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 3: First Team Or Bust

21. Maxime Raynaud - Stanford
The PAC-12 is now gone, and so are most of the league's best players. In fact, after new coach Kyle Smith got Raynaud to come back from the portal, he became the lone All-Conference player to head to a new league with the same jersey on. Yet another terrific French seven-footer, Raynaud actually makes his more significant impact offensively. A top five PAC-12 players in terms of his inside the arc efficiency, Raynaud is a sneakily effective 34.6% three point shooter over his career. Plus, his 9.6 rpg are the best of any player who will be in the ACC next season.

20. Erik Reynolds II - St. Joseph's
The A-10's best backcourt will be in North Philly this year, with Reynolds again pairing with the league's reigning Rookie of the Year, Xzayvier Brown. Reynolds is one of the nation's premier every level scorers, deadly from any spot on the court. Sometimes a bit streaky during the dog days of the season, he's a big game killer who's averaged 21.4 ppg across St. Joe's seven postseason games over the last two seasons.

19. Nick Davidson - Nevada
Nevada was largely decimated by key players running out of eligibility, but hold onto the two-way core of their frontcourt in Davidson and Tre Coleman. Davidson just wreaks havoc anytime he's near the rim, as the better half of the aforementioned great shot blocking duo, while also leading the Mountain West with an extremely impressive 67.2% shooting from inside the arc.

18. Bruce Thornton - Ohio State
The lone All-Big Ten honoree on an Ohio State team diappointing enough to prompt a coaching change, Thornton will now be tasked with bringing together a starting group that will likely consist of four highly rated transfers. The Big Ten's leader in assist/turnover rate at a whopping 4.0, Thornton set a career high in assists with nine against Iowa in the conference tournament, and then promptly put up ten twice in the Buckeye's last four games.

17. Darrion Williams - Texas Tech
The quintessential stretch four, Williams led the Red Raiders in rebounding (7.5 per game) and three point percentage (45.8% on around three a game) on the way to Third Team All-Big 12. With Texas Tech's other lone quality shooter (Chance McMillan) returning, Grant McCasland will look to Williams to lead a lethal three point attack, like his best teams at North Texas featured.

16. Donovan Dent - New Mexico
The Lobos' expectations for next season took a huge hit with JT Toppin's late portal entry, but Dent's return will keep them in the conversation all season. Already a top notch distributor (5.4 apg) and an excellent interior scorer (53.7% from two at 6'2") , Dent will need to shoulder a larger scoring responsibilty in his third season, likely involvment taking more threes (just 1.1 per game, but at 37.5%).

15. Bryce Hopkins - Providence
Hopkins torn ACL in the first game of 2024 may have been the most significant injury in college basketball, likely costing Providence an NCAA Tournament bid. He blossomed into the talented player expected of his top forty recruit status over a year and a half with the Friars and was putting up nearly identical scoring and rebounding numbers as the season before (he would been top twelve in the Big East in both for the full season). In case you forgot that Hopkins was an in demand talent, Kim English made sure to remind everyone.

14. Yaxel Lendeborg - UAB
Early in the offseason, the AAC appears to be heading towards a battle between Memphis newcomers and UAB returners. The best of those Blazers is Lendeborg, the conference's Defensive Player of the Year and leading rebounder. For good measure, he also led UAB in scoring and is the top assist man out of the four returning starters. In that group's final year, they will try for a second straight NCAA Tournament trip, and possibly even Andy Kennedy's first career seed better than #11.

13. Tyson Degenhart - Boise State
The other half of the nation's best frontcourt pairing west of Omaha, Degenhart does everything a coach could want from an interior scorer. A 56% two point shooter, who was also top ten in the Mountain West in drawing fouls, Degenhart converted at 79.6% once he got to the line. Good luck getting the ball out of his hands (top fifty nationally in turnover rate) and even if the pass is denied, Degenhart grabbed 2.2 offensive rebounds per game.

12. Kam Jones - Marquette
The Big East was so loaded with talent that Jones had to take the mantle of the nation's best player to not make an All-Conference team. He absolutely exploded at the start of February, scoring 21.4 ppg the remainder of the season, with four 30+ point performances. Amidst that output, Jones also showed some point guard chops during Tyler Kolek's March absence, racking up 4.5 apg and giving the Golden Eagles a serious full time option at that position as Kolek heads to the NBA.