Not everyone can be Houston.

There won’t be a lot of change next season in the starting lineup for one of the Big 12′s top basketball programs after the Cougars reached the Sweet 16 last season.

That plays a big role in why ESPN has Houston ranked No. 2 in its way-too-early top 25 rankings released two weeks ago, a ranking that has four Big 12 teams in the top 5.

Having such little roster turnover is not the case for many teams nowadays, what with a bloated transfer portal and almost non-stop recruiting.

Most teams in the Big 12 will see a significant amount of roster change in the upcoming 2024-25 season. With the reputation of the league as the toughest in the sport, that’s attracted plenty of star talent to the Big 12, which is expanding to 16 teams this season.

While the transfer portal window has been closed since May 1, personnel moves are far from over as players already in the portal still have time to find a new destination.

Wednesday was also the deadline for players who declared for the NBA draft to withdraw and retain their college eligibility — and that includes former BYU wing Jaxson Robinson.

Those decisions will certainly have an impact in the college basketball world.

What newcomers could have a big impact in what’s sure to be another competitive league race?

Here’s a look at 10 newcomers who are likely to impact the Big 12 in a significant way next season.

AJ Storr, Kansas wing

The Jayhawks lost freshman sensation Johnny Furphy, who announced Wednesday he was staying in the NBA draft, giving additional weight to the kind of impact Storr could have this next season on Bill Self’s squad at the same position.

The 6-foot-7 Storr was Wisconsin’s leading scorer last year, averaging 16.8 points while shooting 43.4% from the floor and 32% from 3-point range. He also averaged 3.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.

Storr is on to his third team in as many seasons — he joined Wisconsin after a year at St. John’s — and now joins a Kansas team that returns upperclassmen Hunter Dickinson, Dejuan Harris Jr. and KJ Adams Jr.

Storr isn’t the only heralded transfer for Kansas, which ranks second nationally in 247 Sports’ average player ranking for transfers at 95.67. There’s also former South Dakota State point guard Zeke Mayo (No. 25 in 247 Sports’ transfer player rankings) and former Alabama small forward Rylen Griffen (No. 39).

Miami forward Norchad Omier (15) goes up against Boston College guard Jaeden Zackery (3) and center Armani Mighty (2) during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college basketball tournament Tuesday, March 12, 2024, in Washington. | Alex Brandon

Norchad Omier, Baylor power forward

The Bears are bringing in several highly ranked newcomers, but perhaps none with more of a chance to make an impact next season than Omier, the No. 5 overall player in 247 Sports’ transfer rankings.

The 6-foot-7 power forward played the past two seasons at Miami after two years at Arkansas State. He declared for the draft before deciding to come back for one final college season, after averaging 17.0 points and 10.0 rebounds for the Hurricanes last season.

Baylor also has former Duke point guard Jeremy Roach (the No. 12 transfer in 247 Sports’ rankings) joining the program, along with five-star freshman VJ Edgecombe, who headlines the Bears’ No. 7 recruiting class.

Egor Demin, BYU combo guard

Demin, the 6-foot-9 combo guard from Russia, projects to be the centerpiece of a rebuilt BYU team that is beginning to look like it could compete for an upper half finish (or better) again in the Big 12, thanks to first-year coach Kevin Young.

The Cougars managed to retain Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders after both entered the transfer portal following Mark Pope’s departure for Kentucky, and Demin’s addition gives the Cougars a solid offensive weapon from an international player who’s projected as a 2025 NBA draft lottery pick.

Combine Demin with two freshmen who’ve flipped schools — Elijah Crawford from Stanford and Brody Kozlowski from USC — along with Utah transfer Keba Keita joining BYU, and it sets up the Cougars with a chance to repeat their success from last season, even with four scholarship spots still open for next year.

Dillon Mitchell, Cincinnati power forward

While Cincinnati came up short of reaching the NCAA Tournament during its first season in the Big 12, the Bearcats weren’t far off and instead advanced to the NIT quarterfinals.

Now, they add a talent in the former Texas forward. Mitchell, who is No. 21 overall in 247 Sports’ player transfer rankings, started 33 games for the Longhorns last season and averaged 9.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game as a sophomore.

Mitchell’s addition for a Cincinnati team that is viewed as a potential top 25 program helps the Bearcats rank No. 25 in 247 Sports’ transfer rankings and 20th in average player ranking at 92.33.

Oklahoma guard Milos Uzan (12) drives the ball away from BYU guard Dallin Hall (30) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Norman, Okla. | Garett Fisbeck

Milos Uzan, Houston point guard

As previously mentioned, the Cougars return most of their starting lineup — four players are back from a team that went 32-5 last season.

The departure of talented point guard Jamal Shead, who is pursuing a pro career, is a big loss, though. That’s why Uzan’s addition is so important for Houston.

The former Oklahoma guard has two years of eligibility remaining and is coming off a year where he averaged 9.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and a team-high 4.3 assists per game for the Sooners.

If he integrates quickly with an experienced squad that returns L.J. Cryer, Emanuel Sharp, J’Wan Roberts and Ja’Vier Francis, among others, the Cougars are likely to live up to their lofty expectations.

JT Toppin, Texas Tech power forward

The 6-foot-9 Toppin headlines the Red Raiders’ newcomers this season: He is ranked the No. 28 transfer in 247 Sports’ rankings and chose to withdraw from the NBA draft after a fantastic freshman season.

Toppin was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year at New Mexico, where he averaged 12.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.1 steals last season.

Texas Tech is also adding a pair of guards — former Minnesota starter Elijah Hawkins and four-star freshman Christian Anderson — helping the Red Raiders offset losing leading scorer Pop Isaacs, who transferred to Creighton.

Drake's Tucker DeVries celebrates during the first half of a first-round college basketball game against Washington State in the NCAA Tournament Thursday, March 21, 2024, in Omaha, Neb. | Charlie Neibergall

Tucker DeVries, West Virginia wing

The Mountaineers have dealt with plenty of roster turnover and a coaching change after finishing last in the Big 12 and winning just nine games during the 2023-24 season. West Virginia, though, has managed to add some quality talent through the transfer portal, adding seven players under first-year coach Darian DeVries, who was previously at Drake.

His son, Tucker DeVries, headlines that group. The Athletic rates him the top transfer in the portal this offseason, while 247 Sports lists him No. 6 overall, three spots ahead of another West Virginia addition, guard Javon Small.

The 6-foot-7 DeVries was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year at Drake, where he averaged career-highs with 21.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season.

DeVries also shot 44.4% from the field and 36.3% from 3-point range, numbers that should excite Mountaineers fans looking for a turnaround this season.

Joson Sanon, Arizona State shooting guard

Heading into Wednesday, the Sun Devils’ first season in the Big 12 looked like it might be a lesson in hard knocks, with ASU trying to bounce back from a 14-18 season and losing talented guard Frankie Collins in the transfer portal.

Excitement was breathed back into the program, though, as former Arizona commit Joson Sanon flipped his pledge to in-state rival Arizona State. Sanon is a top 25 recruit — he is rated a five-star athlete with a 0.9916 player rating in 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

With Sanon’s addition, Arizona State vaulted to No. 3 in 247 Sports’ composite rankings for the 2024 recruiting class, joining another five-star talent in center Jayden Quintance, the No. 9 overall player in the class.

Anthony Dell’Orso, Arizona small forward

It’s been quite the offseason for the Wildcats. They lost center Oumar Ballo and guard Kylan Boswell, who both transferred away, and saw former Utah Utes guard Pelle Larsson declare for the NBA draft and stick to pursuing a pro career.

Those are some big losses to overcome, to go along with Sanon flipping to Arizona State.

Arizona, though, found out that star Caleb Love withdrew from the NBA draft and will return for his final college season, a huge boost for the Wildcats in their first Big 12 season.

The Wildcats also have added a trio of transfers, headlined by Dell’Orso, who previously starred at Campbell. Last season, he averaged 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists, and along with fellow transfers Trey Townsend (Oakland) and Tobe Awaka (Tennessee), gives Tommy Lloyd some options on his Arizona roster.

Saint Mary's forward Joshua Jefferson controls the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Gonzaga, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, in Spokane, Wash. | Young Kwak

Joshua Jefferson, Iowa State power forward

Like Houston, the Cyclones return a large portion of their star power from last season — Iowa State brings back its top four scorers and three starters.

That makes Jefferson’s addition just a cherry on top for a team that will try to build off a Sweet 16 appearance last year. Jefferson comes to Iowa State from Saint Mary’s, where he started 26 games and averaged 10.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Gaels before an injury cut his season short.

The 6-foot-8 forward is one of four transfers for an Iowa State team that lost three transfers to the portal, though none of them played significant minutes last season.

What newcomers could make an impact for the other six Big 12 teams?

Utah: Power forward Ezra Ausar, a transfer from East Carolina, was a big get for the Utes as they head into their first Big 12 season. Ausar, one of six transfers so far to join the program, is rated the No. 121 overall talent in the transfer portal and 20th among power forwards — he averaged 11.4 points and 4.7 rebounds last season.

Utah still has four open scholarships available, giving the Runnin’ Utes the chance to bolster their depth and try to improve on a transfer class that currently ranks No. 47 nationally in average player rating, per 247 Sports.

Colorado: The Buffaloes have added three graduate transfers, with perhaps the most interesting one Trevor Baskin. The 6-foot-9 forward was the RMAC Player of the Year last season at Division II Colorado Mesa, where he averaged 18.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Can that game translate to Division I?


Kansas State: One of the six current transfers the Wildcats have added is guard Dug McDaniel. The junior-to-be had a breakout season at Michigan last year, posting 16.3 points, 4.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. He helps Kansas State ranked No. 22 in 247 Sports’ team transfer rankings.

TCU: The Horned Frogs also have six transfers joining the program and rank No. 27 in 247 Sports’ team transfer rankings. The top incoming player is Trazarien White, who averaged career-highs with 19.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game last season.

UCF: Wing Keyshawn Hall is on his third team in as many seasons, after transferring from George Mason and playing as a freshman at UNLV. He scored 16.6 points per game last season while shooting 47.4% from the floor.

Oklahoma State: First-year coach Steve Lutz had to replace starting point guard (and leading scorer) Javon Small after he entered the transfer portal, and he added a pair of transfer point guards to help out the position. Former LaSalle guard Kahlil Brantley can fill up a stat sheet: he averaged 15.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals last year.

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