Busting Brackets

SEC Basketball: Alabama, Auburn leads way-too-early power rankings for 2024-25 season

The 16-team SEC is set to be one of college basketball's most talented conferences.
Clemson v Alabama
Clemson v Alabama / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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14. South Carolina Gamecocks

After being picked to finish last in the 2023-24 SEC preseason poll, the Gamecocks were one of college basketball’s biggest surprises last year, earning a six seed in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. The Gamecocks would finish the season with a 26-8 (13-5) record -- a 15-win improvement from the previous year.

Unfortunately for South Carolina, it looks as if regression is due as third-year head coach Lamont Paris saw the departures of the team’s leading scorer, Meechie Johnson, who opted to transfer back to Ohio State, alongside B.J. Mack and Ta’Lon Cooper to graduation.

South Carolina will return Colin Murray-Boyles -- one the SEC’s best freshmen who played his best basketball in the second half of the season -- who averaged 10.4 PPG on nearly 60% shooting from the field. Veteran Myles Stute (8.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG) is also back.

The Gamecocks landed three pieces from the portal, revamping their frontcourt with a pair of SEC transfers: Nick Pringle (Alabama) and Jordan Butler (Missouri). Norfolk State transfer Jamarii Thomas (16.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.8 APG), the reigning 2023-24 MEAC POY, will run the point.

Lamont Paris hit lighting in a bottle with his past transfer portal additions. Expecting him to do so for the second straight year is a mighty difficult task not only for him but for any head coach in the country.