INeedMoreCreativity's Week Pre-Season Ballot

1 Purdue Returning most everyone around the NPOY. Edey's supporting cast will improve with another year in the system
2 Kansas Solid blend of rock-solid returners, exciting new transfers, and a HOF coach
3Duke Jon Scheyer's coaching ability is a question mark this early into his tenure, but the talent and returners are as solid as ANYWHERE.
4 Michigan State Big dropoff from the other three but MSU is returning a ton of players
5 UConn Clingan is going to be a 1st team all-american, you heard it here first
6Houston Against my better judgement I'm predicting that Houston won't be a top 5 team. They have been as consistent as anyone, but they aren't as loaded as some of the other top teams
7 Creighton Will contend for the best offense in the country due to the shooting talent around Kalkbrenner
8 Tennessee Rick Barnes continues to build defensive monsters
9Gonzaga Mark Few continues to build offensive monsters
10Marquette Returning nearly everyone but I don't think they're as talented as others
11 Saint Mary's Randy Bennett will continue to string together some of the best teams in school history
12 Texas A&M Returning most production from a top 25 team
13Florida Atlantic We all saw how well their balanced rotation played in the tourney. They're back
14 Texas We'll see how Rodney Terry does with his own team. Can't argue with the talent he has. Mitchell will make a big jump
15Arizona Not great returners but Tommy Lloyd is on track for the HoF
16 North Carolina Reloaded with solid transfers
17 Kentucky Tre Mitchell's going to save their season. May be a rough start with a strong finish
18 USC Crazy good talent, decent returners
19 Alabama Fall back down to earth after last year's worldbeaters
20Arkansas Transfer portal champions. Did we expect anything less?
21 Baylor Not Scott Drew's best offseason by any means. Limited by talent and experience, I think they have a low ceiling and floor. But I trust Drew to make something happen anyways
22 San Diego State Disgusting defense
23 Auburn Surprised Pearl couldn't put together a stronger roster after a few pretty good years of that. I trust his coaching ability to give them a decent floor.
24 Illinois Very experienced led by Shannon, but he'll sure be pulling a lot of the weight. Not the best supporting cast.
25 TCU Jamie Dixon returns some solid pieces and an okay portal class. As good as it gets for a school with TCU's history

Overall Rationale

I will use both eye-test evaluations of games and resumes along with computer metrics to inform my opinions. I watch a great deal of games, and I love looking at advanced stats for both players and teams. These metrics will not under any circumstances become my rankings themselves, but they factor in with my evaluations based on watching games and inspecting game results. I will not blindly adhere to any computer metric without first evaluating its accuracy. No evaluation tool is perfect, and I go to great lengths to ensure that my opinions are informed by metrics that are accurate in both predicting future success and accurate in representing the strength of a team's body of work. To be clear, I am not one of those people who just looks at kenpom and copy+pastes that into my ranking. I will avoid overvaluing the teams I follow simply because I know them well. I may have better insight into where they are placed, but this will not sway me towards over- or under-valuing them. I will refrain from overreacting to head-to-head results, as I acknowledge that single games are only a tiny sample size and do not represent a team's whole body of work. I will factor in whether a game is home or away. Statisticians have found that it is about as hard for a team to win at the #75 team as it is to win hosting the #10. Still unintuitive, but wins should be valued according to exactly how hard they are to get.