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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Kyle Neptune, Villanova

Since Jay Wright’s abrupt retirement in late April 2022, Villanova has slid into mediocrity under Kyle Neptune, going 17-17 (10-10) in his first year and 18-16 (10-10) in his second year, both ending in first round exits in the NIT. In both years, the Wildcats entered the season with palpable buzz, where they found themselves as preseason top-25 teams.

However, the Wildcats were consistently inconsistent (for example: beating North Carolina, losing to Drexel), which ultimately proved their demise. Entering year three of the Kyle Neptune era, the Wildcats have their work cut out for them. Losing a plethora of players from an NIT team -- including a transfer portal de-commit Max Shulga, who opted to return to VCU -- is not the ideal offseason Neptune envisioned. Retaining Eric Dixon and landing Miami (FL) transfer Wooga Poplar is huge, but Neptune can ill-afford another missed NCAA Tournament season.

John Calipari, Arkansas 

In an earth-shattering move that shook the college basketball industry, John Calipari left the Bluegrass State for a fresh start in Fayetteville after facing copious amounts of pressure and backlash from Big Blue Nation over the past four years. A losing season in 2020-2 and two Round of 64 exits as a two and three seed made it clear that Kentucky needed a fresh start. And so did Calipari.

Nevertheless, if you are John Calipari, the expectations don’t change, no matter where you go. After facing a situation where Arkansas didn’t have a single scholarship player on the roster, Calipari has slowly but surely built a roster full of individual talent. The depth may be thin, but the talent is there. And so are the expectations for year one of the John Calipari era in Bud Walton Arena.