The 2020-21 college basketball season is not quite done. Baylor jumped all over Gonzaga early in the first half and leads 31-14 in the national championship as of this writing.
After the game, we'll get a rash of "way too early" polls and predictions for next year. Stadium's Jeff Goodman got a jump on it, releasing his early 2021-22 Top 25 just over two hours before tonight brings a close to this season.
Gonzaga is getting everything it can handle from the Bears tonight, but Goodman thinks Mark Few will keep things rolling next year, even with Corey Kispert graduating, Jalen Suggs almost definitely heading to the NBA, and Drew Timme and Joel Ayayi likely testing the water as well. Even so, he's buying the program to be right back in title contention, despite the possibility of having a largely new rotation.
"Suggs, Kispert and Ayayi are all expected to be gone while Timme and (Andrew) Nembhard are probably 50-50 regarding whether they return. In these rankings, we’re going under the presumption that both return to Spokane, and also that the Zags add at least one of incoming frosh Chet Holmgren or North Carolina transfer Walker Kessler," Goodman writes. "There are also plenty of quality young guys that will have a chance to get minutes, and also a couple of talented freshmen. The key will be the backcourt, and the point guard position."
Gonzaga doesn't have a deep class next year, but both players are very good. Five-star combo guard Hunter Sallis is the No. 6 player in the country, while four-star center Kaden Perry is ranked No. 53. There is also potential for the team to feast on the transfer portal coming off of an undefeated or near-undefeated season.
Beyond the Zags, here is how Goodman rounds out his top-five:
Clearly he likes the Big Ten to shake off this year's disappointing NCAA Tournament to be one of the best conferences in the country once again, while he expects Mick Cronin and UCLA to keep things rolling after this year's unexpected Final Four run.
Baylor, which is in prime position to be college basketball's national champions in a few hours, come in at No. 10.