The way the NBA Draft calendar works, college coaches are often waiting into the summer months to know if key players will be on their roster as key underclassmen decide if they will return to school or stay in the draft. And with a few weeks to go until the NCAA’s June 1 deadline for early entrants to withdraw and maintain eligibility for next season, some college coaches are still in the dark on what their teams will look like next season.
This year’s pool includes All-Americans dipping their toes in the water, both from last season and likely future All-Americans as well. And conference titles and even national titles — remember that last year, Kansas was waiting on Ochai Agbaji’s decision until the 11th hour — can swing based on the right player telling the NBA ‘no.’
Here are 10 teams with a lot on the line as some of their key underclassmen are testing the waters before deciding whether to remain in the 2022 NBA Draft or return to play college basketball for another season
The Wildcats could return four starters from a team that went 33-4, earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the Sweet 16. In order for that to happen, Christian Koloko and Dalen Terry need to head back to Arizona. Koloko was among the best defensive big men in the country, and he put up 12.6 points on 63.5% shooting. Terry could be the more intriguing option; his versatility could allow him to take off and compete for All-Pac-12 honors as he steps into a bigger role on the wing.
Among SEC teams, Tennessee has more players making more decisions, though perhaps they’re more locked into stay-or-go choices than Jaylin Williams is. The vision of Arkansas as arguably the nation’s best team starts with its elite defensive potential, capped by a roster of versatile, switchable players. And that doesn’t look nearly as feasible without Williams, a 2022 first-team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive team pick,…