Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 5 bounce-back teams, 5 teams with question marks entering 2024-25 season

Wright State v Indiana
Wright State v Indiana / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Bounce-back team No. 2: Indiana Hoosiers

After making back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in the first two seasons, Mike Woodson’s group took a grievous step backward in 2023-24, going just 19-14 (10-10), finding themselves far-removed from the NCAA Tournament picture.

Thanks to a hefty pool of NIL resources, the Hoosiers are expected to take a major step forward in 2024-25.

Indiana, which boasts the 2nd-best transfer portal class in the country, according to 24/7 Sports, will have no shortage of talent. From the portal, Woodson landed double-double machine Oumar Ballo (Arizona), one of the better freshmen in all of college basketball last year in Myles Rice (Washington State), Kanaan Carlye (Stanford), Luke Goode (Illinois) and Langdon Hatton (Bellarmine).

Pairing this group alongside Malik Renau and Mackenzie Mgbako made the Hoosiers a sure-fire preseason top-25. Now it's up to Woodson to place the talented pieces together, all while trying to solve the Hoosier's biggest mystery of the upcoming 2024-25 season: perimeter scoring.

Bounce-back team No. 3: Miami (FL) Hurricanes

Miami (FL) was one of the bigger disappointments last season. Fresh off their program’s first-ever Final Four appearance, Miami (FL) went from a preseason top-15 team to losing their final 10 games, finishing second-to-last in the ACC at 15-17 (6-14).

It was a disastrous finish to the season, a finish long-time head coach Jim Laranaga hopes to erase from recent memory.

Losing Norchad Omier (Baylor), Wooga Poplar (Villanova) Bensley Joseph (Providence) and Kyshawn George (NBA) certainly hurts, however, the Hurricanes were able to retain veteran guard Nijel Pack and Matthew Cleveland in Coral Gables -- both integral pieces to last year’s team.

From the portal, Miami (FL) made some big-time moves, landing notable transfers in Jalen Blackmon (Stetson), who averaged 21.3 PPG, A.J. Staton-McCray (Samford) and Lynn Kidd (Virginia Tech.) In addition, the Hurricanes will welcome five-star shooting guard Jalil Bethea and four-star guard Austin Swartz, further demonstrating the much-improved roster for the 2024-25 season.