Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 10 coaches who will face the most pressure entering 2024-25 season

Kyle Neptune, Mike Woodson among 10 coaches who will face the heat come November.
Villanova v Seton Hall
Villanova v Seton Hall / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Greg Gard, Wisconsin 

It’s always hard being the guy who replaces the guy. In Greg Gard’s case, replicating the success that Bo Ryan enjoyed in his 14 years in Madison is a seemingly impossible task. Yet, under Gard, the Badgers have enjoyed plenty of success, too. They have won the Big Ten regular-season twice and seven of Gard’s nine seasons have been 20+ win seasons. Wisconsin is not a program in shambles.

However, the Badgers have failed to get past the first weekend since 2017. They have struggled late in the season in back-to-back years. They have missed the NCAA Tournament only two times since 1999 -- both have come under Gard. After a 2023-24 campaign that saw many highs and lows, ultimately ending in a humbling Round of 64 defeat, Gard has had to work his way through the portal after losing key pieces. I do not believe Greg Gard is on the hot seat yet, but if there is one thing for sure, it is the fact that the Badger faithful have put the pressure on Gard entering 2024-25.

Bobby Hurley, Arizona State

While Bobby Hurley has not exactly lit the world on fire in his nine years in Tempe, the Sun Devils haven’t necessarily been irrelevant either, appearing in three NCAA Tournaments. (Odd tidbit: Arizona State has been in the First Four in all three of Hurley’s NCAA Tournament appearances at Arizona State). However, after enduring an underwhelming 14-18 (8-12) season in 2023-24, the patience is wearing thin -- especially as Arizona State begins its journey into the Big 12.

Entering the 2024-25 season, it’s safe to say Bobby Hurley understands he is facing the pressure. The Sun Devils have made noise on the recruiting trail, flipping five-star Kentucky commit Jayden Quaintance and four-star Arizona commit Josh Sanon to Tempe. Arizona State will also welcome five transfers. It’s a clear talent upgrade, but the Big 12 is no walk in the park. Hurley has taken some big swings but will need the pieces to fit in a pressure-induced 2024-25 season.