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College Basketball Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2023-2024

Obviously, this is a real way too early ranking, but we are taking a look at which teams figure to return the most players for the 2023-24 college basketball season. With 1700+ transfers hitting the portal in the last 2 years, nothing is set in stone here. You just never know who will go. That goes both ways as some teams will bolster this talent in the spring at the expense of others as well. This is just an early projection and who we think that is playing well will have the most returns as we sit today.

1. Purdue

Zach Edey’s draft prospects aren’t considered great by most. We think he will be a successful NBA player, but if he’s not going to be drafted highly than he may opt to return. I think with the NIL being what it is, he is probably even more likely to at this point. This will be especially true if Purdue can an NIL together in the range of those Oscar Tshiebwe or Drew Timmie got. Foster Loyer and Smith are freshmen and playing at a high level but an unlikely one and done’s I think you got to have Purdue here if Edey returns.

48Myles J. Colvin6’5″Purdue
112Dravyn Gibbs-Lawhorn6’2″Purdue

2. Arizona

Losing to a 15th seed Princeton in the tournament isn’t ideal, but I don’t put a lot into that, upsets happen. All 4 of their top returns averaging double-digit points can return. I would expect Tubelis and Ballo to return as well.

56K.J. Lewis6’4″Arizona

3. Marquette

Shaka Smart could return all of its main contributors. Kameron Jones will have a big decision on the NBA Draft but even if he leaves they are in great shape.

98Tre Norman6’3″Marquette
141Zaide Lowery6’4″Marquette

4. Houston

Sasser is a senior and Walker is likely to enter the draft. At this point though I think you have to trust the system Sampson has. It almost feels plug-and-play at this point. Roberts, Mark, and Sheed should return, and I’m sure Sampson will add more talent though the portal. They also have a nice incoming high school class as well.They shouldn’t miss a beat in the Big 12.

76Joesph Tugler6’8″Houston
99Kordelius Jefferson6’4″Houston
101Jacob McFarland6’10”Houston

5. UConn

UConn could return everyone that essentially matters. What Jordan Hawkins does in the NBA draft will matter but even if he goes Adama Sango is likely to stay. He should keep UConn in the mix. They also have 5-Star Stephon Castle coming in. Tristen Newton could and likely will use his extra covid season.

24Stephon Castle6’6″UConn
39Soloman Ball6’3UConn
75Jaylin Stewart6’7″UConn
122Jayden Ross6’7″UConn

6. Kansas

Kansas just wins. They probably lose their 3 leading scorers but at this point you just have to expect they will reload. They always do. Incoming freshman Elmarko Jackson should help the most. Bill Self should have some tricks up his sleeve in the portal as well like always.

25Elmarko Jackson6’3″Kansas
30Chris Johnson6’6″Kansas
81Jamari McDowell6’5″Kansas

7. UCLA 

Cronin losing 3 seniors in this top 4. Clark will likely return, and they have some strong freshmen in Bona, Baily, and Andrews that are probably ready for more. Bona might enter the draft, but I think it’s more likely he returns. 

52Devin Williams6’10”UCLA
60Brandon Williams6’8″UCLA
73Sebastian Mack6’4″UCLA
108R.J. Jones6’3″UCLA

8. Baylor

Cryer and Bridges will likely return and incoming freshmen Miro Little and Ja’Kobe Walter should help Baylor reload.

14Ja’Kobe Walter6’5″Baylor
36Miro Little6’4Baylor

9. Miami

They really only have one player that is a senior, Miller. Wong, Pack, and Omier can and are likely to return as is everyone else of importance. Larranaga is getting up there in age, but with this team I think he’s probably going to come back for one more season.

136Michael Nwoko6’10”Miami

10. Kentucky

Oscar Tshiebwe will be tough to replace. The Wildcats also will take heavy losses losing Reeves and Toppin and possibly Wallace . The good news is they have the top-ranked recruiting class coming in with 4 top 10 players. Calipari is leaning back into the one-and-done model hard after focusing more on transfers the last couple of years. I expect he will still be active in the portal though. With covid super seniors and college basketball still older than ever it’s a little harder than in the past to win with freshmen. Duke didn’t light it up this season for example, but Calipari is a more experienced coach. I trust him to figure it out a little better.

2Justin Edwards6’6″Kentucky
11Dajuan Wagner Jr6’4″Kentucky
13Aaron Bradshaw7’0″Kentucky
17Robert Dillingham6’2″Kentucky
44Reed Sheppard6’3″Kentucky

11. Providence

Hopkins and Carter are a nice duo and expected to return.

97Garwey Dual6’5″Providence
100Andrew Fielder6’9″Providence

12. TCU

Mike Miles and Coles are likely returning and will keep them in good shape.

53Jace Posey6’4″TCU
138Isaiah Manning6’8″TCU

13. Texas A&M

A&M plays such a deep rotation they will always have experienced player. The problem is playing so many means they have to replace more. With Taylor, Coleman, and Marlble likely to return most of the core should be intact.

14. Arkansas

The Razorbacks should return Ricky Council and Devonte Davis. We know Musselman will hit the portal hard. It’s just a given.5 star Baye Fall will help as well.

12Baye Fall6’11”Arkansas
33Layden Blocker6’1″Arkansas

15. Michigan

Hunter Dickinson can return and I believe will. He doesn’t have draft stock that outweighs his NIL value. Jet Howard could go pro, but I think he returns to continue playing for his father. All of their top 5 could and likely will return.

103Papa Kante6’10”Michigan
116George Washington III6’3″Michigan

16. Auburn

Johni Broome and Green should return and help keep Auburn in good shape.

45Aden Holloway6’0Auburn

17. Creighton

The Blue Jays could return basically everyone that matters. The real question is Ryan Kalkbrenner will go pro or not. I think this one is 50/50.

18. Iowa

Kris Murray could return, but I wouldn’t advise him to at his age. He should get drafted and coming back probably just makes him less valuable in the draft next season. Iowa should still return a solid group with McCaffery, Sandfort, and Perkins.

89Pryce Sandfort6’7″Iowa
147Owen Freeman6’10”Iowa

19. Michigan State

Tom Izzo with what I believe is the best incoming freshman Xavier Booker equals top 25. He’s just that good of a coach, Hoggard and Akins return as well to give them some experience.

1Xavier Booker6’11”Michigan State
28Jeremy Fears6’1″Michigan State
35Coen Carr6’5″Michigan State
73Gehrig Normand6’5″Michigan State

20. Duke

Duke should have Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor back. They have the 2nd best high school class coming in. I was a little skeptical of depending on freshmen so heavily in the era of covid super seniors, and that seems to have played out. I still am at the highest levels. Jon Scheyer isn’t Coach K either. They will be super talented but there still is probably a learning curve happening. He probably going to be a little better as a coach but getting young guys no matter how talented up to speed might still be a hard ask when college basketball continues to be so old.

4Sean Stewart6’8″Duke
8Caleb Foster6’4″Duke
9Mackenzie Mgbako6’8″Duke
26Jared McCain6’3″Duke
32TJ Power6’8″Duke

21. North Carolina

It’s hard to explain what happened to UNC this season, but Love, Davis, and Puff Johnson are likely to return. That still has the makings of a team that can rebound. They just need to figure out how to replace Bacot’s rebounding.

10Simeon Wilcher6’4″North Carolina
65Zayden High6’9″North Carolina

22. Colorado

Colorado will likely return all of their starters. Da Silva and Simpson are a solid one-two punch.  They also add Cody Williams.

22Cody Williams6’8″Colorado
151Courtney Anderson6’4″Colorado

23. Arizona State

Bobby Hurley should return all but Desmond Cambridge. Cambridge is a loss but not too much to overcome.

47Braelon Green6’3″Arizona State
131Akil Watson6’7″Arizona State

24. Ohio State

The Buckeye’s prospects will be heavily dependent on if Brice Sensabaug returns. He’s lead a team with a losing record but that has a strong top 70 NET ranking. They also likely return another quality freshman in Brice Thornton and have a top-ranked recruiting class.

27Taison Chatman6’4″Ohio State
37Scotty Middleton6’7″Ohio State
43Devin Royal6’6″Ohio State
128Austin Parks6’9″Ohio State

25. Oregon

They could return Kel’el Ware since he didn’t make the impact that was expected as a freshman. Keeshawn Barthelemy likely returns as well. They have a great class coming in with Mookie Cook and Kwame Evans.

5Marquis Cook6’6″Oregon
18Kwame Evans6’9″Oregon
41Jackson Shelstad6’0″Oregon

Others Considered


Wisconsin wasn’t good this season, but they return everyone that matters. I think they are ready to make a return to the top 25.

88Gus Yalden6’9″Wisconsin
143Nolan Winter6’10”Wisconsin
149John Blackwell6’3″Wisconsin


The Trojans weren’t very good this season, but Isaiah Collier is on his way and Tre White should help.

3Isaiah Collier6’4″USC
67Silas Demary Jr6’4″USC
72Arrinten Page6’9″USC


Clifford Omoruyi is likely to return. They lose pretty much everyone else, but Omoruyi is a good start to regroup.

51Gavin Griffiths6’7″Rutgers
134Baye Ndongo6’9″Rutgers


I don’t see a 20 year old freshman ready like Brandon Miller but Nate Oats can coach.

66Kris Parker6’6″Alabama
92Sam Walters6’9″Alabama
110Davin Cosby Jr6’5″Alabama
130Mouhamed Dioubate6’7″Alabama


Penny went transfer-heavy last year and will lose most of those older guys. Now he’s back on the freshman train. They graduate 9 seniors this season so this class will need to step up. It’s really good.

23Mikey Williams6’3″Memphis
68J.J Taylor6’7″Memphis
86Ty-Laur Johnson6’1″Memphis
90Carl Cherenfant6’4″Memphis
126Ashton Hardaway6’8″Memphis

Iowa State

The Cyclones are another program that graduates everyone. A nice recruiting class should help.

15Omaha Biliew6’8″Iowa State
29Milan Momcilovic6’8″Iowa State
121Jelani Hamilton6’6″Iowa State
125Kayden Fish6’7″Iowa State


The Longhorns lose almost everyone but do bring in a couple of top prospects. This ranking will be dependent on who is the coach next season. Rodney Terry likely retains them but a new coach may not.

6Ron Holland6’9″Texas
31AJ Johnson6’5″Texas


Dayton is disappointed this season but I still believe in the talent if they can keep them together again. DaRon Holmes is a stud. T. They were able to fend off other teams and keep him out of the portal last year. Can they this season is the question. If they can keep their talent they should return everyone again.

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