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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Tier 4: Second (and Third) Bananas

27. Mackenzie Mgbako - Indiana
The Big Ten Rookie of the Year, Mgbako now joins up with a trio of highly touted transfers in an absolute NCAA Tournament or bust year for Indiana. He's excellent at getting the line and was a stellar 82.1% once there. Between Oumar Bello, Myles Rice and Mgbako, Indiana will be one of the best at attacking the rim, but there is a lot to be desired from their shooting, and an improvement from Mgbako could alter the entire program's trajectory.

26. O'Mar Stanley - Boise State
After a banner two year run for the Mountain West as a whole, the conference's two best returners both reside up in Boise. Stanley does everything Leon Rice could possibly want from his center, ranking top twenty in the Mountain West in offensive and defensive rebounding rate, blocked shots, two point percentage and free throw rate.

25. Tyrese Proctor - Duke
Proctor has quickly gone from third guard to veteran leader for a Blue Devils team that will have a special talent in Cooper Flagg. He made incremental improvements across the board last season, but will need to make a big jump as a playmaker, now that he'll no longer share the point guard duties with Jeremy Roach. But Proctor already has the skillset and production you hope for from the older guard next to an excellent, but young frontcourt.

24. Emanuel Sharp - Houston
Under Kelvin Sampson, Houston has managed to hold on to an old school pecking order, where the next man up steps in following a departure. The Cougars need someone to step into the sidekick role this season and Sharp's massive scoring performances in huge games (30 vs Texas A&M in the NCAA Tournament, 20 each in two games against the nation's best defense (Iowa State) and 21 at Baylor) proved that he ready for the next leap.

23. Keshon Gilbert - Iowa State
Gilbert turned out to be the missing piece for Iowa State after transferring in from UNLV, forming one of the best backcourt duos in the nation (more on the other half later). A stellar co-point guard on the offensive end, with the perfect quick hands for TJ Otzelberger's harassing pressure defense, Gilbert's most important and necessary skill may be the downhill attacking that none of the Cyclones other guards possess.

22. Ryan Nembhard - Gonzaga
This incoming Gonzaga team may be the deepest that Mark Few has ever had, and Nembhard is the glue that holds it all together. Stepping into the shoes of his older brother (and now Indiana Pacer) Andrew, Ryan finished seventh nationally in assists, critical for a team lacking in secondary playmakers. The tier system hurts Nembhard a bit. He's probably worthy of a top twenty ranking.