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College basketball rankings: Ohio State moves up in early Top 25 And 1 after adding key transfers



1


Kansas
This ranking is based on Bill Self’s Jayhawks returning three of the top six scorers – specifically Hunter Dickinson, KJ Adams and Dajuan Harris – from a team that secured a No. 4 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The additions of AJ Storr (Wisconsin), Riley Kugel (Florida) and Zeke Mayo (South Dakota State) from the transfer portal, plus three top-50 high school prospects, will give Kansas the type of depth it lacked during this past season that was ultimately derailed by Kevin McCullar’s lack of availability.

— 23-11
2


Houston
This ranking is based on Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars returning eight of the top 10 scorers – everybody besides Jamal Shead and Damian Dunn – from a team that won the Big 12 by two games and earned a No. 1 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. A backcourt of LJ Cryer, Emanuel Sharp and Oklahoma transfer Milos Uzan should make the Cougars among the favorites in the Big 12. — 32-5
3


N. Carolina
This ranking is based on Hubert Davis’ Tar Heels returning three of the top five scorers – specifically RJ Davis, Harrison Ingram and Elliot Cadeau – from a team that won the ACC and secured a No. 1 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. UNC is also adding a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star prospects Ian Jackson and Drake Powell that should give the program a chance to make a 22nd appearance in the Final Four. — 29-8
4


Iowa St.
This ranking is based on TJ Otzelberger’s Cyclones returning the top four scorers from a team that won 29 games and earned a No. 2 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Both Tamin Lipsey and Keshon Gilbert could compete for Big 12 Player of the Year honors and position Iowa State to maybe make what would be the program’s first trip to the Final Four since 1944. — 29-8
5


UConn
This ranking is based on Dan Hurley’s Huskies returning five of the top nine scorers – specifically Alex Karaban, Hassan Diarra, Samson Johnson, Solomon Ball and Jaylin Stewart – from a team that won the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Tarris Reed, a former top-50 recruit who averaged 9.0 points and 7.2 rebounds this season at Michigan, is among the newcomers expected to keep UConn in contention for a third straight national championship. — 37-3
6


Duke
This ranking is based on Jon Scheyer’s Blue Devils returning two of the top six scorers — specifically Caleb Foster and Tyrese Proctor — from a team that secured a No. 4 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Duke also has the sport’s top-ranked recruiting class headlined by Syracuse transfer Maliq Brown and five-star phenom Cooper Flagg, the latter of whom is the consensus No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2024 and projected No. 1 pick of the 2025 NBA Draft.

1 27-9
7


Gonzaga
This ranking is based on Mark Few’s Zags returning every rotation piece besides Anton Watson from a team that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga should be back in the NCAA Tournament for an incredible 26th straight time next March. 1 27-8
8


Auburn
This ranking is based on Bruce Pearl’s Tigers returning three of the top five scorers – specifically Johni Broome, Chad Baker-Mazara and Denver Jones – from a team that secured a No. 4 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The addition of five-star freshman Tahaad Pettiford and Furman transfer JP Pegues should have Auburn in contention to maybe make a second Final Four. — 27-8
9


Alabama
This ranking is based on Nate Oats’ Crimson Tide returning two of the top five scorers — specifically Grant Nelson and Latrell Wrightsell — from a team that advanced to the 2024 Final Four. The addition of five-star freshman Derrion Reed and transfers Houston Mallette (Pepperdine), Chris Youngblood (USF) and Aden Holloway (Auburn) should keep Alabama in the national conversation even if Mark Sears remains in the 2024 NBA Draft, which is the current projection here.

2 25-12
10


Baylor
This ranking is based on Scott Drew’s Bears returning four of the top seven scorers – everybody except Ja’Kobe Walter, RayJ Dennis and Yves Missi – from a team that secured a No. 3 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The addition of a top-10 recruiting class headlined by Duke transfer Jeremy Roach and five-star wing VJ Edgecombe should help offset the departures and have Baylor in its sixth straight NCAA Tournament.

8 24-11
11


Purdue
This ranking is based on Matt Painter’s Boilermakers returning six of the top eight scorers – everybody besides Zach Edey and Lance Jones – from a team that advanced to the title game of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers have finished in the top 25 at KenPom.com nine straight years, and there’s no reason to think that streak won’t continue next season even without the two-time National Player of the Year. 2 34-5
12


Creighton
This ranking is based on Greg McDermott’s Bluejays returning every rotation player besides Baylor Scheierman and Francisco Farabello from a team that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. A trio of Trey Alexander, Ryan Kalkbrenner and Steven Ashworth would make Creighton among the Big East favorites. 2 25-10
13


Clemson
This ranking is based on Brad Brownell’s Tigers returning four of the top six scorers – specifically PJ Hall, Chase Hunter, Ian Schieffelin and Chauncey Wiggins – from a team that secured a No. 6 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Clemson is also enrolling Boston College transfer Jaeden Zackery and Cincinnati transfer Viktor Lakhin to create a roster that should have the Tigers back in the NCAA Tournament.

— 24-12
14


Texas A&M
This ranking is based on Buzz Williams’ Aggies returning four of the top five scorers – everybody except Tyrece Radford – from a team that advanced to the second round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Wade Taylor could enter the season as the favorite to win SEC Player of the Year for the second straight season. 2 21-15
15


Ohio St.
This ranking is based on Jake Diebler’s Buckeyes returning two of the top seven scorers – specifically Bruce Thornton and Devin Royal – from a team that missed the NCAA Tournament but closed with an 8-3 record after Diebler replaced Chris Holtmann in February. The additions of South Carolina transfer Meechie Johnson, Kentucky transfer Aaron Bradshaw and San Diego State transfer Micah Parrish should help Ohio State be relevant again in Diebler’s first full season.

2 22-14
16


Marquette
This ranking is based on Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles returning every rotation player besides Tyler Kolek and Oso Ighodaro from a team that secured a No. 2 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Kam Jones’ announcement that he’ll return means Marquette will have a fourth-year guard who just averaged 17.2 points per game to build around. 2 27-10
17


Florida
This ranking is based on Todd Golden’s Gators returning six of the top nine scorers – everybody besides Zyon Pullin, Tyrese Samuel and Riley Kugel – from a team that secured a No. 7 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The transfer-portal additions of Alijah Martin (FAU) and Sam Alexis (Chattanooga) give Florida a pair of productive mid-major pieces, the former of whom helped Florida Atlantic make the 2023 Final Four.

4 24-12
18


Arizona
This ranking is based on Tommy Lloyd’s Wildcats returning four of the top eight scorers — specifically Caleb Love, Jaden Bradley, KJ Lewis and Motiejus Krivas — from a team that won the Pac-12 and secured a No. 2 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Arizona’s top-five recruiting class headlined by Carter Bryant and Joson Sanon should help make the program’s transition to the Big 12 go relatively smoothly.

3 27-9
19


Tennessee
This ranking is based on Rick Barnes’ Volunteers returning two of the top five scorers — specifically Zakai Zeigler and Jordan Gainey — from a team that won the SEC and secured a No. 2 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The departures of Dalton Knecht, Jonas Aidoo and Josiah-Jordan James are huge, but Tennessee should still easily make the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year thanks in part to the addition of Hofstra transfer Darlinstone Dubar.

3 27-9
20


Indiana
This ranking is based on Mike Woodson’s Hoosiers returning three of the top four scorers — specifically Malik Reneau, Mackenzie Mgbako and Trey Galloway — from a team that finished tied for sixth in the Big Ten. The additions of Myles Rice (Washington State), Oumar Ballo (Arizona) and Kanaan Carlyle (Stanford) from the transfer portal means Indiana is adding three experienced starters from the Pac-12.

4 19-14
21


Rutgers
This ranking is based on Steve Pikiell’s Scarlet Knights only returning one double-digit scorer (Jeremiah Williams) from a team that finished below .500. But the enrollment of five-star prospects Ace Bailey and Dylan Harper — plus NEC Player of the Year Jordan Derkack — will give Rutgers enough talent to start the season with a number beside its name.

2 15-17
22


Miami
This ranking is based on Jim Larranaga’s Hurricanes returning three of the top four scorers – everybody except Norchad Omier – from a team that struggled last season and missed the NCAA Tournament but is expected to bounce back strong. Miami’s top-10 recruiting class headlined by five-star guard Jalil Bethea is among the reasons another rough year is not expected. 2 15-17
23


Providence
This ranking is based on Kim English’s Friars four of the top seven scorers — specifically Bryce Hopkins, Jaden Pierre, Corey Floyd and Rich Barron — from a team that finished tied for sixth in the Big East. Bensley Joseph (Miami), Jabri Abdur-Rahim (Georgia), Christ Essandoko (Saint Joseph’s) and Wesley Cardet Jr. (Chicago State) are three incoming transfers who project as likely starters at Providence.

2 21-14
24


Seton Hall
This ranking is based on Shaheen Holloway’s Pirates returning five of the top eight scorers – everybody except Al-Amir Dawes, Dre Davis and Jaden Bediako – from a team that won the 2024 NIT. Kadary Richmond should return for a fifth season and emerge as a possible option for Big East Player of the Year. 2 25-12
25


Texas
This ranking is based on Rodney Terry’s Longhorns returning two of the top six scorers – specifically Kadin Shedrick and Chendall Weaver – from a team that secured a No. 7 seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. Texas is also enrolling a top-25 recruiting class, headlined by five-star guard Tre Johnson and Arkansas transfer Tramon Mark, that should help get UT to a fifth straight NCAA Tournament. 2 21-13
26


Illinois
This ranking is based on Brad Underwood’s Illinois returning two of the top seven scorers — specifically Coleman Hawkins, Ty Rodgers and Luke Goode — from a team that made the Elite Eight of the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The transfer-portal additions of Tre White (Louisville), Jake Davis (Mercer), Ky Boswell (Arizona) and Carey Booth (Notre Dame) will help offset the losses of Terrence Shannon, Marcus Domask and Quincy Guerrier. — 29-9





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