SEC basketball's new and old names to know for the 2024-25 season


The dust has settled (we think?), and now is a good time to ask and answer: So who’s in the SEC?

That applies in the macro sense, with Texas and Oklahoma joining the now 16-team league, and also in the micro, as every team’s roster will look quite different in the aftermath of the latest transfer portal madness. Not to mention John Calipari moving to Arkansas and Mark Pope returning home to coach his alma mater at Kentucky.

A lot has changed, but one thing figures to remain: SEC basketball should be very, very good again this season. The league is coming off a strong year in which eight teams earned NCAA Tournament bids (nine if you count Texas) — including four top-four seeds — with Tennessee reaching the Elite Eight and Alabama reaching its first Final Four.

Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama and Auburn all return at least four of their top eight players from tournament teams. There are 25 top-100 high school recruits and eight five-star freshmen (per 247Sports Composite) entering the league. Six of the top 20 recruiting classes are in the SEC: No. 2 Alabama, No. 5 Missouri, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 10 Georgia, No. 13 LSU and No. 16 Texas.

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There are 30 top-100 transfers (per The Athletic’s ranking) entering the league and 247Sports has the league adding seven of the top 20 transfer classes: No. 1 Arkansas, No. 5 Kentucky, No. 7 Alabama, No. 13 Missouri, No. 14 Tennessee, No. 15 Ole Miss and No. 19 Texas.

As you might imagine, the league is very old. Eight SEC teams have at least four players who have logged 2,000-plus Division I minutes. Alabama, Ole Miss, Kentucky and A&M have six or more such players. And they can shoot it. Eleven SEC teams have at least four players who have made 50-plus 3-pointers. Alabama, Kentucky and Ole Miss have six or more such players.

It all adds up to what looks like a loaded league for the 2024-25 season. Here’s how we think the SEC stacks up and a quick glimpse at what all 16 teams have on their roster after another wild offseason of free agency.

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Grant Nelson averaged 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last year for Alabama. (Kirby Lee / USA Today)

No. 1 Alabama

Biggest losses: Aaron Estrada (13.4 points per game); Rylan Griffen (11.2 ppg.); Nick Pringle (6.8 ppg.); Sam Walters (5.4 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (4): Mark Sears (21.5 ppg., 4.0 assists per game); Grant Nelson (11.9 ppg., 5.9 rebounds per game); Latrell Wrightsell Jr. (8.9 ppg.), Jarin Stevenson (5.3 ppg.)

Top-100 freshmen added (4): No. 10 Derrion Reid, No. 22 Aiden Sherrell, No. 34 Labaron Philon, No. 44 Naas Cunningham

Top-100 transfers added (3): No. 25 Clifford Omoruyi (Rutgers), No. 42 Chris Youngblood (USF), No. 95 Aden Holloway (Auburn)

Why they’re ranked here: After guiding the Crimson Tide to their first Final Four in program history, Nate Oats crushed the offseason. He has three of his top five and four of his top seven players back, including an All-America scoring machine in Sears, and added four top-40 freshmen and three top-100 transfers to make Alabama maybe the most loaded roster in America. The Tide rank No. 1 in the SEC in combined career minutes on the roster (21,639), career made 3-pointers on the roster (1,060) and top-100 freshmen signed. They’re top-four in top-100 transfers added and returning rotation players. In short, Oats has it all: talent, experience, continuity, shooting. This is a team built to return to the Final Four with a real chance to win the whole thing.

No. 2 Texas A&M

Biggest losses: Tyrece Radford (16.5 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (7): Wade Taylor IV (19.1 ppg., 4.0 apg.); Henry Coleman III (8.8 ppg., 5.6 rpg.); Solomon Washington (7.4 ppg., 5.7 rpg.); Manny Obaseki (7.0 ppg.); Jace Carter (6.9 pg, 4.7 rpg.); Andersson Garcia (6.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg.); Hayden Hefner (5.0 ppg.)

Top-100 freshmen added: None

Top-100 transfers added (2): No. 58 Pharrel Payne (Minnesota), No. 81 Zhuric Phelps (SMU)

Why they’re ranked here: Buzz Williams has seven of his top eight players back from a team that won an NCAA Tournament game and was an overtime loss to No. 1 seed Houston away from reaching the Sweet 16. Getting back Taylor, who has 14 career games of 25-plus points, was huge. Adding Phelps, who averaged 15 points last season, to replace Radford might’ve been just as important. In an era of constant, massive roster upheaval, this kind of continuity could be a major competitive advantage. Six of the Aggies’ rotation players have logged at least two seasons for Williams already; four of them have played three-plus years at A&M.

Career Division I minutes on roster

Team Minutes

21,639 (six players with 2,000-plus)

21,193 (six players with 2,000-plus)

20,742 (seven players with 2,000-plus)

20,309 (six players with 2,000-plus)

18,027 (four players with 2,000-plus)

17,956 (four players with 2,000-plus)

16,670 (two players with 2,000-plus)

16,102 (four players with 2,000-plus)

15,979 (four players with 2,000-plus)

13,678 (three players with 2,000-plus)

13,388 (three players with 2,000-plus)

13,030 (two players with 2,000-plus)

12,508 (two players with 2,000-plus)

11,073 (two players with 2,000-plus)

10,842 (two players with 2,000-plus)

7,706 (one player with 2,000-plus)

3. Auburn

Biggest losses: Jaylin Williams (12.4 ppg.); Aden Holloway (7.3 ppg.); KD Johnson (7.1 ppg.); Tre Donaldson (6.7 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (4): Johni Broome (16.5 ppg., 8.5 rpg.); Chad Baker-Mazara (10.0 ppg., 3.7 rpg.); Denver Jones (9.1 ppg.); Dylan Cardwell (5.3 ppg., 3.7 rpg.)

Top-100 freshmen added (2): No. 28 Tahaad Pettiford, No. 62 Jahki Howard

Top-100 transfers added (1): JP Pegues (Furman)

Why they’re ranked here: For this exercise, we defined “rotation players” as top-eight players in minutes, but Pearl used 10 players at least 14 minutes per game last season — that depth was the Tigers’ strength — and he has six of them back from a team that won 27 games and the SEC tournament. Most important among those is Broome, an All-American whose backup, Cardwell, could start for anybody in the league. The Tigers’ two point guards, Holloway and Donaldson, transferred to rival Alabama and Michigan, respectively, but Pearl replaced them with Pegues, who averaged 18.4 points and 4.8 assists at Furman, and a five-star freshman in Pettiford. Under Pearl, Auburn has won either a regular-season or tournament title in the SEC four times (2018, 2019, 2022 and 2024), and the Tigers should be right in that mix again.

No. 4 Tennessee

Biggest losses: Dalton Knecht (21.7 ppg.); Jonas Aidoo (11.4 ppg.); Josiah-Jordan James (8.4 ppg.); Santiago Vescovi (6.3 ppg.); Tobe Awaka (5.1 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (3): Zakai Zeigler (11.8 ppg., 6.1 apg.); Jordan Gainey (6.8 ppg.); Jahmai Mashack (4.5 ppg., 3.1 rpg.)

Top-100 freshmen added (1): No. 71 Bishop Boswell

Top-100 transfers added (4): No. 24 Chaz Lanier (North Florida), No. 64 Darlinstone Dubar (Hofstra), No. 66 Igor Milicic Jr. (Charlotte), No. 86 Felix Okpara (Ohio State)

Why they’re ranked here: Losing the All-American Knecht, plus Aidoo and Awaka inside and the constant presence of James and Vescovi, who started 123 and 144 games for the Vols, is a massive void to fill. But Zeigler is the heart of that program, and there’s a trio of significant contributors back from an Elite Eight team. Former top-100 recruits Cameron Carr and J.P. Estrella stuck around for a sophomore season, which feels rare in this era. Rick Barnes hopes Lanier (19.7 points, 44 percent 3s last season) can be the next Knecht, a scoring machine from a lower level who can keep filling it up in the SEC. Milicic and Okpara should plug those holes in the paint, and Dubar might be the sneakiest big-time addition in the league. The 6-foot-6 wing averaged 17.8 points and 6.8 boards and shot 40 percent from 3 as an All-CAA selection last season. He scored 24 points and had eight rebounds against Duke in Durham last season, hitting 7 of 11 3s. Barnes, who won SEC titles in 2018, 2022 and 2024, can work with that.

No. 5 Ole Miss

Biggest losses: Allen Flanigan (14.8 ppg.); Moussa Cisse (4.5 ppg.); Jamarion Sharp (3.3 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (4): Matthew Murrell (16.2 ppg., 2.4 apg.); Jaylen Murray (13.8 ppg., 4.0 apg.); Jaemyn Brakefield (12.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg.); TJ Caldwell (5.5 ppg.)

Top-100 freshmen added (1): No. 55 John Bol

Top-100 transfers added (3): No. 22 Dre Davis (Seton Hall), No. 62 Sean Pedulla (VT), No. 93 Malik Dia (Belmont)

Why they’re ranked here: Four of the top five scorers, including All-SEC guard Murrell, return from a team that flipped the Rebels from a 21-loss to a 20-win team in year one under Chris Beard. Ole Miss and Alabama are the only two teams that rank in the top four in the league in combined career minutes on the roster (21,193 for the Rebels), made 3s on the roster (796) and returning rotation players (four). Beard has an SEC-best seven players who’ve made at least 50 career 3s at the Division I level. Even with so much continuity, he crushed the portal. Davis (15 ppg), Pedulla (16.4 ppg), Dia (16.9 ppg), Mikeal Brown-Jones (18.9 ppg at UNCG) and Davon Barnes (13.5 ppg at Sam Houston) give Ole Miss ridiculous depth. Beard won the Sun Belt his first year at Little Rock, made the Final Four in year three at Texas Tech and built a roster that reached the Elite Eight in his second season at Texas. He’s ready to make one of those big, quick jumps again in Oxford.

Career made 3-pointers on roster

Team 3-pointers

1,060 (six players with 50-plus)

1,033 (six players with 50-plus)

796 (seven players with 50-plus)

796 (five players with 50-plus)

792 (five players with 50-plus)

725 (five players with 50-plus)

711 (four players with 50-plus)

672 (three players with 50-plus)

563 (four players with 50-plus)

549 (four players with 50-plus)

532 (five players with 50-plus)

445 (three players with 50-plus)

443 (four players with 50-plus)

401 (three players with 50-plus)

369 (three players with 50-plus)

230 (one player with 50-plus)

6. Kentucky

Biggest losses: Antonio Reeves (20.2 ppg.); Rob Dillingham (15.2 ppg.); Reed Sheppard (12.5 ppg.); Tre Mitchell (10.7 ppg.); DJ Wagner (9.9 ppg.); Justin Edwards (8.8 ppg.); Adou Thiero (7.2 ppg.); Zvonimir Ivisic (5.5 ppg.)

Returning rotation players: None

Top-100 freshmen added (2): No. 37 Collin Chandler (Class of 2022, served Mormon mission), No. 76 Travis Perry

Top-100 transfers added (5): No. 27 Jaxson Robinson (BYU), No. 34 Brandon Garrison (Oklahoma State), No. 41 Koby Brea (Dayton), No. 72 Amari Williams (Drexel), No. 79 Lamont Butler (San Diego State)

Why they’re ranked here: There’s a whole lot of projection going on here, considering there’s a new coach in Lexington for the first time since 2009 and Pope has zero returning scholarship players. But on paper, the pieces fit Pope and his offense perfectly. The Wildcats signed a whopping nine players out of the portal, and they wanted vets who can shoot. Kentucky ranks first or second in the SEC in combined career minutes — including a league-best seven players with 2,000-plus minutes played in Division I — as well as total made 3s on the roster (1,033) and top-100 transfers added. It was big for Pope to bring Robinson, Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year, with him from BYU. The Cats landed the NCAA 3-point percentage leader (Brea), former Pac-12 assist leader (Kerr Kriisa), the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year (Butler) and three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year (Williams). How Pope puts all those pieces together remains to be seen, but Kentucky should be fun to watch this season.

7. Florida

Biggest losses: Zyon Pullin (15.5 ppg.); Tyrese Samuel (13.9 ppg.); Riley Kugel (9.2 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (5): Walter Clayton Jr. (17.6 ppg., 2.6 apg.); Will Richard (11.4 ppg., 3.9 rpg.); Alex Condon (7.7 ppg., 6.4 rpg.); Micah Handlogten (5.3 ppg., 6.9 rpg.); Thomas Haugh (3.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg.)

Top-100 freshmen added: None

Top-100 transfers added (1): No. 51 Alijah Martin (Florida Atlantic),

Why they’re ranked here: Six of the top nine players, including All-SEC guard Clayton, are back from a 24-win team that reached the SEC championship game and made the NCAA Tournament in Todd Golden’s second season. They have a ton of returning size and production in the paint — and added more in Chattanooga transfer Sam Alexis (9.1 rebounds per game) and 7-foot-9, 290-pound freshman Olivier Rioux, the world’s tallest teenager. Martin, an All-CUSA and All-AAC guard who was a key piece of FAU’s Final Four run in 2023, has made 242 career 3-pointers and should replenish a lot of what the Gators lost from their backcourt. We think the 38-year-old Golden is a rising star in coaching — he won 24 games in year two at San Francisco and 24 games in year two at Florida — but he’s yet to win an NCAA Tournament game. That’s the next big hurdle, and this is a roster good enough to do it.

No. 8 Arkansas

Biggest losses: Tramon Mark (16.2 ppg.); Khalif Battle (14.8 ppg.); Makhi Mitchell (8.6 ppg.); Keyon Menifield (7.9 ppg.); Jalen Graham (7.6 ppg.); El Ellis (6.5 ppg.); Davonte Davis (5.9 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (1): Trevon Brazile (8.6 ppg., 5.9 rpg.)

Top-100 freshmen added (3): No. 19 Boogie Fland, No. 21 Karter Knox, No. 26 Billy Richmond

Top-100 transfers added (5): No. 2 Johnell Davis (Florida Atlantic), No. 15 Jonas Aidoo (Tennessee), No. 59 Adou Thiero (Kentucky), No. 74 Zvonimir Ivisic (Kentucky), No. 76 DJ Wagner (Kentucky)

Why they’re ranked here: How could the Hogs have a Hall of Fame coach, sign three McDonald’s All-Americans and five top-100 transfers and be slotted right in the middle of a 16-team league? Well, Calipari hasn’t been to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament since 2019, and he has somehow managed to assemble a roster that ranks last in the SEC (by a mile) in combined career Division I minutes (7,706) and made 3-pointers (230). Alabama has 21,639 career minutes and 1,060 career 3s on its roster. Oh, and Arkansas ranks second last in the league in roster continuity, too, with just one returning scholarship player. All of that said, this is one of the most talented rosters in the SEC (and country), and many will pick the Razorbacks much higher than we have here. But none of them have studied Calipari’s assembly and deployment of rosters as closely as we have.

Returning top-8 players (by minutes)

Team Ranking

No. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

No. 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9

No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

No. 1, 4, 5, 7

No. 1, 2, 4, 6

No. 1, 3, 4, 8

No. 3, 5, 6, 7

No. 5, 6, 7, 8

No. 1, 3, 7

No. 1, 6, 7

No. 2, 6, 8

No. 3, 7

No. 7, 8

No. 3

N/A

N/A

No. 9 Texas

Biggest losses: Max Abmas (16.8 ppg.); Dylan Disu (15.5 ppg.); Tyrese Hunter (11.1 ppg.); Dillon Mitchell (9.6 ppg.); Ithiel Horton (5.9 ppg)

Returning rotation players (2): Kadin Shedrick (7.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg); Chendall Weaver (6.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg)

Top-100 freshmen added (2): No. 5 Tre Johnson, No. 59 Nicolas Codie

Top-100 transfers added (4): No. 47 Jordan Pope (Oregon State), No. 52 Julian Larry (Indiana State), No. 56 Tramon Mark (Arkansas), No. 83 Arthur Kaluma (Kansas State)

Why they’re ranked here: While it’s not ideal to lose your top six players on the way into a loaded SEC, Rodney Terry and his staff added enough quality talent to still be very competitive. There’s a top-five high school prospect (Johnson), two starters from a 32-win Indiana State team (Jayson Kent and Larry), the Pac-12 leader in minutes played (Pope), Arkansas’ leading scorer (Mark) and Kansas State’s leading rebounder who previously started on an Elite Eight Creighton team (Kaluma). Texas has made 30 of the last 35 NCAA Tournaments, and there’s enough here to do it again.

Biggest losses: Sean East (17.6 ppg); Nick Honor (11.1 ppg); Noah Carter (11.0 ppg); Connor Vanover (4.2 ppg)

Returning rotation players (4): Tamar Bates (13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg); Caleb Grill (8.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg); Anthony Robinson (3.9 ppg); Aidan Shaw (3.6 ppg)

Top-100 freshmen added (4): No. 32 Annor Boateng, No. 65 Marcus Allen, No. 97 Peyton Marshall, No. 98 Trent Burns

Top-100 transfers added (2): No. 54 Mark Mitchell (Duke), No. 75 Tony Perkins (Iowa)

Why they’re ranked here: The Tigers return a solid nucleus — including their second-leading scorer and leading rebounder — and signed a top-five recruiting class and top-15 transfer haul. Marques Warrick (19.9 ppg) and Jacob Crews (19.1 ppg) were mid-major stars, while Mitchell (11.6 ppg., 6.0 rpg.) and Perkins (14.0 ppg., 4.6 apg.) are both multiyear, high-major starters. The hunch here is Mizzou will be closer to year one under Dennis Gates (25 wins) than year two (24 losses).

Biggest losses: Tolu Smith (15.0 ppg.); Shakeel Moore (7.9 ppg.); Dashawn Davis (6.6 ppg.); D.J. Jeffries (6.5 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (3): Josh Hubbard (17.1 ppg.); Cameron Matthews (9.4 ppg., 6.8 rpg.); KeShawn Murphy (4.7 ppg., 3.1 rpg.)

Top-100 freshmen added: None

Top-100 transfers added: None

Why they’re ranked here: Losing four of your top six players from an NCAA Tournament team and then not signing any top-100 freshmen or transfers makes it tough to predict big things. But the return of Matthews and Hubbard (the latter was an absolute revelation in the SEC last season) plus some solid portal pickups give the Bulldogs a chance to push toward the upper half of the league again. Kanye Clary (Penn State), Riley Kugel (Florida), Claudell Harris Jr. (Boston College) and RJ Melendez (Georgia) are all high-major starters or sixth men plugging holes in Chris Jans’ roster.

Biggest losses: Noah Thomasson (13.1 ppg.); Jabri Abdur-Rahim (12.2 ppg.); RJ Melendez (9.6 ppg.); Justin Hill (9.5 ppg.); Russel Tchewa (7.4 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (3): Silas Demary Jr. (9.7 ppg., 3.8 rpg.); Blue Cain (7.4 ppg.); Dylan James (4.0 ppg.)

Top-100 freshmen added (2): No. 14 Asa Newell, No. 43 Somto Cyril

Top-100 transfers added (1): No. 85 RJ Godfrey (Clemson)

Why they’re ranked here: The Bulldogs lost four of their top five scorers from a 20-win team that was a very tough out in the league last season. But the Bulldogs did return two major pieces in Demary and Cain, while adding a five-star freshman (Newell), a rim-protecting former Kentucky commit (Cyril) and top reserve for Clemson’s Elite Eight team (Godfrey). Also incoming: Tyrin Lawrence, an 80-game starter at Vanderbilt, Mount St. Mary’s stars Dakota Leffew and De’Shayne Montgomery, who combined for 30.8 points per game last season, and Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year Justin Abson. “Tough out” feels like it’ll fit again.

13. South Carolina

Biggest losses: Meechie Johnson (14.1 ppg.); B.J. Mack (13.6 ppg.); Ta’Lon Cooper (9.9 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (5): Collin Murray-Boyles (10.4 ppg., 5.7 rpg.); Myles Stute (8.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg.); Zachary Davis (5.9 ppg., 3.6 rpg.); Jacobi Wright (5.9 ppg.); Morris Ugusuk (2.2 ppg.)

Top-100 freshmen added (1): No. 35 Cam Scott

Top-100 transfers added: None

Why they’re ranked here: The Gamecocks jumped from 11 wins in year one under Lamont Paris to 26 wins and an NCAA Tournament bid in year two, earning Paris the SEC Coach of the Year award. But three of the top four scorers are gone, and Paris didn’t sign a single top-100 transfer. It was huge to get back star freshman Murray-Boyles — one of four players returning who played 22-plus minutes per game last season — and to add a top-40 recruit like Scott. Transfer Jamarii Thomas put up big numbers at Norfolk State (16.9 ppg.) and Nick Pringle (6.8 ppg., 5.1 rpg.) was a nice piece for Alabama’s Final Four team. But we wonder if there’s enough high-end talent to keep hanging with the big dogs in an even more crowded SEC.

14. LSU

Biggest losses: Jalen Cook (15.6 ppg.); Jordan Wright (15.1 ppg.); Will Baker (11.0 ppg.); Trae Hannibal (7.0 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (4): Tyrell Ward (9.1 ppg.); Jalen Reed (7.9 ppg., 4.1 rpg.); Mike Williams (7.2 ppg.); Derek Fountain (5.3 ppg., 4.2 rpg.)

Top-100 freshmen added (3): No. 58 Vyctorius Miller, No. 63 Curtis Givens III, No. 64 Robert Miller

Top-100 transfers added: None

Why they’re ranked here: The Tigers showed progress in year two under Matt McMahon, including a seventh-place finish in the SEC, but then promptly lost their top three scorers. There is a solid nucleus back, including three players (Ward, Reed, Fountain) entering their third season at LSU. McMahon is having solid success on the high school recruiting trail with a top-15 class, but these aren’t the old days and the Tigers needed to do more in the portal. Jordan Sears put up big numbers (21.6 ppg., 4.5 apg., 43.2 percent 3s) at UT Martin, but will it translate? Cam Carter (14.6 ppg.) was a nice player Kansas State, but is he a needle-mover? It just feels like LSU is a piece or two short.

No. 15 Oklahoma

Biggest losses: Javian McCollum (13.3 ppg.); Otega Oweh (11.4 ppg.); Rivaldo Soares (9.4 ppg.); Milos Uzan (9.0 ppg.); John Hugley IV (8.4 ppg.); Le’Tre Darthard (6.7 ppg.)

Returning rotation players (2): Jalon Moore (11.2 ppg., 6.7 rpg.); Sam Godwin (6.7 ppg., 5.2 rpg.)

Top-100 freshmen added: None

Top-100 transfers added: None

Why they’re ranked here: It’s hard to paint this as anything but bleak. The Sooners lost six of their top seven scorers, then signed zero top-100 high school recruits and zero top-100 transfers. Duke Miles (17.5 ppg. at High Point), Brycen Goodine (13.9 ppg. at Fairfield), Jadon Jones (12.1 ppg. at Long Beach State) and Kobe Elvis (9.4 ppg. at Dayton) are solid pieces — as is 6-6 wing Jeff Nwankwo, the No. 2 junior-college prospect in the country — but hardly conjure images of a deep run in March. Speaking of, Porter Moser enters year four still looking for an NCAA Tournament bid or a winning conference record. He went 20-34 in the Big 12 after leading Loyola Chicago to the 2018 Final Four and 2021 Sweet 16. Now here comes the SEC.

No. 16 Vanderbilt

Biggest losses: Ezra Manjon (14.7 ppg.); Tyrin Lawrence (13.8 ppg.); Ven-Allen Lubin (12.3 ppg.); Evan Taylor (8.0 ppg.); Colin Smith (7.1 ppg.); Jason Rivera-Torres (6.4 ppg.); Tasos Kamateros (4.5 ppg.); Paul Lewis (4.4 ppg.)

Returning rotation players: None

Top-100 freshmen added: None

Top-100 transfers added: None

Why they’re ranked here: Not that you’d want a bunch of players from a 9-23 team that got Jerry Stackhouse fired, but it would probably help the new coach to have, say, one of the top nine scorers back. Alas, Mark Byington, who led James Madison to 32 wins and an NCAA Tournament upset of Wisconsin last season, has none of Vandy’s rotation players back. And signed no top-100 high school recruits. And no top-100 transfers. That doesn’t mean he found no value in the portal because North Texas’ Jason Edwards (19.1 ppg.), Michigan State’s A.J. Hoggard (10.7 ppg., 5.2 apg.) and Virginia Tech’s Tyler Nickel (8.8 ppg., 39.9 percent 3s) are nice pieces. Boston College’s Devin McGlockton (10.2 ppg., 6.3 rpg.), Cornell’s Chris Manon (12.5 ppg.) and Davidson’s Grant Huffman (12.8 ppg., 5.3 apg., 5.1 rpg.) are, too. Seven players have made at least 48 career 3s in Division I. There are reasons to believe this group could exceed expectations, its coach included, but the Commodores haven’t made an NCAA Tournament since 2017, and they remain firmly in believe-it-when-we-see-it status.

(Top photos of Mark Sears and John Calipari: Brandon Sumrall and Wesley Hitt / Getty Images)



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