College basketball season has its fair share of highs and lows, but it takes more than a successful season to be riding high. You also have to win the offseason, which is just as hard sometimes.
NCAA basketball sees more roster turnover than any sport. The best players only stay for a year.
The transfer portal is always active. Players can even leave for the NBA Draft and choose to come back. At this point, it is much more likely to leave than it is to stay for four years.
With that being said, it is crucial to stack quality season performances with offseason moves. Teams need stability, which is hard to come by. If you can win the offseason, you can become favorites to win next year’s NCAA Tournament. If you lose the offseason, the year could be done before it truly starts.
These teams are the losers of the 2021 offseason. Some failed to upgrade their rosters after losing talent to the NBA. Others saw unexpected moves in the transfer portal. Regardless, these teams are already working behind the 8-ball before the season starts.
Iowa had high hopes last season, but they also struggled to gain traction in one of the best conferences in college basketball. Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan ran the Big Ten last season, and Iowa was relegated to the second tier of the conference.
That was with Luka Garza, the best player in college basketball last year. Without him, the Hawkeyes will lack an interior presence. He made the team elite, and his absence will hurt by itself.
However, the news gets worse. Iowa also lost two perimeter shooters. Without them, the Hawkeyes will lose most of their offensive production and identity. It’s one thing to lose points. It’s another to lose the basis of your offense.
Without Garza to dominate the paint and perimeter shooters to spread the floor, what will Iowa look like?
The good news is that Iowa saw this coming. This is still a loss, but they weren’t blindsided by Garza heading to the NBA. They were able to recruit and use the transfer portal to make the roster better. Still, you can’t replace a Naismith Award winner and consider yourself the winner of an offseason.
Iowa will take a step back this year.
Utah didn’t expect to win the Pac-12 last season, but they also didn’t expect to have a losing record. There were signs that could be trending up, but their play on the court hurt them considerably. It was the kind of year that would hopefully lead to future success.
Instead, they’ll have to replace almost all of their offensive production from last season.
The toughest player to replace is easily Timmy Allen. Allen was one of the best players in the conference last season and led the team in points. His transfer comes as a major hit for the Utes. Without him, Utah loses its identity.
Utah would have enough to have a formidable roster, but they also lose three other transfers. This mass exodus of talent would hurt any team, and it’s worse when your team already lacked production.
We’ll see if Utah can turn things around with who they bring in, but they have too many question marks for you to feel comfortable right now. That’s why they have +14500 odds to win the national title next year.
Even if everything goes their way, they have practically no hopes of making a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Boston College Eagles
Boston College has too many red flags heading into 2021. Their top four scorers from last year are no longer with the team. Losing that much talent to the transfer portal always hurts unless you can replace them with superior talent. Boston College failed to do that this offseason.
The ACC will see a paradigm shift as UNC replaces their head coach and Duke prepares to do the same next year.
With this happening, you would expect some team to vault up the standings in the conference. With the way this offseason is going for the Eagles, they won’t be that team. They may be able to turn things around down the road but they are trending down for the time being.