After outlining my preseason final four selections in the first edition of Brinkman Bracketology of the season, I figured the next logical step in bringing my readers a preview of the college basketball season through my eyes is to outline a few potential breakout teams entering the season. While none of these teams are ranked, I anticipate them clicking on all cylinders and being dangerous come tournament time.
Davidson projected 3rd in A-10
If you followed Brinkman Bracketology at all last season you’ll recall I was extremely high on Davidson as a potential sleeper team when it came to the NCAA Tournament. It didn’t end up working out for the Wildcats as they were left out of the dance after not advancing far enough in the Atlantic 10 postseason tournament. My favorite part about this Davidson is they return almost everyone from last year. They feature an NBA caliber backcourt in Kellan Grady and John Axel Gudmundsson. Both players averaged at least 15 points and 4 rebounds last season. I expect the Atlantic 10 to be a multi bid league when it comes to this year’s tournament and I fully expect Davidson to receive one of these bids.
Can Jon Axel Gudmundsson lead Davidson back to the NCAA tournament? He’s one of six returning mid-major conference POYs to watch https://t.co/558KaKHOhW
— SI College Hoops (@si_ncaabb) October 30, 2019
Illinois projected 6th in Big Ten
Illinois head coach Bradley Underwood returns several promising freshmen from last year and no doubt will be a much-improved team in 2019-2020. This group of sophomores is led by Chicago native point guard Ayo Dosunmu. Dosunmu is coming off a freshman season where he averaged 14 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. Dosunmu also possess great size at 6’5 and has a natural ability of getting to the rim. After flirting with the draft process, he ultimately decided to return to Illinois for his sophomore season despite being a potential first round selection. I think 6th is an accurate preseason prediction for their Big Ten standing which should be more then enough to gain an NCAA Tournament bid.
Georgetown projected 6th in Big East
Like Penny Hardaway at Memphis, I really respect the job Patrick Ewing has done making Georgetown basketball relevant again. I feel that their preseason rank of 6th in the Big East is way off the mark. The Hoyas did lose their top scorer in Jesse Govan but return a pair of terrific sophomore guards in James Akinjo and Mac Mclung. Georgetown can also benefit from a very muddled Big East. Villanova and Seton Hall are championship contenders but past that the conference is wide open. The Hoyas could finish as high as third in the Big East and a return to March Madness is almost a certainty.
Washington projected 4th in Pac-12
The theme thus far for my breakout candidates has been loaded backcourts, Washington doesn’t fit this mold. The Huskies are built around two five-star freshman in the front court. Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart both stand just under seven feet tall and posses all the skills to be future NBA prospects. The Huskies also bring in former five-star recruit Quade Green via transfer. The Philadelphia native comes to the Huskies after a failed experience at Kentucky and won’t be eligible to play until mid-January due to NCAA transfer rules. Expect Washington to round into form around February for a promising stretch run.
— Washington Men’s Basketball (@UW_MBB) October 25, 2019