College basketball has evolved over the past few seasons. While size still matters, teams can’t win solely with strength in the post. You need to be able to switch on defense, stretch the floor and play with athleticism.
This has caused the death of the traditional center, but there are still plenty of elite teams with solid frontcourts. Some have stuck to the traditional role with a post player and a perimeter big. Others have gone strictly for the small-ball lineup. Some have enough adversity to play in any scheme.
Even with the outflow of talent in the post last year, there are plenty of great teams with great frontcourts. With that in mind, which teams have the best frontcourts in college basketball? Will that talent lead to success this year, or are these teams missing the other key components to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament?
In no particular order, these are the five best frontcourts in college basketball.
Kansas will rely on two returning stars to lead their frontcourt, and that chemistry will matter this season. David McCormack and Jalen Wilson each have plenty of experience, and they were two of Kansas’s top three scorers last year. Kansas likes to win in a variety of ways, but having this duo coming back will be huge.
These players both had solid seasons, but they struggled to work well in tandem. It was always one person or the other shining. With an extra offseason to gain chemistry, they should be able to work together to succeed this season. They have different skills, and they should be able to complement each other well in 2022.
Kansas also has plenty of depth to switch things up. KJ Adams and Zach Clemence will start on the bench, but the two incoming freshmen have enough talent to contribute at some point this year. Kansas also has a sixth-year senior and a D-2 transfer for depth.
Gonzaga has one of the best rosters in college basketball, so it makes sense that they would have one of the best frontcourts as well. While there is some incoming talent, the straw that stirs the drink is Drew Timme. Timme was an elite big last year, scoring 19 points per game and hauling in rebound after rebound.
Timme will bring a veteran presence, but there’s a chance his role will shrink. Gonzaga signed Chet Holmgren to the squad out of high school, and he’s one of the biggest recruits in the past few years. While the 7-footer has an elite game, he’ll need to add weight if he wants to be a traditional big. If not, he’s unique enough to dominate in college.
At +600, Gonzaga has the best odds to win the national title this year. Their frontcourt is a big reason why. If Holmgren lives up to the hype and Timme is what he was last year, the Bulldogs will be even better this year than they were last year.
Texas lost almost their entire frontcourt this offseason, so they lack the chemistry that Kansas will have. However, they may have the most talented frontcourt on paper. This is thanks to Chris Beard and his ability to use the transfer portal.
Beard is looking to make a splash in his first year as Texas’s head coach, and he certainly has so far this offseason. Dylan Disu, Tre Mitchell, Christian Bishop and Timmy Allen will bring versatility to the offense. Disu can stretch the floor. Christian Bishop can attack the rim. Mitchell is an all-around playmaker, and Allen works the mid-range game like no other.
Texas has a solid chance to win the Big 12, and they may be a force to be reckoned with next March. If they can put these pieces together, they’ll be elite inside the paint.
Michigan is one of the favorites to win a title this year for a reason. Juwan Howard has proven to be an excellent coach, and he keeps bringing in all sorts of talent.
Hunter Dickinson returns, and Michigan adds Caleb Houstan. This is a perfect mix of experience and potential. Dickinson made a name for himself at the end of last year, and he decided to return despite entering the NBA Draft. Houstan hopes to have a similar impact in Ann Arbor.
Duke Blue Devils
This is Coach K’s final year as a head coach. You know his team will give it their all in hopes of ending his career with another national title.
Duke was underwhelming last year, but they still have the talent on paper. Paolo Banchero will join the squad as one of the best recruits from 2021, and his offensive talent will be a sight for sore eyes in Durham. Mark Williams will return from last year’s team after struggling for most of the year, but he came on at the end of the season. If he can take that momentum and carry it into 202-22, he’ll be a key contributor.
Frontcourts may be evolving, but there is plenty of talent at the college level. These teams will be set this season.