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Way-Too-Early Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings For 2024-25 Season

Apr 8, 2024, 9:49 PM | Updated: Apr 9, 2024, 11:37 am

Big 12 Basketball, Way-Too-Early Power Rankings, 2024-25 season...

Way-Too-Early Power Rankings for Big 12 Basketball in the 2024-25 season. (Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

(Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY— Big 12 basketball will enter a new era with a 16-team conference for the 2024-25 season.

The “Four Corner” programs (Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah) will officially join the league on August 2, 2024. While they add the former Pac-12 institutions, the league says goodbye to Texas and Oklahoma.

The Big 12 was rated the nation’s number-one conference last season for the ninth time in the last eleven years. However, its NCAA Tournament performance left much to be desired.

For the first time since 2015, the Big 12 didn’t have a team in the Elite Eight. Last season, the conference produced eight bids to the Big Dance, plus league newcomers Arizona and Colorado made it.

But no one from the league reached the Regional Finals. It probably didn’t matter, as UConn was poised to cut down the nets for a back-to-back title anyway. Maybe Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark will kick the tires on looking at UConn as a member again. But that’s a topic for another day.

We’re currently looking at how the 16-team Big 12 stacks up for the 2024-25 season.

There are a lot of crucial off-season events that will help shape next season.

The current transfer portal window remains open until May 1; before the portal closes is Signing Day for the 2024 high school recruits.

Then there’s the coaching carousel, which is producing some wild changes this season.

Way-Too-Early Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings for 2024-2025 season

So, a lot can change before practices open up at the end of September, but the end of one season gives us a chance to take an early look at what lies ahead for next year.

1. Iowa State

2023-24 Record: 29-8, 13-5 Big 12 (NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16; Big 12 Tournament Champions)

The defending Big 12 Tournament Champions are piecing together a stacked roster for the 2024-25 season. It starts with First Team All-Big 12 guard Tamin Lipsey, who will enter his third season in Ames.

Big 12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player Keshon Gilbert is also back along with Milan Momcilovic.

Iowa State has already been active in the portal, landing commitments from Charlotte center Dishon Jackson, Northern Iowa forward Nate Heise, and Seattle big man Brandton Chatfield.

Did we mention that Iowa State had the nation’s best defense this past season?

The Cyclones have a roster that could be ready to contend for a National Title next season.

2. Houston

2023-24 Record: 32-5, 15-3 Big 12 (NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16; Big 12 Regular Season Champions)

We’re all awaiting an official NBA decision from Big 12 Player of the Year Jamal Shead. He has one year of eligibility in college basketball if he wants to run it back again to get redemption for the ankle injury he suffered in the Sweet 16 against Duke.

If Shead leaves, many writers will likely forecast the defending Big 12 regular season champs to take a significant step back. We won’t. Houston always reloads.

The Coogs have put together four consecutive top-five finishes in KenPom. They have reached five consecutive Sweet 16s. Houston is one of the nation’s best programs and they cruised to a Big 12 regular season title at 15-3 in their inaugural season in the league despite numerous injuries.

Houston isn’t going anywhere.

Getting Terrance Arcenaux and Joseph Tugler back from injury will be significant for Houston.

J’Wan Roberts announced Monday that he was returning to take advantage of his COVID season. If they get LJ Cryer back, the Coogs are poised to be among the nation’s elite again.

3. Kansas

2023-24 Record: 23-11, 10-8 Big 12 (NCAA Tournament: Round of 32)

It will be fascinating to see how Kansas retools after an uncharacteristic season that saw them produce the most league losses they have suffered since Bill Self became the head coach.

They are off to a great start by adding Summit League Player of the Year Zeke Mayo from South Dakota State. Mayo nearly hit 40% of his threes for the Jackrabbits this past season. Plus, Self has three Top 50 prospects joining the Jayhawks this year, headlined by five-star center Flory Bidunga. With a class like that arriving, can you blame him for thinking about next season during the end of this past year?

Hunter Dickinson and Johnny Furphy’s futures still need to be decided. Will they stay in Lawrence or go to the NBA?

If those two return, Kansas should have enough, despite the loss of Kevin McCullar, to get back in the league’s upper tier.

4. Arizona

2023-24 Record: 27-9, 15-5 Pac-12 (NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16; Pac-12 Regular Season Champions)

Our first glimpse of a “Four Corner” program. Adding Arizona basketball to the Big 12 is a significant feather in the cap for the conference.

Since Tommy Lloyd became the head coach in Tucson, the Wildcats have returned to being among the nation’s elite. Lloyd has already led the Wildcats to three Top 11 finishes in KenPom and two Pac-12 titles.

Now the Wildcats join the Big 12 buzzsaw.

Like many top programs, Arizona awaits decisions for veteran standouts, most notably Caleb Love. After transferring from North Carolina, Love was the Pac-12 Player of the Year last year.

Another one to watch is former Utah Ute Pelle Larsson.

Arizona lost double-double big man Oumar Ballo to the portal. But on the positive side, the Wildcats are expected to have Kylan Boswell and KJ Lewis back.

5. Baylor

2023-24 Record: 24-11, 11-7 Big 12 (NCAA Tournament: Round of 32)

Baylor held off Louisville trying to land Scott Drew–can they do it again with reported interest from Kentucky?

If Drew stays in Waco, he has one of the best recruiting classes waiting for him. The Bears have a commitment from their highest-rated recruit in the internet era in five-star VJ Edgecombe from New York. Edgecombe committed in January.

Baylor also signed in the 2024 recruiting cycle five-star point guard Rob Wright from Monteverde Academy.

On the veteran side of the roster, a big question is Jalen Bridges, who could take advantage of a COVID year.

Underclassmen stars Ja’Kobe Walter and Yves Missi haven’t made formal decisions, but many assume they are NBA-bound as they project as first-round picks. In Walter’s case, he’s viewed as a lottery prospect.

6. BYU

2023-24 Record: 23-11, 10-8 Big 12 (NCAA Tournament: Round of 64)

Like Baylor, the Kentucky vacancy is one of interest to BYU supporters. BYU head coach Mark Pope was a beloved captain for the Wildcats 1996 National Championship team.

If Pope stays in Provo, he has a roster that could be close to the same as last year’s group that finished fifth in the Big 12.

BYU is waiting for Jaxson Robinson to make a decision. The Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year has a COVID year to use.

Other key players include Fousseyni Traore and Dallin Hall, who would be entering their fourth and third years in the program, respectively.

Then BYU welcomes its highest-rated recruit in the internet era, guard Collin Chandler. Chandler signed with BYU in the 2022 recruiting cycle. For the past two years, he has served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

7. Colorado

2023-24 Record: 26-11, 13-7 Pac-12 (NCAA Tournament: Round of 32)

Colorado won two games in the NCAA Tournament last season. Since that tournament run, they’ve had a few losses to the transfer portal.

Starting big man Eddie Lampkin left for Syracuse, and Luke O’Brien went portaling.

Now, they wait on decisions from K.J. Simpson and Tristan Da Silva. Both could take advantage of COVID seasons or move on to the NBA. If both return, the Buffs would have some star power in their return to the Big 12.

8. Cincinnati

2023-24 Record: 22-15, 7-11 Big 12 (NIT Quarterfinals)

Eight of Cincinnati’s 11 losses in Big 12 play were by five points or less. They were competitive last season but couldn’t get over the hump in many games.

The good news is that they have a potential star returning to try and close the gap in those close games. That’s guard Dan Skillings.

Skillings averaged 12.9 points per game last season. The Bearcats also have “Day Day” Thomas returning for one more season after an injury.

Center Aziz Bandaogo has declared for the NBA Draft but has maintained his college eligibility.

9. Kansas State

2023-24 Record: 19-15, 8-10 Big 12 (NIT First Round)

K-State is off to a strong start this offseason. They kept head coach Jerome Tang after a push from Arkansas before the Hogs landed John Calipari.

The Wildcats, who had an up-and-down season this past year, did lose Cam Carter to LSU in the portal. But they added Michigan guard Dug McDaniel.

If K-State gets Arthur Kaluma and David N’Guessan back for one final season, Tang would have a solid foundation to help round out the rest of his roster.

10. Texas Tech

2023-24 Record: 23-11, 11-7 Big 12 (NCAA Tournament: Round of 64)

The loss of All-Big 12 guard Pop Isaacs to the Transfer Portal is a big blow to a Red Raiders squad that surprised many in year one with Grant McCasland.

There’s a lot of work ahead for McCasland in piecing together his roster for next season. But he has some solid pieces to work with in Darrion Williams, Devan Cambridge, and Kerwin Walton.

11. TCU

2023-24 Record: 21-13, 9-9 Big 12 (NCAA Tournament: Round of 64)

TCU finished last season in underwhelming fashion with an NCAA Tournament loss to Utah State. Since the end of the season, the Horned Frogs lost Micah Peavy to the transfer portal.

They did land a commitment from UCF’s CJ Walker and have starting center Ernest Udeh returning.

12. West Virginia

2023-24 Record: 9-23, 4-14 Big 12

The Mountaineers usher in the Darian DeVries era in Morgantown. DeVries comes from Drake, where he led the Bulldogs to three NCAA Tournament appearances in the past four years.

But maybe even more notable is that DeVries’ son, Tucker DeVries, is joining him in West Virginia.

The younger DeVries is a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. He’s returning from shoulder surgery but should be an instant bucket-getter in the Big 12.

13. Utah

2023-24 Record: 22-15, 9-11 Pac-12 (NIT Semifinals)

Utah reached the 20-win mark for the first time in six years after a Final Four run in the NIT. But now the Utes move forward without Branden Carlson in the post.

Junior Keba Keita will be one of the top returners in the post to carry the workload left behind by Carlson. Utah also got a commitment out of the portal from 6-foot-9 Rice transfer Keanu Dawes, who has strong connections to the program.

The star player for Utah is guard Deivon Smith, who broke Jason Kidd’s Pac-12 record for most triple-doubles in a season last year with five.

14. Arizona State

2023-24 Record: 14-18, 8-12 Pac-12

Despite last season’s struggles, Arizona State head coach Bobby Hurley signed a two-year contract extension that keeps him in Tempe through the 2025-26 season.

The Sun Devils lost leading scorer Frankie Collins to the transfer portal. Hurley has a handful of scholarships to work with to retool his roster.

However, if ASU wants to return to the NCAA Tournament soon, it will need its heralded 2024 recruiting class to make an immediate impact.

15. UCF

2023-24 Record: 17-16, 7-11 Big 12 (NIT First Round)

The Knights bring back Darius Johnson and Jaylin Sellers from last year’s team, which was far more competitive than anyone expected in their inaugural Big 12 season.

 

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Adding to the mix is heralded four-star combo guard from the 2023 recruiting class Mikey Williams. Williams was previously at Memphis and left the Tigers after off-the-court legal troubles.

But after those three players, Johnny Dawkins’ roster needs a lot of work heading into year two in the league.

16. Oklahoma State

2023-24 Record: 12-20, 4-14 Big 12

It’s year one of the Steve Lutz era in Stillwater. Lutz has been a successful head coach in his three seasons leading programs at the D1 level. Lutz has reached the NCAA Tournament each year in those three seasons, coming out of Texas A&M Corpus-Christi and Western Kentucky.

Veteran guard Bryce Thompson and sophomore Jamyron Keller remain on the roster. After that, Lutz has a lot of work to do with the roster as he looks to get the Cowboys back to respectability in the league.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Way-Too-Early Big 12 Basketball Power Rankings For 2024-25 Season