Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Way-Too-Important top 25 roster holes in 2024 offseason

Purdue v Connecticut
Purdue v Connecticut / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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It's way too early to start seriously previewing the 2024-25 college basketball season. Championships may be won in March, but teams now put themselves in positions to contend for those titles in April and May. Just look at UConn in spring of 2023. Dan Hurley and his staff hit the portal trying to fill the one major need for the defending champions, a shooter to replace Jordan Hawkins, with the smarts and instincts to play in the Huskies complicated system. They settled on Rutgers graduate transfer Cam Spencer, who teamed up with Alex Karaban to create an offense that was in perfect motion all season. The rest is history.

The transfer portal has already taken plenty, but teams are now starting to reap the benefits of new additions. Plenty is at stake; a national championship, final four runs and NCAA Tournament bids alike. Here are the the twenty-five most important roster holes that will impact next season depending on what player(s) is added to fill them. Not all of the top teams are listed, most notably Arkansas and Kentucky have no big needs because their rosters are barren and they just need talent at this point. This not simply a ranking of teams and then listing what they need, as different situations bring different importance, like having a chasing the national title, having a chance at a once in a lifetime season and having a great roster while the coach is on the hot seat.

***Any players who are not on the ESPN top sixty NBA draft prospects list, still haven't decided their extra covid year or in the transfer portal are assumed to be returning for next season. All rosters are as of the night of April 18.

25. Houston - Backup Point Guard
Why so low for a bona fide national title contender? Because Houston's lone need is not a huge hole. The Cougars will return four starters (LJ Cryer, Emanuel Sharp, J'Wan Roberts and Ja'Vier Francis) and get Terrance Arceneaux back from injury. The Cougars have more than enough talent to continue to thrive without Jamal Shead, thanks to already adding his replacement in Oklahoma transfer Milos Uzan. But just in case Uzan doesn't step up his play this year or Houston can't find another suitable playmaking besides Cryer, then it won't hurt to have quality depth at the most important position.

24. High Point - Third Big
High Point has been a sleeping low-major giant for a while now, winning five Big South regular season titles (including 2024) but still remaining as a member of the Never Made The Tournament club. Leading scorer Duke Miles is transferring, but sixth man point guard Kezza Giffa put up similar stats and will join the Panthers four returning starters, led by Kimani Hamilton. The Panthers just filled a huge need, adding a double-digit scorer to the backcourt in FGCU transfer Chase Johnston, but the rest of the bench remains mostly barren.

23. Dayton - Any Scorer
Dayton's prognostications depend on DaRon Holmes II's draft decision. His return makes the Flyers a surefire NCAA Tournament team, his exit puts them on the bubble. The backcourt features two lead distributors (Malachi Smith, Javon Bennett) and a defender (Enoch Cheeks), but really lacks a scoring punch. Holmes and the transferring Koby Brea provided basically all of the Flyers' shot making that wasn't off the catch and Nate Santos will need another double-digit scorer to pair with, in order to create another top twenty-five offense.