2024-25 Way-too-early Top 25 college basketball rankings: Immediate look ahead to next season

James Fletcher IIIby:James Fletcher III04/09/24


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Now that UConn has been crowned the national champion of the 2023-24 season, every fan across college basketball has started to wonder what their team will look like in 2024-25. That is why it is never too early for the way-too-early Top 25 rankings to release.

Before getting into the top contenders next season, there are some rules to the exercise which must be noted. Some teams, players and coaches still have decisions to make before the tip off, so the list is always in flux. Here are the guidelines you need to know:

  • All NBA Draft decisions will not be made for the player. They are considered back unless they have been listed in Jonathan Givony’s most recent Top 25 big board published by ESPN. Any other decisions will be accounted for when the player announced their plan moving forward. In addition, this is the final year of COVID eligibility rules, and each roster has been traced the best it can to determine which players hold additional eligibility. Waivers and senior decisions will shape the final roster.
  • Teams without a full rotation of returning and incoming players at the time of ranking were not considered. They will be added into the mix after adding to the roster on the recruiting trail or through the transfer portal. Same for teams currently without a coach.

Here is a way-too-early look at what the Top 25 rankings could look like in the 2024-25 season.

1. Houston

Key returns: Jamal Shead, LJ Cryer, J’Wan Roberts, Emanuel Sharp
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Damian Dunn

Houston sits atop this ranking based on the amount of talent they can return from 2023-24 if things fall the right way. Big decisions are left to be made on the NBA Draft and transfer portal which will ultimately determine whether Kelvin Sampson’s group stays here or drops down a tier.

2. Kansas

Key returns: Dajuan Harris, KJ Adams, Hunter Dickinson
Key additions: Zeke Mayo, Riley Kugel, Flory Bidunga
Key departures: Kevin McCullar Jr., Nick Timberlake, Johnny Furphy*

Bill Self told reporters he had turned his focus to 2024-25 at some point early. The results appear to suggest that Kansas will again contend for the No. 1 overall spot in the preseason rankings when everything shakes out. A key decision from Hunter Dickinson, along with recruiting battles, promise to get fans excited.

3. Marquette

Key returns: Tyler Kolek, Kam Jones, David Joplin, Stevie Mitchell
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Oso Ighodaro

Marquette sits in a unique position entering the offseason, with the chance to retain nearly the entire roster if things fall the right way. NBA Draft and transfer portal decisions are sure to come and will determine whether the Golden Eagles remain this high up in the discussion.

4. Alabama

Key returns: Mark Sears, Grant Nelson, Rylan Griffen, Latrell Wrightsell
Key additions: Derrion Reid, Aidan Sherrell, Houston Mallette
Key departures: Aaron Estrada

Alabama is coming off the first Final Four appearance in school history, retaining Nate Oats despite interest from plenty programs across the country this offseason. Now the Crimson Tide must put the finishing touches on the staff and roster through the transfer portal to enter the conversation once again.

5. Duke

Key returns: Jeremy Roach, Tyrese Proctor, Caleb Foster
Key additions: Cooper Flagg, Khaman Maluach, Isaiah Evans, Kon Knueppel, Patick Ngongba
Key departures: Kyle Filipowski*, Jared McCain*, Mark Mitchell

The No. 1 recruiting class belongs to Duke and Jon Scheyer. Top-ranked recruit Cooper Flagg is joined by a talented group on the way in, along with some returning talent. However, they cap out at No. 5 in this ranking due to the lack of recent success by young teams in college basketball.

6. UConn

Key returns: Cam Spencer^, Alex Karaban
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Tristen Newton, Donovan Clingan*, Stephon Castle*

The back-to-back champions are a tempting pick for No. 1 based on nothing more than recent track record. However, the Huskies lose more production off the roster and will need a successful transfer portal dive to enter the race for a third title in as many seasons under Dan Hurley.

7. Baylor

Key returns: Jalen Bridges, Langston Love, Jayden Nunn
Key additions: VJ Edgecombe, Rob Wright
Key departures: Ja’Kobe Walter*, Yves Missi*, RayJ Dennis

Despite losing some big-time freshmen from the roster, Baylor looks to add even more perimeter firepower with five-star VJ Edgecombe. Scott Drew has found a successful and repeatable formula, and the biggest question left for the Bears is whether they can fend off Kentucky to keep him.

8. Gonzaga

Key returns: Graham Ike, Ryan Nembhard, Nolan Hickman, Ben Gregg, Braden Huff, Steele Venters
Key additions: Michael Ajayi
Key departures: Anton Watson

Gonzaga spent much of last season answering questions about the level of talent on the roster compared to past years. However, they answered all the questions. Now they enter 2024-25 with an added scoring punch from a healthy Steele Venters and transfer Michael Ajayi.

9. Auburn

Key returns: Johni Broome, Chad Baker-Mazara, Denver Jones
Key additions: Tahaad Pettiford
Key departures: Jaylin Williams, Aden Holloway

Auburn looks to combine veteran experience with a youthful punch in the backcourt with the addition of guard Tahaad Pettiford with Johni Broome. The Tigers got big production from some multi-year transfer candidates last season who will now enter familiar with the system.

10. Iowa State

Key returns: Keshon Gilbert, Tamin Lipsey, Curtis Jones, Milan Momcilovic
Key additions: Nate Heise, Dishon Jackson
Key departures: Tre King, Robert Jones, Hason Ward

Iowa State was a darling of the analytic machines this season, and could bring back a majority of the production from the team. They have already started the process of adding pieces through the transfer portal as well.

Ranking 11-25

11. Creighton
Key returns: Trey Alexander, Steven Ashworth, Ryan Kalkbrenner
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Baylor Scheierman

12. Arizona
Key returns: Pelle Larsson, Caleb Love
Key additions: Joson Sanon, Carter Bryant
Key departures: Keshad Johnson, Oumar Ballo, Kylan Boswell

13. Tennessee
Key returns: Zakai Zeigler, Jonas Aidoo
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Dalton Knecht, Santiago Vescovi, Josiah-Jordan James

14. North Carolina
Key returns: RJ Davis, Elliot Cadeau, Harrison Ingram
Key additions: Ian Jackson, Drake Powell
Key departures: Armando Bacot, Cormac Ryan

15. St. Mary’s
Key returns: Augustas Marciulionis, Aidan Mahaney, Mitchell Saxen
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Alex Ducas, Joshua Jefferson

16. Purdue                                                                              
Key returns: Braden Smith, Fletcher Loyer
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Zach Edey*, Lance Jones

17. Texas
Key returns: Tyrese Hunter, Kadin Shedrick, Dillon Mitchell
Key additions: Tre Johnson
Key departures: Max Abmas, Dylan Disu

18. Florida
Key returns: Walter Clayton, Will Richard
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Zyon Pullin, Riley Kugel, Tyrese Samuel

19. Providence
Key returns: Bryce Hopkins, Jayden Pierre
Key additions: Bensley Joseph
Key departures: Devin Carter, Josh Oduro, Ticket Gaines

20. Michigan State
Key returns: Jaden Akins, AJ Hoggard
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Tyson Walker, Malik Hall

21. UCLA
Key returns: Lazar Stefanovic, Adem Bona, Dylan Andrews, Sebastian Mack
Key additions: Kobe Johnson, Skyy Clark
Key departures: N/A

22. BYU
Key returns: Jaxson Robinson, Fousseyni Traore, Noah Waterman, Dallin Hall, Trevin Knell, Richie Saunders, Spencer Johnson
Key additions: Collin Chandler
Key departures: N/A

23. Texas A&M
Key returns: Wade Taylor, Andersson Garcia, Henry Coleman
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Tyrece Radford

24. New Mexico
Key returns: Donovan Dent, Nelly Jr. Joseph, JT Toppin
Key additions: N/A
Key departures: Jaelen House, Jamal Mashburn

25. Miami
Key returns: Nigel Pack, Wooga Poplar, Matthew Cleveland
Key additions: Jalil Bethea, Lynn Kidd, Brandon Johnson
Key departures: Norchad Omier, Bensley Joseph