College basketball is closer than you may think, but we’ve got you covered heading into a new season filled with drama, disappointment, and shocking performances.
As the offseason slows down and rosters continue to shape out, we rank the top ten teams and what they bring to the table in 2023-24.
1. Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks have a beautiful blend of youthful talent, returning studs, and high-end transfers making up this elite roster. Dajuan Harris Jr. and Kevin McCullar Jr. return. At the same time, Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson and Towson transfer Nick Timberlake will fill out potentially the best starting lineup in college basketball next season.
2. Purdue Boilermakers
Zach Edey. He is literally the biggest reason the Boilermakers check in at the second spot on this list, a serious frontrunner to win National Player of the Year for the second season running. The talented sophomore backcourt pairing of Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith are each a year older and will need to be more reliant in high-pressure situations this season for Purdue to take the next step.
3. Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils made out like bandits with this year’s offseason. They hit a home run by returning four legitimate NBA prospects, Kyle Filipowski, Tyrese Proctor, Jeremy Roach, and Mark Mitchell, to a team also bringing in the second-best recruiting class this fall.
4. Michigan State Spartans
Sparty returns a boatload of production and are back in the preseason mix for a national title. A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker headline a dynamic backcourt, while Malik Hall‘s return, paired with the arrival of five-star recruit Xavier Booker, makes this one of the top frontcourts in the country.
5. Houston Cougars
The Cougars lose their star in Marcus Sasser to the NBA, but they reload quickly with the additions of Baylor transfer LJ Cryer and Temple transfer Damian Dunn. They will again be the nation’s hub for elite point guard play as the Cougars look to make a statement in their debut season in the Big 12.
6. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Seeing how sixth feels low for Gonzaga, it just states how dominant the program has been in recent years. The Bulldogs will remain national title contenders, bringing in big-name transfers like Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard, Eastern Washington’s Steele Venters, and Wyoming’s Graham Ike. It may take some time to mesh, but the talent here can compete with any team in the nation.
7. UConn Huskies
The defending champs lost plenty of production from last season’s team between Jordan Hawkins, Andre Jackson, and Adama Sanogo, all electing to head to the next level. That means it’s next man up in Storrs as Donovan Clingan, Tristen Newton, and five-star freshman Stephon Castle will look to keep the party going in the northeast.
8. Marquette Golden Eagles
College basketball’s quarterback Tyler Kolek is back for the Golden Eagles while leading scorer Kam Jones also returns to the mix. Marquette’s talent is undeniable, putting head coach Shaka Smart in a bit of a situation. If his program experiences another early exit in March, questions will be asked about how long his leash is in Milwaukee.
9. Tennessee Volunteers
Three starters return to Knoxville for the Volunteers, while Northern Colorado transfer and 20-points-per-game scorer Dalton Knecht will likely find a spot in the starting five. Hopefully, he can provide the scoring punch Tennessee desperately needed at critical points throughout last year’s campaign.
10. Villanova Wildcats
Justin Moore looked like Justin Moore upon his return to the court at season’s end. After missing most of the season with an Achilles injury, he returned at the end of January and averaged 16.4 points per game in his final eight contests. If he can be back to 100 percent alongside the additions of Richmond transfer Tyler Burton, Washington State transfer TJ Bamba, Maryland transfer Hakim Hart, and returning big man Eric Dixon, the Wildcats have Final Four potential.
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