We’re just over a month over the start of the 2023-24 NCAA Basketball campaign. After dozens of coaching changes and 1,000+ roster moves via the transfer portal, rosters are 99% finalized. I can’t say 100% because there are still reportedly dozens of waivers that need to be addressed in the next couple of weeks.
Still, there’s a good idea of how good these programs are going to look before November 6th. So without further ado, here’s a ranking of the top 25 teams for the 2023-24 campaign, along with a few honorable mentions.
Honorable Mention: North Carolina Tar Heels
The Heels return All-American big man Armando Bacot and starting point guard RJ Davis and added some solid transfers to round out the starting lineup in Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan. The question is whether this roster is even better on paper than the past year with Caleb Love and Pete Nance. It’ll come down to the chemistry of this new roster and how good Coach Hubert Davis is.
HM: UCLA Bruins
Four starters are gone from the Bruins, leaving sophomore big man, Adem Bona. He and 7’3 freshman big man Aday Mara will give them frontcourt depth, while Utah transfer Lazar Stefanovic will be tasked with being the go-to offensive option. Coach Mick Cronin gets the benefit of the doubt but with so many unproved D-I players coming from overseas, expect there to be some growing pains.
HM: Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State made the NCAA Tournament last season and returns most of its production, including star big man, Tolu Smith. The addition of 20 ppg scoring transfer Andrew Taylor should improve the backcourt production and the overall shooting of a team that was dead last in 3pt shooting last season.
HM: St. John’s Red Storm
The Red Storm has a new head coach (Rick Pitino) and a bunch of star transfers, including 23 ppg guard Jordan Dingle from Penn. But outside of big man Joel Soriano, none of the other projected key pieces are proven Big East players. They have the ceiling of a top-15 team but there’s a floor with them as well that keeps them just outside the top-25.
HM: USC Trojans
USC brings back leading scorer Boogie Ellis and pairs him with No. 1 overall recruit, Isaiah Collier. Washington State transer DJ Rodman is a solid wing transfer but with injuries/healthy issues with both Bronny James and Vincent Iwuchukwu, there’s a lot of depth concerns with the roster overall. They’ll need the guard dup to lead the way on a nightly basis.