College basketball rankings: Miles Bridges’ return has MSU third in Top 25 (and one)

This will continue to change over time, obviously. But the 2016-17 college basketball season officially wrapped in early April. So it's time to look ahead to 2017-18. And the best way to look ahead is with a CBS Sports preseason Top 25 (and one).

So here we go.

The following, needless to say, is based heavily on projections. I've consulted with coaches, agents and other industry sources -- plus my colleagues Kyle Boone, Matt Norlander and Chip Patterson. And, with those conversations in mind, I've projected what I believe every still-on-the-fence NBA prospect will do. Below is the result. Whenever I need to adjust for an unexpected development -- like Miles Bridges' return to Michigan State -- I will. But, for now, this is the preseason Top 25 (and one):

Coach: Bill Self
2016-17 record: 31-5

Notable players definitely gone: Frank Mason, Josh Jackson, Landen Lucas, Carlton Bragg
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Devonte' Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Lagerald Vick, Udoka Azubuike, Dwight Coleby
Notable newcomers: Malik Newman, Sam Cunliffe, Billy Preston, Marcus Garrett 

Why the Jayhawks are here: KU is losing Frank Mason and Josh Jackson. But four of the top eight scorers should be back — and the Jayhawks will also add five-star transfer Malik Newman and five-star freshman Billy Preston. So Bill Self will likely win a 14th straight Big 12 title -- and then some.

Coach: Sean Miller
2016-17 record: 32-5

Notable players definitely gone: Lauri Markkanen, Kobi Simmons, Kadeem Allen
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins, Dusan Ristic, Chance Comanche, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Keanu Pinder
Notable newcomers: DeAndre Ayton, Brandon Randolph, Ira Lee, Alex Barcello, Dylan Smith

Why the Wildcats are here: Allonzo Trier's decision to return for his junior season makes Arizona the Pac-12 favorite and a serious national title contender. The school is still waiting on Rawle Alkins to commit one way or another. But, either way, Sean Miller is going to have a roster good enough to make his first Final Four.

Coach: Tom Izzo
2016-17 record: 20-15

Notable players definitely gone: Eron Harris, Alvin Ellis
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Miles Bridges, Nick Ward, Joshua Langford, Cassius Winston, Matt McQuaid, Tum Tum Nairn, Kenny Goins, Gavin Schilling, Ben Carter
Notable newcomers: Jaren Jackson, Xavier Tillman

Why the Spartans are here: The most surprising -- and significant -- NBA Draft development is Miles Bridges' decision to return to Michigan State. It means four of the Spartans' top five scorers will be back. And Bridges could now become the favorite for National Player of the Year.

Coach: Roy Williams
2016-17 record: 33-7

Notable players definitely gone: Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, Nate Britt
Notable players also expected to leave: Justin Jackson
Notable players also expected to return: Joel Berry, Tony Bradley, Kenny Williams, Theo Pinson, Luke Maye, Seventh Woods, Brandon Robinson
Notable newcomers: Jalek Felton, Brandon Huffman, Andrew Platek, Sterling Manley

Why the Tar Heels are here: Everybody assumes Justin Jackson is headed to the NBA. But the other important underclassmen should all be back. That means, yes, Roy Williams will have a real shot to make a third straight Final Four.

Coach: Rick Pitino
2016-17 record: 25-9

Notable players definitely gone: Mangok Mathiang, Tony Hicks, David Levitch
Notable players also expected to leave: Donovan Mitchell
Notable players expected to return: Quentin Snider, Deng Adel, Jaylen Johnson, Ray Spalding, Anas Mahmoud, V.J. King
Notable newcomers: Malik Williams, Darius Perry, Jordan Nwora, Lance Thomas

Why the Cardinals are here: If Donovan Mitchell returns, Louisville might jump to No. 1. But, for now, most sources seem to believe the sophomore guard will forgo his final two years of college and remain in the NBA Draft. Regardless, the Cardinals will be good enough to make a Final Four. But the difference between that and a championship could be Mitchell's decision.

Coach: Gregg Marshall
2016-17 record: 31-5

Notable players definitely gone: None
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Markis McDuffie, Landry Shamet, Darral Willis, Shaquille Morris, Conner Frankamp, Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly, Rauno Nurger, Daishon Smith, Austin Reaves
Notable newcomers: Asbjorn Midtgaard, Samajae Jones

Why the Shockers are here: Every relevant player from a Wichita State team that won 31 games and finished eighth at KenPom should be back -- most notably Markis McDuffie and Landry Shamet. So Wichita State will be the favorite in whatever league it plays in. Gregg Marshall's team can win the MVC or the American. Doesn't matter.

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
2016-17 record: 28-9

Notable players definitely gone:  Luke Kennard, Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones, Chase Jeter
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Grayson Allen, Frank Jackson, Marques Bolden, Jack White, Antonio Vrankovic
Notable newcomers: Wendell Carter, Gary Trent Jr, Alex O'Connell

Why the Blue Devils are here: Grayson Allen's return ensures the Blue Devils will have a high-level veteran to guide a top-five recruiting class. And don't forget that Duke is still waiting on decisions from five-star prospects Trevon Duval and Kevin Knox. So there's a scenario where Mike Krzyzewski has a super-loaded roster again. Stay tuned.

Coach: John Calipari
2016-17 record: 32-6

Notable players definitely gone: De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis, Isaac Humphries, Mychal Mulder, Dominique Hawkins
Notable players also expected to leave: Bam Adebayo
Notable players expected to return: Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Kileya-Jones, Tai Wynyard
Notable newcomers: Hamidou Diallo, P.J. Washington, Nick Richards, Quade Green, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jermarl Baker

Why the Wildcats are here: Kentucky is like Duke in the sense that it's still waiting on current players and Class of 2017 prospects to make decisions that could affect its roster. If things break a certain way, UK could be in play for the top spot. But the Wildcats should be in the top 10 no matter what happens in the next few months. 

Coach: Scott Drew
2016-17 record: 27-8

Notable players definitely gone: Ishmael Wainwright, Al Freeman
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Johnathan Motley, Manu Leconte, Jo Lual-Acuil, Terry Maston, King McClure, Jake Lindsey, Nuni Omot, Wendell Mitchell
Notable newcomers: Tristan Clark

Why the Bears are here: If Johnathan Motley leaves school, Baylor won't be this high. But he's a projected second-round pick who could reasonably return. And, if he does, Scott Drew will return a whole bunch of important pieces from a 27-win team that made the Sweet 16 and was ranked in the top 10 for much of this season.

Coach: Jay Wright
2016-17 record: 32-4

Notable players definitely gone: Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Darryl Reynolds
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Donte DiVincenzo, Eric Paschall, Phil Booth
Notable newcomers: Omari Spellman, Jermain Samuels, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree

Why the Wildcats are here: Don't forget that Villanova didn't have a key returning player (Phil Booth) or its best recruit (Omari Spellman) this season. But the Wildcats should have both next season. So a fifth consecutive Big East title seems likely for Jay Wright's program that has become a fixture in the national rankings.

Coach: Andy Enfield
2016-17 record: 26-10

Notable players definitely gone: Charles Buggs
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Bennie Boatwright, Chimezie Metu, Jordan McLaughlin, Elijah Stewart, De'Anthony Melton, Shaqquan Aaron, Jonah Mathews, Nick Rakocevic
Notable newcomers: Derrick Thornton, Charles O'Bannon Jr., Jordan Usher, Victor Uyaelunmo

Why the Trojans are here: USC is always susceptible to an underclassmen or two making a curious pro decision, for whatever reason. But if everybody who should return to school does return to school, the Trojans just might win their first Pac-12 regular-season championship since 1985.

Coach: Michael White
2016-17 record: 27-9

Notable players definitely gone: Canyon Barry, Kasey Hill, Devin Robinson, Justin Leon
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: KeVaughn Allen, John Egbunu, Chris Chiozza, Kevarrius Hayes, Keith Stone
Notable newcomers: Egor Koulechov, Jalen Hudson, DeAundrae Ballard, Isaiah Stokes, Chase Johnson, Mike Okauru

Why the Gators are here: Michael White has rebuilt Florida into a real challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. Obviously, the loss of Devin Robinson early to the NBA Draft hurts. But the Gators should be at or near the top of the league standings again.

Coach: Mike Brey
2016-17 record: 26-10

Notable players definitely gone: V.J. Beachem, Steve Vasturia, Matt Ryan
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Bonzie Colson, Matt Farrell, Rex Pflueger,  Austin Torres, Temple Gibbs, Martinas Geben
Notable newcomers: D.J. Harvey

Why the Irish are here: Mike Brey has built Notre Dame into a consistent winner. So the losses of V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia will hurt. But Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson should comprise one of the top returning inside-outside duos in the country.

Coach: Richard Pitino
2016-17 record: 24-10

Notable players definitely gone: Akeem Springs
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Nate Mason, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer, Reggie Lynch, Eric Curry, Bakary Donate, Davonte Fitzgerald
Notable newcomers: Isaiah Washington, Jamir Harris

Why the Gophers are here: Minnesota's fourth-place finish in the Big Ten was one of college basketball's biggest surprises, and most of the key players from that team are back. So Richard Pitino should be back in the NCAA Tournament in 2018.

Coach: Jim Larranaga
2016-17 record: 21-12

Notable players definitely gone: Davon Reed, Kamari Murphy
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Ja'Quan Newton, Bruce Brown, Anthony Lawrence Jr., Dejan Vasiljevic, Dewan Huell, Ezbuka Izundu, Rodney Miller
Notable newcomers: Lonnie Walker, Chris Lykes, Deng Gak, Sam Waardenburg

Why the Hurricanes are here: Six of the top eight scorers are returning -- and they'll be joined by a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star prospect Lonnie Walker. Consequently, the Hurricanes should be even better next season than they were this season.

Coach: Chris Collins
2016-17 record: 24-12

Notable players definitely gone: Sanjay Lumpkin, Nathan Taphorn
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Bryant McIntosh, Scottie Lindsey, Vic Law, Dererk Pardon, Isiah Brown, Gavin Skelly
Notable newcomers: Anthony Gaines

Why the Wildcats are here: Northwestern making the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history was among the coolest stories on Selection Sunday. Now the Wildcats are headed toward back-to-back Big Dance appearances thanks to the fact that their top five scorers are set to return. 

Coach: Mick Cronin
2016-17 record: 30-6

Notable players definitely gone: Troy Caupain, Kevin Johnson
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Jacob Evans, Kyle Washington, Gary Clark, Jarron Cumberland, Trey Scott, Justin Jenifer, Nysier Brooks, Quadri Moore
Notable newcomers: Cane Broome, Keith Williams, Trevor Moore, Eliel Nsoseme

Why the Bearcats are here: Mick Cronin has guided the Bearcats to seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments. An eighth is on tap considering Jacob Evans, Kyle Washington, Gary Clark and Jarron Cumberland are back and capable of competing at or near the top of the AAC standings again.

Coach: Mark Few
2016-17 record: 37-2

Notable players definitely gone: Nigel Williams-Goss, Przemek Karnowski, Jordan Matthews, Zach Collins
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Johnathan Williams, Josh Perkins, Silas Nelson, Killian Tillie
Notable newcomers: Corey Kispert

Why the Bulldogs are here: Gonzaga remains involved with some graduate transfers. So the Zags' roster is far from set. But the early losses of Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins to the NBA Draft will make it difficult to compete for a third 35-win season in a four-year span. Regardless, Mark Few should again have a top-25 team. Just like usual.

Coach: Chris Holtmann
2016-17 record: 25-9

Notable players definitely gone: Andrew Chrabascz, Avery Woodson, Kethan Savage, Tyler Lewis
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Kelan Martin, Kamar Baldwin, Tyler Wideman, Nate Fowler, Sean McDermott
Notable newcomers: Paul Jorgensen, Kyle Young, Christian David, Cooper Neese, Jerald Butler

Why the Bulldogs are here: Chris Holtmann has won at least one game in three straight NCAA Tournaments. He's one of the coaches who seems to be good almost regardless of the roster. So it's reasonable to trust him to do it again.

Coach: Avery Johnson
2016-17 record: 19-15

Notable players definitely gone: Corban Collins, Nick King, Brandon Austin, Jimmy Taylor, Shannon Hale, Bola Olaniyan
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Braxton Key, Dazon Ingram, Riley Norris, Avery Johnson Jr., Ar'Mond Davis, Donta Hall
Notable newcomers: Collin Sexton, John Petty, Alex Reese, Herb Jones, Galin Smith, Daniel Giddens

Why the Crimson Tide are here: Nobody knew for sure how Avery Johnson would ever get things going at Alabama. And he still has to do it on the court. But recruiting is going well. And Alabama will have one of the SEC's most talented rosters thanks to a top-five recruiting class headlined by point guard Collin Sexton.

Coach: Steve Alford
2016-17 record: 31-5

Notable players definitely gone: Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton, Ike Anigbogu
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Aaron Holiday, Thomas Welsh, Gyorgy Goloman
Notable newcomers: Kris Wilkes, Jaylen Hands, Cody Riley, Jalen Hill, Chris Smith, LiAngelo Ball

Why the Bruins are here: UCLA is losing four starters -- among them Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf. But Steve Alford is enrolling three top-40 national recruits. So the Bruins should be talented again. Just a matter of meshing the veterans with the newcomers.

Coach: Bob Huggins
2016-17 record: 28-9

Notable players definitely gone: Nathan Adrian, Tarik Phillip, Teyvon Myers, Brandon Watkins
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Jevon Carter, Esa Ahmad, Daxter Miles, Elijah Macon, Lamont West, Sagaba Konate
Notable newcomers: Derek Culver, Brandon Knapper, D'Angelo Hunter, Teddy Allen, Wesley Harris

Why the Mountaineers are here: Bob Huggins has had a top-25 team every year since he committed to a pressing style of defense in advance of the 2014-15 season. So there's no real reason to think he won't have one again.

Coach: Randy Bennett
2016-17 record: 29-5

Notable players definitely gone: Joe Rahon, Dane Pineau
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Jock Landale, Calvin Hermanson, Emmett Naar, Evan Fitzner, Tanner Krebs, Stefan Gonzalez, Kyle Clark
Notable newcomers: Kristers Zoriks

Why the Gaels are here: Saint Mary's proved, in its NCAA Tournament loss to Arizona, that it was a legitimate top-25 team that just didn't match up well with Gonzaga. Most of the rotation from that team should return. So Saint Mary's should be back in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in 11 years.

Coach: Matt Painter
2016-17 record: 27-8

Notable players definitely gone: Spike Albrecht
Notable players also expected to leave: Caleb Swanigan
Notable players expected to return: Isaac Haas, Carsen Edwards, Vince Edwards, Dakota Mathias, P.J. Thompson, Ryan Cline
Notable newcomers: Nojel Eastern, Sasha Stefanovic, Aaron Wheeler, Eden Ewing, Matt Haarms

Why the Boilermakers are here: The expected loss of Caleb Swanigan will be massive in multiple ways. But there are too many good and experienced winners on Purdue's roster to expect Matt Painter's team to slip much, if at all.

Coach: Chris Mack
2016-17 record: 24-14

Notable players definitely gone: Edmond Sumner, Rashid Gaston, Malcolm Bernard
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: Trevon Bluiett, J.P. Macura, Sean Omara, Kaiser Gates, Quintin Goodin, Tyrique Jones
Notable newcomers: Paul Scruggs, Naji Marshall, Elias Harden, Jared Ridder, Kentrevious Jones, Brady Ernst

Why the Musketeers are here: This ranking is rooted in the assumption that Trevon Bluiett returns to Xavier. If he doesn't, the Musketeers might slip out of the Top 25 (and one). But for now somewhere in the 20s seems like a reasonable place to put them.

Coach: Dan Hurley
2016-17 record: 25-10

Notable players definitely gone: Hassan Martin, Kuran Iverson
Notable players also expected to leave: None
Notable players expected to return: E.C. Matthews, Jared Terrell, Stanford Robinson, Jarvis Garrett, Jeff Dowtin, Cyril Langevine, Nicola Akele, Christion Thompson
Notable newcomers: Daron Russell

Why the Rams are here: Eight of the top 10 scorers are back from a team that nearly upset Oregon in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. So there's good reason to think the Rams will win the Atlantic 10 and return to the NCAA Tournament.

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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