The picture of the 2021-22 men’s college basketball season is gradually becoming more clear, at least as far as the players, teams and rosters are concerned. With another week of the offseason, there was another flurry of roster decisions, including transfer players finding new homes, seniors announcing they will return to school or players withdrawing from the NBA Draft.
In the latest March Madness 365 podcast, Andy Katz takes stock of all the roster decisions made in the last week and evaluates who had the best week for the latest edition of #KatzRankz. He ranks the top-10 winners of roster decisions made during the second week of the offseason, reflecting decisions that were made official starting Monday, April 12, through Sunday, April 18.
You can listen to the latest #MM365 podcast below.
Here are the top 10 winners from roster decisions made during the second week of the offseason, according to Katz.
Alabama added a pair of players to its roster in the last week — Texas Tech’s Nimari Burnett and Furman’s Noah Gurley.
Burnett, a 6-4 guard, averaged 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game as a freshman, before departing the program in early January. Gurley, a 6-8 forward, played three seasons at Furman, where he averaged a career-best 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a junior. He shot 57.8 percent inside the arc and he made 34 percent of his 4.5 3-point attempts per game, so he could be a player who fits in with Alabama’s offense that favors 3-point attempts and shots at the rim, but few shots in between.
Gurley and Furman played Alabama in each of the last two seasons, including last December, when Gurley scored 15 points in a loss in Tuscaloosa.
Kansas added Drake transfer Joseph Yesufu to its roster after Yesufu posted the highest shot rate on Drake last season, when the Bulldogs went 26-5. When he was on the floor, he attempted 29 percent of the team’s shots, while still remaining efficient, with 39 percent 3-point shooting and 83-percent free-throw shooting.
The 6-foot guard averaged 12.8 points per game as a sophomore after averaging 3.8 points per game as a freshman.
Xavier Pinson transferred from Missouri but stayed within the SEC as he will play for LSU next season. The 6-2 guard led the Tigers in usage rate and shot rate last season — roughly 30 percent in both rates — while scoring 13.6 points per game, which ranked second on the team. He scored at least 20 points on five occasions, including 36 points against TCU thanks to eight 3-pointers and eight free throws.
Brad Davison will return to Wisconsin, where he averaged 10 points per game last season as the team’s third-leading scorer, and the Badgers will also add Jahcobi Neath to the roster after Neath spent two seasons at Wake Forest. Neath averaged 5.3 points per game as a freshman and 3.8 points per game as a sophomore, while shooting 34.6 percent from three in his first two seasons.
6. San Diego State
The Aztecs will add Cal transfer Matt Bradley to their roster after Bradley led the Golden Bears in scoring last season at 18.0 points per game, while also averaging 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He shot 51 percent inside the arc and 36 percent from behind it. He scored at least 20 points 11 times in 22 games last season, including 29 points in a win over Colorado, which was the highest-seeded Pac-12 team in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
The Gators will have a new-look roster next season as they added to their roster Penn State’s Myreon Jones (15.3 ppg), Charleston Southern’s Phlandrous Fleming (20.1 ppg), UMKC’s Brandon McKissic (17.2 ppg) and Boston College’s CJ Felder (9.7 ppg).
Tennessee will get another season from John Fulkerson and the Volunteers will add Auburn transfer Justin Powell to their roster. In 10 games, Powell shot 44 percent from three and he posted an assist rate of 32.2 percent, which means that he assisted on roughly a third of Auburn’s baskets when he was on the floor.
Fulkerson averaged 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for Tennessee last season.
Not only will Trent Frazier (10.2 ppg) return to Illinois but the Illini will add to their roster Florida’s Omar Payne (3.8 ppg and 3.2 rpg) and Utah’s Alphonso Plummer (13.6 ppg). Illinois lost Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn, but the return of Frazier and the additions of Plummer and Payne could help Illinois continue the success that resulted in a No. 1 seed in the 2021 NCAA tournament.
New Texas coach Chris Beard will lead a new-look Longhorns roster, as Kentucky’s Devin Askew, Creighton’s Christian Bishop and Utah’s Timmy Allen will play in Austin next season, as will Texas guard Andrew Jones, who is returning to school. Jones led Texas in scoring last season at 14.6 points per game, along with 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, so he’ll play an integral role in Beard’s first Texas team.
Allen led Utah in scoring and rebounding last season at 17.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, while Bishop was Creighton’s top rebounder (6.4 rebounds per game) and fourth-leading scorer (11.0 ppg). Askew averaged 6.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game as a freshman at Kentucky.
Villanova could be poised to contend for its third national championship in six seasons after the announced returns of co-Big East Player of the Year Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels. Both players shot 37 percent from three last season and Samuels was the most efficient scorer in Big East play last season with an offensive rating of 124.9.