Ranking the Top-25 College Basketball Teams For 2023-24 Season (No. 6-10)

Ranking the Top-25 College Basketball Teams For 2023-24 Season (No. 6-10)

Today we'll continue with our top-25 rankings and team outlooks for the 2023-24 college basketball season, moving on to teams 6-10.


10. Arkansas

Eric Musselman has turned into the king of the transfer portal. Ever since arriving at Arkansas there isn't a top player that Arkansas doesn't reach out to once they hit the portal. While the Razorbacks will lose their top three scorers in Ricky Council IV (16.1 PPG), Anthony Black (12.8 PPG), and Nick Smith (12.5 PPG), along with Jordan Walsh (7.1 PPG) to the NBA, they will reload with five transfers who were hugely important to the success of their previous schools. The best get for my money was Khalif Battle, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career, but is an incredible shooter and scorer. Tramon Mark was a huge piece of the reason for Houston's success last year and will be a physical presence for Arkansas who plays bigger than his 6-5 frame. El Ellis was the only positive last season for Louisville, and now he makes the move to the Razorbacks where he will provide the team a huge boost on the offensive side of the ball. Ellis should split point guard duties with Davonte Davis who is coming back for another season after testing the NBA Draft process. Davis certainly gives coach Musselman some stability with a lot of new backcourt pieces coming in. Washington point guard transfer Keyon Menifield (10.0 PPG) will redshirt and be a great option to lead the Razorback offense in the 2024-25 campaign. Trevon Brazile coming back healthy from an ACL injury could be the biggest key, as he was Arkansas' best player during fall practice and in the early part of last season. This is without a doubt one of the deepest teams in the country, and talented four-star freshmen Baye Fall and Layden Blocker will push the veterans for minutes. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Davonte Davis (10.9 PPG)

SG: El Ellis (17.7 PPG at Louisville)

SF: Khalif Battle (17.9 PPG at Temple)

PF: Tramon Mark (10.1 PPG at Houston)

C: Trevon Brazile (11.8 PPG)

Key Reserves: Makhi Mitchell (7.0 PPG), Jeremiah Davenport (9.1 PPG), Baye Fall (No. 31 in 2023 class), Layden Blocker (No. 46 in 2023 class), Jalen Graham (5.2 PPG), Chandler Lawson (5.0 PPG at Memphis)


9. Arizona

Arizona is another team that did excellent work in the transfer portal this offseason. The biggest prize was Caleb Love, who is one of the most dynamic scorers in college basketball and should thrive in Tommy Lloyd's up-tempo offensive scheme. Replacing Kerr Kriisa (9.9 PPG), who was quite a frustrating player at times for the coaching staff, is one of the top point guards from the class of 2022 in Jaden Bradley. The 6-3 guard went to Alabama and was a starter right out of the gate for the Crimson Tide but slowly saw his opportunities fade when Jahvon Quinerly returned from injury. Bradley should be a great long-term piece for Lloyd. The last piece of the prized 2023 transfer portal class was Keshad Johnson, who help lead San Diego State all the way to the title game. He is an amazing athlete and will bring some toughness to the PF spot that was voided by Azuolas Tubelis (19.8 PPG). Oumar Ballo put up 14.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 1.3 BPG alongside Tubelis and will have the chance to cement himself amongst the top bigs in the country with the paint much more clear. Pelle Larsson and Kylan Boswell will battle for that final starting spot, but this team needs one of the second-year players like Henri Veesaar, Filip Borovicanin, or Dylan Anderson to take the next step to avoid another early exit in the NCAA Tournament. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Jaden Bradley (6.4 PPG at Alabama)

SG: Caleb Love (16.7 PPG at North Carolina)

SF: Pelle Larsson (9.9 PPG)

PF: Keshad Johnson (7.7 PPG at San Diego State)

C: Oumar Ballo (14.2 PPG)

Key Reserves: Kylan Boswell (4.6 PPG), Henri Veesaar (2.4 PPG), Filip Borovicanin (1.3 PPG), Dylan Anderson (1.4 PPG), KJ Lewis (No. 79 in 2023 class)


8. Tennessee

Tennessee was among some of the biggest winners in the transfer portal cycle, landing commitments from big-time scorers Dalton Knecht and Jordan Gainey. While the Vols lost Olivier Nkamhoua (10.8 PPG) and Julian Phillips (8.3 PPG), they were able to get Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James to come back for their fifth seasons. The heart and soul of this team is still 5-9 guard Zakai Zeigler, but a late-season ACL injury puts his status in question for the 2023-24 season opener. The good news is that because the Volunteers were able to add a lot of other productive players in the transfer portal, Zeigler won't need to be rushed back and can make sure he's back to 100 percent by SEC play. Junior Jonas Aidoo is expected to start at center this season with Uros Plavsic (4.9 PPG) seeking professional opportunities, but this is one of the most versatile rosters in the country and could easily let Josiah-Jordan James play that spot for stretches. Tennessee has struggled for the last few years on the offensive side of the ball, but that feels like it will be a strength this coming season with all the space it can create. Four-star recruits Cameron Carr and JP Estrella should help the depth on this team as well. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Zakai Zeigler (10.7 PPG)

SG: Santiago Vescovi (12.5 PPG)

SF: Dalton Knecht (20.2 PPG at Northern Colorado)

PF: Josiah-Jordan James (10.0 PPG)

C: Jonas Aidoo (5.1 PPG)

Key Reserves: Jahmai Mashack (4.7 PPG), Tobe Awaka (3.2 PPG), Jordan Gainey (15.2 PPG at USC Upstate), JP Estrella (No. 60 in 2023 class), Cameron Carr (No. 55 in 2023 class)


7. Florida Atlantic  

This is a team that went 35-4 last season and lost on a buzzer beater in the Final Four to San Diego State, and now returns everyone except for Michael Forrest (8.2 PPG). While things will get a little tougher next season going from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference, FAU is still going to be the favorite to win it in its first year. Coach Dusty May has a proven system that creates great spacing. The Owls rotate a bunch of guards around 7-1 big man Vladislav Goldin and keep lots of driving lanes open. Johnell Davis established himself as the best of those guards, averaging 15.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and 2.1 assists over the final 10 games last season. The best part of this team, however, is that anyone can be the guy that gets hot on any given night. It is likely a big reason the Owls had so much success in the NCAA Tournament last season, with coaches not knowing where to focus their attention on defense. The biggest problem the Owls will run into is if Goldin gets into foul trouble, but Giancarlo Rosado has been a steady bench contributor the last two seasons and can take up a lot of space on the interior. There are zero significant new pieces being brought in, but there was already plenty enough there for another deep run. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: B.J. Greenlee (7.3 PPG)

SG: Nicholas Boyd (8.9 PPG)

SF: Alijah Martin (13.4 PPG)

PF: Johnell Davis (13.8 PPG)

C: Vladislav Goldin (10.2 PPG)

Key Reserves: Giancarlo Rosado (5.8 PPG), Brandon Weatherspoon (5.0 PPG), Jalen Gaffney (4.3 PPG), Tre Carroll (3.4 PPG), Isaiah Gaines (1.8 PPG)


6. Connecticut

I'm not sure we've ever had a player average less than 15 MPG and come into the following season and be among the top Naismith Player of the Year candidates. That is what is happening in 2023-24 with sophomore Donovan Clingan who's per-40 minute stats last season were 21.1 points, 17.1 rebounds, and 5.5 blocks per game. While he will get a lot more playing time next season with Adama Sanogo entering the NBA Draft, it will also be a challenge to see how Clingan is able to hold up physically at 7-2 265 pounds. The defending national champions are also losing key pieces in Jordan Hawkins (16.2 PPG) and Andre Jackson (6.7 PPG), but return starters Tristen Newton and Alex Karaban, both of whom are capable of taking that next step in their game. Coach Dan Hurley will also bring in a very talented recruiting class led by 6-6 combo guard Stephon Castle, who will remind a lot of Husky fans of Andre Jackson. Solomon Ball, Jaylin Stewart, and Jayden Ross are other four-star recruits who can make an impact around Clingan in the middle. What solidified UConn's spot here in my mind is the addition of Cam Spencer from Rutgers, a player who shoots it at over 43 percent from deep, is a terrific defender, and will provide a veteran presence on a young team. 

Projected Starting Lineup:

PG: Tristen Newton (10.1 PPG)

SG: Cam Spencer (13.2 PPG at Rutgers)

SF: Stephon Castle (No. 8 in 2023 class)

PF: Alex Karaban (9.3 PPG)

C: Donovan Clingan (6.9 PPG)

Key Reserves: Solomon Ball (No. 47 in 2023 class), Hassan Diarra (2.1 PPG), Jaylin Stewart (No. 61 in 2023 class), Jayden Ross (No. 77 in 2023 class), Samson Johnson (0.9 PPG)


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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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