Busting Brackets

Big 12 Basketball: Way-too-early power rankings for 2024-25 season

Illinois v Iowa State
Illinois v Iowa State / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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15. Colorado Buffaloes

2023-24 season record: 26-11 (13-7 Pac-12)

The Buffaloes were one of the more talented teams in the Pac-12 last season but will have to start completely over in the new league. All five double-digit scorers starters are officially gone after star forward Tristan Da Silva entered the NBA Draft. Also going pro is All-Pac 12 guard KJ Simpson, along with freshman wing, Cody Williams.

The other two starters (J’Vonne Hadley and Eddie Lampkin Jr.) transferred out to ACC programs, Louisville and Syracuse, respectively. Luke O’Brien, who also started 19 games and shot 36% from deep, also hit the portal. The only rotation player still on the roster is Julian Hammong, who averaged 7.4 ppg and shot 40% from three-point range.

Colorado has added three veteran transfers to this point. Andrey Jakimovski is a 6’8 forward from Washington State, coming off averaging 9.7 ppg and 5.6 rpg in 35 starts, shooting 36% from the field. Elijah Malone is a 6’10 forward who was the NAIA Player of the Year at Grace, averaging around 18.0 ppg 8.0 rpg, and a couple of blocks per game. Trevor Baskin is a talented forward from the D-II ranks, averaging around 18 ppg and nearly four assists a game.

If Malone and Baskin aren’t good enough at the D-I level, that could doom the Buffs out of the gate. They’ll need to find some scoring on the perimeter, while also hoping that the remaining of last year’s freshmen class can improve and have breakout campaigns.