It’s been a very quiet few weeks in the men’s college basketball world. July was filled with recruiting traffic, including J.J. Jackson’s decision to move into the class of 2022 and head to South Carolina at the end of the month. And it’s all. We haven’t seen anything like it yet last August, when elite recruits Jalen Duren and Emony Bates decided to reclassify and move to Memphis, turning the Tigers from a national team into a preseason top 10 team.

However, for fellow college basketball fans, we have something to whet your appetite: overseas tours. Six of the teams in our top 25 have toured the past couple of months, taking part in exhibition games and giving us some idea of ​​what they could look like this season.

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It’s hard to take too much out of these tours, given the level of competition and the fact that most coaches use them as an opportunity to play with their entire squad and adjust the players to each other. But there’s always something to watch out for, and we’ve covered the most important findings below.

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Based on overseas tours, Jacob Toppin of Kentucky, Trevon Brazil of Arkansas and Brandon Miller of Alabama are three names we should be hearing a lot more about as the season approaches.

1 Resin North Carolina Heels

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Can Pete Nance pick up where Brady Manek left off? For the most part, everything else on Hubert Davis’ team will look the same as it did at the end of last season. Four players returned. The reservists who saw time in the NCAA Tournament are back. And three Sportzshala 100 prospects are in the group to provide depth. But Nancy is the X factor. Manek had as big an impact as any other transfer in the country last season, shooting 40% of 3, showing huge results in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and giving the Tar Heels a ton of energy. Nance should certainly be able to replicate Manek’s perimeter shots after hitting over 45% of three-pointers last season. He also had big games against a quality opponent: 20 points against Providence, 20 points against Ohio State, 21 points against Illinois.

Projected starting line-up:

Caleb Love (15.9 points per game)
R. J. Davis (13.5 points per game)
Hole Black (4.9 ppg)
Pete Nance (14.6 points per game at the Northwest)
Armando Bakot (16.3 points per game)

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs

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With Nolan Hickman likely to get his first point guard opportunity for Gonzaga this season, it’s worth taking a look at what kind of player he could have been as a sophomore. He showed bursts of his ability in his first season, with a pair of double-figure scoring games early in WCC play, including 14 points and four assists against Santa Clara, but otherwise had a disappointing campaign for the five-star prospect. starting from zero games and accumulating six points in the final month of the 2021–22 season.

Coming out of high school, Hickman was considered one of the best defensive players in the class of 2021, able to find pick-and-roll teammates, take shots from the perimeter, and achieve his own looks. And he could be more like that player this season: Sportzshala listed him as one of the top five NBA draft prospects to return to college basketball.

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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Calvin Sampson has a consistent frontcourt line-up that rotates in and out of the game to keep up with the fitness and elite offensive rebounding that Houston has become known for during his tenure. Obviously, he didn’t think the Cougars had enough players up front this season, as he added Charleston Southern transfer Darius Bowser in August. Bowser played 23 games with the Buccaneers last season, averaging 5.0 points and 2.9 rebounds. At 6’9″, he is the tallest player in the program.

Now Sampson can count on returnees Reggie Cheney, J’Wan Roberts, J’Vier Francis and Bowser to fill in the offensive gaps. Cheney and Roberts will get most of the minutes, but Sampson will definitely not be outnumbered.

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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Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Kentucky’s trip to the Bahamas in early August was the play and role of Jacob Toppin. He was one of only two players to play at least 20 minutes in all four games of the trip (the other was National Player of the Year Oscar Chibwe). He also played 33 minutes in the final game against the Bahamas, with John Calipari using mostly a seven-man rotation.

The former Rhode Island transfer has always impressed with his ability to move and work under the rim, but it was his play on the perimeter that attracted interest during the international tour. He went 8 of 15 of 3 in four games, including a 5 of 6 performance against Carlton. If Toppin can hit consistently from outside, he opens up new frontcourt opportunities for Kentucky.

Projected starting lineup:

Sahvir Wheeler (10.1 points per game)
Cason Wallace (#20 on Sportzshala 100)
Antonio Reeves (20.1 ppg at Illinois State)
Jacob Toppin (6.2 points per game)
Oscar Chibwe (17.4 points per game)

5. Duke Blue Devils

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Is Jeremy Roach ready to lead a potential Final Four team? This will be the most important key to the upcoming Blue Devils season. Roach will be surrounded by three of the top 10 recruits, but he has by far the most experience in Duke form of anyone on the list. If he plays like he did in the NCAA tournament in March – 11.8 points, 4.0 assists – that should be more than enough for John Shyer next season. Roach struggled to get shots from the perimeter during this stretch, but making random 3s to keep the opponent’s defense honest will be necessary.

In games Roach started last season, Duke was 23-4; in games where Roach came off the bench, the Blue Devils led 9–3. Roach will get help from future transfers, but it will undoubtedly be his team.

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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With the departure of six of the top eight players in the national championship team, Bill Self will need some of the role players of last season to step up and become important factors. Luckily, he has a wide selection of players to choose from. Bobby Pettiford has only played 14 games with an injury, but he could be more of a point guard playmaker if Self wants to use Dajuan Harris Jr. along with another point guard in the backcourt. KJ Adams played the opening minutes of the Big 12 and the NCAA Tournament, bringing fitness and defense to the frontcourt.

However, the biggest buzz lately has been 6-10 year old sophomore player Zach Clemens. Clemence saw several DNPs in her freshman year, but brought a different perspective to Kansas. He is experienced and versatile, and continues to evolve.

Projected starting line-up:

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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In August, the Bluejays rarely left the staff: defender Rati Andronikashvili decided to take advantage of professional opportunities in Europe. Andronikashvili was not a major producer during his time at Creighton, missing the 2020-21 season with injury and averaging 1.8 points last season. But he saw a bigger role in the future, including 28 minutes against Providence in the Big East semi-finals and at least 20 minutes in both games of the NCAA Tournament.

Greg McDermott should still be fine in terms of perimeter depth. TCU transfer Francisco Farabello has been one of the top scorers in the Big 12 in his three seasons with the Horned Frogs and should provide solid backcourt depth along with Sheriff Mitchell – as long as he’s healthy.

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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While much of Baylor’s coverage of Toronto’s GLOBL JAM has focused on Keyonte George’s outstanding performance, the influence of Jalen Bridges is worth noting. The West Virginia transfer averaged 5.9 points as a rookie and 8.4 points last season, but he was in demand on Portal and could start with the Bears this season.

Bridges was the Bears’ third-leading scorer and third-most rebounder, while also hitting over 36% of his triples at 4.4 attempts per game. Scott Drew will have a busy backcourt and have three defensemen on the court at all times, but Bridges offers versatility and shooting ability, while BYU transfer Caleb Lohner brings toughness and rebounding to the position.

Projected starting lineup:

Keyonte George (#6 on Sportzshala 100)
Adam Flagler (13.8 ppg)
LJ Cryer (13.5 ppg)
Jalen Bridges (8.4 ppg at West Virginia)
Flo Tamba (6.2 points per game)

9. Arkansas Sharp Backs

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If anyone was hoping for any information on the rotation of 11 Arkansas rookies from the Razorbacks’ four-game trip to Spain and Italy earlier this month, good luck: Eric Musselman used four different starting lineups in four games. But Nick Smith and Trevon Brazile were the best on this trip.

Brazil, which has been a hype throughout the off-season, has consistently dominated, including a 28-point hit against the Bakken Bears when he hit 13-of-15 from the field. Smith led the team in scoring in three out of four games, scoring 43% out of three, and also took on some rally management duties. Kamani Johnson was…