CBS Sports updates Top-25 and 1 after big transfer portal moves

On3 imageby:Sam Gillenwater04/19/24


So much has already taken place in the offseason in college basketball since UConn won the national championship just 11 days ago. Portal moves, draft declarations, and coaching changes have already changed the landscape for next season with the past one not even over for more than a few days now.

With much to consider, CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish has released the latest version of the Top-25 and 1. The Way-Too-Early ranking has already seen a lot of movement, including a jump by one team to claim the No. 1 spot for themselves.

Here’s how Parrish has college basketball’s top teams rated nationally over at CBS less than two weeks after the nets got cut in Glendale:

1. Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas HC Bill Self
(Rob Gray | USA TODAY Sports)

“I think for the last month, I’ve been thinking about next season, to be honest,” said Bill Self following Kansas’ loss to Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament. If that was the case, it looks like a season well-worth thinking ahead to for the Jayhawks.

Kansas moved three spots up to take the No. 1 spot at CBS based on their incredible additions of transfer talent (AJ Storr, Zeke Mayo, and Riley Keugel), a No. 5 recruiting class, and returning production that could be as good as anywhere else in the country. That’s quite the pop for Rock Chalk fans as the offseason in Lawrence is already off to an incredible start.

2. Houston Cougars

Houston G LJ Cryer
(Amy Kontras | USA TODAY Sports)

Houston slides just behind the Jayhawks in CBS’s Top-25 and 1 as the top-two teams in the rankings come out of the Big 12. The Cougars have every right to be there, though, after winning the league and earning a No. 1 seed in this last bracket.

Kelvin Sampson might be losing Jamal Shead but is bringing back LJ Cryer along with several other contributors. That, paired along with their consistent, top-notch defense, and Houston will be right there in the conversation again going into next season.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina G RJ Davis
(Rob Kinnan | USA TODAY Sports)

North Carolina, another No. 1 seed from this past March, should also have a nice foundation for next year’s roster. Much of that will depend on the return of RJ Davis, the reigning ACC Player of the Year, who averaged 21.2 points per game as a senior.

From there, keeping pieces like Harrison Ingram and Elliott Cadeau will be helpful, especially alongside the No. 6 class led by Ian Jackson. That could all come together to give the Tar Heels a lot to work with again in Hubert Davis’ fourth season in Chapel Hill after two of the first three were quite successful.

4. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State
(William Purnell | USA TODAY Sports)

Iowa State, the third team out of the Big 12 in the top-four, may not have been expected to do too much coming into last season. By January, though, the Cycles rolled through the rest of the year en route to winning the Big 12 Tournament, earning a No. 2 seed, and making the Sweet 16.

The finish was the best in T.J. Otzelberger’s early career, especially over three seasons in Ames. Now, with returning players like their backcourt in Keshon Gilbert and Tamin Lipsey, they should be in the mix with those other contenders up top while also trying to take another step with a higher finish in the tournament.

5. UConn Huskies

UConn HC Dan Hurley
David Butler II | USA TODAY Sports

UConn is the reigning, two-time champ of college basketball, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since back in 2007. That’s why there’s little to question in regards to Dan Hurley and the Huskies finding themselves rounding out the top-five at CBS.

Connecticut does have some legitimate work to do to replace their starting lineup with Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer graduating and Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle, and Alex Karaban all declared for the draft. Still, with what they bring back from their depth after just hoisting a second trophy less than two weeks ago, there’s little doubt that UConn will be just fine by the time that tip-off comes in ’24-’25.

6. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gonzaga F Graham Ike
Grace Hollars | IndyStar | USA TODAY NETWORK

’23-’24 was not going well for Gonzaga with about a month to go in the regular season. However, the Bulldogs put themselves in position by winning eight straight games to close the regular season.

The ‘Zags came across the national runner-up in the Sweet 16, which ended their season at 27-8. Now, with most players from that roster expected back, it sets up for what could be a more usual team in Spokane that runs through their schedule en route to a high seed in March Madness.

7. Duke Blue Devils

Cooper Flagg
(Rob Kinnan | USA TODAY Sports)

While the hype is very real at Duke for next season, it has taken a significant hit due to losses like Kyle Filipowski and Jared McCain along with several other portal departures out of Durham. Six players, including Jeremy Roach and Mark Mitchell (Missouri), have transferred out while a seventh, Sean Stewart, is now reportedly headed there too.

With that said, while they will return at least one starting guard in Tyrese Proctor, the focus for Duke remains on their No. 1 recruiting class for this upcoming season. The main attraction of that will be Cooper Flagg, the top prospect in the nation, as he comes in along with five other players, all of which are Top-50 recruits, to play for Jon Scheyer in his third year.

8. Auburn Tigers

Auburn C Johni Broome
(Randy Sartin | USA TODAY Sports)

Auburn’s last season can be viewed both ways as they went 27-8 along with winning the SEC Tournament but also lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Still, it was another quality record overall for the Tigers to close what’s now a decade under Bruce Pearl.

As for next season, getting JP Pegues (Furman) was big after losing three guards to the portal while the return of Johni Broome is equally, if not more so, vital. Pairing that duo with key returners, such as Chad Baker-Mazara and Dylan Cardwell, with two four-star prospects is then enough to give Auburn the eighth slot in Parrish’s rankings as the top team out of the Southeastern Conference.

9. Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue G Braden Smith
(Marc Lebryk | USA TODAY Sports)

What is life like for the Boilermakers without Zach Edey? We’re going to find out next season as Purdue loses the two-time National Player of the Year along with their key transfer in Lance Jones.

However, while Edey was always among the best in the nation, Purdue was more than just him as evidenced by four straight top-four seeds, including this year’s run to a national title game appearance. That starts with their backcourt in Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer as they become juniors next year.

10. Creighton Bluejays

Creighton's Ryan Kalkbrenner, Trey Alexander
(Lon Horwedel | USA TODAY Sports)

Creighton had one of their best records over 14 seasons under Greg McDermott this year. They went 25-10, were one of the best in the Big East, and reached a third Sweet 16 in four years.

Losing the all-around impact of Baylor Scheierman (18.5 points, nine rebounds, 3.9 assists will be a lot for the Bluejays to overcome. With that said, they still look to be returning three key cogs in Trey Alexander, Ryan Kalkbrenner, and Steven Ashworth that has them rounding out the Top-10 for Parrish at CBS.

Nos. 11 – 26

11. Alabama Crimson Tide
12. Texas A&M Aggies
13. Clemson Tigers
14. Marquette Golden Eagles
15. Arizona Wildcats
16. Tennessee Volunteers
17. Ohio State Buckeyes
18. Baylor Bears
19. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
20. Miami Hurricanes
21. Florida Gators
22. Seton Hall Pirates
23. Texas Longhorns
24. Indiana Hoosiers
25. Providence Friars
26. Illinois Fighting Illini

We’re still looking at over half a year until any of these teams, many of which are nowhere close to complete, next take the court. Still, as of April 19th, this is how Parrish currently sees the country with Kansas being the one that’s trending, and may continue to trend, at CBS above the rest.