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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4. Auburn - All-Around Scoring Forward
Auburn just got huge news with the return of All-American Johni Broome for his extra COVID year. The Tigers also return a pair of floor spacers in Denver Jones and Chad Baker-Mazara, who will be flanked by Furman transfer and First Team All-SoCon JP Pegues at the point guard spot. But after a poor shooting second half against Yale ended Auburn's NCAA Tournament much earlier than expected, it was clear that the Tigers' only versatile scorers were the inconsistent Baker-Mazara (who got thrown out) and the now graduated Jaylin Williams. There is a limited amount available, but Auburn needs to find a big forward who can attack off the dribble and make at least enough threes to be a threat.

3. North Carolina - Lead Guard
The loss to Alabama in the NCAA Tournament really exposed the ineffiencies in UNC's perimeter offense when RJ Davis was struggling. Now, with Davis still yet to decide on whether or not to use his extra covid year, the Tar Heels desperately need a replacement next to Elliot Cadeau and five star wings Drake Powell and Ian Jackson. Even if Davis returns, a big-time scorer off the bench could make a huge difference. Elsewhere, Harrison Ingram is back, but the center position remains unfilled as well.

2. Alabama - Some Very Appealing Master's Programs
Nate Oats is used to roster turnover at this point. Aaron Estrada, Rylan Griffen, and Nick Pringle are out, but two high scoring wing transfers, Chris Youngblood and Houston Mallette, are in, by way of South Florida and Pepperdine respectively. At this point, the best gets for Alabma would be the ones that they already have, and the other pieces are already falling into place around a theoretical roster with All-American guard Mark Spears, NCAA Tournament star center Grant Nelson, and shooter Latrell Wrightsell, who all possess an extra covid year that they are undecided on.

1. Duke - Veteran Wing
Thanks to the arrival of a once in a generation prospect in forward Cooper Flagg, Duke will likely open the year as preseason favorites. Tyrese Proctor and Caleb Foster will cover the Blue Devils in the starting backcourt and there are plenty of other sizable five star recruits (forward Isaiah Evans, centers Khaman Maluach and Pat Ngongba). However, the last decade has taught us that young teams don't win titles and there is absolutely no depth behind Proctor and Foster. There may not even be a clear starter at small forward if Evans doesn't step in to the role immediately.

Bonus: NCAA - Well Written Transfer Perimeters
The NCAA has never really been competent, but this a new level. They lost the lawsuit injunction regarding two-time transfers the moment they started handing out waivers seemingly at random with no rhyme or reason. Getting a free first transfer is terrific, because believe or not, some nineteen year olds realize they made the wrong choice a year or two into college. A second time should have limited exceptions, like a graduate transfer, a coaching change or being close to family in a difficult situation.

Every third time transfer should have to sit a year in all circumstances.

dark. Next. WTE top-25 power rankings for 2024-25. WTE top-25 power rankings for 2024-25

Everyone is missing how bad this is for a bunch of young people who, of course are driven by a chance to make a ton of money. We all probably would have done the same at that age. But by constantly leaving, they lose the chance to achieve anything of value academically, sometimes not even graduating. They lose out on the benefits that everyone else gets from four years in the same place, from the connections to alumni that could be valuable in their future life, to the friendships that come with being there a while. Many who pick the wrong program could even do serious damage to their growth as a basketball player. The old commercials told us that most student athletes will go pro in something other than sports, well-unlimited transfers is going to screw over thousand of young athletes who hang up the sneakers after leaving their last campus,