BYU is a mainstay in way-too-early Top 25

The Cougars are projected to be a Top 25 team in NCAA basketball next season.
Mark Pope calls out to his team in a Big 12 Conference matchup
Mark Pope calls out to his team in a Big 12 Conference matchup / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

You didn't think last year was a one-time deal, did you?

Following an season which featured an unexpected level of success for a BYU team that otherwise seemed destined for a long and painful rebuild in their new Big 12 home, the Cougars finished the season with an NCAA Tournament appearance. Despite the poor finish from Mark Pope's team, BYU is primed for another great season in 2024-25.

In place of the departing Spencer Johnson and Jaxson Robinson (assuming he doesn't decide to come back for another year) BYU is landing a pair of 4-star recruits in Isaac Davis and Collin Chandler. While they may take a minute to shake off some rust following their missionary service, Cougar fans should be excited about what these two incoming freshmen will show us.

Pope has been busy in the transfer portal, as well. He's been targeting some of the best fits for his team in the transfer portal (please, Andrej, I need this) and anyone who would make sense filling one of BYU's few open roster spots. Provo is buzzing with anticipation (or is that just the bees again?) for a new season of BYU basketball, and the last season just finished.

Shockingly, BYU homers aren't the only ones getting excited about what's happening in the basketball program. Following UConn's second dominant romp through the NCAA Tournament field on their way to a repeat National Championship, sports sites across the country released their "way-too-early projections" for the 2024-25 season in unison. Despite BYU's early exit knocking them out of the final Top 25, the Cougs are a mainstay in each projection.

BYU basketball
BYU's bench gets on its feet to support the Cougars' rally against 11-seed Duquesne / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Shocking, I know, but I can sincerely say that BYU is a nationally-respected basketball program yet again. Don't be embarrassed to shed a few tears of joy, that's completely reasonable. So where did BYU land, and where do we think they belong?

Way-Too-Early 2024-25 Top 25 Projections

Across these eight sites, the Cougars are averaging a 16.5 ranking. While we have plenty of reasons to hype up the next season of BYU basketball, we also have plenty of reasons to be skeptical. Health could be a concern for Dawson Baker and Aly Khalifa. The return missionary Collin Chandler could struggle to get back into peak form for a while.

A ranking between 15-25 isn't irrational, but I've been hurt too many times to feel comfortable saying BYU is a top-15 team at this point in the year. I certainly hope they exceed these sky-high expectations, but I feel that the Cougars are closer to 20 than they are to 10.

Despite my inherited pessimism, I couldn't be more excited to see the Cougars take the floor of the Marriott Center again next season. To see that they are receiving national respect is rare, but we have plenty of reasons to believe for a team with reasonable aspirations of battling among the best of the Big 12, and the best of the sport.

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