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Biggest Offseason Winners Heading Into Next Season

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The biggest winners of the offseason go into the next season

Cody Riley # 2 of the UCLA Bruins and Jaden Shackelford # 5 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reach the ball. Michael Hickey / Getty Images / AFP

The college basketball season is just around the corner and we’ll soon see whose hard work was worth it. It doesn’t matter who wins the national championship, but there are many winners in the off-season.

College basketball is never boring. The coaching wheel is fierce. The players make the decision whether they want to play for the pros, while some decide to stay home. High school students are able to classify their players and get the attention of the recruiting agencies. It’s nearly impossible to determine who is on a roster with the addition of the transfer portal before the first game is played.

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Still, These four teams are easily the winners of the 2021 offseason. There are many reasons they won. Although you may be losing talent sometimes, there are still opportunities. Let’s take a look at the Cinderella team from the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

UCLA Bruins

UCLA shocked everyone, especially the top sports betting, as they rose from the bubble to the Final Four. They were undoubtedly the best team in the NCAA tournament. Although they were a bubble team, it is clear that they have made great strides and are now on their way to the Final Four. This isn’t a one-hit wonder. UCLA has a good coach and a solid foundation, and should be a top contender this year.

Johnny Juzang #3 of the UCLA Bruins reacts to the second half. Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images / AFP

Why did you win the offseason? They’re bringing back the NCAA tournament winner. Johnny Juzang was one of the top NCAA tournament players, and many expected him to go to the NBA. UCLA is still relevant thanks to his return, and they should be the Pac-12 champions this year.

UCLA has a +700 chance to win the title, after only barely making it to the NCAA tournament last season. They won the offseason.

Alabama Crimson Tide

This can be discussed. Alabama has lost most of its starters from last year’s team. SEC POY Herb Jones, Joshua Primo and three other seniors are now in the NBA. It will be difficult without John Petty and Alex Reese.

Primo was not lost so all of this was to be expected. Alabama fans still have much to look forward. They bring back Nate Oats on an extension. It was important to keep him because there were so many coaching positions.

Likewise, Alabama brings back Jaden Shackelford. Shackelford was contemplating both moving to the NBA and switching, so it was a win to bring him back. He’ll be an experienced player and could lead the team in scoring.

Alabama is truly a winner due to its recruiting class. Both in terms of traditional recruitment as well as the transfer portal, the Crimson Tide has the greatest class in program history. They will be able to replace their cast members in 2021.

Jaden Shackelford # 5 from the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts to a second-half game. Sarah Bull / Getty Images / AFP

Alabama should have a solid chance to win the SEC again. They are the off-season winners, despite losing tons talent.

Gonzaga bulldogs

After Gonzaga embarrassedly lost the national championship, winning the offseason was crucial for Gonzaga. With their entire recruiting class, they did it. Gonzaga is the best program for recruiting, and it’s far from the best. Gonzaga had never signed any five-star recruit before 2020. In 2020, they signed their first five-star recruit. This year, they signed two.

Chet Holmgren (ex-Minnehaha Academy Red Hawks) dribbles. Hannah Foslien / Getty Images / AFP

Chet Holmgren is the top contender in 2021 and will play for the Bulldogs this year. Hunter Sallis, who will replace Jalen Suggs, will also be playing alongside him. On paper, This team should be better than last year. Gonzaga is able to tap into its potential with a coach who understands how to make it happen. This could be their year.

Virginia Cavaliers

As for recruiting, Virginia had a bad off-season. They only had one high school recruit and a couple of transfers. However, that is not the reason they won offseason. They were unable to control the outcome.

It was an honor to train with Roy. He is a legend in the game, and he cares deeply about the young players he coaches. He had always been kind and open to helping others. I wish him well and “really poor golf scores”. – TB on Roy Williams @UNC_Basketball pic.twitter.com/Al1nFpULI0

– Virginia Men’s Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) April 1, 2021

In an off-season, the ACC saw two legends who set limits on their coaching careers. Roy Williams has announced his retirement and Coach K said that he would continue to train for another season. This raises questions about the future of these two blue-blooded schools.

What is the point of this being a benefit to Virginia? At the end of this year, Virginia should have the best coach in the conference. If they are able to improve recruitment and develop the talent on their list, they will be considered long-lasting. Virginia’s outlook in 2022 is not great, but it does have a bright future thanks to these announcements.

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