(Head Coach: Jim Boeheim, Atlantic Coast Conference) – Hall of Fame member Jim Boeheim enters his 45th season at the helm of his alma mater ranked second among active Division I coaches in victories…the Orange are coming off an 18-14 campaign that was halted by the national pandemic the day after a quarterfinal victory against North Carolina in the ACC Tournament…Syracuse welcomes back four starters, including the starting backcourt of Buddy Boeheim, a junior, and sophomore Joseph Girard…senior forward Marek Dolezaj and senior center Bourama Sidibe are the other two returning first-stringers…the Orange played in the inaugural Gotham Classic in 2012.
(Head Coach: Will Wade, Southeastern Conference) – In three years at the helm of the LSU program, Will Wade has guided the Tigers to 67 wins and two postseason trips, including advancing to the Sweet 16 of the 2019 NCAA Tournament…this past year saw LSU on the verge of their third straight postseason bid with a 21-10 record and tied for second in the SEC…seven players return in 2020-21, including three starters…the Tigers’ leading returning scorer is sophomore Trendon Watford, who was named to the SEC All-Freshman team a year ago…he is joined by fellow starters in juniors Javonte Smart and Darius Days.
(Head Coach: Will Ryan, Horizon League) – Will Ryan was named head coach of the Phoenix on June 7 after a season as head coach at Wheeling (W. Va.) University…he inherits a team that went 17-16 while picking up a win in the Horizon League tournament…four players who started at least 11 games last year return, led by Horizon League Freshman of the Year Amari Davis, who also garnered third-team All-League honors as the Phoenix’s second-leading scorer…senior PJ Pipes joins Davis in the backcourt.
(Head Coach: Ray Harper, Ohio Valley Conference) – Entering his fifth season at JSU, Ray Harper boasts a career record of 511-183, with a .736 winning percentage that represents the highest of all OVC, and a 80-56 overall mark in four seasons at JSU…this year the Gamecocks return one starter in senior swingman Kayne Henry, who earned a place on the OVC All-Newcomer team a year ago.
(Head Coach: Greg Gary, Southern Conference) – In his first year at Mercer, Greg Gary led the Bears to a 17-15 record, including an 11-7 mark, fueled by a mid-season six-game league winning streak, in the SoCon…this season, nine players return, including three starters, led by junior guard Jeff Gary and sophomore guard Kamar Robertson, who was named to the SoCon’s All-Freshman team last season.
(Head Coach: Geno Ford, America East Conference) – Geno Ford guided the Seawolves to a 20-13 record in his first season at the Stony Brook helm, which included a team record 274 3-pointers made…this year he needs to replace five starters but welcomes back the inside-outside tandem of senior center Mouhamadou Gueye and sophomore guard Tyler Stephenson-Moore…in 33 games last year, Gueye averaged 7.0 ppg and 6.4 rpg while averaging nearly 25 minutes off the bench…Stephenson-Moore played in 28 games and averaged 4.3 ppg with 22 3-pointers…two-time JUCO All-American Juan Felix Rodriguez, who played with Gueye at Monroe College, headlines the Seawolves’ incoming recruiting class.
(Head Coach: Rick Pitino, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) – In one of the biggest announcements of the off-season, Iona hired Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino to take over the reins of the Gaels…Pitino comes to New Rochelle having led four different programs to the NCAA Tournament (Boston University, Providence, Kentucky, Louisville) and is the first coach to lead two programs to a National Championship (Kentucky 1996, Louisville 2017)…his .740 winning percentage ranks third-highest among active coaches…at Iona, he inherits two returning starters in senior guards Isaiah Ross and Asante Gist…Ross averaged 11.0 ppg while Gist netted 10.1 ppg in 15 games before an injury ended his season.