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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8. Florida Gators

Florida made positive strides forward last season, going 24-12 (11-7) and reaching the SEC Championship game before falling to Colorado in a thrilling, high-scoring affair in the Round of 64.

Entering year three of the Todd Golden era, the preseason buzz is certainly palpable. The biggest news of the Gators’ offseason was returning leading scorer Walter Clayton Jr., who averaged 17.6 PPG and was one of the more consistent scorers in the SEC last season.

Despite losing Zyon Pullin (graduation) and Riley Kugel (Mississippi State) in their backcourt, the Gators retained Will Richard, a double-digit scorer from last year’s team and FAU transfer Alijah Martin, who averaged 13.1 PPG and 5.9 RPG and was an integral piece to FAU’s success over the past two seasons.

With a three-guard starting lineup, the strength of this year’s Gator squad lies on the perimeter. However, Todd Golden added a near-double-double player in Sam Alexis (Chattanooga) and Ruben Chineyelu (Washington State) to bolster their frontcourt.

Nevertheless, it feels wrong to place the Gators here. There is plenty to be excited about with this year’s group. The Gators have versatility. The Gators have depth. The Gators have the pieces to get back to the second weekend for the first time since 2017. Even if the Gators have preseason top-25 expectations, so does the other half of the SEC, speaking volumes of just how difficult this conference will be in 2024-25.