Welcome, college basketball fans. August is here, and the offseason excitement continues to buzz nationwide. As we start looking ahead to 2023’s college basketball season, we wanted to examine some of the news from the last few months that changed some teams’ hopes dramatically for this upcoming season. There have been surprising returns, big-name recruits, and high-profile players moving from program to program – all creating a whole new landscape for many teams heading into 2023. With so much on the line already for 2023, let’s dive into what changes will be most impactful.
The Prospect of Kyle Filipowski as a Top-20 NBA Draft Pick
Filipowski’s decision to return to Duke rather than opting for the NBA draft is a substantial development and, indeed, a game-changer for the upcoming season. With an impressive average of 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game and a solid 44% shooting record, Filipowski was on course to be a team’s promising first round. However, his decision to stick around in college, a move that’s rare for stars of his caliber, has not only allowed him to monetize his name, image, and likeness (NIL) but also to mature into a potential lottery pick the following year.
Furthermore, this decision holds the promise of a national championship this season. As the headliner of a talent-laden Duke team, Filipowski’s return indicates an action-packed season ahead for the Cameron Crazies. With a top-ranking freshman class and the return of potent guards Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, and forward Mark Mitchell, the Blue Devils are considered by many experts as the favorite to win it all in 2023-24.
Tom Izzo’s Best Shot Remaining at a Second National Championship
As we focus on Michigan State, it’s impossible to overlook the team’s considerable experience in the upcoming season. The team is led by seasoned players A.J. Hoggard, Tyson Walker, Malik Hall, and Jaden Akins, who were instrumental in the Spartans reaching the Sweet 16 last year for the 15th time under Izzo. Coupled with the return of 83% of their scoring capabilities from last season, Michigan State also introduces the country’s fifth-ranked freshman class, with 6-foot-10 center Xavier Booker as the standout newcomer.
Tyson Walker’s evolution into one of the game’s best guards, evidenced by his average of 16.6 points over the final 12 games last season, further bolsters their prospects. With this stellar lineup, Izzo has a core that’s been through several critical situations, a star guard in peak form, and a crop of talented freshmen. Izzo, who is likely near the end of his career, sees this year as his best-remaining shot at a ninth Final Four and second national title.
The Return of Marquette’s Winning Majority: A 29-Win Team Strikes Back
Marquette’s stunning triumph in the Big East regular season and tournament championships was a testament to a team that knows how to win and has the talent to do so consistently. Despite losing Olivier-Maxence Prosper to the NBA, the Golden Eagles are poised for another strong season. The return of most of their key players, including Tyler Kolek — the reigning Conference Player of the Year — and the sharpshooting Kam Jones, gives fans a reason to be optimistic.
Given the defensive prowess of Stevie Mitchell and the promising performances of rising sophomores Chase Ross, Sean Jones, and Ben Gold, Coach Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles will enter the season as a formidable force, poised to replicate their 29-win triumph.
With the return of stars like Kyle Filipowski, the coaching acumen of veterans like Tom Izzo, and the consolidated strength of teams like Marquette, the upcoming season promises to keep us on the edge of our seats. As we closely watch the NCAAB odds, we look forward to witnessing a showdown between seasoned teams and promising newcomers. Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain – we are in for an adrenaline-filled college basketball season! Let’s embrace the excitement, the surprises, and the sheer joy of the game. See you on the court!