Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: 5 early breakout candidates for 2024-25 season

Iowa v Wisconsin
Iowa v Wisconsin / John Fisher/GettyImages
6 of 6

Kadyn Betts, Minnesota

The longshot on this list, Kadyn Betts is a name I firmly believe could surprise quite a few folks in the Big Ten this winter.

Betts, a 6'8" small forward who came to the Gophers from the state of Colorado, was originally part of the Class of 2023 before reclassifying and joining the team early. After a redshirt year, Betts saw his first action with the Gophers last season, albeit sparingly, playing in just eight games total. The bulk of that playing time came in the weak non-conference, playing just two minutes in the Big Ten schedule all season against Penn State.

So, why do I envision a major jump for Betts in 2024-25? For one thing, the redshirt sophomore has all the tools, with a blend of size, versatility, and playmaking. But more importantly, Minnesota's departures through the portal open up ample playing time at the wing spot. Braeden Carrington, Joshua Ola-Joseph, and Cam Christie are all set to play elsewhere in 2024-25, with Christie still undecided about potentially taking his talents to the pros.

Ben Johnson and staff did respond by bringing in Femi Odukale from New Mexico State, who will be on his fourth college program this winter. Odukale will bring experience to the equation, and he's proven to be rock-solid during past pit stops with NMSU, Seton Hall, and Pittsburgh, but at this point in his career, we know what he is. While he is solid, he doesn't offer the potential of Betts and considering how Johnson has raved about Betts in the past, I think he'll increasingly turn to the younger, higher upside option.

Next. 10 underrated Big Ten transfers for 2024-25. 10 underrated Big Ten transfers for 2024-25. dark

With so many changes across the Big Ten landscape, it's the perfect breeding ground for potential breakout options to shine. Even with many rosters still in flux, these 5 seem like good bets to experience their own respective breakthroughs, and pick up where players like Edey and Buie left off.