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 Thursday, November 2 Preseason Top 25

Here it is,'s 2000-01 Preseason College Basketball Top 25. As we made our way to No. 1, also conducted a chat with players and coaches throughout the top 25. To read what players like Seton Hall's Darius Lane; Kansas' Eric Chenowith; Maryland's Lonny Baxter and No. 1 Arizona's Loren Woods had to say, click here for the transcript.

As we moved up the ranking, also wanted to hear from the fans. You told us what you thought of our preseason ranking and we posted some of the best comments.

The Preseason Top 25 was selected by a panel made up of senior writer Andy Katz, ESPN's Jay Bilas and college basketball editor Ron Buck.

1. ARIZONA LAST YEAR: 27-7 '99-00 RANK: #8
Why No. 1?: Look at the starting five. Five all-Americans. Five potential NBA players. Any questions' Loren Woods was cleared to go, making him the top center returning in the nation. Richard Jefferson is healthy after his leg injury and made himself into a shooting guard over the summer in a small forward's body. Michael Wright remains the top rebounding forward and continues to develop his scoring skills. The backcourt was and remains the most athletic tandem in the nation. Jason Gardner and Gilbert Arenas were a hit in New York at the Preseason NIT last year and didn't stop making headlines until the depleted Wildcats were bounced by Wisconsin in the NCAA second round. But the Wildcats finally have depth this year, too. Eugene Edgerson, the resident enforcer, returns after sitting out the year. Lamont Frazier, a scoring threat at big guard, is back after an injury-plagued season. Travis Hanour, Luke Walton, Rick Anderson and Justin Wessel provide role play on the wings and even freshman Andrew Zahn could get some time behind either Jefferson or Wright. The Wildcats are also hungry for the title. All five starters could be gone next season, although Gardner and Wright are the two most likely to stay. The window is closing on this crew and they want the ring.
Will Remain On Top If: Woods remains healthy all season. If he does then the Wildcats could stay in the top two all season. The Wildcats have a number of chances to prove how good they are in the Maui Invitational, against Gonzaga, at Connecticut, Illinois in Chicago and a payback game against LSU before New Year's.
Will Fall If: What a schedule. The Wildcats could play as many as four top-10 teams in the first three weeks of the season, especially if Connecticut creeps into the top 10 with a few wins in Maui. Losing Woods would deflate this team. They're good enough to mount a case without him; but with him they're's No. 1 team in the country.
Bilas Breakdown | HTV's Take | Team Page

"Come on, Arizona is going to run the table. Their starting five is as good as I have ever seen on any team in a very long time. At any point in the game any one of the starting five can take over the game and put it out of reach. That is why four of them have been considered Naismith award candidates. Then there's the bench, an unselfish Walton, a tough Edgerson, Anderson, Wessel. ... This team has the most potential and by far the best Lute Olson has ever coached, just a reminder, he's coached some pretty damn good teams."
Eric Vogler, Seattle, Wash.

Follow the rest of the top 25
Click on the following pages:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25


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