'Indiana can be the Big Ten's best team.' Where is IU in early college basketball rankings?

Indiana basketball has undergone a lot of change heading into the 2024-25 season.

The Hoosiers lost their big man, Kel'el Ware, who was also their best player. They surged late last season with five straight wins. Roster reconstruction, mostly through the transfer portal, has added high-level experience.

Many national experts see IU continuing to rise. The average national ranking for the Hoosiers among the group below is 17th, making them a challenger for the ever-expanding Big Ten (now 18 teams) title.

Insider: Mike Woodson knew IU needed better guards. The way he got them made a difference too.

Insider: Mike Woodson thinks he finally has an IU team capable of playing how he coached in NBA

Where is Indiana ranked in college basketball?

Gary Parrish, CBS Sports: 18th

This ranking is based on Mike Woodson's Hoosiers returning three of the top four scorers — specifically Malik Reneau, Mackenzie Mgbako and Trey Galloway — from a team that finished tied for sixth in the Big Ten. The additions of Myles Rice (Washington State), Oumar Ballo (Arizona), Kanaan Carlyle (Stanford) and Luke Goode (Illinois) from the transfer portal means Indiana is adding four experienced pieces, three of whom just spent a season starting in the Pac-12.

Isaac Trotter, 247Sports: 17th

Indiana may very well have the most resources of any team in the Big Ten. It flexed its muscles in the transfer portal, reeling in Myles Rice, Kanaan Carlyle and Oumar Ballo, to transform the makeup of this roster. It also shored up two of its biggest weaknesses. Indiana was a poor rebounding team last year. Ballo will help change that. Indiana's guards were terrible in pick-and-rolls last year. Rice and Carlyle will help change that.

The talent is clear, but the fit of Reneau and Ballo together could be a bit clunky unless Mike Woodson opts to ditch the two-big lineup, at times. He has the roster flexibility to do it thanks to the addition of freshman sensation Bryson Tucker and Illinois transfer sharpshooter Luke Goode. Will he pull the trigger during the moments when Ballo and Reneau are crowded on top of each other? If Woodson will accommodate more pace and space, Indiana can be the Big Ten's best team.

C.J. Moore, The Athletic: 19th

If going by portal rankings and name recognition, no one had a better offseason than Indiana. Mike Woodson has shown a preference for playing through the post, and he has two of the best low-post scorers in the Big Ten now in Reneau and Ballo. Indiana had spacing issues last year, but Rice, Carlyle and Goode should help. Rice (27.5%) and Carlyle (32%) did not shoot the ball well from 3 as freshmen, but both are good foul shooters and it’s within reason to expect progression from deep based on their mechanics and skill. Both should also help in the shot creation department, which was an issue for the Hoosiers last year. Overall, Indiana is just way more talented and deep. Gabe Cupps, who started last year, might be sixth in line on IU’s depth chart at guard. All that guard depth also will allow IU some lineup versatility. When one of the bigs goes to the bench, Mgbako can slide to the four and get more shooting and skill on the floor. It’s a huge year for Woodson. Based on this class, Indiana’s donors are coming through financially, but that could quickly change if results don’t follow.

Andy Katz, 12th

The Hoosiers could end up being the Big Ten champs with a roster that returns Mackenzie Mgbako, Malik Reneau, Trey Galloway and a portal haul of Oumar Ballo, Myles Rice, Kanaan Carlyle and Luke Goode.

Jeff Borzello, ESPN: 18th

Mike Woodson got his offseason work done early, as the Hoosiers were the big winners of the first wave of portal season. The Hoosiers landed Arizona transfer Oumar Ballo, the top-ranked player in the portal, as well as top-15 guard transfers Myles Rice (Washington State) and Kanaan Carlyle (Stanford). Three starters also return: Malik Reneau, Mackenzie Mgbako and Trey Galloway. They added Illinois transfer Luke Goode to address their shooting woes, although another perimeter sniper with size could help.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Remade Indiana basketball frequent early top 25 rankings, predictions