Improvement plans for top teams
I am excited about the coming college basketball season because of the depth of quality teams returning next year. Traditional powers like North Carolina and Kentucky have reloaded and upstart programs like VCU, Belmont and George Mason aren't going away. Some of the game's best young players are putting the NBA on hold and should make the depth of talent as good as it has been since Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose were in college.
Here is my breakdown of 10 quality teams (not necessarily my top 10, but 10 impressive squads nonetheless) and the areas in which they can improve next season. I have taken into account the players that I believe will be leaving for the NBA draft and, obviously, the impact that incoming freshmen and transfers will have.
Strength: Deep roster
Start counting the future NBA players on next season's roster, because there are a fistful of them. Roy Williams has a first-round pick at every frontcourt spot, led by sophomore Harrison Barnes. It's why the Tar Heels will go into next season as the clear preseason No. 1 team, with depth at nearly every position except point guard. And if things go according to plan, sophomore playmaker Kendall Marshall will play over 30 minutes a game anyway.
Concern: Outside shooting
It sounds strange to talk about outside shooting being a weakness with the way Barnes finished the season. But in fact, after shooting 33 percent over the first 16 games, he shot only 35 percent over the last 21 games. Of course, he made some clutch shots when it mattered, which is what most people remember. But as a team, the Heels shot only 33 from deep. P.J. Hairston, 6-foot-5 freshman, is a sniper from the perimeter, but he will have to do other things better in order to see floor time.
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