Greg Gary, and a go-to guy in G Nick Stallings.
321. St. Francis, N.Y. – Thank goodness for the other St. Francis, which NEC coaches picked last in the preseason poll.
322. Central Arkansas – The Bears won four games in the Southland Conference but lose their leading scorer and their leading rebounder.
323. Princeton – The Tigers have dropped off precipitously in recent years, and only two starters return from a 6-23 team.
324. North Carolina Central – The Eagles won four games, including two over D-I opponents and one over fellow D-I transition team Winston-Salem State.
325. Prairie View – If you can't qualify for the SWAC tournament, which the Panthers haven't done since 2005, you're program is in the weeds.
326. Cal State Bakersfield – The Roadrunners posted eight wins in their debut season in D-I playing a heavy Big West schedule.
327. Winston-Salem State – Leading scorer Jamal Durham returns to power the Rams.
328. Idaho – The Vandals have won just 24 games over the past four seasons and return only one starter from last year's 8-21 team.
329. Bryant – The Bulldogs will play all 11 NEC teams as they prepare to enter the league in 2012-13.
330. The Citadel – With seven freshmen, two redshirt freshmen and eight sophomores it's hard to make headway in the SoCon.
331. St. Francis, Pa. – Thank goodness for the other St. Francis, which provided two of the Red Flash's six wins last season.
332. Longwood – The Lancers took a serious blow when senior F Kirk Williams, the leading scorer, was ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester.
333. Bethune-Cookman – The Wildcats have only one starter returning from a team that went 5-11 in the MEAC.
334. Arkansas-Pine Bluff – New coach George Ivory promises a team that can score more than last year's 13-18 squad, which ranked 305th in scoring (60.3 ppg).
335. Stony Brook – America East coaches believe the Seawolves have no sea legs, voting them last in the league preseason poll.
336. Sacramento State – Hornets alum Brian Katz will try his hand at breathing life into the Big Sky cellar dweller.
337. Eastern Illinois – Romain Martin is a reliable scorer who gives coach Mike Miller reason to believe his team can peak in the Ohio Valley.
338. Houston Baptist – Purdue transfer Gordon Watt returns after leading the Huskies in scoring and rebounding last season.
339. Jacksonville State – OVC coaches and SIDs made the Gamecocks an overwhelming choice for last in the league.
340. North Florida – The Ospreys are 4-34 in two seasons in the Atlantic Sun and are picked to finish last again by the league's coaches.
341. Maryland Eastern Shore – In the past five seasons the program has produced only 25 wins and not had an RPI higher than 319.
342. Alcorn State – Another school turns to an alum: Can Larry "Mr. Mean" Smith instill toughness in the Braves?
343. NJIT – New coach Jim Engles eventually will win his share, but you have to put a team that didn't win a game last season in this spot.
Bob McClellan is the college basketball editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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