Busting Brackets

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

Indiana v Maryland
Indiana v Maryland / G Fiume/GettyImages
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11. Minnesota Golden Gophers

2023-24 season record: 19-15 (9-11 Big Ten)

Although it wasn’t enough to get into the NCAA Tournament, it was still a solid bounce-back campaign for Coach Ben Johnson and the Gophers, winning 10 more games than the season prior. And the result of that is some continuity, with the top three scorers returning.

Minnesota did lose some key pieces. Elijah Hawkins, who led the Big Ten in passing (7.5 apg), recently entered the portal, while big man Pharrel Payne and starting guard Joshua Ola-Joseph also left the team. But most importantly, the team was able to bring back Dawson Garcia, who led the team with 17.6 ppg and 6.7 rpg.

Guards Cam Christie and Mike Mitchell are also set to return after averaging in double figures. Christie is in the NBA Draft process after a good freshman campaign but odds are that he returns. Adding to the backcourt depth is Brennan Rigsby, a 6’3 guard from Oregon who averaged 6.1 ppg on 35% three-point shooting and 13 starts.

The other transfer pickup for the Gophers is Frank Mitchell, a 6’8 forward from Canisius. He averaged 12.1 ppg and 11.6 rpg as a sophomore on 56% shooting. If his rebounding translates to the Big Ten level, he could be an upgrade over Payne in the frontcourt.