Under head coach Mark Pope, the BYU Cougars men’s basketball team shocked a whole lot of people during the 2023-24 season by going from a squad that was picked to finish 13th of 14 teams in the Big 12 to getting a 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Can the Cougars repeat that success in the 2024-25 season?

As is customary the night of or day after the national championship game, a bunch of national outlets have published “way too early top 25 rankings” lists for next season, and BYU does indeed appear in many of them.

Of particular note, the Cougars are No. 10 in USA Today’s rankings, and they are in the top 15 in three others. In total, nine major national outlets have BYU ranked, with Sporting News being the only one to have left the Cougars out.

“The Cougars settled into the the Big 12 in their first season comfortably and look well-equipped to handle increased competition with the arrival of four teams from the Pac-12,” USA Today’s Paul Myerberg, Erick Smith and Eddie Timanus wrote.

“How good they will be depends on the status of leading scorer Jaxson Robinson (14.2 ppg). His return with Fousseyni Traore and Trevin Knell along with key depth players would make Mark Pope’s team one of the best in the country’s toughest conference.”

Robinson’s future was a common topic brought up by various outlets in helping them determine how good or not BYU might be next season. Robinson, who was named the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year this season, could return to the Cougars but could also go pro.

“Jaxson Robinson could return, but he’s inside the top 60 of ESPN’s NBA draft rankings. Even without (him), Pope has a core that should win games in March,” wrote ESPN’s Jeff Borzello in ranking the Cougars 14th.

That, of course, is assuming Pope returns as head coach. His name has been floated for numerous job openings elsewhere this offseason and though he remains with BYU, his alma mater, Kentucky, is now in search of a new coach following John Calipari’s departure to Arkansas.

“The only obvious thing that could push BYU out of the preseason Top 25 And 1 is if the Kentucky job were to fall to Pope, who is a UK graduate and member of the 1996 national championship team that was coached by Rick Pitino,” wrote CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish, who ranked the Cougars 13th.

Finally, the arrival of former elite recruit Collin Chandler out of Farmington High was a major talking point. Chandler was a consensus top 50 recruit in the entire country in the Class of 2022 and signed with BYU over Utah before he left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Chandler will be returning home in just a few weeks.

“BYU has as much roster continuity as anyone in this Top 25, and the much-awaited arrival of Chandler is finally here,” The Athletic’s CJ Moore and Sam Vecenie wrote in ranking the Cougars 13th.

“Chandler, a four-star prospect from the 2022 class who has been on a two-year mission, was the highest-rated recruit to ever sign with the Cougars. Chandler could become the instant offense off the bench that leading scorer Jaxson Robinson provided this season. Robinson still has one year of eligibility remaining, but we’re projecting him to leave.”

Here is the entire list of how 10 national outlets ranked BYU for next season:

USA Today: 10.

CBS: 13.

The Athletic: 13.

ESPN: 14.

247 Sports: 16.

Yahoo: 20.


FOX Sports: 21.

On3: 22.

Sports Illustrated: 25.

Sporting News: Not ranked.

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