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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12. BYU Cougars

2023-24 season record: 23-11 (10-8 Big 12)

The Cougars were one of the biggest surprises in all of NCAA Basketball, going from the middle of the WCC to a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament and a great debut in the Big 12. However, the architect of the roster, head coach Mark Pope, took the open Kentucky job, where he was a player before.

Replacing Pope is Kevin Young, an assistant with the Phoenix Suns of the NBA. With their season over, he can 100% focus on BYU’s roster building. And there’s some good news, as he was able to retain two key guards (Richie Saunders and Dallin Hall) after they originally entered the transfer portal. Noah Waterman and Fousseyni Traore are back in the frontcourt, while Dawson Baker, who essentially missed all of last season with an injury, will be back as well.

However, BYU still lost a lot of talent after Pope left. Leading scorer and Big 12 6th Man of the Year Jaxson Robinson entered the portal, while Aly Khalifa, Atiki Ally Atiki, and Marcus Adams Jr. left as well. The big loss was Collin Chandler, a top-40 incoming freshman guard who decided to join Coach Pope at Kentucky.

Right now, the Cougars have no real frontcourt or size, which is an issue. But expect Coach Young to get going in the portal himself. A month from now, BYU has a chance to climb up the power rankings.