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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Kevin Willard, Maryland 

After leading Maryland to the NCAA Tournament in his first season in 2022 -- where the Terps appeared to exceed preseason expectations -- Kevin Willard's squad did the opposite in 2023-24, falling short of preseason expectations, finishing with a 16-17 (7-13) record. In a season filled with three-point shooting woes and one-possession losses, Kevin Willard began to face doubts from the Terrapin faithful -- and he’s making sure that doesn’t happen again this season.

The Terrapins quietly added a quality transfer portal class that should help them out along the perimeter. Welcoming five-star center Derik Queen certainly doesn't hurt, either. It’s not a do-or-die season for Willard, but it’s a crucial season to reinvigorate faith in the Maryland fanbase that the Terrapins are on the right track.

Wayne Tinkle, Oregon State 

Since reaching the Elite Eight in 2021, Oregon State has struggled mightily, finishing at or near the bottom of the PAC-12 for the past three seasons. Now entering their first season in the WCC as affiliate members, Tinkle received a vote of confidence from Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes in March 2024. It made sense because if Oregon State did end up firing Tinkle, finding the right coach willing to coach in the WCC instead of a power-five conference would have been a tall task.

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Additionally, at the time, Tinkle had a solid core intact, but now the likes of Jordan Pope, Tyler Bilodeau, KC Ibewke and Dexter Akanno are gone and TInkle is tasked with rebuilding a roster that went just 13-19 (5-15) last season. With a new-look roster in a new conference, the pressure is on for Wayne Tinkle to get Oregon State back to its winning ways.