Uni Watch 2015-16 college basketball season preview: November madness

Retro and non-traditional unis making a splash this season (3:55)

Paul Lukas of Uni Watch breaks down the best and worst trends in college basketball uniforms this season. (3:55)

Whipping up the annual Uni Watch season preview for the NBA is pretty straightforward. There are only 30 teams to track, and they all do a good job of letting us know what they're up to on the uniform front. So even though there's a lot of information to process, it's all pretty manageable.

Shift over to the college ranks, however, and the task gets a lot trickier. Division I college basketball currently comprises a whopping 32 conferences with a head-spinning 351 schools, many of which can be a little spotty when it comes to keeping your friendly uniform columnist apprised of the latest developments in their visual programs.

More than 90 of those schools and 23 of the conferences are represented in the report that follows, which should be more than enough to keep you busy for a bit. But while that report is extensive, it is almost certainly not exhaustive -- some schools no doubt slipped under our radar. Moreover, we know from past experience that the season will feature lots of additional uniforms that haven't been released yet -- blackout, gray-out, camouflage, stars and stripes, pink, March Madness, and more.

With the season set to tip off Nov. 13, here's what we know so far. Ready? Set? Go!

American Athletic

Cincinnati has switched from Adidas to Under Armour, which of course means new uniforms (further info here):

• Fairly straightforward look for Tulane, although the gimmicky number font is mildly annoying and the road uni's green-on-green typography might cause problems:

• The subtle diagonal striping on South Florida's shoulders and lower shorts is a nice touch:

America East

• No more block lettering for Hartford, which is going with script chest marks at home and on the road:


• Extremely clean look this year for Duke, although the black alternate uni is a disappointing case of "Eh, because we can" thinking:

Florida State will have turquoise alternate uniforms as part of Nike's N7 program, which encourages Native American youth to participate in sports. Look for the Seminoles to wear the turquoise design Nov. 17 against Jacksonville and again Dec. 19 against Florida Atlantic:

• Pretty sharp retro-styled alternates in the mix this season for Louisville:

Miami has switched from Nike to Adidas, and the Hurricanes' "reward" for that is to be outfitted in a new Adidas template that makes the players look as if they're wearing grass skirts:

• Subtle change for North Carolina, which has tweaked its lettering font:

The Tar Heels also have a new black uniform, which will make its on-court debut Dec. 19, when UNC plays UCLA at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn:

In addition, the new jersey font is now being used on the end lines of the Smith Center court:

Pitt, which had thin pants piping and a two-tone collar last season, has tweaked both of those elements:

In addition, the Panthers will be wearing camouflage uniforms for the Armed Forces Classic, which will take place Nov. 13 in Okinawa, Japan:

• It's safe to say nobody will be able to miss Syracuse's shorts, even from the cheap seats. Meanwhile, some simple but effective changes have been made to the jersey:

Virginia's new jerseys have coach Tony Bennett's "Five Pillars" sewn into the inner collar -- a nice touch, although broadcasting your "humility" on Twitter doesn't seem very humble (more on the Five Pillars here):

• Naming change at Virginia Tech, where the Cassell Coliseum floor is now being called the Virginia Tech Carilion Court (further info here):

Atlantic 10

• Does any team need to have six different uniforms? Probably not, but Duquesne is doing it anyway (back views and additional info here):

• Fairly traditional look for Fordham. The arching of the chest lettering looks just right:

George Mason has switched from Nike to Adidas, which has removed "George" from the team's jerseys for the first time in the school's history:

And in what might be an NCAA first, the Patriots are marking the 10th anniversary of their 2006 Final Four run with a commemorative logo (further info here):

La Salle gets good visual impact from small elements, like the two-tone striped collar and the raised "A" on the chest lettering:

• Very strong look for Rhode Island, with all the elements nicely balanced. Feels just right:

• Simple, bold design for VCU, which has scrapped last year's gray alternate and replaced it with a gold design. New "Havoc" design on the back, too:

• Back-to-basics move for UMass, which is going with a classic scoop-neck collar and dropping the side panels (new uni on the left in the tweet below, old uni on the right):

Big East

Butler has a new court design:

• Downgrade for Creighton, which has scrapped its class-looking chest mark and switched to something that looks better suited for a high school team:

Georgetown has a new court design:

• New court design for Marquette:

Seton Hall's new set includes a gray alternate, which replaces last season's black alternate:

• Addition by subtraction for Villanova, which has removed the unnecessary side piping on its jerseys (additional photos and info here):

Big Sky

Northern Colorado has a new court design:

• Very nice new road set for Portland State:

• Looks as if Weber State could've used a bit more space between the numbers and the lettering:

Big South

• Classic look for Presbyterian, including vertically arched lettering for the players' names:

Big Ten

Illinois has added a Lou Henson graphic to its court design:

• Remember how Indiana added five stars to its shorts during last year's NCAA tourney to denote the school's five national championships? The Hoosiers are making that a permanent change this season (further info here):

In addition, the Hoosiers will be wearing a patch to mark the 40th anniversary of their 1976 undefeated national championship team (further info here):

• Pretty cool-looking new court design for Maryland:

Michigan, much like Miami, has been saddled with an unfortunate new Adidas template that makes the players look as if they're wearing grass skirts, or maybe feathers (additional photos and info here):

Michigan State has made things a bit cleaner on top and chunkier on the bottom:

Nebraska is going with a very simple, traditional look:

In addition, the Cornhuskers have a very cool retro-styled alternate this season. Can't wait to see this one on the court:

• Gray and purple don't make for a very good color match, but Northwestern is going that route anyway with their new alternate, which supplements their new home and road set (additional photos here and here):

• Four different color options for Purdue, although we can all probably live without the gray option:

• New, bolder trim elements for Wisconsin:

In addition, the Badgers have a new retro-styled alternate uniform. The cream trim works nicely:

It's also worth noting Wisconsin will be moving from Adidas to Under Armour next season, and UA is already hinting at how the Badgers will look:

Big 12

• Weird situation at Baylor, which for years has had its football team outfitted by Nike and its basketball team dressed by Adidas. Now the hoops team has switched to Nike, but the Bears are keeping the neon-green color theme that Adidas had given them:

• Very cool-looking retro-styled alternates for Kansas:

• Not nuts about those shoulder stripes on Kansas State's new jerseys:

• No visuals yet, but expect Oklahoma State to be wearing turquoise uniforms -- part of Nike's N7 program, which encourages sports participation by Native American youth -- for the season-opening game against Tennessee-Martin on Nov. 13.

• Simple but bold look for West Virginia, which is adding a new gold uniform (additional photos here):

• Straightforward approach this year for TCU:

Conference USA

• Green and gold always make a good pairing, as you can see in Charlotte's new uniform:

Louisiana Tech is changing its jersey lettering from the team name to the school name (old jersey on the left, new one on the right in the tweet shown below):

• Minimalist approach this time around for Old Dominion:

• Little things go a long way for Marshall, like the chest script, the green West Virginia patch on the back and the team name on the tongue of the sneakers:

• Some teams have the school name on their jerseys; other teams have the team name. Rice is one of the few schools that have both:

• Expect lots of complaints from UAB fans, who probably will have a hard time reading the team's outlined chest lettering, and won't be happy about the mothballing of last year's popular "Birmingham" jersey (further info on that here):

• Love the "Toppers" chest script for Western Kentucky:

Horizon League

• Some unfortunate Zubaz-style striping on the upper portion of Green Bay's jerseys:

Northern Kentucky has a new court design:

Oakland has a new "blacktop"-style court design (further info here):

• Love what Youngstown State is doing -- the black number sandwiched between the white lettering looks great:

• Valpo's new look is simple but very strong and bold:


• If you don't like the color green, maybe you shouldn't go see a Manhattan game on its new court (further info here):


• Six different uniform sets in five different colors feels like overkill for Bowling Green:

• Very straightforward look for Kent State, plus the Flashes have a new gray alternate uniform:

• Black isn't an official Ohio team color, but the Bobcats are adding a fair amount of it anyway:

• Lots of teams are switching to script chest logos this season, including Toledo:

Missouri Valley

Northern Iowa always has Uni Watch's favorite uniforms, for obvious reasons:

Wichita State's new white and gold trim is simple but effective:

Mountain West

• Pretty snappy look for Fresno State -- even the two-tone waistband on the home uni looks good:

Nevada is another team that has made the mistake of going with outlined lettering, which will have everyone complaining about legibility issues:

Also, Nevada has new turquoise alternate uniforms as part of Nike's N7 program, which encourages Native American youth to participate in sports. Look for it to be worn in one of the first two games of the season, when the Wolf Pack will be playing in the Rainbow Classic tournament in Hawaii:

New Mexico is another school that will be wearing turquoise uniforms as part of Nike's N7 program. No visuals yet, but expect to see the turquoise unis Nov. 25 when the Lobos face Nicholls State.

San Diego State has scrapped its red road uniform and is going with a new black design with the Aztec calendar on the back (further info here):

In addition, SDSU will wear a turquoise uniform -- part of Nike's N7 program, which encourages Native American youth to participate in sports -- Nov. 18 against San Diego Christian.

• Not a good look for Wyoming, whose outlined chest lettering is going to cause legibility problems:

Ohio Valley

Eastern Illinois has a new logo, which of course means new uniforms. Love the striping:

• Very handsome new court design for Jacksonville State:

• Fairly pedestrian-looking Under Armour template for Eastern Kentucky:

Tennessee State has a new court design:


• Putting a logo on the rear collar is usually a bogus move, but it works for Arizona State, whose new jerseys have a very nice interlocking "AS" above the players' names:

• Adidas has done its best to ruin UCLA's once-iconic football uniforms, but the Bruins' hoops unis still look sharp:

Utah has a new collar style, new armhole trim and a new gray alternate:

• Yowza, pretty aggressive shorts striping for Washington:

Patriot League

Army's sports teams have undergone a complete redesign, which includes new basketball uniforms and a new court:

• A square collar plus shoulder stripes equals a standard Under Armour template for Loyola (Maryland):


• Nice look for Auburn, although the side striping might end up looking a bit too bold when several players are standing near each other:

• Adidas is using cream as the connecting color thread for the retro-styled alternates being worn this season by many schools, including Mississippi State:

Missouri is changing from "Mizzou" to "Missouri" on its jerseys this season:

• No extraneous bells or whistles for South Carolina, which is maintaining a fairly no-nonsense approach:

• The entire Tennessee athletics program got new uniforms this year, and that definitely includes the basketball team, which among other things will have a gray alternate design with a black horizontal bar across the chest:

Summit League

• Under Armour's shoulder striping looks particularly good in South Dakota State's color scheme:

Sun Belt

• Very simple, straightforward approach this year for Arkansas-Little Rock:

Arkansas State would probably be better off without those horizontal stripes across the shoulders:

South Alabama is another Nike-outfitted school going with outlined type (at least on the home whites), which will likely draw complaints regarding legibility. The Jaguars also have a new court design:


Grand Canyon, whose jerseys just had "Canyon" last year, is now going with "GCU":

UMKC has a new court design featuring the Kansas City skyline:

Texas-Pan American is now Texas-Rio Grande Valley after the UT system merged its Pan American and Brownsville campuses into one regional university. In addition to the new school name, there's a new team name (Vaqueros replacing Broncs) and, of course, new uniforms and logos:

Utah Valley has a new court design:

West Coast

• Nice-looking set for BYU, including a sweet throwback, but the outlined lettering on the home jersey is definitely going to cause legibility issues:

Gonzaga has switched from one Nike template to another:

In addition, Gonzaga will wear turquoise uniforms -- part of Nike's N7 program, which encourages sports participation by Native American youth -- Nov. 18 against Northern Arizona.

St. Mary's has switched from Adidas to Under Armour, which has made the school's name so small that it's barely visible on the jersey chest:

• Gorgeous throwbacks being added to the mix this year for San Francisco -- kudos to all involved (further info here):


Did we miss anything? Yeah, probably. If so, you know what to do.

Paul Lukas will have his annual Uni Watch holiday gift guide in a few weeks. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted or just ask him a question? Contact him here.