The college basketball rankings are way too early

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You know Alabama will make money moves in the transfer portal.
Zakai Zeigler is one of the best guards in the SEC, and Jonas Aidoo can be an All-League big man in 2024-25.
Oumar Ballo entered the transfer portal on Tuesday and the big man will be highly coveted.
But Baylor is going to get dudes in the transfer portal after the success stories of Ja’Kobe Walter, Yves Missi, RayJ Dennis and Jalen Bridges.
Losing Alex Ducas (exhausted eligibility) and Joshua Jefferson (entered transfer portal) stings, but Saint Mary’s is an easy-to-trust machine.
Maryland Terrapins: JuJu Reese and five-star big man Derik Queen should form one of college basketball’s best frontcourts.
All eyes are on which big man Mississippi State can land in the transfer portal to replace Tolu Smith.
Creighton’s ceiling will certainly be determined by the work it does in the transfer portal.


Although Armando Bacot is no longer eligible, this UNC backcourt has the potential to be extremely talented in 2024–2025. Five-star guard Ian Jackson is primed and ready to go, and RJ Davis, Seth Trimble, and Elliot Cadeau may all make a comeback. In the pursuit of a big man, UNC may need to make a significant push in the wings market should Harrison Ingram decide to turn pro. But be careful if Davis and Ingram both come back. The National Player of the Year in the offseason would probably be Davis.

Head coach Jon Scheyer has a lot of talented recruits heading into Cameron, but Cooper Flagg is the star of Duke’s opulent, number-one 2024 class. The 7-foot-1, 250-pound center Khaman Maluach appears to be a player who can make an immediate impact, and players with high expectations like Isaiah Evans and Kon Knueppel will be eager to work with him.

This backcourt is the center of attention. In the retention match, Duke needs to perform well. That is still being developed. Jared McCain will probably head to the 2024 NBA Draft, but Duke will be in serious trouble if it can’t get Tyrese Proctor, Caleb Foster, or Jeremy Roach back. They require a return of experience. It can’t depend solely on Flagg and the kids.

The only member of Alabama’s rotation that is expected to lose is Aaron Estrada. Although attrition is inevitable, Nate Oats recently rejected Kentucky’s advances and appears eager to build on an unlikely Final Four run. Mark Sears and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. could be acquired by Alabama. Grant Nelson and Rylan Griffen returning for a second season, whoa, baby.

Two stars, Derrion Reid, and a no. A 7-rated recruitment class is upcoming. You can be certain that Alabama will use the transfer portal to make significant moves. Houston Mallette from Pepperdine was a great beginning, and more might be on the way. Once more, Oats may have some amazing offensive talent in Tuscaloosa. If Alabama can strengthen its defense, they might be able to make it back to the Final Four.

One of the best guards in the SEC is Zakai Zeigler, and in 2024–2025, Jonas Aidoo has the potential to be an All-League big man. One more action from those two could help lessen the enormous crater Dalton Knecht is leaving in his wake. With a program as talented as Tennessee, attrition is always to be expected, but if supporting players like Cameron Carr, Tobe Awaka, JP Estrella, Jahmai Mashack, and Jordan Gainey can all pull it together, the Vols should be in excellent shape.

Knecht gives Tennessee an incredible “proof of concept” for all portal proposals. The Tennessee Vols will be in the running for another SEC Championship if they add a few wings and hold onto their best players.

Carter Bryant and Joson Sanon lead Arizona’s highly anticipated recruiting class, but head coach Tommy Lloyd needs some clarification from his possible returners.

On Tuesday, Oumar Ballo made his way onto the transfer portal; the big man is sure to be in high demand. Important pillars such as Kylan Boswell, Pelle Larsson, and Caleb Love must make choices. Arizona should be able to regain KJ Lewis and Motiejus Krivas, as they are set to become sophomores and could be significant contributors in the upcoming season. In 2024–2025, Jaden Bradley ought to make a significant comeback. Arizona will have enormous potential if its youth strike a chord and Lloyd continues to do a fantastic job in the portal.

RELATED: The headline about UNC and Michigan State belongs on top. Oumar Ballo, one potential transfer.

Dan Hurley is free to enjoy his second consecutive National Championship as long as he pleases, but the UConn dynasty is about to embark on some wild roster building. Donovan Clingan, Alex Karaban, Cam Spencer, Stephon Castle, and Tristen Newton are the four starters that have left, and they could be the fifth. In order to complement young, gifted weapons like Solo Ball, Jaylin Stewart, Jayden Ross, Samson Johnson, and Ahmad Nowell, UConn will probably need to add transfers when the 2024 cycle begins.

In all honesty, ranking UConn at this point is an impossible publicity stunt. Will Johnson and Hassan Diarra be prepared for much bigger roles? Hurley performing the Lord’s work in the portal and Karaban returning mean that UConn is on the verge of finishing in the top five.

RELATED: The prospects for UConn’s roster as it attempts to win three straight.

11. Auburn Tigers: Tahaad Pettiford, a highly-regarded rookie guard, is headed to a team that will no doubt be stacked with talent. In his second season with the Tigers, Denver Jones has the potential to be a huge star, and Chad Baker-Mazara is already back. And for his fifth and last year of college eligibility, Johni Broome could earn a tidy sum of money building on his All-American season. If Auburn makes the correct offseason decisions, it is not difficult to imagine the foundation of another elite team.

12. Purdue Boilermakers: The Boilers are here to stay, even though Matt Painter may not have Zach Edey. Until he is shown differently, Braden Smith will be the best point guard in the Big Ten next season. Fletcher Loyer is able to jump one more time. According to Painter, Purdue has three young wings (Camden Heide, Myles Colvin, and Kanon Catchings) who have the potential to be extremely talented. Trey Kaufman-Renn also has the potential to be a straight-up star.

Thirteen. Marquette Golden Eagles: The team’s core is incredibly solid and dependable, but players Tyler Kolek and Oso Ighodaro appear to be NBA bound. When Kolek was hurt during the Big East Tournament, Kam Jones gave us a preview of what he was capable of. As the go-to player for the upcoming season, Jones might be particularly noteworthy. Last year, in larger roles, Stevie Mitchell, David Joplin, Sean Jones, Chase Ross, Ben Gold, Tre Norman, and Zaide Lowery all gained a great deal of experience. Long-term, that might be beneficial. Watch out for Gold. The big man with the sweet shooting will be a playa.

14. Miami Hurricanes: Lynn Kidd of Virginia Tech and Brandon Johnson of East Carolina were brought in by the staff, which helped the team quickly adjust its frontcourt. Nijel Pack is set to make a comeback to collegiate basketball for a fifth season. Should bouncy Wooga Poplar return for his junior year and ready-to-rock Jalil Bethea, Miami’s backcourt could be explosive. Uncertainty surrounds Miami’s chances of retaining Matt Cleveland and Norchad Omier for an additional season. Miami won’t undoubtedly experience such bad injury luck in the future, right?

15. Baylor Bears: A roster that may be very open will be receiving five-star wing VJ Edgecombe, who is expected to arrive with very high expectations. Rob Wright and Jason Asemota, two other top-50 recruits, may easily land significant Year 1 roles. However, with the success of Ja’Kobe Walter, Yves Missi, RayJ Dennis, and Jalen Bridges, Baylor is going to get some dudes through the transfer portal. Josh Ojianwuna, Langston Love, and Jayden Nunn have the potential to be essential members of Baylor’s next outstanding squad. Baylor will play a role in 2024–2025, provided Scott Drew decides against moving to Kentucky.

16. BYU Cougars: Mark Pope’s name has already been mentioned for the Kentucky opening, but if he stays put in Provo, BYU should be a formidable team come wintertime. With the exception of Spencer Johnson, every rotation player is able to go back. Next year, BYU’s rotation could be incredibly consistent and experienced.

17. Florida Gators: Walter Clayton Jr. needs to be sweated out. ‘s stay-or-go NBA Draft choice, but the Gators will be roaring if the deadly-shooting guard runs it back. Next season, Will Richard and Denzel Aberdeen should be considered lockdown rotation pieces. Micah Handlogten is recovering from a horrific leg injury sustained in the SEC Tournament, but two young big men, Thomas Haugh and Alex Condon, will only grow stronger and more experienced. Tyrese Samuel and Zyon Pullin’s success has given Florida the means to make some major moves in the transfer portal, and Todd Golden has a strong case. Florida is not going anywhere.

18. Wisconsin Badgers: With their advanced age, the team should be dependable come playoff time. Steven Crowl, Max Klesmit, and Chucky Hepburn are people you can count on. John Blackwell was among the best freshmen in the Big Ten this past season and is a strong contender to move up to the second year. Nolan Winter, the big man, is also going to be excellent. Though AJ Storr and Connor Essegian did access the portal, Wisconsin will still likely be in the top half of the Big Ten standings come football season.

19. Saint Mary’s Gaels: With Mitchell Saxen, Augustas Marciulonis, and Aidan Mahaney, they form a formidable Big Three, and you can be sure that Randy Bennett will be showing off his player-development skills. While the loss of Joshua Jefferson (who entered the transfer portal) and Alex Ducas (who exhausted his eligibility) hurts, Saint Mary’s is a machine that is easy to believe in.

20. Ohio State Buckeyes: Jake Diebler has immediate potential to be a very good player. Monster Bruce Thornton and Meechie Johnson, a transfer from South Carolina, could be a formidable combination in an already excellent backcourt. Ohio State has room for more game-changers out of the portal, and a frontcourt combination of sophomore Devin Royal and junior Felix Okpara is amazing. Is Diebler able to maintain the magic?

21. Nebraska Cornhuskers: Due to Keisei Tominaga’s departure, Fred Hoiberg will need to work in the portal to rebuild this backcourt, but Andrew Morgan, a transfer from North Dakota State, Brice Williams, Rienk Mast, and Juwan Gary make up a formidable quartet.

22. Brian Dutcher of the San Diego State Aztecs consistently produces winning teams. If Elijah Saunders, Micah Parrish, Miles Heide, Reese Waters, and Miles Byrd all return, he can repeat the feat in 2024–2025. Observe BJ Davis closely. One of the breakout stars in college basketball for the upcoming season may be the soon-to-be sophomore.

23. Buzz Williams should have no trouble leading the Texas A&M Aggies if Wade Taylor IV, Andersson Garcia, Henry Coleman III, and Manny Obaseki run the ball. Taylor is one of the best shooters in the game, and the late-season comeback of Obeseki was remarkable. It would also be amazing to smuggle Solomon Washington back to school for a third season.

24. s. Josh Schertz, the dazzling new St. Louis coach, in case Indiana State’s squad runs it back at a different location, might have a cavalry of reinforcements en route. It would be amazing to see Robbie Avila in combination with those dangerous guards for another season.

25. Maryland Terrapins: One of the top frontcourts in college basketball is expected to consist of five-star big man Derik Queen and JuJu Reese. There will be a lot of fresh faces in Maryland’s backcourt, but that’s not always a bad thing. Ja’Kobi Gillespie, a transfer from Belmont, simply needs to perform well if Kevin Willard hopes to turn this program around.

Kentucky Wildcats: Kentucky will get guys no matter who they hire. After a few weeks, let’s revisit the ‘Cats. Perhaps a coach will be present. and a roster’s essential components.

Illinois Fighting Illini: After losing five of its top six scorers, most likely including All-American Terrence Shannon Jr., the team will need a major overhaul. Still, Brad Underwood has all the tools necessary to assemble one of the Big Ten’s most talented rosters for the upcoming campaign. and big man Coleman Hawkins, who can do it all.

Washington Huskies: If he can persuade star center Great Osobor to follow him to Washington, new coach Danny Sprinkle may have a successful debut. With minimal NIL, Sprinkle transformed Utah State into an NCAA Tournament squad from the ground up. Equipped with UW’s resources, Sprinkle is ready to swiftly restore the reputation of Washington basketball.

Josh Hubbard, a sophomore standout in Starkvegas, will lead the Mississippi State Bulldogs. As usual, Chris Jans’ defense will be loaded, but Kanye Clary might be a stealthy-nice addition to give this backcourt one more spark to produce shots. The big man Mississippi State lands in the transfer portal to take Tolu Smith’s spot is the focus of attention.

The return of Steven Ashworth to the Creighton Bluejays should help the team stay competitive, especially with Mason Miller and Jackson McAndrew and other sharpshooters in the lineup. The work that Creighton performs in the transfer portal will undoubtedly determine its ceiling. It won’t be simple to replace Trey Alexander and Baylor Scheierman. Ryan Kalkbrenner may return to Creighton for an additional season. In that case, Creighton is unquestionably among the top 20 teams in the nation.

Mick Cronin is not participating for the UCLA Bruins. The addition of Kobe Johnson to UCLA’s wing rotation is fantastic. Dylan Andrews performed admirably in the final stretch and should improve in Year 3. The youthful, gifted frontcourt of UCLA led by Sebastian Mack should advance significantly. The key decision to watch here is whether or not to stay with Adem Bona.

Texas Longhorns: The starting trio is Chendall Weaver, Kadin Shedrick, and Tyrese Hunter. Tre Johnson, a five star, and the No. Rodney Terry needs to go big-game hunting in the portal once more, but the 10 recruiting class is a bonus.

New Mexico Lobos: To extend the careers of JT Toppin and Donovan Dent, New Mexico is making every effort. If the Lobos can prevent the two developing difference-makers from entering the portal, they could emerge as absolute superstars the following season.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Cliff Omoruyi, Gavin Griffiths, and Derek Simpson are top players who have entered the transfer portal. Dylan Harper and Ace Bailey will lead Rutgers to victory in the upcoming season, but the rest of the supporting group remains uncertain. To get the most out of his rookie stars, Steve Pikiell needs to play big roles for the supporting players.

Arkansas Razorbacks: As is customary for his kind of coaching, new Arkansas head coach John Calipari (who yes, really) will bring in some heavy hitters. There are currently no players on Arkansas’s roster. Absolutely none. That will soon change, but in 2024–2025, the Hogs’ success will depend on whether they have two-way portal studs.

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