Busting Brackets

ACC Basketball: Way-too-early power rankings for 2024-25 season

Michigan State v North Carolina
Michigan State v North Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages
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13. Cal Bears

2023-24 season record: 13-19 (9-11 Pac-12)

Compared to the previous two years, Coach Mark Madsen had a solid first season at Cal, making the competitive overall. He did it with a transfer-heavy roster and just about all of the key pieces are gone. Most were already seniors but the Bears also lost wing Jaylon Tyson (19.6 ppg and 6.8 rpg) to the NBA Draft. Big man Fardaws Aimaq, who averaged a double-double, also is gone.

But to Coach Madsen’s credit, he’s been quick to build up to the roster a month into the transfer portal. Here’s a look at the six transfer pickups.

Christian Tucker (UTSA): 11.3 ppg and 5.4 apg
DJ Campbell (Western Carolina): 11.6 ppg and 3.7 rpg
Joshua Ola-Joseph (Minnesota): 7.5 ppg and 2.2 rpg
BJ Omot (North Dakota): 16.7 ppg and 4.2 rpg
Jeff Nwankdo (Cowley College):18.6 ppg and 7.6 rpg
Lee Dort (Vanderbilt): 1.7 ppg and 2.1 rpg

Ola-Joseph is the one proven power conference contributor, with the rest being mid-major/JUCO performances. Dort missed all of last season with an injury but he’s the only true big man on the roster. Omot, a 6’7 forward, is the key to the current group, as he’s a capable scorer and a good athlete. 

Coach Madsen has proven himself at the D-I level and with a couple more pieces, could have a sneaky good team in the ACC. But figuring out who the go-to guy will be is a big offseason question.