After a tumultuous few months of thousands of players entering the transfer portal and hundreds entering the NBA draft, we’ve finally achieved some roster stability among men’s college basketball teams. The coaching carousel has long stopped, the NBA draft is in the rearview mirror, and the transfer portal has slowed down. Barring any surprises, most of the lineups that appeared in early November will be very similar to how they look today, at the end of June.

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Of course, there will be more additions and subtractions. Several international prospects are expected to move to the US in the coming weeks, and there are always a few unexpected reclassifications in August. But after NC’s Pete Nance and Memphis’ Emmanuel Akot announced their decision to attend college two weekends ago, only two players remained on Sportzshala’s transfer list: Emony Bates and Keyontae Johnson.

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There have been two big moves in the Top 25 since the last Too Early update: Gonzaga and Oregon. The Zags moved up to No. 2 after the NBA draft removals of Drew Timm, Julian Strouter and Rusir Bolton and the addition of Malachi Smith, who came from Chattanooga. They have a strong case for the No. 1 spot, but North Carolina adding Nancy gives the Tar Heels the edge. Meanwhile, Will Richardson announced that he was returning to Oregon, lifting the Ducks from the unranked to the top 20.

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On the other hand, the big drop was Michigan, which fell out of the rankings from 20th place. The Wolverines saw Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate keep their names in the NBA draft; combined with concerns about wing firepower, this was enough to keep Michigan looking from the outside.

1 Resin North Carolina Heels

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While I initially moved the Tar Heels to number one after the return of Caleb Love, RJ Davis, Leaky Black and Armando Backot in particular, the program solidified the position with the addition of Pete Nance’s Northwest transfer. Nance was in the top 10 transfers all spring and was the top player available on Portal when he moved to Hubert Davies’ team. He originally entered the draft but dropped his name and visited Chapel Hill before announcing his decision.

Nancy will play the role vacated by Brady Manek. He is 6ft 10in but shoots 45.2% from three-point range and averages 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists. The Tar Heels had other options as a power forward – Puff Johnson, Dontrez Stiles – but Nancy proved to be a big contributor with his size and shooting ability.

Projected starting lineup:

Caleb Love (15.2 points per game)
R. J. Davis (13.4 ppg)
Hole Black (4.9 ppg)
Pete Nance (14.6 ppg)
Armando Bakot (16.5 points per game)

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs

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By the end of May and beginning of June, good news continued to pile up for the Zags. Three players withdrew their names from the NBA draft, including potential Wooden Award nominee Drew Timm. Along with Timm in his return to Spokane, Washington were starters Julian Strouter and Rasir Bolton, with the latter opting to use his extra year of eligibility.

The return of those three would have been enough to push Gonzaga into the No. 1 preseason talk, but then coach Mark Few came out and got Chattanooga’s transfer of Malachi Smith, Southern Conference Player of the Year. Smith averaged 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season and was in the top five in transfers. With former five-star rookies Hunter Sallis and Afton Reed, and seasoned forward Anton Watson potentially coming off the bench, the Zags have as much talent and depth as anyone in the country. Again.

Projected starting lineup:

Nolan Hickman (5.1 points per game)
Malachi Smith (19.9 ppg in Chattanooga)
Rasir Bolton (11.2 points per game)
Julian Strouter (11.8 ppg)
Drew Timm (18.4 ppg)

3. Houston Cougars

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Once Markus Sasser dropped his name from the draft, Houston solidified his position as a legitimate contender for the national championship. Sasser increased his pro stock in the spring and was on the verge of a second round selection according to most of the jibes, but he decided to withdraw and return to the Cougars. When healthy, the 6-2 guard is one of the top scorers in the country and the type of player who can lead Houston on offense.

He won’t have to take on an unbearable burden next season thanks to the potential breakthrough of Jamal Shed and the addition of freshmen Jaras Walker and Terrence Arceno. While Houston survived injuries to Sasser and Tramon Mark last season, coach Calvin Sampson also bolstered his backcourt depth by signing Texas Tech transfer Mailik Wilson.

Projected starting lineup:

Jamal Shed (10.0 points per game)
Markus Sasser (17.7 points per game)
Tramon Mark (10.1 points per game)
Jaras Walker (#10 on Sportzshala 100)
J’Wan Roberts (3.2 ppg)

4. Kentucky Wildcats

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One of the more intriguing storylines coming into next season for the Wildcats concerns Jacob Toppin and whether he’s ready for a breakout season. Toppin has shown flashes of his ceiling — 16 points against Vanderbilt in 2021, 14 and eight points against LSU, and 13 and six points against Alabama last season — but hasn’t been consistent enough to be a solid starter yet. However, he has excellent physique, and in two games last season in which he played more than 30 minutes, he averaged 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds. Sure, there were only two of them, but he didn’t look out of place.

Whether he takes the next step will determine how John Calipari’s roster looks in 2022-23. Five-star rookie Chris Livingston is more of an offensive threat and has a good size at 6-7, while Illinois’ Antonio Reeves and CJ Fredrick provide shooting ability in a potentially smaller lineup.

Projected starting lineup:

Sahvir Wheeler (10.1 points per game)
Cason Wallace (#20 on Sportzshala 100)
Antonio Reeves (20.1 ppg at Illinois State)
Chris Livingston (#12 on Sportzshala 100)
Oscar Chibwe (17.4 points per game)

5. Duke Blue Devils

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The biggest questions I had about Duke in the last update were about the lack of perimeter shooting and experience, mixed in with some backcourt depth issues. Coach John Shayer came out and answered questions from the last few weeks. First, five-star defenseman Tyrese Proctor has decided to re-qualify from 2023 for 2022 and change to the Blue Devils next season. The 6-5 Australia product can be played in any defensive position and should help with shooting problems; he hit 43.8% of 3’s in the NBA Global Academy in 2021 and 37% of 3’s in NSW Under-20s in 2022.

Transfer from Illinois Jacob Grandison then passed to Duke, and he could start right away. He’s 24, went to college for four years, and last season he threw 41% of three shots. There are still some questions as to how Scheier manages to fit all the pieces together, but over the past few weeks the roster has become a lot more balanced.

Projected starting lineup:

Jeremy Roach (8.6 points per game)
Darik Whitehead (#2 on Sportzshala 100)
Jacob Grandison (9.6 ppg in Illinois)
Kyle Filipovski (#7 on Sportzshala 100)
Derek Lively (#1 on Sportzshala 100)

6. Kansas Jayhawks

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The return of Jalen Wilson from the NBA draft — after he increased his draft stock during pre-season practice — and the acquisition of Texas Tech transfer Kevin McCallar put the Jayhawks back in the conversation to get to another Final Four. Wilson should be the team’s main offensive player with Ochai Agbaji and Christian Brown out of the picture, with McCallar a high-level two-way player with league experience. Those two, plus five-star guard Grady Dick and returning starter Dajuan Harris Jr., should be a mainstay in Bill Self’s roster from day one.

Who will be the fifth Jayhawks starter? Five-star rookie Ernest Oudeh could start with an A, as could rising sophomores Zach Clemence or KJ Adams, both of whom posted first minutes last season. There’s also some off-season buzz about Bobby Pettiford, but that might be too small a lineup.

Projected starting lineup:

Dajuan Harris Jr. (5.4 points per game)
Grady Dick (#14 on Sportzshala 100)
Kevin McCallar (10.1 points per game at Texas Tech)
Jalen Wilson (11.0 points per game)
Ernest Uhde (#23 on Sportzshala 100)

7 Creighton Bluejays

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On paper, offense won’t be a problem for Creighton next season. The Bluejays are bringing back three double-digit scorers, adding one of the best hitters in the country via the transfer portal at Baylor Scheierman, and also getting Mason Miller out of the redshirt season. At the same time, according to, this team is losing to two double-digit scorers from the group ranked 112th in the national rankings in adjusted offensive efficiency.

A step up from potential draft pick Arthur Caluma will be a boost, as will the addition of Scheierman. Will this affect the defense of a team that, according to KenPom, ranked #1 in the Big East and top 20 nationally? It shouldn’t. South Dakota State was poor defensively, but Scheierman rebounds very well defensively, and some of his weaknesses can be covered up by playing alongside Kaluma and Eastern Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Kalkbrenner.

Projected starting lineup:

Ryan Nembhard (11.3 ppg)
Trey Alexander (7.4 ppg)
Baylor Scheierman (16.2 points per game at South Dakota State)
Arthur Kaluma (10.4 points per game)
Ryan Kalkbrenner (13.1 points per game)

8 Baylor Bears

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Scott Drew should have one of the best backcourts in the country next season, with Adam Flagler and a healthy LJ Cryer returning, and top 10 prospect Keyonte George jumping straight into the starting position. Depth will be provided by Langston Love, a former top 30 rookie who missed all of last season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a preseason bout.

But what about the front line? If Jonathan Chamwa Chachua was guaranteed to be healthy, I could argue that Baylor is in the top five. But it’s still unclear when he’ll return from a left knee injury he suffered at the end of the season in February. This leaves returning starter Flo Tamba in the middle and a battle between transfers Jalen Bridges (WV) and Caleb Lohner (BYU) at his side. Bridges is able to become invariably…