College Basketball
College basketball power rankings: All-too-early top 25 for the 2023-24 season
College Basketball

College basketball power rankings: All-too-early top 25 for the 2023-24 season

Updated Apr. 4, 2023 12:44 p.m. ET

With the curtain down on the 2022-23 men's college basketball season, why waste any time?

We begin gearing up for next season with everybody's favorite list, the FOX College Hoops way-too-early Top 25. 

Let's begin by saying this: there's a load of unknowns surrounding most rosters heading into next season. College basketball's current climate, with more than 1,000 transfers in the portal, along with NIL offers playing a significant role in determining landing spots, lends itself to this list being subject to a high degree of change.

Without further ado, here's my first crack at a way-too-early Top 25. 


1. Duke (Last season: 27-9, Round of 32)

The Blue Devils bring back Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell, and Jon Scheyer ushers in five 5-star recruits to Durham. If Jeremy Roach returns, that would be massive and only solidify that the Blue Devils should make significant noise next March.

2. Marquette (Last season: 29-7, Round of 32)

The Golden Eagles return all of their major contributors, and the only direction Tyler Kolek and Kam Jones are going is up. The defending Big East regular-season and tournament champions are here to stay, and a national championship is the expectation.

3. Purdue (Last season: 29-6, Round of 64)

An incredible season ended with a thud in the stunning loss to FDU, but evidence suggests the Boilermakers will be back and fully loaded to flip the script next season. If Zach Edey in fact returns to West Lafayette, with that backcourt, Purdue will be the class of the Big Ten and a top-five team.

4. UConn (Last season: 31-8, National Champions)

You might be wondering why the Huskies aren't No. 1. For the record, I still really like this team, but the loss of Jordan Hawkins to the NBA Draft — and possibly Adama Sanogo as well — is certainly a storyline one has to take into account. Donovan Clingan can take the torch at the center spot if Sanogo leaves, and Connecticut boasts the nation's No. 4 recruiting class. The Huskies can go back-to-back, and if Sanogo were to come back, I'd consider moving UConn up to No. 1.

5. Kansas (Last season: 28-8, Round of 32)

Dajuan Harris is back at point guard and KJ Adams is poised for a leap while the nation's fifth-ranked recruiting class enters the fold. Jalen Wilson and Kevin McCullar are sizable losses, but Bill Self and his staff have three scholarships open to attack the transfer portal. The safe bet is that the Jayhawks will do just that and crush it. 

6. Houston (Last season: 33-4, Sweet 16)

The Cougars might be leveling up to the Big 12, but the rest of that league has to deal with their hard-nosed style, too. J'wan Roberts will be back, and if Jamal Shead elects to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return, this team has a core that can take a jump along with a top-20 recruiting class.

7. Creighton (Last season: 24-13, Elite Eight)

Will they stay or will they go? That's the question for Arthur Kaluma, Trey Alexander and Ryan Kalkbrenner. The Jays could bring back the majority of their core, and with Ryan Nembhard running the point, Greg McDermott's crew isn't slowing down. 

8. Michigan State (Last season: 21-13, Sweet 16)

Tom Izzo has a team that can be near the top of the country next season. We know AJ Hoggard and Jaden Akins are tracking to be back in East Lansing, and if Tyson Walker also returns, oh boy. Enter five-star big man Xavier Booker and five-star point guard Jeremy Fears into the fold, and the Spartans are sizzling entering next year with the nation's No. 3 recruiting class.

9. Arkansas (Last season: 22-14, Sweet 16)

The Razorbacks are losing Nick Smith and Anthony Black, but this team should return key pieces, and Eric Musselman is a roster management master. Ricky Council and Trevon Brazile could return, and decisions await for Devo Davis and Jordan Walsh. They would only add to the firepower. Musselman also has a pair of five-star freshmen in Baye Fall and Layden Blocker.

10. Alabama (Last season: 31-6, Sweet 16)

Brandon Miller is gone, but there are still several expected returnees for the Tide. Mark Sears and Jaden Bradley are expected to be back, and Charles Bediako should return. A key question is what's next for Jahvon Quinerly, who is testing the waters. Look for Nate Oats to get into the portal as well, but there's enough on this roster to buy the Tide as top-15 worthy.

11. Miami (Last season: 29-8, Final Four)

Nijel Pack and Norchad Omier are projected to be back, and if Isaiah Wong also returns to Coral Gables, Jim Larrañaga's team will move up in our rankings. NIL U isn't going anywhere. 

12. Florida Atlantic (Last season: 35-4, Final Four)

This is a test of the transfer portal. As it stands, the Owls will return eight of their nine rotation pieces that led the program to history on a Final Four run.

13. UCLA (Last season: 31-6, Sweet 16)

All Mick Cronin has done in Westwood is win, but losing Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell is very significant. This ranking is based on Amari Bailey and Adem Bona coming back to the Bruins.

14. San Diego State (Last season: 32-7, National Runner-Up)

While Matt Bradley, Nathan Mensah and Keshad Johnson are significant losses, this is where depth and experience matter. The Aztecs are tracking to have Darrion Trammell, Lamont Butler, Jaedon LeDee and Micah Parrish in the fold, and Brian Dutcher can attack the transfer portal. A take for next year: We'll see SDSU find its way to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament again.

15. Texas A&M (Last season: 25-10, Round of 64)

Wade Taylor IV is only going to get better, and he highlights four returning starters plus a strong returning core from a team that was a 7-seed in the NCAA Tournament this season.

16. USC (Last season: 22-11, Round of 64)

The Trojans will be fascinating next season, with No. 1 overall prospect Isaiah Collier coming into the program at point guard. The big question: What kind of growth will we see from big man Vincent Iwuchukwu?

17. Kentucky (Last season: 22-12, Round of 32)

Many will have the Wildcats in the top 10. Justin Edwards, DJ Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw are three of the top-five recruits in the country, as UK brings in the best freshman class in the nation. But the current college hoops climate only makes it harder for youth to win. That's why I have John Calipari's team at No. 17 for now. I'm making them earn that top-10 slot. 

18. Arizona (Last season: 28-7, Round of 64)

The Wildcats could bring back the dynamic duo of Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo in the frontcourt, and Pelle Larsson will return in the backcourt. Expect Tommy Lloyd to acquire guard play in the portal, and as much as Kerr Kriisa is a loss, I think it's best that both sides moved on from one another. 

19. Gonzaga (Last season: 31-6, Elite Eight)

Julian Strawther's NBA Draft decision is key, but his stock has risen, and he could very well be a first-rounder. Nolan Hickman has to keep growing at point guard, and Ben Gregg should break out next season, while Mark Few will need to go portaling. The Zags could move up based on what they do, but losing Drew Timme is certainly a hit. 

20. North Carolina (Last season: 20-13, Missed NCAA Tournament)

Armando Bacot and RJ Davis returning to Chapel Hill is big news for Hubert Davis entering Year 3, and Caleb Love's transfer out of the program is best for both sides. How good will UNC be? That's TBD, but to have two guys as talented as that pair in the fold and other young talent looking to make the most of a new opportunity means a lead can be turned for this program from a highly disappointing year. I expect a bounce-back for the Heels

21. Maryland (Last season: 22-13, Round of 32)

Jahmir Young and Julian Reese are projected to be back for a program that carries momentum off Year 1 of the Kevin Willard era. Add in the hiring of Mike Jones, former DeMatha coach and Virginia Tech assistant, and the Terps have the recruiting pan sizzling already. Momentum is in place in College Park.

22. Baylor (Last season: 23-11, Round of 32)

As I was typing this story, LJ Cryer entered the transfer portal. He was projected to be the leader of the Bears backcourt next season. Keyonte George is gone to the NBA Draft, and with Adam Flagler likely done as well, that means it's Langston Love, highly touted freshman Ja'Kobe Walter and Jalen Bridges. The point: Scott Drew will need to work the portal. We'll keep the Bears in our Top 25 because they should still have enough, but there's work to be done. Program pedigree helps, too.

23. Saint Mary's (Last season: 27-8, Round of 32)

Aidan Mahaney will be one of the best guards in America, and Mitchell Saxen is a force on the interior. The Gaels also have one of the best 20 active coaches in America in Randy Bennett. They will have a number next to their name. 

24. Texas (Last season: 29-9, Elite Eight)

What's the status of Tyrese Hunter and Dylan Disu? That's the key question as Rodney Terry takes over. Both have pro decisions to make, while Arterio Morris and Dillon Mitchell can make a leap if they both are back. 

25. Xavier (Last season: 27-10, Sweet 16)

The Musketeers lose a lot from a second-weekend team, but Jerome Hunter and Desmond Claude will be back. While they aren't the main act, it's a foregone conclusion that Sean Miller is going to work his way through the portal and get players. Xavier will have a Top-25 caliber team.

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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