Ranking the Top-25 College Basketball Teams For 2023-24 Season (No. 1-5)

Ranking the Top-25 College Basketball Teams For 2023-24 Season (No. 1-5)

Today we'll continue with our top-25 rankings and team outlooks for the 2023-24 college basketball season, moving on to projected top-5 teams in the country.


5. Michigan State  

Tom Izzo put together his best recruiting class since 2016, and the star of that group is five-star center Xavier Booker. He likely will go into the fall behind senior Mady Sissoko who started all but one game last year for the Spartans, but at some point Booker's talent will take over that spot. Still, it will be nice to have that kind of depth in the frontcourt along with super senior Malik Hall and rising sophomore Jaxon Kohler. Jeremy Fears, Coen Carr, and Gehrig Normand are the other four-star recruits from this stellar 2023 class. The biggest reason to be excited about 2023-24 if you're a Michigan State fan, however, is this stellar trio of returning guards. Tyson Walker is making use of his COVID year, and A.J. Hoggard and Jaden Akins are both back in the fold after testing the draft waters. That trio averaged 37.5 PPG last season and they should be closer to 50 PPG this season having to replace the production of Joey Hauser (14.4 PPG). The Big Ten appears to be a race between Purdue and Michigan State, and the difference very well could be how fast Xavier Booker is able to come along and keep Purdue big man Zach Edey honest. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: A.J. Hoggard (12.9 PPG)

SG: Tyson Walker (14.8 PPG)

SF: Jaden Akins (9.8 PPG)

PF: Malik Hall (8.9 PPG)

C: Xavier Booker (No. 14 in 2023 class)

Key Reserves: Mady Sissoko (5.1 PPG), Jaxon Kohler (3.0 PPG), Jeremy Fears (No. 41 in 2023 class), Coen Carr (No. 32 in 2023 class), Tre Holloman (1.3 PPG)


4. Marquette  

Marquette was perhaps the biggest surprise last season. I think a lot of people felt they could return to the NCAA Tournament, but to win a Big East regular season title and the Big East Tournament was a massive achievement. Tyler Kolek really established himself as the arguably the best point guard in the country, averaging 12.9 points, 7.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.8 steals. He should be even better as a senior and will have his two wingman back in Kameron Jones and Stevie Mitchell. Really, the only blow to this team in the offseason was Olivier-Maxence Prosper deciding to stay in the NBA Draft. Fortunately the Golden Eagles will have a seamless fit into the vacant power forward position in David Joplin, who came on down the stretch last season. He will pair alongside Osasere Ighodaro in the frontcourt. Marquette's 2022 recruiting class included Sean Jones, Chase Ross, and Ben Gold, all of whom should see more opportunities as sophomores. Tre Norman was the top ranked player in the team's 2023 class and is a throwback Shaka Smart guard who will hound opposing ball handlers and should find his way into some minutes. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Tyler Kolek (12.9 PPG)

SG: Stevie Mitchell (7.1 PPG)

SF: Kameron Jones (15.1 PPG)

PF: David Joplin (9.2 PPG)

C: Osasere Ighodaro (11.4 PPG)

Key Reserves: Chase Ross (4.6 PPG), Sean Jones (3.6 PPG), Ben Gold (2.7 PPG), Tre Norman (No. 99 in 2023 class), Zaide Lowery (Freshman)


3. Purdue

While losing to a 16-seed left a sour taste in the mouths of many, we still have to remember that Purdue is brining back pretty much everyone from a team that won the Big Ten by three games, the Big Ten Conference Tournament, and was a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That, of course, includes Naismith Player of the Year Zach Edey after averaging 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game as a junior. The freshmen guards of Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer struggled in some big moments last year, but they also each showed flashes, and there's a lot of optimism that another year in the Matt Painter system could yield more consistent play. They'll also each have a veteran presence in the backcourt in graduate transfer Lance Jones who averaged 13.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.1 three-pointers, and 1.6 steals per game last year. Add in role players like Ethan Morton, Caleb Furst, and Mason Gillis, each with another year in the system, and I don't see this team falling short in March again. Purdue will also add more young blood in the form of four-star recruit Myles Colvin, who should help out the perimeter play.

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Braden Smith (9.7 PPG)

SG: Fletcher Loyer (11.0 PPG)

SF: Ethan Morton (3.8 PPG)

PF: Mason Gillis (6.8 PPG)

C: Zach Edey (22.3 PPG)

Key Reserves: Caleb Furst (5.5 PPG), Trey Kaufman-Renn (4.5 PPG), Myles Colvin (No. 78 in 2023 class), Lance Jones (13.8 PPG at SIU)


2. Duke

As soon as Kyle Filipowski decided that he wanted to come back for another season, Duke was going to be in position for a great year in 2023-24. He was arguably the best freshman in college basketball last season and should only continue to improve his game after averaging 15.1 PPG and 8.9 RPG. He also will not have to share the middle anymore with Dereck Lively, who remained in the NBA Draft along with top-three recruit Dariq Whitehead. Duke's 2022 recruiting class was incredible, and while they lose Lively and Whitehead for Year 2, the Blue Devils were fortunate to also retain Mark Mitchell and Tyrese Proctor, who both started to come on down the stretch last season. They will bring in another top-three recruiting class in 2023 that includes top-25 ranked players in Jared McCain, Sean Stewart, Caleb Foster, and TJ Power. Most think McCain will have the biggest impact of the group next season due to his ability to space the floor. Making it all run is perhaps the most important piece, the senior leader Jeremy Roach. The 6-2 guard has started the majority of games over the last three years with Duke and is a crafty playmaker who always gets the best out of his talented teammates. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Jeremy Roach (13.6 PPG)

SG: Jared McCain (No. 11 in 2023 class)

SF: Tyrese Proctor (9.4 PPG)

PF: Mark Mitchell (9.1 PPG)

C: Kyle Filipowski (15.1 PPG)

Key Reserves: Ryan Young (6.4 PPG), Sean Stewart (No. 17 in 2023 class), Caleb Foster (No. 20 in 2023 class), TJ Power (No. 19 in 2023 class), Jaylen Blakes (3.4 PPG)


1. Kansas

Bill Self had perhaps his biggest offseason challenge since he took over at Kansas, with Gradey Dick and Jalen Wilson leaving for the NBA Draft and two of his top freshman recruits from the 2022 cycle in Ernest Udeh and MJ Rice transferring. The good news was that Self knew he had one of the best point guards in the country returning in Dajuan Harris, as well as a rising junior in K.J. Adams in the frontcourt. Self then was able to land perhaps the best player we've seen hit the transfer portal in Hunter Dickinson, who is coming off three incredibly productive seasons at Michigan. That gives Kansas a real post up threat, something it didn't have last season. Two other impact transfers in Nick Timberlake and Arterio Morris joined the Jayhawk backcourt and should provide solid contributions in different ways. KU also had a solid recruiting class led by a dynamic athlete and playmaker in Elmarko Jackson. The last straw to solidify its No. 1 spot going into next season was Kevin McCullar deciding to return after testing the draft process. McCullar was really the heart and soul of that Kansas team last year and is able to impact the game in so many ways. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Dajuan Harris (8.9 PPG)

SG: Nick Timberlake (17.7 PPG at Towson)

SF: Kevin McCullar (10.7 PPG)

PF: K.J. Adams (10.6 PPG)

C: Hunter Dickinson (18.5 PPG at Michigan)

Key Reserves: Arterio Morris (4.6 PPG at Texas), Elmarko Jackson (No. 22 in 2023 class), Parker Braun (7.7 PPG at Santa Clara), Jamari McDowell (No. 100 in 2023 class)


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Ryan  Andrade
Ryan has covered golf, college basketball, and motorsports for RotoWire since 2016. He was nominated for "DFS Writer of the Year" in 2021 by the FSWA.
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