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Andy Katz | Correspondent | July 20, 2021

How Power 36 shifts after key NBA draft withdrawal decisions

These teams rose in the new Power 36 college basketball rankings, after some major transfer decisions

**** This version of the Power 36 rankings was updated on Tuesday, July 20 after some key transfers and changes****

The NBA draft early-entry withdrawal deadline provided plenty of positive vibes for next season as headliners Johnny Juzang of UCLA, Max Abmas of Oral Roberts and Geo Baker of Rutgers all made decisions to return to college basketball. 

Still, the timing was right after the withdrawal deadline for our latest Power 36. And the top team heading into the summer is…………..

1. UCLA: Johnny Juzang’s decision put UCLA at No. 1 and in position to be a Final Four favorite. 

2. Gonzaga: Chet Holmgren is dazzling for Team USA and will form a tremendous tandem with Drew Timme. 

3. Texas: The addition of Marcus Carr gives the Longhorns a stable, scoring point to go along with Kentucky transfer Devin Askew and the return of scoring wing Andrew Jones. Chris Beard has this team loaded for a title run in year one. The Longhorns had already added Tre Mitchell from UMass as well as Texas Tech's Avery Benson and Utah's Timmy Allen. 

4. Kansas: Experience is back and the addition of Remy Martin makes the Jayhawks a contender. 

5. Villanova: A healthy Collin Gillespie gives the Wildcats a chance for a Final Four berth. 

6. Kentucky: John Calipari loaded up with stud transfers at nearly every position. 

7. Purdue: Jaden Ivey and Zach Edey have been stars of the summer for Team USA and Canada, respectively. Trevion Williams comes back as the anchor. 

8. Oregon: The Ducks reloaded with transfers and the sleeper addition could be Rutgers’ Jacob Young. 

9. Michigan: Hunter Dickinson will be one of the best big men in the country. Oh, and the Wolverines added a top recruiting class. 

10. Baylor: The James Akinjo decision allows the Bears to have another stellar backcourt. The champs are going nowhere. They are here to stay.

Watch how Baylor was crowned national champions for the first time ever

11. Illinois: Kofi Cockburn surprised the Big Ten when he announced he was withdrawing from the NBA draft and returning to college. He overwhelmed the Illini with the news that he would be coming back to Illinois instead of transferring. He could be the best big man in the country. He'll join returnees Andre Curbelo, Damonte Williams and Trent Frazier. Losing Ayo Dosunmu is a big hit and the bench is inexperienced but there is enough to warrant a top 15 slot. 

12. Ohio State: EJ Liddell’s decision means the Buckeyes will be in the hunt for a Big Ten title. 

13. Houston: Kelvin Sampson has the Cougars now as the dominant team in the American and a threat for a deep run every season. 

14. North Carolina: Hubert Davis’ first team will have experience and the hunger to continue the expected success. 

15. Duke: Coach K’s last season will be filled with the Blue Devils rocking Cameron once again. 

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16. LSU: The Tigers have quietly assembled a potential SEC title challenger. 

17. Maryland: Transfers Fatts Russell and Qudus Wahab will immediately keep the Terps in the contending category in the Big Ten. 

18. Oklahoma State: Mike Boynton knew he was losing Cade Cunningham to the NBA draft. But he has been aggressive in the transfer market, adding AAC freshman of the year Mousa Cisse of Memphis. That gives Boynton a massive presence in the middle. He already swiped Kansas' Bryce Thompson too. The Cowboys will play differently next season but will once again be a threat to finish high in the Big 12. 

19. Indiana: Trayce Jackson-Davis should flourish under Mike Woodson. IU is my sleeper pick for a deep run. 

20. Syracuse: Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim should have a season to remember playing for their Hall of Fame father. 

21. Virginia: The Cavaliers will blend experience, transfers and Tony Bennett’s coaching to ensure a top three ACC finish. 

22. Memphis: Penny Hardaway stayed instead of heading to the NBA. That means the Tigers will be an NCAA tournament team not another NIT run. 

23. Arkansas: Eric Musselman reloads at every stop. The Hogs will repeat as an SEC threat. 

24. Wichita State: Tyson Etienne is back and that means the Shockers will be near the top of the AAC. 

25. Auburn: Bruce Pearl’s Tigers are off the one-year postseason ban. And they will have the goods, led by North Carolina transfer Walker Kessler, to make the tournament. 

26. Michigan State: The Spartans will be quicker, smaller and hungrier than last season. 

27. St. Bonaventure: OK, so I wanted to reconsider with the Bonnies. They won the A-10 regular-season and tournament title. They return essentially the whole team. They should be considered the team to beat in the A-10 and the first team mentioned from the league on our list. 

28. Florida State: I don’t care who Leonard Hamilton ends up with on his roster. The Seminoles will be dangerous in March. 

29. Texas Tech: New coach Mark Adams knew he had to put his footprint on this squad — even though he was the defensive architect under Chris Beard. Well, he nabbed one of the top unheralded forwards in March Madness by getting Oral Roberts' transfer Kevin Obanor. Add Obanor to Marcos Santos-Silva and the Red Raiders will have a formidable frontcourt in the rugged Big 12. 

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30. UConn: The Huskies won’t have James Bouknight but Dan Hurley has established a consistency that will mean another NCAA bid. 

31. West Virginia: Miles McBride is gone. But the Mountaineers won’t disappear from relevance in the Big 12. 

32. VCU: The Rams never got the chance to play in the NCAA tournament due to COVID protocols. They will in 2022. 

33. Mississippi State: Ben Howland has loaded up on transfers, led by North Carolina’s Garrison Brooks. They will/should be in the NCAA tournament. 

34. St. John's: The Red Storm were a big winner by not losing Julian Champagnie and Posh Alexander. That's two major figures in the Big East. They also swiped Rutgers guard Montez Mathis. Mike Anderson's crew will be ready to make a run toward the upper half of the Big East.  

35. Oklahoma: Porter Moser will pick up where Lon Kruger left off with a disciplined squad that will be a tough out every game. 

36: Washington State: The word in the Pac-12 is do not sleep on the Cougars. Kyle Smith has put together an experienced crew with the return of top scorers Noah Williams, Dishon Jackson and Efe Abogidi. And the addition of South Alabama's Michael Flowers. He's a legit high teen scorer and can go off for over 20 a game.  

 Under consideration:

(Newly added) Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights got Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. back, ensuring they will be in the mix in the Big Ten. 

Colorado State
Loyola Chicago
Saint Louis
Georgia Tech 
Notre Dame 
Virginia Tech 
Oregon State 
Oral Roberts 
San Diego State 
Boise State 
Seton Hall 
Loyola Marymount 
Missouri State 

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