Men’s WTE Top 25: Cooper Flagg and Duke are No

  • Jeff Borzello, ESPN Staff WriterApr 8, 2024, 11:30 PM ET Close Basketball recruiting expert.
  • Signed up with ESPN in 2014.
  • Graduate of University of Delaware.History was made Monday night,

as UConn ended up being the very first back-to-back national champions because Florida in 2006 and 2007. Is a three-peat” in Storrs”

for the Huskies next season? Or will Dan Hurley and UConn lastly be knocked from their perch?As the title game fades from memory and the transfer website– and the training vacancy at Kentucky– takes center stage, it’s already time to look ahead to the 2024-25 season.Early leading 25 rankings vary drastically from outlet to outlet,

so let’s lay out the ground rules for the only Way-Too-Early Top 25 you require to read.Editor’s Picks 1 Related Any player ranked in the leading 60 of ESPN’s 2024 NBA draft rankings is thought about a departure– in the meantime. Obviously

, a group’s ranking will be adjusted must such players opt to go back to school.Players not ranked in the top 60 are consisted of as returnees, unless they already announced their objectives to leave school and turn pro.(Significant players this rule impacts

  • : UConn’s Alex Karaban, Creighton’s Ryan Kalkbrenner, BYU’s Jaxson Robinson, Baylor’s Jalen Bridges, half of Kentucky’s roster. )This is the last offseason impacted by the COVID year, where players have an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-impacted 2020-21 season. We’re not going to try to think

  • what each senior is going to do, so we’re predicting them as departures unless they’ve formally revealed they’re returning.With that out of the method, it’s time to dive in. Only 7 months up until the 2024-25 season suggestions off! Duke entered this past season as a nationwide title contender, but never rather seemed to put it all together for a prolonged stretch and eventually fell in the Elite 8. Jon Scheyer will have 2 of the best NBA prospects in

    the country next season, in No. 1 recruit Cooper Flagg and predicted top-five NBA draft choice Khaman Maluach, however the Blue Devils might have point player problems if Jeremy Roach chooses not to make the most of his fifth alternative year.Projected beginning lineup: Tyrese Proctor(10.5 PPG )Caleb Foster( 7.7 PPG )Cooper Flagg(No. 1 in ESPN 100) Mark Mitchell(11.6 PPG) Khaman Maluach (five-star) The Zags might bring

    everyone back other than Anton Watson from a group that played like a top-10 or top-15 team for the last two months of the 2023-24
    season. Ryan Nembhard and Graham Ike form one of the best inside-outside duos in the nation, and Mark Few will likewise invite Pepperdine transfer Michael Ajayi and welcome back former Eastern Washington transfer Steele Venters– who missed this previous season with injury– to provide extra border pop.Projected starting lineup: Ryan Nembhard( 12.6 PPG )Nolan Hickman (14.0 PPG )Michael Ajayi( 17.2 PPG at Pepperdine)Ben Gregg(9.0 PPG) Graham Ike(16.5 PPG ) After going into the 2023-24 season ranked No. 1, Costs Self had among his most disappointing seasons since taking control of in Lawrence

    . Hunter Dickinson has the capability to come back for another year– a year in which the Jayhawks will be back
    in the No. 1 discussion. Even without him, though

    , Dajuan Harris Jr. and K.J. Adams Jr. are evaluated veterans and the additions of Zeke Mayo (South Dakota State)and Riley Kugel( Florida )ought to bring much-needed scoring from the wing.Top stories of the week from Get exclusive access to thousands of premium short articles a year from leading authors. – CBB: How 3 groups can stop UConn”- Barnwell: NFL draft QB hits, misses out on”- What Rockets’surface states about the West”More ESPN+content “Projected beginning lineup: Dajuan Harris Jr.(8.5 PPG)Zeke Mayo(18.8 PPG at South Dakota State)Riley Kugel(9.2 PPG at Florida)K.J. Adams

    Jr. (12.6 PPG) Flory Bidunga(No. 9 in ESPN 100) Back-to-back-to-back? Do not count out Dan Hurley and the Huskies. Since today

    , though, it’s difficult to put that sort of expectation on their shoulders. There’s an opportunity all 5 beginners and sixth male Hassan Diarra are gone: Tristen Newton, Cam Spencer and
    Diarra are elders(Diarra has one year of eligibility if he chooses, though), and Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle and Alex Karaban are projected to be drafted in June.Projected starting lineup: Ahmad Nowell(No. 31 in ESPN 100)Solomon Ball( 3.5 PPG )Jayden Ross(0.7 PPG )Jaylin Stewart( 2.6 PPG)Samson Johnson (5.4 PPG) T.J. Otzelberger produced another exceptional season in Ames, winning the Huge 12 competition and earning a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament. The backcourt duo of Tamin Lipsey and Keshon Gilbert returns intact, Milan Momcilovic must take an advance and Iowa State has currently landed transfers Nate
    Heise (Northern
    Iowa)and Dishon Jackson
    ( Charlotte). If Curtis Jones returns for his final year, Iowa State will move up.Projected starting lineup: Tamin Lipsey(12.4 PPG)Keshon Gilbert(13.7 PPG)Nate Heise(13.5 PPG at Northern Iowa)Milan Momcilovic(10.9 PPG)Dishon Jackson( 11.4 PPG at Charlotte ) The post-Zach Edey period in West Lafayette has formally started, however don’t expect Matt Painter’s team to fall too far in the nationwide conversation. The Boilermakers will still bring back among the very best backcourts in the country in Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer, and Trey Kaufman-Renn is ready for a bigger role in the frontcourt. The
    questions will be whether Smith and Loyer can take the dive from
    complementary players to go-to guys, and which reserve or freshman breaks out. A good bet would be Camden Heide.Projected beginning lineup: Braden Smith(12.2 PPG)Fletcher Loyer(10.6 PPG)Camden Heide(3.4 PPG)Trey Kaufman-Renn(6.4 PPG )Caleb Furst (2.2 PPG) A huge part of this ranking is faith in Kelvin Sampson, who has led the Cougars to the second weekend in 5 straight NCAA tournament. But the announcement of the return of J’Wan Roberts on Monday night was a huge increase, too. L.J. Cryer could likewise choose return to Houston for his COVD year, however he hasn’t revealed his decision yet. Sampson does need to find a bonafide replacement for Jamal Shead– an All-American and perhaps the country’s best boundary protector– at the point guard position.Projected beginning lineup: Emanuel Sharp (12.6 PPG)
    Terrance Arceneaux (5.5 PPG)
    Chase McCarty(No. 98 in

    ESPN 100)J’Wan Roberts(9.5 PPG) Ja’Vier Francis( 6.0 PPG) Arizona has several moving parts today. Caleb Love, Pelle Larsson and Oumar Ballo all have another year of eligibility, although it’s tough to forecast any of them going back to Tucson. However Tommy Lloyd will have one of the best perimeter groups in America with Kylan Boswell, Jaden Bradley, KJ Lewis, Joson Sanon and Jamari Phillips.

    Motiejus Krivas will have to make strides up front and Lloyd will
    likely pursue a more tested player along with him in the frontcourt.Projected starting lineup: Kylan Boswell(9.6 PPG)
    Jaden Bradley (7.0 PPG)

    KJ Lewis (6.1 PPG)Carter Bryant(No. 20 in ESPN 100 )Motiejus Krivas(5.4 PPG) Dalton Knecht is gone and Rick Barnes ‘best offense in several years is out the door with him. However if the more up-tempo, 3-point-heavy offending system remains in Knoxville, there ought to be lots of optimism. Zakai Zeigler is one of the best point guards in the country, and Jonas Aidoo made significant strides

    as a junior. The Vols will need somebody on the wing to step up as a scorer, and a sleeper name to become that guy is sophomore-to-be Cameron Carr.Projected starting lineup: Zakai Zeigler(11.8 PPG) Jordan Gainey(6.8 PPG

    )Jahmai Mashack (4.5 PPG )Jonas Aidoo(11.4 PPG) Tobe Awaka( 5.1 PPG) Scott Drew will have an intriguing collection of players getting in next season, and that doesn’t even include the prospective return of Jalen Bridges, who has one year of eligibility staying but is predicted as a second-round draft pick. Jayden Nunn and Langston Love are both double-figure scorers, and Robert Wright III and V.J. Edgecombe ought to be two of the very best freshmen in the nation. The Bears will be a perimeter-oriented group, however an inside existence will require to emerge.Projected beginning lineup: Robert Wright III(No. 25 in ESPN 100)Jayden Nunn(10.5 PPG)V.J. Edgecombe(No. 4 in ESPN 100)Langston Love(11.0 PPG)Josh Ojianwuna(4.9 PPG) Tyler Kolek and Oso Ighodaro have most likely played their last game in Marquette uniforms, but Shaka Smart brings back three other beginners in star guard Kam Jones, David Joplin and Stevie Mitchell– plus key rotation players in Chase Ross, Ben Gold and a possibly healthy Sean Jones. This is a team that has actually won a combined 58 games over 2 seasons and made a 2-seed in each of the previous 2 NCAA tournaments

    — the Golden Eagles should not

    vanish quickly.Projected starting lineup: Sean Jones (5.8
    PPG)Kam Jones (17.2 PPG)
    Stevie Mitchell (8.8 PPG)
    David Joplin (10.8 PPG)
    Ben Gold (5.0 PPG)

    We understand Nate Oats is going to include plenty through the website, and starters Mark Sears, Grant Nelson and Nick Pringle all have a COVID year of eligibility staying. So, this ranking is also going to significantly change in the coming weeks. As things currently stand, there is talent in Tuscaloosa. Sam Walters and Jarin Stevenson showed flashes in advance and Rylan Griffen is a knockdown shooter. A top-five recruiting class is likewise concerning town.Projected beginning lineup Davin Cosby Jr.(
    3.6 PPG )Rylan Griffen (11.3 PPG )Derrion Reid (No. 8 in ESPN 100)Sam Walters(5.6 PPG

    )Jarin Stevenson(5.4 PPG) Florida struck gold in the website last spring and generating a couple of more reinforcements on the wing could be useful for the Gators again. But they need to have an All-America candidate at the guard position in Walter Clayton Jr., among the nation’s leading scorers, and Will Richard is a double-figure scorer. Alex Condon, Thomas Haugh and a hopefully healthy Micah Handlogten form a terrific frontcourt group– but another border piece or two would be huge.Projected starting lineup Walter Clayton Jr. (17.6 PPG)

    Will Richard(11.4 PPG )Denzel Aberdeen(3.3 PPG)Thomas Haugh(3.9 PPG) Alex Condon(7.7 PPG) Mark Pope made certain BYU hit the ground running in its first season in the Big 12, beginning 12-1 and eventually making a 6-seed in the NCAA competition. Jaxson Robinson might return, however he’s inside the top 60 of ESPN’s NBA draft rankings. Even without them, Pope has a core that must win games in March. Dallin

    Hall, Trevin Knell and Aly Khalifa
    were regular beginners, while Richie Saunders and Fousseyni
    Traore would slot in seamlessly. Former

    ESPN 100 hire Collin Chandler also signs up with the program following his two-year mission.Projected beginning lineup: Dallin Hall(9.0 PPG)Trevin Knell (10.6 PPG)Richie Saunders (9.6 PPG )Fousseyni Traore(10.9 PPG)Aly Khalifa(5.7 PPG ) How the Tar Heels are eventually ranked heading into next season will be figured out by the choices of RJ Davis and Harrison Ingram. Davis isn’t likely to be prepared and he still has a COVID year of eligibility, while Harrison Ingram has actually played himself into the early second-round conversation. Without those 2, Hubert Davis will be heavily reliant on returning guards Elliot Cadeau and Seth Trimble, and

    inbound luxury guards Ian Jackson and Drake Powell.Projected beginning lineup: Elliot Cadeau( 7.3 PPG)Seth Trimble (5.2 PPG)Ian Jackson(No. 16 in ESPN 100) Drake Powell(No. 13 in ESPN 100 )Jalen Washington( 3.9 PPG) The portal departure of Joshua Jefferson injures, but a third straight WCC regular-season title isn’t out of the concern if Randy Bennett can dip into the website and find some frontcourt reinforcements. The duo of Augustas Marciulionis and
    Aidan Mahaney is enough to win a lot of games on its own, and previous four-star hire Jordan Ross could make strides at point guard. Senior

    center Mitchell Saxen is also back up front after showing himself as one of the best bigs in the WCC for 2 seasons.Projected starting lineup: Jordan Ross(1.3 PPG )Augustas Marciulionis (12.4 PPG )Aidan Mahaney( 13.9 PPG)Luke Barrett(5.5 PPG)Mitchell Saxen( 11.8 PPG) Aiming to get rid of a frustrating campaign, Miami has actually been hectic in the portal currently, landing a couple of frontcourt players in Lynn Kidd( Virginia Tech

    )and Brandon Johnson (East Carolina). That’s
    on top of the potential returns of Nijel Pack, Wooga Poplar and Matthew Cleveland. However the
    bulk of the excitement

    centers around elite hire Jalil Bethea, the program’s highest-ranked recruit in almost 40 years. He’s a dynamic guard who could change this team.Projected starting lineup: Nijel Load( 13.3 PPG)Jalil Bethea (No. 6 in ESPN 100)Wooga Poplar( 13.1 PPG) Matthew Cleveland(13.7 PPG)Lynn Kidd(13.2 PPG at Virginia Tech) Does Johni Broome return for another go-round in college? 5 years ago, the response would have been an emphatic
    no. However he’s not likely to be drafted, so maybe there’s a chance. Assuming he leaves, though, Bruce Pearl is still filled on the

    border. Aden Holloway, Denver Jones and Chad Baker-Mazara will all return, while top-30 recruit Tahaad Pettiford ought to make an impact. But the Tigers need assist in advance; there’s very little there besides Chaney Johnson.Projected beginning lineup: Aden Holloway (7.3 PPG)Tahaad Pettiford(No. 27 in ESPN 100)Denver Jones (9.1 PPG) Chad Baker-Mazara( 10.0 PPG)Chaney Johnson(4.7 PPG)

    Mick Cronin’s worst season in 15 years is not likely to be duplicated in 2024-25. The Bruins have actually already struck the portal
    and landed versatile two-way wing Kobe Johnson from USC and scoring point guard Skyy Clark from Louisville, and they’re reviving starters Dylan Andrews, Sebastian Mack and Lazar Stefanovic. There are some concerns on the interior: Is Adem Bona leaving for the NBA draft? Will Aday Mara and/or Berke Buyuktuncel return, and will they make strides?Projected beginning lineup: Dylan Andrews(12.9 PPG)Sebastian Mack (12.1 PPG) Kobe Johnson( 10.9 PPG at USC)Lazar Stefanovic(11.5 PPG) Berke Buyuktuncel (4.5 PPG) Another team that underachieved relative to preseason expectations. But Kevin Willard will trot out a revamped

    beginning group in

    November. Julian
    Reese announced he’s returning and former top-50 recruit DeShawn Harris-Smith will be expected to improve.
    Then there are the newbies. Willard has actually currently landed transfer guards Ja’Kobi Gillespie(Belmont)and Rodney Rice(Virginia Tech)and is bringing in top-10 hire Derik Queen, who might be the fulcrum of the offense.Projected starting lineup: Ja’Kobi Gillespie (17.2 PPG at Belmont )Rodney Rice(7.4 PPG at Virginia Tech)DeShawn Harris-Smith (7.3 PPG)Julian Reese (13.7 PPG) Derik Queen(No. 10 in ESPN 100 ) Rutgers will have 2 of the leading six players in ESPN’s early 2025 NBA mock draft in Airious “Ace”Bailey and Dylan Harper, the Nos. 2 and 3 players in the ESPN 100, respectively. Both should have

    a transformative effect on the group next season– however Steve Pikiell will have to surround the 2 with some veteran pieces
    . The return of Jeremiah Williams is a boost, and Pikiell has actually already landed

    Tyson Acuff(Eastern Michigan)and Zach Martini(Princeton)from the portal.Projected starting lineup: Dylan Harper(No. 3 in ESPN 100)Jeremiah Williams(12.2 PPG )Tyson Acuff (21.7 PPG at Eastern Michigan)Ace Bailey(No. 2 in ESPN 100 )Emmanuel Ogbole(2.1 PPG ) DaRon Holmes II might leave– he has actually been dominant for 2 years and is a forecasted second-round pick– but there suffices on the lineup for Dayton to be in the top-25

    conversation again next season. Beginners Nate Santos, Enoch Cheeks and Javon Bennett are all anticipated to return and 6th man Koby Brea, one of the best shooters in the nation, is also back. If Holmes does leave, Anthony Grant will require a huge from the website, although reserves Isaac Jack and Petras Padegimas return.Projected starting lineup: Javon Bennett(8.4 PPG) Enoch Cheeks (8.1 PPG )Koby Brea (11.1 PPG )Nate Santos (11.7 PPG )Isaac Jack(3.1 PPG ) This is a total shot in the dark at this moment. The Wildcats are without a coach after John Calipari left for Arkansas– and the nation’s No. 2-ranked recruiting class is also likely to break down. However as of April 8, the only recruit to decommit is Karter Knox, and Kentucky needs to still attract one of the nation’s finest coaches

    to change Calipari. We should not write off the Wildcats next season just yet. Expect
    a lot of change with Kentucky’s ranking this offseason.Projected beginning lineup: Boogie Fland(No. 15

    in ESPN 100 )Travis Perry( No. 71 in ESPN 100 )Billy Richmond( No. 39 in ESPN 100)Jayden Quaintance(No. 14 in ESPN 100) Zvonimir Ivisic(5.5 PPG) The loss of AJ Storr harms the Badgers, particularly given the dynamism he offered on the offensive end, however Greg Gard still has Max Klesmit, Chucky Hepburn, Steven Crowl and John Blackwell returning to form the core of his 2024-25 group. Wisconsin had its finest offense last season since Bo Ryan remained in Madison, however that led to substantial issues on the defensive end
    of the floor. Gard will need to find better balance if the Badgers are to advance out of the very first weekend for the very first time considering that 2017. Predicted beginning lineup: Chucky Hepburn(9.2 PPG)John Blackwell(8.0 PPG)Max Klesmit(9.9 PPG)Carter Gilmore(1.8 PPG)Steven Crowl

    (11.2 PPG ) Cincinnati has actually won 45 games the previous 2 seasons but has yet to reach the NCAA tournament in Wes Miller’s three at the helm. That could change, as the Bearcats ought to restore crucial players Dan Skillings Jr., Day Thomas, Simas Lukosius and Jizzle James. Aziz Bandaogo has his COVID year remaining, which would resolve the lack of a true huge on the lineup.

    ESPN 100 employees Tyler Betsey

    and Tyler McKinley also arrive to bolster the rotation.Projected beginning lineup: Day Thomas (10.4 PPG)
    Jizzle James (8.8 PPG)
    Dan Skillings Jr.(12.9 PPG)Simas Lukosius (11.8 PPG)Josh Reed(2.0 PPG)Next in line: Texas Longhorns Ohio State Buckeyes San Diego State Aztecs Michigan State Spartans New Mexico Lobos

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