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Aaron Torres College Hoops 'Way Too Early Top 25' for 2024-2025 - Version 3.0

Updated: May 8

It's May, and you know what that means - it's time to update our "Way Too Early College Hoops Top 25."

Bluntly, a LOT has changed since we dropped our first edition shortly after the national championship a few weeks ago. Major rosters moves have been made, stars have entered the portal, and even a few coaching moves as well.

Here is our updated list, with a new twist: For the first time of the Mark Pope era, Kentucky makes an appearance, and for the first time of the John Calipari era in Fayetteville, Arkansas finds itself on the list as well.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Key Returnees: Mark Sears, Grant Nelson, Jarin Stevenson, Latrell Wrightsell Jr.,

Key Departures: Aaron Estrada, Rylan Griffen (transfer), Sam Walters (transfer), Nick Pringle (transfer), Davin Cosby Jr. (transfer), Mohamed Wague (transfer)

Key Additions: Cliff Omoruyi (transfer), Aden Holloway (transfer), Chris Youngblood (transfer), Houston Mallette (transfer), Derrion Reid, Aiden Sherrell, Naas Cunningham, Labaron Philon

Well Alabama fans, enjoy this moment: Based on what your coaching staff has done this off-season, the Tide (and maybe likely will) begin next year as my personal preseason No. 1 team in the country.

The Tide still have work to do at the deadline, but if Mark Sears and Jarin Stevenson return to school, this will be the deepest, most balanced squad in the sport. Sears returns as an All-American candidate, and will have several key pieces from last year's Final Four team alongside him, including Stevenson and forward Grant Nelson. Nelson didn't even declare for the draft and will return for a senior season.

Still, it's what Nate Oats has done to shore up this roster this off-season that's so impressive. The biggest move may have been the most recent, as center Cliff Omoruyi was added to the roster over the weekend, to shore up the front court, and give this team the true rim protection it was missing a year ago. He was one of several transfers who could have an impact, including South Florida's Chris Youngblood, a cold-blooded three-point shooter. Oh, and for four fun, Oats has also added a loaded four-man high school class, led by a pair of McDonald's All-Americans.

If Sears and Stevenson return, think of the Tide as Noah's Arc - they basically have of everything. And they're your favorites to win the 2025 national title.

2. Kansas Jayhawks

Key Returnees: DaJuan Harris Jr., Hunter Dickinson, Elmarko Jackson, KJ Adams Jr.

Key Departures: Kevin McCullar Jr., Johnny Furphy, Nick Timberlake, Parker Braun

Key Newcomers: AJ Storr (transfer), Rylan Griffen (transfer), Zeke Mayo (transfer), Riley Kugel (transfer), Flory Bidunga, Rakease Passmore

When Bill Self told reporters "I've been planning for next year for a month" following an NCAA Tournament loss, he wasn't lying - and the Jayhawks now have, in my opinion, the best team in college basketball heading into 2024-2025.

The crux of what Self has done this off-season has come through the portal, and he may have made his biggest splash yet last week with the addition of Wisconsin wing AJ Storr. Storr averaged nearly 18 points per game, and was the best player in the portal this off-season as far as I'm concerned. In addition, Zeke Mayo, the Summit League Player of the Year at South Dakota State, with Alabama sharp-shooter Rylan Griffen committing to largely round out this roster. Florida sixth man Riley Kugel is also committed, but a recent interview from Bill Self makes you wonder if Kugel may consider other options.

Add them in with a veteran core of returnees (DaJuan Harris Jr., Hunter Dickinson) and you have a team good enough to win a second title in four years.

3. UConn Huskies

Key Returnees: Alex Karaban, Samson Johnson, Hassan Diarra, Jaylin Stewart, Solo Ball

Key Departures: Tristen Newton, Cam Spencer, Stephon Castle, Donovan Clingan

Key Newcomers: Tarris Reed Jr., (transfer), Aidan Mahaney (transfer), Liam McNeeley, Ahmad Nowell, Isaiah Abraham

The Huskies are your two-time reigning national champion, and even though they'll lose four starters, it'd be dumb to drop this team too far. You know, considering they were picked to finish third in the Big East this year - and ended up as national champions.

While things will look different, make no mistake: Assuming veteran forward Alex Karban returns (he's testing the NBA Draft waters), Dan Hurley has a team good enough to win it all yet again.

Should Karaban return, the Huskies bring back a nice mix of contributors from last year's team (Hassan Diarra, Samson Johnson) and high-upside sophomores (Solo Ball and Jaylin Stewart) to pair with intriguing newcomers.

The big name is McDonald's All-American Liam McNeeley, who could be a breakout star in this offense, while Saint Mary's transfer Aidan Mahaney should add needed scoring pop as well.

4. Baylor Bears

Key Returnees: Jalen Bridges, Langston Love, Jayden Nunn, Josh Ojianwuna

Key Departures: Ja'Kobe Walter, RayJ Dennis, Yves Missi

Key Additions: Jeremy Roach (transfer), Norchad Omier (transfer), VJ Edgecombe, Noah Boyed, Rob Wright, Jason Asemoa

Over the last couple off-seasons I haven't always loved Baylor's roster composition, but this year, I love the pieces that Scott Drew has put together.

Put simply, the Bears might have the best starting backcourt in America, with Duke transfer Jeremy Roach and five-star VJ Edgecombe. Roach was, in my opinion, one of the top 2-3 players to enter the portal all off-season, and will bring the experience that this backcourt that was otherwise missing. And a major frontcourt piece was added just this past week, as Miami double-double machine Norchad Omier has decided to go to Baylor as well.

Add in returnees like Jalen Bridges and Langston Love, and this group is group is talented and balanced from top-to-bottom. It's Scott Drew's best team since the 2021 national title squad.

5. Houston Cougars

Key Returnees: LJ Cryer, Emmanuel Sharp, J'Wan Roberts, Ja'Vier Francis, Terrence Arceneaux, Mylik Wilson, Joseph Tugler

Key Departures: Jamal Shead, Damian Dunn (transfer)

Key Additions: Milos Uzan (transfer), Chase McCarty, Mercy Miller

At this point, we're just betting on Kelvin Sampson - because why the heck wouldn't we? But even if you're a doubter, the reigning Big 12 champs return plenty of talent in 2024-2025.

All-American Jamal Shead is out the door, but the Cougars appear to have already addressed that, by adding former Oklahoma starting point guard Milos Uzan.

But beyond Shead's departure most of the key pieces return. Emmanuel Sharp was a breakout start this season and LJ Cryer came on late as the team's much-needed scoring pop. J'Wan Roberts, Ja'Vier Francis and Joseph Tugler provide toughness down low.

6. Iowa State Cyclones

Key Returnees: Keshon Gilbert, Tamin Lipsey, Curtis Jones, Milan Momcilovic

Key Departures: Tre King, Robert Jones, Hason Ward, Omaha Bilew (transfer)

Key Additions: Joshua Jefferson (transfer), Nate Heise (transfer), Dishon Jackson (transfer), Brandon Chatfield (transfer)

The Cyclones were one of the great stories of the college basketball season - and could be an even better one with several key pieces back.

The backcourt returns mostly intact, with Keshon Gilbert and Tamin Lipsey returning, and it should be a big sophomore year for  Milan Momcilovic. Iowa State needed to add some pieces in the frontcourt, and have quickly gotten to work, most notably with Charlotte's Dishon Jackson.

The last big piece came just a week or so ago, when Joshua Jefferson, a star on Saint Mary's WCC Championship team prior to injury announced he'd be a Cyclone. He'll bring a balance of defensive toughness and scoring pop to this team on the wing.

7. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Key Returnees: Ryan Nembhard, Graham Ike, Ben Gregg, Nolan Hickman, Braden Huff, Dusty Stromer, Steele Venters

Key Departures: Anton Watson

Key Additions: Michael Ayayi (transfer)

I'll readily admit that I was hard on Mark Few all season, but the year ended with one of his best coaching jobs - getting to the Zags into the Sweet 16.

And in 2024-2025, they should make their back into the conversation of nationally elite.

Put simply, the Zags basically return six of their top seven players off another second weekend NCAA Tournament team, including point guard Ryan Nembhard and Graham Ike.

With only Anton Watson out the door, the Zags team that finished the season red hot, should start the season as one of the nation's best next year.

8. North Carolina Tar Heels

Key Returnees: RJ Davis, Eliot Cadeau, Seth Trimble, Jalen Washington, Jae'Lyn Withers

Key Losses: Armando Bacot, Harrison Ingram, Cormac Ryan, Paxson Wojcik

Key Newcomers: Cade Tyson (transfer), Ian Jackson, Drake Powell, James Brown

It was a big, late April push for Hubert Davis, who got two of his biggest pieces shortly before the calendar turned to May.

None is bigger than the return of All-American RJ Davis, who averaged 21 points per game this past season. He might be the most accomplished returnee anywhere in college basketball. The other big news of the month was that the Tar Heels added elite shooting in Belmont transfer Cade Tyson.

Add those two in with a slew of returnees (headlined by freshman Eliot Cadeau) and high-upside freshmen (Ian Jackson and Drake Powell) and this is your ACC favorite. They might be a national title favorite if they can add big man Cliff Omoyuri from Rutgers to the mix, who is visiting campus this week.

9. Arizona Wildcats

Key Returnees: Jaden Bradley, KJ Lewis, Motiejus Krivas

Key Departures: Caleb Love, Keshad Johnson, Pelle Larsson, Kylan Boswell (transfer), Oumar Ballo (transfer)

Key Newcomers: Trey Towsend (transfer), Tobe Awaka (transfer) Carter Bryant, Jamari Phillips, Joson Sanon, Emmanuel Stephen 

It's been quite a busy off-season in Tucson. Two starters (Kylan Boswell and Oumar Ballo) have transferred, but both were expected. Two more starters (Pelle Larsson and Keshad Johnson) are also gone to the pros, and both Caleb Love and KJ Lewis have declared for the draft, but could return.

Got all that? Despite it all, there is plenty of talent left on this roster.

Jaden Bradley - who was outplaying Boswell late in the season last year - takes over at point guard, and assuming Lewis is back, they will form one of the top 1-2 punches in college basketball. Veteran forward Trey Towsend transfers in from Oakland to take over for Larsson on the wing, and Tennessee transfer Tobe Awaka provides toughness down low, with Motiejus Krivas starting at center.

Oh, and there are three high-level freshmen coming in as well, headlined by McDonald's All-American Carter Bryant.

Truthfully, the Wildcats have enough talent even without Caleb Love. His return puts them on the short list of "title favorites" though.

10. Duke Blue Devils

Key Returnees: Tyrese Proctor, Caleb Foster

Key Losses: Kyle Filipowski, Jared McCain, Ryan Young, Jeremy Roach (transfer), Mark Mitchell (transfer), Sean Stewart (transfer), TJ Power (transfer), Jaylen Blakes (transfer)

Key Newcomers: Cooper Flagg, Khaman Maluach, Isaiah Evans, Kon Knueppel, Patrick Ngongba II, Darren Harris, Maliq Brown (transfer), Mason Gillis (transfer)

Well, we can't say it hasn't been an active April at Duke. That's because in total, we have seen 10 players off last year's team leave the program, with seven hitting the transfer portal. While some were expected, I can't imagine Jon Scheyer went into the off-season assuming all 20 wouldn't be back on campus next year.

At the same time, a lot of the player movement has to do with one simple thing: Duke having an ABSURD freshman class coming in next season. It's obviously headlined by the No. 1 player in America, Cooper Flagg, with five of Duke's six commitments ranked inside 247 Sports' Top 20 players in America.

Those six will combine with returnees Tyrese Proctor and Caleb Foster, with the Blue Devils adding veteran transfers Maliq Brown (Syracuse) and Mason Gillis (Purdue).

The Blue Devils appear to still be in the mix to add a scoring wing (Koby Brea) as well.

11. Purdue Boilermakers 

Key Returnees: Braden Smith, Fletcher Loyer, Will Berg, Trey Kaufmann-Wrenn, Myles Colvin

Key Departures: Zach Edey, Lance Jones, Mason Gillis (transfer)

Key Additions: Kanon Catchings, Gicarri Harris, Daniel Jacobsen

The Boilermakers came up short of a title, but should again be the class of the Big Ten in 2024-2025.

The backcourt of Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer return, and emerging star Myles Colvin should take over the role of Lance Jones. Trey Kaufmann-Wrenn returns at the four spot.

The big question - how does Purdue replace Zach Edey?

While the production will be impossible to replace, 7'2 Will Berg is ready to step in, and 7'3 freshman Daniel Jacobsen arrives on campus as well. Matt Painter definitely has a type, doesn't he?!

12. Arkansas Razorbacks

Key Returnees: N/A

Key Departures: Trevon Brazile, Jeremiah Davenport, Jalen Graham, Mahki Mitchell, Tramon Mark (transfer), Khalif Battle (transfer), Devo Davis (transfer), Keyon Menefield (transfer), Baye Fall (transfer), Layden Blocker (transfer)

Key Additions: Johnell Davis (Arkansas), Jonas Aidoo (transfer), Adou Thiero (transfer), Zvonimir Ivisic (transfer), Boogie Fland, Karter Knox, Billy Richmond

Much like the program he left in Lexington, it's been a complete rebuild for John Calipari in Fayetteville (man, that's going to take some getting used to). And much like the man who replaced him in Lexington, John Calipari has done about as good of a job as you could ask for so far.

To his credit, Calipari was able to convince three of the four freshmen he wanted to follow him to Arkansas, adding McDonald's All-Americans Karter Knox and Boogie Fland, while former Wildcat Zvonimir "Big Z" Ivisic decided to join him as well as well. Maybe more impressively, Calipari has killed the portal, adding Tennessee forward Jonas Aidoo and maybe the jewel of this entire transfer class, Johnell Davis. And on Monday, there was the addition of former Wildcat Adou Thiero as well, a physical wing, who runs the floor, blocks shots and throws down vicious dunks.

There is still a piece or two to add, but the core of this roster has been put together. And that core is good enough to compete for an SEC title.

13. Kentucky Wildcats

Key Returnees: N/A

Key Departures: Reed Sheppard, Rob Dillingham, Antonio Reeves, Tre Mitchell, DJ Wagner (transfer), Aaron Bradshaw (transfer), Adou Thiero (transfer),

Key Additions: Amari Williams (transfer), Koby Brea (transfer), Lamont Butler (transfer), Otega Oweh (transfer), Andrew Carr (transfer), Kerr Kriisa (transfer), Brandon Garrison (transfer), Collin Chandler (transfer), Travis Perry

For the first time in the Mark Pope era.... Kentucky has entered the "Way Too Early Top 25."

Pope's first roster is coming together quickly, and I love the balance between scoring and defense, with high-level veterans filling things in across the board.

The Wildcats will be led by veteran guard Lamont Butler, a San Diego State vet who helped lead the Aztecs to the Final Four in 2023. Otega Oweh (Oklahoma) and Andrew Carr (Wake Forest) add scoring pop on the wing and four positions, with Amari Williams (Drexel) and Brandon Garrison (Oklahoma State) adding bulk down low as well.

Last week, Kentucky added maybe its most important piece yet, as Koby Brea, the best three-point shooter available committed. Brea hit a staggering 49.8 percent from three, on over 200 attempts this year, while averaging 11 points per game.

The only question now for Pope: What's next? With most of main pieces set, it'll be interesting to see how the final few pieces come together.

14. Auburn Tigers

Key Returnees: Johni Broome, Chad Baker-Mazara, Denver Jones, Dylan Cardwell, Chaney Johnson

Key Departures: Jaylin Williams, Aden Holloway (transfer), Tre Donaldson (transfer), KD Johnson (transfer)

Key Additions: JP Pegues (transfer), Tahad Pettiford, Jahki Howard

There's both good news and bad news if you're an Auburn Tigers fan.

The good news is, you're returning arguably the most accomplished player in the SEC in Johni Broome. His decision to return probably puts him position to be Preseason Player of the Year in the league, and there are some really nice pieces around him, including last year's dynamic transfer star Chad Baker-Mazara.

The bad news is, that after losing both Aden Holloway and Tre Donaldson to transfer, a lot will be put on the plate of new guards JP Pegues (a Furman transfer) and freshman Tahad Pettiford.

Pegues is an experienced, high-level guard who helped Furman to the Round of 32 in the 2023 NCAA Tournament and Pettiford is a McDonald's All-American - so they will be up for the challenge.

But still look for the Tigers to add one more guard to next year's squad.

15. Marquette Golden Eagles

Key Returnees: Kam Jones, David Joplin, Stevie Mitchell, Chase Ross, Ben Gold, Sean Jones, Tre Norman

Key Departures: Tyler Kolek, Oso Ighodaro,

Key Newcomers: Damarius Owens, Royce Parham

This might be a bit high on the Golden Eagles, but even with the departures of Tyler Kolek and Oso Ighodaro, there is still plenty of talent on this roster.

Most resides in the backcourt where Kam Jones will be one of the best guards in the Big East, Ben Gold is a solid stretch big man, and they will be surrounded by plenty of speed and shooting.

This team might not have the ceiling of the previous two Marquette teams, but their floor is higher than most people probably give it credit for.

16. Tennessee Volunteers

Key Returnees: Zakai Ziegler, Justin Gainey, Jamai Mashack, JP Estrella

Key Departures: Dalton Knecht, Josiah Jordan-James, Santiago Vescovi, Jonas Aidoo (transfer), Tobe Awaka (transfer), Freddie Dillone (transfer)

Key Additions: Darlinstone Dubar (transfer), Igor Milicic Jr. (transfer), Felix Okpara (transfer), Bishop Boswell

Like so many other schools on this preseason Top 25 list - there is both good news and bad news for the Vols.

The good news is, the Vols return a nice core off last year's Elite Eight team, including key guards Zakai Ziegler and Justin Gainey. The bad news is that the frontcourt did take a hit with the departures of Jonas Aidoo and Tobe Awaka.

Like any good coach though, Rick Barnes has rebounded, and done about as well as you can to plug holes in the portal. Darlinstone Dubar (a 20+ point per game scorer at Hofstra last season) should help replace some of Dalton Knecht's scoring, while 6'10 Igor Milicic Jr. will provide the size and physicality needed down low for this team.

17. UCLA Bruins

Key Returnees: Sebastian Mack, Dylan Andrews, Lazar Stefanovic, Aday Mara, Brandon Williams, Devin Williams

Key Departures: Adem Bona, Will McClendon (transfer), Berke Buyuktuncel (transfer)

Key Additions: Skyy Clark (transfer), Kobe Johnson (transfer), Eric Dailey (transfer), Tyler Bilodeau (transfer), Dominick Harris (transfer)

So I'm buying high on UCLA. One, because I love what the Bruins have done in the portal. And two, because I just believe that Mick Cronin is too good of a coach to have awful seasons in back-to-back years.

In terms of the roster, while star Adem Bona is gone, right now just about everyone else is projected back. More importantly, the Bruins were able to add the size, athleticism and toughness that they lacked a year ago in the portal. Kobe Johnson (USC) and Eric Dailey Jr. (Oklahoma State) are two guys on the wing with skill-sets that they just simply didn't have last year. Skyy Clark is a lead ball-handler, and Dominick Harris is a dude that can get points at the guard spot.

Put simply, the portal has helped this team upgrade its athleticism and toughness quickly, and should be deemed a Big Ten contender in their first year in the league next season.

18. Michigan Wolverines

Key Returnees: Nimari Burnett, Will Tschetter,

Key Departures: Dug McDaniel (transfer), Tarris Reed Jr. (transfer), Terrence Williams II (transfer), Olivier Nkamhoua

Key Additions: Vlad Goldin (transfer), Tre Donaldson (transfer), Danny Wolf (transfer), Sam Walters (transfer), Roddy Gayle Jr. (transfer), Rubin Jones (transfer), Justin Pippin

Well, this my friends, is what we call "a plot twist." Because after not evening having Michigan under consideration for the Top 25 a week ago, they're now on the edge of the Top 15.

That's because in a credit to new coach Dusty May, he went on a portal run for the ages over the last few weeks, adding a slew of marquee guys. Roddy Gayle averaged 14 points per game this past season at rival Ohio State and Danny Wolf was one of the most coveted big men available from Yale. Sam Walters is a highly-skilled big wing coming off a Final Four run at Alabama, and Tre Donaldson is a solid, veteran guard.

And then there was maybe his most important piece yet, as 7'1 center Vlad Goldin recently announced he'd follow May to Ann Arbor. This squad will be a Big Ten contender in Year 1.

19. St. John's Red Storm

Key Returnees: RJ Luis, Simeon Wilcher, Zuby Ejifor, Brady Dunlap

Key Departures: Joel Soriano, Daniss Jenkins, Chris Ledlum, Jordan Dingle, Nahiem Alleyne, Glenn Taylor Jr. (transfer)

Key Additions: Kadary Richmond (transfer), Deivon Smith (transfer), Aaron Scott (transfer), Vince Iwuchukwu (transfer). Jaiden Glover, Khaman Maker

When St. John's opted out of the NIT after (wrongly) getting snubbed from the NCAA Tournament, it was so Rick Pitino could get to work on his 2024-2025 roster.

And while it took a little while, he has put together a roster that's as good as anyone in the Big East not named "UConn."

The biggest addition came in early May when Seton Hall transfer Kadary Richmond, arguably the best player to enter the transfer portal this off-season committed to the Red Storm. He was a player who averaged 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game, helping Seton Hall to an NIT championship.

He will team with Utah guard Deivon Smith in one of the most explosive backcourts in college basketball and will be surrounded by talented returning pieces, including wing RJ Luis (11 points per game last year) and sharpshooting Brady Dunlap. Former McDonald's All-American  Vince Iwuchukwu and Zuby Ejifor will man the paint.

In a few short months, Rick Pitino has put together a contender.

Say it with me now: BIG. RICK. ENERGY.

20. Florida Gators

Key Returnees: Walter Clayton Jr., Will Richard, Micah Handlogten, Alex Condon

Key Departures: Zyon Pullin, Tyrese Samuel, Riley Kugel (transfer)

Key Additions: Alijah Martin (transfer), Rueben Chinyelu (transfer), Sam Alexis (transfer), Isaiah Brown, Olivier Rioux

I'll readily admit that I was dubious of Florida's hire of Todd Golden a few off-seasons ago. But credit where it's due: Golden is coming off an NCAA Tournament run this year, and has quickly and deftly put together another excellent team in 2024-2025.

First off, there are the returnees and the Gators have some of the best in college hoops. Walter Clayton Jr. was an All-SEC guard this year, and will team with Will Richard. Unfortunately, it does look like center Micah Handlogten will take a redshirt after his nasty SEC Tournament injury.

Beyond just what returns, is what Golden has done in the portal this off-season. The biggest addition came just days ago, with Florida Atlantic guard Alijah Martin coming aboard and Rueben Chinyelu was an underrated and key contributor on Washington State's NCAA Tournament squad a season ago.

21. Indiana Hoosiers

Key Returnees: Malik Reneau, Trey Galloway, Mackenzie Mgbako

Key Departures: Ke'El Ware, Xavier Johnson, Anthony Walker, CJ Gunn (transfer)

Key Additions: Oumar Ballo (transfer), Myles Rice (transfer), Kanaan Carlyle (transfer), Luke Goode (transfer), Bryson Tucker

Say this for Mike Woodson: In a make-or-break 2024-2025 season, if he goes out, he'll go out guns blazing.

To his credit, Indiana has been as big of a winner as anyone in the college hoops portal this off-season. They added Myles Rice from Washington State, last year's Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, elite freshman talent Kanaan Carlyle (Stanford) and big man Oumar Ballo from Arizona. While Ballo being tabbed by some outlets as "the best player in the portal" seems a bit much, he is a difference-maker on both ends down low. Indiana also added McDonald's All-American Bryson Tucker just a few weeks ago. They recently added more shooting, with the addition of former Illinois forward Luke Goode.

Still, as important as the additions are, it's about the returnees too. Star Malik Reneau is back for a junior season, as is Mackenzie Mgbako after a mostly productive freshman year.

If this all comes together - and that's still a big "if" - this team is good enough to compete for a Big Ten title.

22. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Key Returnees: Jeremiah Williams

Key Departures: Cliff Omoyuri, Gavin Griffiths, Noah Fernandes, Austin Williams

Key Additions: Ace Bailey, Dylan Harper, Tyson Acuff (transfer), Zach Martini (transfer), Jordan Derkack (transfer)

The age old debate in college hoops continues to be - can you trust young talent to win you games, and the best test case next year might be an unusual place: Rutgers.

That's because in what is, quite literally, something we've never seen before, Piscataway is home to two of the best freshmen in the country. Ace Bailey is a legitimate threat to unseat Cooper Flagg as the No. 1 pick in the draft next year and Dylan Harper is a projected Top 10 pick as well.

To Steve Pikell's credit, he's working hard to get talent around them, already adding two key transfers this off-season, including Tyson Acuff, who averaged 21 points this season at Eastern Michigan

Still, it's all about the freshmen - and the Scarlet Knights will have two of the best.

23. Illinois Fighting Illini

Key Returnees: Ty Rodgers, Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn

Key Departures: Terrence Shannon Jr., Coleman Hawkins (transfer), Marcus Domask, Dain Dainja (transfer), Luke Goode (transfer)

Key Additions: Kylan Boswell (transfer), Tre Whie (transfer), Carey Booth (transfer), Jake Davis (transfer), Ben Humrichous (transfer), Morez Johnson

While there's no way to truly replace the production of All-American Terrence Shannon Jr. and four-year program stalwart Coleman Hawkins, credit Brad Underwood, who has done about as good of a job as you can so far in the portal.

The biggest addition so far is probably former Arizona point guard Kylan Boswell. While Boswell didn't quite work at Arizona, a fresh start in his hometown will probably be a good thing for the former five-star point guard. A fresh start should also be good for Tre White, who was one of the few bright spots at Louisville last year. Ben Humrichous is a big man who should provide shooting after playing at Evansville throughout his career.

There is of course the added twist that Coleman Hawkins did hit the transfer portal and does have an extra year of eligibility. However, if you read all his statements, it seems that he is ready to move on and be a professional. So we'll believe he's coming back to college (and Illinois) when we see it.

24. Xavier Musketeers

Key Returnees: Dayvion McKnight, Zach Freemantle, Jerome Hunter, Trey Green

Key Departures: Quincy Olivari, Abou Ousmane (transfer), Desmond Claude (transfer)

Key Additions: Ryan Conwell (transfer), Dante Maddox Jr. (transfer), Marcus Foster (transfer), John Hughley IV (transfer), Jonathan Powell

It was some sort of day at Xavier a few weeks back, when the Musketeers lost their leading returning scorer to the portal (Desmond Claude) but then added Ryan Conwell, a high-scoring transfer from Indiana State.

Combine them with the return of key guard Dayvion McKnight and a (hopefully) healthy front court of Zach Freemantle and Jerome Hunter, and the Musketeers could be a surprise in the Big East in 2024-2025.

25. USC Trojans

Key Returnees: Harrison Hornery

Key Departures: Boogie Ellis, Isaiah Collier, Joshua Morgan

Key Additions: Desmond Claude (transfer), Chibuzo Agbo (transfer), Terrence Williams II, Saint Thomas (transfer), Bryce Pope (transfer), Joshua Cohen (transfer), Clark Slajchert (transfer), Matt Knowling (transfer), Rashaun Agee (transfer), Isaiah Elohim, Jalen Shelley

You knew when Eric Musselman got to USC, it wasn't going to take long for him to put together a competitive team - but to his credit, he's done it quicker and better than just about anyone could've imagined.

In total, the Trojans added six players over the course of one 72 hour April weekend. They were highlighted by former Boise State star Chibuzo Agbo and Northern Colorado's Saint Thomas. Josh Cohen (UMass) adds sizes, with Penn's Clark Slajchert adding shooting off the bench.

There is probably at least one or two more pieces to add - and it is worth noting that they remain in play for McDonald's All-American guard Trent Perry. Perry was committed to the Trojans previous staff, before re-opening his recruitment following the previous coaching staff's departure.

Just missed:

26. Texas Longhorns

27. Providence College Friars

28. Ole Miss Rebels

29. Louisville Cardinals

30. Ohio State Buckeyes


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