Coming off a 13 – 19 record during the 2014-15 season, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons are hoping for a turnaround performance this season.
With four seniors on their roster, and their share of strong recruits in tow to provide depth and give head coach Danny Manning some depth, the potential is there for the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest is looking to make it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010, and fans are hoping that this year could be the year they end their drought.
Coming off another deep run in the NCAA Tournament, this time as a 7-seed, the expectations were high once again for Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans heading into 2015-16.
The team has a ton of talent returning, headlined by Bryn Forbes, West Virginia-transfer Eron Harris, Gavin Schilling, and star Denzel Valentine. Add in their incoming freshmen like Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid, and it’s easy to see why people think highly of the Spartans.
They have continued to receive good news in recent days, as Class of 2016 guard Cassius Winston committed to play at Michigan State, giving Izzo and the Spartans their third recruit ranked inside ESPN’s Top 100.
The 2014-15 season didn’t turn out the way the Illinois Fighting Illini had hoped at the start of the season. When the dust settled, the Illini had a 19 – 14 record overall, and a mediocre T-7th place in the Big Ten standings.
Amidst injuries and a few rough patches of play during Big Ten play, one that included a “one-and-done” showing in the Big Ten tournament at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines, the Illini earned a 3-seed in the NIT. Illinois was throttled by Alabama in the first round, 79 – 58, ending their up-and-down season.
One player for the Illini who had a dismal year of his own was point guard Tracy Abrams. Abrams was slated to be the team’s starting point guard in 2014-15, but suffered a torn ACL in the off-season that forced him to miss the entire year.
After 10 months of fighting to come back stronger than ever, Abrams was again slated to be the starter in 2015-16.