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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22. Kansas - Forward Depth
After a season in which Kansas' thin bench was a serious problem, Bill Self has gone to work in the backcourt as five newcomers, Wisconsin transfer AJ Storr, Florida transfer Riley Kugel, South Dakota St transfer Zeke Mayo and top forty freshmen Labaron Philon and Rakease Passmore (great name for a scorer), will all compete for time next to DaJaun Harris. Even if the Jayhawks often rely on three guard lineups (a likely outcome, thanks to Storr), there's still absolutely no other forward options to play with or in substitution of KJ Adams. Elsewhere on the roster, Hunter Dickinson still has an extra covid year but five-star center Flory Bidunga is on his way to replace him if need by.

21. New Mexico - Floor Spacing Combo Guard
After needing to win the Mountain West to sneak into the NCAA Tournament, New Mexico will have eyes on an easier path next season, with all-conference returners in point guard Donovan Dent and forward JT Toppin, along with Toppin's frontcourt mate, Nelly Junior Joseph. But the Lobos do lose their top two scorers and as part of those departures, Jaelen House's secondary playmaking will also need replaced. But there could be way to make a skillset upgrade, if this hypothetical newcomer could also provide a boost to an offense that featured no 40% three point shooters.

20. UAB - Center
For the first time in the conference's twelve year history, there is no clear top fifty team atop the American Athletic. The door is wide open for UAB, with double-double machine Yaxel Lendeborg and the perimeter trio of Eric Gaines, Alejandro Vazquez and Butta Johnson all back and already being joined by All-Sun Belt guard (Georgia Southern transfer) Tyren Moore and fellow high scoring wing (Iona transfer) Greg Gordon. But there remains a gaping hole in the middle of the floor following the graduation of Javian Davis, and the Blazers biggest weakness was already defensive rebounding.

19. Miami (FL) - Off The Dribble Attacker
A very promising season quickly fell apart as the calendar turned to 2024, and Miami finished the year 1-11. Nijel Pack and Wooga Poplar are still around from the Final Four team of 2023, but things just never quite clicked on the perimeter last year. The duo needs another guard to dribble penetrate in the way Isaiah Wong used to, to spark an offense that was bottom ten nationally in free throw rate last year and hopefully drive Pack to a bounce back year. At least the Hurricanes have already addressed the need for a center who gets to the line with Virginia Tech transfer and ACC shooting percentage leader Lynn Kidd.

18. Tennessee - An Entire Bench
Tennessee had a lot of final year seniors on last year's roster and now there are a lot of question marks beyond point guard Zakai Zeigler. The Volunteers can piece together a decent lineup by elevating wings Jordan Gainey and Jahmai Mashack and Elite Eight star JP Estrella at center, rounded out by Hofstra transfer Darlinstone Dubar. Ideally, Tennessee will improve upon one or two of those players before the offseason is said and done, but even if that doesn't happen, there just needs to be an infusion of talented players.

17. Arizona - Heavy Duty Guaze and Bandages (plus a Scoring Wing)
Tommy Lloyd makes the Sweet Sixteen and then proceeds to lose four starters (one graduation, one NBA, two transfers), and the fifth (Caleb Love) still has to decide on his extra covid year. But Arizona has enough on hand to stop from bleeding out this season. The Wildcats' two best bench players, Jaden Bradley and KJ Lewis, will need to step up in the backcourt and Carter Bryant leads a group of freshmen options down low. But other than Bradley, there are absolutely no proven scoring options on the roster.