5. Duke: Losing Austin Rivers will hurt. Losing Austin Rivers won't hurt at all. And both of these things are true. With Quinn Cook actually entering the season healthy, Seth Curry should get a lot more time off the ball where he can focus on what he does well – shoot. Mason Plumlee gives them the power they need inside (and perhaps he's developed a move by now) while Ryan Kelly gives them the matchup nightmare they always seem to have. Those four, solid depth, and the typical Coach K recruiting class will have Duke playing offense at their typically elite level. Now, can this team defend? Last year's couldn't. But the pieces are there, otherwise I wouldn't have them 5th.
4. UCLA: This ranking assumes two things – everyone is eligible, and Josh Smith can play more than three possessions before he has to come out for oxygen. If they can play then this team ties Florida with the most consensus top-100 recruits on one roster, with two key differences. Florida doesn't have anything close to Shabazz Muhammad (who does?) and UCLA's guys aren't sitting the season out because of transfers. If Larry Drew offers anything remotely close to positive, this team could easily win it all.
3. Louisville: There wasn't a better defensive team in the nation last year, and it's doubtful there will be a better one this year. Louisville has the length and athleticism to run Pitino's system so well that this may end up rivaling 2010 Florida State as the best defense of the decade. That said, can they score? You can pencil in 25 wins due to the defense, but what happens beyond that will be decided by how well they get the offense sorted out.
2. Kentucky: Get used to it folks. Old men Kyle Wiltjer and Ryan Harrow will lead a freshmen heavy lineup, who have all been cleared to play. In transition, this team is going to be a holy terror. But they absolutely have to find some knock down shooters as well. Outside of Wiltjer, Julius Mays is the best known commodity, but really, how many minutes is he going to get? The other wildcard will be how well this team gels on defense.
1. Indiana: The Hoosier faithful are salivating over the potential of this season. They have a dominant center and are one of the best shooting teams in the nation. But like UNC, in order for this team to really reach it's potential, it needs a freshman point guard to step up. Jordan Hulls is plenty capable, but giving him more time off the ball could really stretch teams out. And with Zeller in the middle, if you get stretched, you lose.