Team
NBA-DRAFT.COM top 65 College Teams (#60 - 56)
 
As we continue our countdown of the top 65 teams in Divison I basketball this upcoming season, we come across five very different teams: one from a BCS conference that is coming off an NCAA play-in game, one Ivy League team that hasn't been in the tournament in over 60 years, one that was a top defensive team in 2010-11 and another that was one of the most prolific offenses last year.

The countdown continues at No. 60
#60. Southern California

Kevin O'Neill went just 19-15 last season due to the major contributions of big men Nikola Vucevic (17.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks) and Alex Stepheson (9.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.1 blocks) in the low post and on the boards and paint on defense. With both of these starters gone, where will the Trojans turn?

No one player will be able to replace the impact of Vucevic and Stepheson, but the key to this year's team will be the backcourt. Former-Fordham point guard Jio Fontan will play his first full-season for USC and expect big minutes and production from this little guard. His 25.8 assist rate was one of the leaders in the Pac-10 last year, but he has the ability to score the basketball as well as any other guard in this expanded conference. Maurice Jones, another undersized guard will partner with Fontan in the backcourt, while Iowa-transfer Aaron Fuller will start at forward, where he was a stellar rebounder despite being just 6'6".

In the frontcourt, look for JC transfer Dewayne Dedmon, a 7-foot, 255-pound redshirt sophomore to garner the minutes left behind. He is an aggressive, and agile big man with upside given his size and defensive prowess.
#59. Harvard

All five starters return from a team that went 23-7 last season and was a last-second shot away from returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1946. Leading the way for Tommy Amaker's team is 6'8" senior forward, who was among the nation's best unheralded players- topping the team in points (14.8), rebounds (8.3) and blocks per game (1.5) a year ago.

Wright should again provide the inside scoring and leadership, while two other forwards- Christian Webster and Lauren Rivard are still developing as players and could be counted for a heavier load with their ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. But the team's best threat from beyond the arc, giving them three must-know-where-they-are-at-all-times players, would be senior guard Oliver McNally who posted a 3-point percentage of 44.2. His offensive rating was amongst the nation's best (18th), while his true shooting percentage was even more impressive at 69 percent mark, good for third in the country!

Collaborating the attack is junior floor general Brandyn Curry. Curry is a decent shooter from the mid-range and even further back, but his main role is to open the floor as a distributor. His 35.2 assist rate last season was tied for 25th in the country and second in the Ivy League.

A six-man recruiting class in 2011, including two three-star recruits, is led by big man Kenyatta Smith, one of the top 20 centers in the class. This 2011-12 team will set the tone for Harvard moving forward as the program to beat in the Ivy.
#58. Detroit

This may surprise some as we are projecting an end to Butler's reign atop the Horizon- the Bulldogs have won a share of five consecutive league titles, but this year, it's Detroit, but not by much. Ray McCallum and the Titans return all five starters, including point guard Ray McCallum Jr. and Eli Holman, two of the best in the league. McCallum struggled a bit as a freshman, but came on mid-way through the year to finish as the leading scorer (13.5 points), and tops in assists (4.9) and steals (1.6). His ability to control tempo on both ends of the floor is crucial as he sets up one of Detroit's other four double-digit scorers.

Power forward/center Eli Holman ranked near the top the effective field-goal percentage and both offensive and defensive rebounding categories, garnering McCallum & Co. second chance opportunities on offense and ending opponents' sets on the defensive end.
#57. Drexel

In six of Bruiser Flint's last seven seasons at Drexel, the Dragons have been one of the top defensive teams in the nation in stopping his opponents from scoring the basketball. His offenses have been unflattering, but his hard-nose hustle and defense keeps his team in the game and commonly on the winning side of things. Last year was no different- the offense was sub-par, ranking 234th in the country, while the defense ranked 20th in adjusted efficiency, including holding opponents to the seventh worst field-goal percentage and ranking at the top of all Division I teams rebounding the ball on the defensive glass.

Given that Flint returns six rotational players, including his best rebounders in senior wing Samme Givens, junior center Daryl McCoy and sophomore forward Dartaye Ruffin. Additionally, leading scorer and the Dragon's best perimeter threat Chris Fouch is only a junior- he took more than a third of the shots last season when he was on the floor and he will remain the most valuable offensive option as Drexel looks to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.
#56. BYU

Life will not be the same for Dave Rose without score-from-anywhere guard Jimmer Fredette, but that doesn't mean that the Cougars will struggle as many think. BYU will now be fighting Gonzaga, St. Mary's and Santa Clara atop the West Coast Conference standings. Granted, we have them about 55 spots down from where they peaked last year, but BYU does have Brandon Davies, Noah Hartstock and Charles Abouo return as well as big-time freshman point guard DeMarcus Harrison.

Jimmer's play opened up the floor for everyone else, but also stole the spotlight from scorers like Abouo and Hartstock; Davies made his own headlines. A WCC title is not likely with the amount of talent returning to Gonzaga, but BYU will be in the running for second.