Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Top 50 players returning to same team for 2024-25 season

Tennessee v Creighton
Tennessee v Creighton / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages
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The NCAA basketball offseason is so oversaturated with transfers and draft declarations that everyone tends to just focus on the player movement. But the next season is often dictated by the best players who choose to stay with their current school. With entry into the transfer portal now closed, here is your refresher on the fifty most impactful players returning to their team from last season.

There are still plenty of big-time players in the NBA Draft who will choose to withdraw and return to school. The deadline to do so while maintaining NCAA eligibility is May 29. Some of the most notable players who have left the possibility open are All-Americans Mark Sears (Alabama), Caleb Love (Arizona), and DaRon Holmes II (Dayton), along with Alex Karaban (UConn) and lesser-known players who would have been on this list, like Xavian Lee (Princeton) and Jonathan Mogbo (San Francisco).

Tier 8: Breakout Candidates

50. Jaland Lowe - Pitt
The 12-4 season ending stretch that took Pitt from an afterthought to a bubble team began a game after the start of Lowe's emergence. Over that seventeen game run, he put up 13.5 ppg and 4.2 apg, turning into the most promising young point guard in the ACC, and along with Ish leggett, the leader of a Pitt team that seems destined to once again be fighting all season for an at-large bid.

49. RJ Luis Jr - St. John's
The lone significant returnee from Rick Pitino's first season, Luis' development was stunted thanks to an injury that allowed him to play just one game before Festivus and three total before New Year's. Yet, Luis still managed to basically mimic his freshman stats at UMass against Big East competition. If he can stabilize his shooting to go with his breathtaking athleticism, Luis could soon be a star.

48. Darren Buchanan Jr - George Washington
You probably weren't tuning in to the A-10's last place team, but if you did, you got to witness Buchanan and his unique combination of a 2024 power forward's body and a 1974 power forward's style of play. He is just about unstoppable barreling towards the rim in foul line isolations like a human battering ram and even started to add a playmaking touch at season's end (sixteen assists in his final five games).

47. Dedan Thomas Jr - UNLV
UNLV's quest to again become Mountain West contenders after a bleak decade got a huge jolt last season, as the Runnin' Rebels finished ahead of three NCAA Tournament teams in the conference standings. The league's co-Rookie of the Year, Thomas led UNLV in points and assists. Now, with their other four double-digit scorers departing, Thomas will have the ball in his hands all the time.

46. Alex Condon - Florida
Condon came off the bench all season for the Gators, likely contributing to his freshman year inconsistency. But the 6'11" center had a great close to the season, with six double-digit scoring performances in his final twelve games and his first career triple nickel (6 pts, 7 rebs, 6!! asts) against Colorado in the NCAA Tournament. Condon will head into the year as Florida's best big amidst a deep group, alongside a few stars on the perimeter.

45. Milan Momcilovic - Iowa State
Momcilovic looked like a potential lottery pick mid-season as a stretch four, but a brutal February cold streak knocked him down to 35.9% from three for the season and likely was the reason that he is returning to Ames. Momcilovic is still a flexible defender for his size, and if freshman fatigue is the reason to blame for his slump, we are looking at an All-Big 12 caliber player who was a two-way menace in the conference tournament.