It is never too early to start looking at who is a top 25 team in college basketball. ESPN holds true to this motto and in their latest version of the “Way-Too-Early-Top-25” they have ranked the Mountaineers #9 for the upcoming season.
Key additions: None
First Way-Too-Early ranking: 8
Last season, West Virginia forced turnovers on 27.6 percent of its opponents' possessions. On average, the Mountaineers neutralized more than one-quarter of an opposing team's trips down the floor. That harassment won't stop in 2017-18. Jevon Carter (13.5 PPG, 39 percent from the 3-point line), a candidate for Big 12 player of the year, tested the NBA waters but quickly announced his return to Morgantown. Esa Ahmad, Daxter Miles Jr. and a fleet of durable reserves will help West Virginia maintain its identity as a swarming unit that gobbles offensive boards like french fries and makes its opponents feel as if they're trapped in a hurricane.
Most fans reason to rejoice is the return of Jevon Carter. Coming off a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, along with NABC Defensive Player of the Year,Carter was the heart and soul for the Mountaineers. His return and the expected improvement of Esa Ahmad and Daxter Miles gives Bob Huggins reasons to actually smile.
Overall, the Big 12 only placed three teams in the Top 25. Kansas at #2, West Virginia at #9 and Texas at #24. Kansas is forced to try and replace Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson but they are Kansas, they get the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. Texas, after winning just 11 games last year, is given the Texas treatment. They received another high-ranked recruiting class, secured a top recruit [#3 overall 2017 recruit Mohamed Bamba] and have a coach everyone expects to do well.
We'll start here with honesty: We're not sure about this.
Yes, ESPN, no one is ever really sure about Texas.