Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Indiana, Kansas, and Maryland among 10 early 2024 offseason winners

Nebraska v Indiana
Nebraska v Indiana / David Berding/GettyImages
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6. Xavier Musketeers 

Xavier was another team that missed out on the NCAA Tournament, with the lack of frontcourt depth being a main issue since both projected starters missed the past season. They already got good news on one of them, with Zach Freemantle set to return for another year. He averaged 15.2 ppg and 8.1 rpg in the season prior so his being healthy gives them a focal point in the frontcourt.

Joining Freemantle in the new-look frontcourt is John Hugley, who averaged 8.4 ppg off the bench at Oklahoma. He put up 15 ppg at Pittsburgh a couple of years ago so the Musketeers are hoping to get that kind of player next season.

The key is the backcourt, with a trio of impact newcomers. Dante Maddox is a 6’5 guard from Toledo, who averaged 15 ppg. Marcus Foster was one of the top overall players in the SoCon, averaging 17.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg at Furman. And Ryan Conwell (16.6 ppg) gives the team a needed shooting boost, making 41% of his three-point shots at over seven attempts a game at Indiana State.

Xavier would’ve been higher but leading scorer Desmond Claude hit the portal recently. But they must have been prepared, as they reloaded the backcourt, along with Dayvion McKnight returning. Now they await the news on whether forward Jerome Hunter will be cleared to come back for them next season.