Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Way-too-early top-25 power rankings for 2024-25 season

Countdown to Craziness
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15. Saint Mary’s Gaels

2023-24 season record: 26-8 (15-1 WCC)

The Gaels are in a strong position to contend for another WCC title, thanks to its top three guys returning, for now, for another year. It’s not all good news, since wing Alex Ducas ran out of eligibility, while forward Joshua Jefferson decided to hit the transfer portal.

Still, Saint Mary’s will get another year from Mitchell Saxen, the reigning WCC Defensive Player of the Year and elite interior big man. They also have back the guard duo of Aidan Mahaney and Augustas Marciulionis, one of the top backcourts in all of NCAA Basketball. Marciulionis (12.4 ppg and 5.3 apg) will look to defend his WCC Player of the Year title in 2025.

The key to Saint Mary’s remaining as a top-25 team is the rest of the roster. Other key returning pieces to watch include Luke Barrett and Harry Wessels, as well as the incoming class, which includes a pair of four-star prospects, Mikey Lewis and Zion Sensley. These are two of the higher-ranked commits for the program and have the athleticism to compete with the likes of Gonzaga.

Look for the Gaels to try and find another capable forward to bolster the offense and take pressure off the guards. But right now, they have the coaching, system, and current rotation to remain in the top-25 mix.