Why 105 this year? Well, because we lost the last three weeks of last season and had to wait an extra two weeks for the start of this one.
Don’t ask these types of questions. Just enjoy this impossible to argue against list.
105. Jason Preston, JR, G, Ohio
Preston ranked second in the nation in assists last season, and scored in double figures in 30 of Ohio’s 32 games.
104. Armando Bacot, SO, F, North Carolina
Bacot didn’t quite live up to his five-star billing as a freshman, but he served as the perfect inside accent to Garrison Brooks, a role that will likely carry over into his sophomore year.
103. Jordan Bohannon, SR, G, Iowa
If he’s fully healthy this season, then Bohannon should be one of the nation’s most lethal outside shooters and should also probably be higher on this list. Recovering from a second hip surgery makes that a big “if.” He played in just 10 games last season before he was forced to call it a year and turn his focus to 2020-21.
102. Nimari Burnett, FR, G, Texas Tech
Unlike other head coaches who thrive in large part due to intricate defensive systems, Chris Beard isn’t afraid to let talented true freshmen cook. Expect that trend to continue this season with Burnett.
101. Brady Manek, SR, F, Oklahoma
Once a nice accent to Trae Young, Manek is now the man in Norman.
100. Justin Bean, JR, F, Utah State
Bean made a massive leap as a sophomore and became the first Aggie to average a double-double since Mike Santos in 1976-77.
99. Joe Girard III, SO, G, Syracuse
Few players in the country will have more of a green light this season than the man who set a new New York high school scoring record while playing for the same school that produced Jimmer Fredette.
98. Casey Morsell, SO, G, Virginia
Morsell checks every box when it comes to the prototypical breakout Virginia star. Expect the 6’3 sophomore to “come out of nowhere” and be one of the best players on one of the nation’s best teams.
97. Nate Reuvers, SR, F, Wisconsin
I’m not quite as high on Reuvers as the rest of the world seems to be, but he certainly possesses all the necessary skills you expect to see from a Badger big man.
96. Michael Devoe, JR, G, Georgia Tech
Devoe was one of the most improved players in the country last season, going from an ACC no-name to one who ranked seventh in the league in scoring (16.00 ppg) and fifth in field goal percentage (47.6).
95. Cameron Krutwig, SR, C, Loyola Chicago
Remember this guy? He’ll be bullying Missouri Valley dudes all over the paint for one more year.
94. Jeremy Roach, FR, G, Duke
Five-star freshman guards at Duke have typically been pretty good in recent years. Roach is a natural point who may have to play off the ball if the primary floor general duties go to Jordan Goldwire. If he can effectively adjust to that slight change, he’ll deserve a spot on the postseason version of this list.
93. DJ Funderburk, SR, F, NC State
Funderburk, who averaged 12.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore, should be at or near the center of every positive thing that happens for NC State this season.
92. Justin Moore, SO, G, Villanova
Moore led all Big East freshmen in scoring last season and should be even more of a bucket getter for Nova in year two.
91. John Petty, SR, G, Alabama
It feels like Petty has lived in this range on these types of countdowns for the last 3-35 years. He’ll need to once again be his consistent self if Nate Oats’ squad is going to contend with the top tier of the SEC.
90. Neemias Queta, JR, C, Utah State
Queta was never fully healthy last season, and his production (as well as his team’s) dipped as a result. Expect him to be back to being one of the nation’s most feared shot blockers in 2020-21.
89. Mark Vital, SR, F, Baylor
He certainly gives off the appearance of a football player playing basketball, but it’s highly effective in Scott Drew’s system.
88. Jordan Goodwin, SR, G, Saint Louis
One of the most unique players in college basketball, Goodwin averaged a double-double last season (15.5 ppg, 10.4 rpg) despite standing just 6’3.
87. Joey Hauser, SO, F, Michigan State
The less heralded of the Hauser brothers will still be assuming a major role for what should be one of the nation’s best teams. Just like big bro.
86. Kihei Clark, JR, G, Virginia
Never flashy, great passer, pesky defender, big time shot maker, fantastic free-throw shooter; basically everything Virginia opponents hate about having to play Virginia.
85. Olivier Sarr, SR, C, Kentucky
The talented big man from France finally gets to walk out of the ACC’s basement and into the bright lights of Big Blue Nation.
84. James Akinjo, JR, G, Arizona
No one questioned Akinjo’s ability during his time at Georgetown ... but there were other questions. If Arizona is a better fit for the highly-skilled 6’1 guard then he could easily be a First Team All-Pac-12 performer.
83. Jalen Pickett, JR, G, Siena
After an unbelievable freshman season, Pickett’s numbers dipped slightly as a sophomore, putting to bed any notion he may have had about making an early jump to the league. He’s still without question the biggest talent in the MAAC.
82. Derek Culver, JR, F, West Virginia
Culver’s game is never going to wow anyone, but his rebounding, toughness, and downright intimidating style are at the heart of the culture Bob Huggins has built in Morgantown.
81. Kellan Grady, SR, G, Davidson
Grady flirted with an early exit to the professional ranks before ultimately opting to play one more season for Davidson. His scoring average has actually dropped every year that he’s been in college, a trend that’s going to need to be reversed if the Wildcats are going to be a major player in the A-10.
80. Antoine Davis, JR, G, Detroit
Despite having played only two collegiate seasons, Davis has scored 1,513 career points and his 3.88 made three-pointers per game average is the fifth-best in NCAA history. The coach’s son will once again be letting it fly in 2020-21.
79. Makur Maker, FR, C, Howard
The first five-star prospect to ever sign with an HBCU, it’s going to be fascinating to watch what types of numbers Maker puts up against MEAC competition.
78. John Fulkerson, SR, F, Tennessee
His game is never going to win a beauty contest, but Fulkerson’s gritty play is at the center of nearly everything positive that happens for the Volunteers.
77. MJ Walker, SR, G, Florida State
On a Seminole team loaded with young talent, Walker figures to be Leonard Hamilton’s experienced rock. He’s always been one of the ACC’s toughest on-ball defenders, and has developed the ability to turn up his offensive game when the situation calls for it.
76. Jacob Gilyard, SR, G, Richmond
With Nick Sherod out for the year, it should be Gilyard’s world for the preseason favorites in the Atlantic 10.
75. Chris Lykes, SR, G, Miami
The diminutive Lykes has been plagued by injuries and the demands of carrying too much of the scoring load throughout his college career. He’ll have more help than he’s accustomed to in his final college season, which could result in the most successful team campaign he’s been a part of.
74. Paul Scruggs, SR, G, Xavier
Naji Marshall’s graduation means Scruggs will be taking center stage in Cincinnati this winter.
73. Chris Duarte, SR, G, Oregon
Duarte averaged 12.9 points per game in his first season with the Ducks, but was largely overshadowed by First Team All-American Payton Pritchard. With Pritchard gone, expect Duarte to team up with Will Richardson to be the new focal points of the Oregon attack.
72. Quentin Grimes, JR, G, Houston
Grimes, still perhaps best-known for his monster Champions Classic performance in his first game as a Kansas Jayhawk, had a somewhat quietly productive debut season with the Cougars. He’ll look to take another step forward for a Houston team that is once again poised to fight for the top spot in the AAC.
71. Moussa Cisse, FR, C, Memphis
It’s a safe bet that this year’s five-star freshman center is going to play in more than three games for the Tigers.
70. Caleb Love, FR, G, North Carolina
Due to Roy Williams’ style of play, there’s always a significant amount of pressure on talented young North Carolina guards to be stellar right out of the gate. How well Love handles that pressure will go a long way towards how far UNC bounces back from last season’s calamity.
69. Will Richardson, JR, G, Oregon
A former top 50 recruit, Richardson should step into a starring role in Eugene now that Payton Pritchard has moved on.
68. Scottie Lewis, SO, G, Florida
Lewis was viewed as something of a disappointment as a freshman last season when he averaged just 8.5 points per game. His offensive game did come around over the season’s final three weeks, and by that point he had already established himself as one of the best defensive wings in the SEC. Expect those offensive numbers to be dramatically improved as Mike White elevates his responsibilities on that end of the floor in year two.
67. Rocket Watts, SO, G, Michigan State
Watts sort of quietly turned his game up several notches down the stretch last season and was one of the major reasons why the Spartans seemed to finally be living up to their preseason hype. Expect that individual momentum to spill over into his second year running the show for Tom Izzo.
66. Ron Harper Jr, JR, G, Rutgers
Harper Jr. lived up to his famous name as a sophomore, leading Rutgers in scoring during a season that should have culminated with the Scarlet Knights’
65. Fatts Russell, SR, G, Rhode Island
More than just one of the best names in the sport, if Russell’s shooting numbers improve as much this season as they did a year ago, he’ll be right in the thick of the race for Atlantic 10 Player of the Year.
64. Matt Mitchell, SR, F, San Diego State
“The other guy” during SDSU’s historically successful 2019-20 season, Mitchell is now the man for the Aztecs now that Malachi Flynn is gone.
63. Joe Wieskamp, JR, G, Iowa
The season-long absence of Jordan Bohanon in 2019-20 resulted in opposing defenses paying more attention to Wieskamp on the perimeter. As a result, the sharpshooter’s three-point percentage dipped from 42.4 percent as a freshman to 34.7 percent. With Bohannon back and arguably the sport’s top offensive player manning the middle, the pieces are in place for Wieskamp to have a monster junior year for the offense-happy Hawkeyes.
62. AJ Green, JR, G, Northern Iowa
The reigning Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, Green averaged just a hair below 20 points per game as a sophomore. He’ll get the Seth Tuttle treatment as a junior, becoming more and more of a name nationally as he spearheads the efforts of what should be one of the three or four best mid-major teams in the country.
61. Josh Christopher, FR, G, Arizona State
If Christopher and Remy Martin can find a way to peacefully co-exist, Bobby Hurley might have himself the most entertaining backcourt in the entire country.
60. Trendon Watford, SO, F, LSU
Watford has every tool imaginable, it’s just a matter of when he figures out how to piece them all together.
59. Isaiah Miller, SR, G, UNC Greensboro
A two-time recipient of the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year award, Miller is relentless on both ends of the court. His length and quick hands make him a nightmare for opposing guards on offense, and his elite slashing and finishing ability make him equally potent when the Spartans are in possession of the ball.
58. Greg Brown, FR, F, Texas
If Texas is going to live up to its preseason hype, then the outrageously gifted Brown is going to have to live up to his.
57. Jay Huff, SR, C, Virginia
He’s an awkward looking big man with an awkward looking game, but he makes things happen on both ends of the floor in Tony Bennett’s not so awkward system.
56. DJ Carton, SO, G, Marquette
For a variety of reasons, it felt like we never got a chance to see the real DJ Carton at Ohio State. Now he walks into a situation at Marquette where he’ll be asked to fill much of the void left behind by Markus Howard, who led the entire country in scoring last season.
55. Charles Bassey, JR, C, Western Kentucky
No one thought Bassey would be in Bowling Green for more than a few months, but here we are. The former five-star recruit was averaging 15.3 points and 9.2 rebounds before a leg injury ended his sophomore season after just 10 games.
54. Isaiah Livers, SR, F, Michigan
The best indication of Livers’ talent is how Michigan looked without him last season. When Livers was healthy, the Wolverines were without doubt one of the 15 best teams in college basketball. When he was sidelined, Juwan Howard’s team was a dismal 4-7.
53. Micah Potter, SR, C, Wisconsin
After sitting out the first semester of last season, Potter’s emergence helped transform Wisconsin from a struggling 5-5 squad on Dec. 11 to one that won its final eight games of the regular season and earned a share of the Big Ten’s regular season title. Despite playing only 17.5 minutes per game, Potter finished the season as the Badgers’ second-leading scorer (10.1 ppg) and leading rebounder (6.2 rpg). His 45.1 percent clip from beyond the arc was also the best on the team, and made Wisconsin one of the toughest teams in the country to guard in the halfcourt.
52. Jalen Suggs, FR, G, Gonzaga
The highest-rated recruit in Gonzaga history, Suggs has every tool necessary to be a freshman superstar. But if he doesn’t put it all together immediately, Mark Few is going to be fine with bringing him along slowly. The Zags are loaded.
51. David Duke, JR, G, Providence
One of the most underrated players in the country, Duke is rock solid on both ends of the court and one of the biggest reasons why Providence has morphed into the toughest defensive team in the Big East.
50. Terrence Shannon Jr., SO, F, Texas Tech
It’s still weird to think of Texas Tech basketball as an NBA factory, but that’s one of the many effects Chris Beard has had on the program. Shannon, a dynamite 6’6 lefty who can score from any spot on the floor, would seem to be the next man up. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if we look back in five months and this ranking feels laughably low.
49. Franz Wagner, SO, F, Michigan
Expect Franz’s game to look an awful lot more like his older brother’s in his second season in Ann Arbor. All the tools are there.
48. Ja’Vonte Smart, JR, G, LSU
Smart made a strong ass jump from his freshman season to his sophomore one, and now figures to take on the alpha role for an LSU squad that should be right there with Tennessee and Kentucky at the top of the SEC.
47. Trevion Williams, JR, C, Purdue
Williams averaged 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 points per game in Big Ten play last season, and gave the world a glimpse of his full potential when he dropped 36 and 20 in a double overtime loss to Michigan. That effort was the only 35-point, 20-rebound effort by a Division-I player in 2019-20, and it also marked the first time since 1971 that a Boilermaker has produced those numbers.
46. Mitchell Ballock, SR, G, Creighton
As a junior, Ballock led the Big East in assist-to-turnover ratio, and his 93 made three-pointers and 43.5 three-point shooting percentage were both team-bests.
45. Sandro Mamukelashvili, SR, F, Seton Hall
It’ll be a group effort to replace the production of Myles Powell in South Orange, and Mamukelashvili will certainly play a large part. The 6’10 lefty is a double-double threat every time he steps onto the floor.
44. Matthew Hurt, SO, F, Duke
It’s something of a surprise to see Hurt back for year two in Durham, but the smooth shooting 6’9 forward has reportedly added muscle and figures to have a more well-rounded overall game in 2020-21.
43. Ochai Agbaji, JR, G, Kansas
I’m probably higher on Agbaji than most people, but after an odd start to his college career (rushed into a midseason burned redshirt as a freshman because Kansas had like six eligible players), I think the 6’5 junior is poised for a star turn. His athleticism has never been an issue, but the lack of polish on parts of his game was painfully apparent at times last season. This season, for the first time in his KU career, he won’t be a bit player.
42. Aamir Simms, SR, F, Clemson
If you haven’t yet gained a proper appreciation for Simms’ game, well, you’ve only got a few months left to change that. Simply put, everything Clemson does runs through him. A year ago he became the first Tiger in over two decades to post at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in consecutive games, a feat accomplished in Clemson’s back-to-back wins over North Carolina and Duke.
41. Carlik Jones, SR, G, Louisville
The buzz all preseason has been that the Radford grad transfer has been Louisville’s best player. He’s put up some eye-popping numbers throughout his college career, but now he has to prove he can get the job done against ACC competition.
40. Chris Smith, SR, F, UCLA
The Pac-12’s Most Improved Player in 2019-20, Smith’s emergence was the main reason UCLA went from total disaster in the first half of Mick Cronin’s debut season to nearly winning a conference championship.
39. Joel Ayayi, JR, G, Gonzaga
Ayayi’s outstanding sophomore season was capped by an MVP performance in the West Coast Conference tournament, which wound up being how Gonzaga’s stellar 2019-20 campaign came to an end. A loaded Bulldog roster, which now includes an eligible Florida transfer guard Andrew Nembhard, might be the only that can keep Ayayi’s star from shining even brighter as a junior.
38. Derrick Alston Jr., SR, G, Boise State
The Mountain West’s Preseason Player of the year, Alston led Boise State in scoring (17.3 ppg) and assists (3.1 apg) last season, and also ranked second in rebounding (5.2 rpg). He’ll carry the Broncos as far as they can go in his final college season.
37. Landers Nolley, SO, G, Memphis
Nolley averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds for Virginia Tech last season before announcing that he was transferring out of the program. He should maintain his primary scorer status at his new home.
36. Caleb Mills, SO, G, Houston
Mills was a Second Team All-AAC honoree last season despite coming off the bench for the Cougars. Whatever works.
35. Ziaire Williams, FR, F, Stanford
A one-and-done lottery pick at Stanford? You’re about to see it.
34. Yves Pons, SR, F, Tennessee
The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year should always be the first guy off the bus for the Vols.
Tennessee basketball has published its annual ‘holy crap Yves Pons how is that even possible’ picture pic.twitter.com/0tSAdUKRwA— @GrantRamey (@GrantRamey) August 18, 2020
33. Colbey Ross, SR, G, Pepperdine
The most exciting player in the West Coast Conference might not play for Gonzaga or Saint Mary’s this season. Ross’ 647 career assists are both a Pepperdine school record and the most of any player currently in college basketball. When he scores his 24th point this season, he’ll also set a new Pepperdine scoring record.
32. Geo Baker, SR, G, Rutgers
The undisputed emotional leader of the Rutgers basketball renaissance, Baker’s game may not be the most aesthetically pleasing in the country, but he also seems to find a way to get the job done when the situation is the most crucial.
31. Marcus Carr, JR, G, Minnesota
Carr was a monster for Richard Pitino last season, averaging 15.4 points per game and eclipsing the 20-point mark eight different times. He also set a new Minnesota record for assists in a season with 207. Carr will shoulder even more of the offensive load this season now that big man Daniel Oturu is a Los Angeles Clipper.
30. McKinley Wright IV, SR, G, Colorado
Wright has been a rock solid presence in Boulder for what feels like a decade now. He’ll look to wrap up his college career by playing in his first NCAA tournament.
29. Oscar da Silva, SR, F, Stanford
A First Team All-Pac-12 honoree a season ago, da Silva averaged a team-leading 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 57.0 percent from the field. His main impact, however, comes on the defensive end of the floor, where he was arguably the biggest reason Stanford finished last season ranked No. 7 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.
28. Aaron Henry, JR, G, Michigan State
Henry didn’t quite have the breakout sophomore season that many were predicting this time a year ago, but he still showed enough flashes of a professional game to flirt with leaving early for the NBA. He ultimately chose to return to East Lansing where his potential star turn could determine just how good Michigan State can be in his third year with the program. Henry also doesn’t get enough credit for his work on the defensive end, where he might be the toughest player in the Big Ten to score on.
27. Terrence Clarke, FR, G, Kentucky
Even if BJ Boston winds up being Kentucky’s biggest star this season, there will likely be a case to be made that Clarke is Calipari’s most important player. Clarke is a legitimate two-way talent who will almost certainly draw the assignment of guarding the most talented forward or wing on whatever team UK is playing. He has all the skills and athleticism necessary to handle that load.
26. David Johnson, SO, G, Louisville
A no-brainer pick on any breakout sophomore list, Johnson’s NBA potential was on full display during Louisville’s road upset of Duke last January. The 6’5 Johnson is an electric finisher with tremendous court vision who is just a reliable jump shot away from being a top 20 pick in next spring’s NBA draft.
25. Oscar Tshiebwe, SO, F, West Virginia
Tshiebwe was thrown into the proverbial fire as a freshman, and responded by leading West Virginia in points, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage. He’s the main reason why the Mountaineers are back among the nation’s top 20 teams.
24. Terry Taylor, SR, F, Austin Peay
The haters are going to say this is too high, but they’ve been having the same wrong takes about OVC stars for years. Taylor posted averages of 21.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game last season, and should be even more absurd in his (probable) final college season.
23. Scottie Barnes, FR, G, Florida State
What do you do when you lose two lottery picks from an ACC regular season championship squad? You sign the highest-rated recruit in program history.
22. Macio Teague, SR, G, Baylor
Jared Butler is garnering all of the preseason accolades, but there were multiple stretches last season where Teague was clearly Baylor’s best player. His outside shooting is crucial when it comes to creating enough space for Butler and Teague’s other teammates to do their things.
21. Jalen Johnson, FR, F, Duke
A 6’8 forward who can handle the ball and play like a guard, Johnson has already drawn the requisite comparisons to fellow Dukies Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum.
20. Jalen Crutcher, SR, G, Dayton
The Obi Toppin era will never get the ending it deserved, but now it’s on Crutcher’s shoulders to make sure that the momentum gained from the last couple of season doesn’t go to waste. He averaged 15.1 points and 4.9 assists last season and led the Atlantic 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio. Now he’ll have to do even more without the best player in the country on the floor with him.
19. Drew Timme, SO, F, Gonzaga
The Zags lost an All-American in Filip Petrusev, and still won’t miss a beat on the interior this season. That’s how good Timme is.
18. Corey Kispert, SR, F, Gonzaga
Assuming Gonzaga lives up to its preseason billing and is one of the best teams in college basketball this season, one of the questions that’s going to come up is which Zag gets the most All-American/national Player of the Year love. Kispert, the team’s leading returning scorer and second leading scorer from a season ago, seems like a safe bet.
17. Keyontae Johnson, JR, F, Florida
A First Team All-SEC performer a year ago, Johnson was the brightest star on a Florida team that spent most of 2019-20 underachieving. There may not be a more fearsome rim attacker in the country.
16. Trayce Jackson-Davis, SO, F, Indiana
Jackson-Davis was something of a hidden gem last season, averaging 13.5 points and 8.4 rebounds for a good, not great Indiana team. Those numbers are especially impressive when you take into account the Hoosiers’ total lack of a perimeter threat.
15. Collin Gillespie, SR, G, Villanova
Gillespie averaged a career-best 15.1 points per game as a junior last season, and will be asked to take on even more of the offensive load for a Villanova team that once again has legitimate national title aspirations.
14. Kofi Cockburn, SO, C, Illinois
One of the most physically imposing specimens in the sport, it’s best to stay out of Cockburn’s general area when a celebration is looming.
Kofi Cockburn out here pummeling refs. Geez pic.twitter.com/TStGuc2eKR— Ryan D'Amico (@DiaDia18) December 12, 2019
13. Sam Hauser, SR, F, Virginia
Virginia’s defense was incredible last season, even by their own absurd standards. But the Cavaliers still lost seven games due mostly to the fact that on most nights their offense was void of a consistent outside threat. That shouldn’t be an issue now that Hauser is suiting up for Tony Bennett.
12. James Bouknight, SO, G, UConn
A monster second half of his freshman season made Bouknight an offseason college basketball media darling. Now his talents get a bigger stage as UConn heads into its first season “back” in the Big East.
11. Garrison Brooks, SR, F, North Carolina
The preseason ACC Player of the Year was one of the few bright spots during last year’s disastrous UNC campaign, averaging 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
10. Evan Mobley, FR, F, USC
Mobley is probably the biggest threat to Cade Cunningham when it comes to the battle to be the top pick in the next NBA draft. Andy Enfield will give him plenty of leeway to showcase his full skillset, which should make the Trojans appointment television this winter.
9. Marcus Garrett, SR, G, Kansas
Garrett was named the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year a season ago, and enters 2020-21 with an earned reputation as the best defender in the country. He’s also worked hard to prove he’s not a one-trick pony, posting career highs in scoring, assists and rebounds in addition to a new career-high in steals last season. The Jayhawks will go as far as their captain can take them this season.
8. BJ Boston, FR, G, Kentucky
The highest-rated prospect in yet another loaded John Calipari recruiting class, Boston probably needs to be a star for the next four months if Kentucky is going to make it back to the Final Four for the first time since 2015.
7. Marcus Zegarowski, JR, G, Creighton
An honorable mention All-American a year ago, Zegarowski led Creighton with 156 assists (5.0 apg.) and was second in scoring (16.1 ppg.) while shooting 42.4 percent from deep. He was at his best when the lights were the brightest, averaging 18.9 points per game while shooting 60.4 percent from the field (58-96) and 51.4 percent from three-point range (18-35) in Creighton’s eight games against top 25 opponents. The Bluejays went 6-2 in those contests.
6. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, SO, F, Villanova
The rock solid Robinson-Earl was an easy choice for Big East Freshman of the Year in 2019-20 after he nearly averaged a double-double (10.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg) in his first season for Jay Wright. JRE was the Wildcats most consistent performer during a year where the Wildcats weren’t quite as consistent as Wright probably would have liked. He’ll be even better in year two.
5. Remy Martin, SR, G, Arizona State
A lightning guard with a seemingly endless motor, Martin might be the best player in the country when he’s playing within himself and seeing the entire floor. If he and five-star freshman Josh Christopher can effectively co-exist, Arizona State could be the best team in the Pac-12 and a legitimate threat to crash the NCAA tournament’s second weekend.
4. Jared Butler, JR, G, Baylor
Butler was a breakout star as a sophomore, earning Third Team All-American honors and becoming the first underclassman since 2007 to lead Baylor in scoring. The preseason Big 12 Player of the Year now has his sights set on even bigger things as he prepares to lead the Bears into a season loaded with expectations the likes of which the program has never seen before.
3. Cade Cunningham, FR, G, Oklahoma State
The likely No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, Cunningham finds himself in the unique situation of being a one-and-done player suiting up for a team that is (currently) banned from any sort of postseason play. Even if the Cowboys don’t get to have any March moments, watching Cunningham hang some monster numbers on the Big 12 throughout the winter should be a treat.
2. Ayo Dosunmu, JR, G, Illinois
I’ve never tried to hide my love for Ayo Dosunmu, and that’s not going to change it what will almost assuredly be his final college season. The electric Dosunmu averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 48 percent from the field for the Illini last season. He also made a habit drilling ice cold daggers in the closing seconds of tight games.
What's cooler than being cool ❓— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) January 25, 2020
ICE COLD. ❄️
Ayo Dosunmu with the CLUTCH game winner for Illinois (+170) on the road. ✅pic.twitter.com/26BgoZ0Spy
1. Luka Garza, SR, F, Iowa
Seemingly everyone’s preseason national Player of the Year, Garza is coming off a junior season where he averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and brought home Big Ten Player of the Year honors. While his defense remains a bit of a controversial topic, there’s no reason to believe Garza won’t be once again posting eye-popping numbers throughout 2020-21.
Jayden Gardner, JR, F, East Carolina
DeJon Jarreau, SR, G, Houston
Miles McBride, SO, G, West Virginia
Seth Towns, JR, F, Ohio State
Bryce Hamilton, JR, G, UNLV
KyKy Tandy, SO, G, Xavier
Moses Moody, FR, G, Arkansas
Wynston Tabbs, SO, G, Boston College
*Sharife Cooper, FR, G, Auburn
DeAndre Williams, JR, F, Memphis
Trent Frazier, SR, G, Illinois
Samuell Williamson, SO, F, Louisville
Aaron Wiggins, SR, G, Maryland
Jermaine Samuels, SR, F, Villanova
Jaden Springer, FR, G, Tennessee
Quade Green, SR, G, Washington
Jaden Shackelford, SO, G, Alabama
Devontae Shuler, SR, G, Ole Miss
Bryce Aiken, SR, G, Seton Hall
Timmy Allen, JR, F, Utah
Davion Mitchell, JR, G, Baylor
Tyon Grant-Foster, JR, G, Kansas
D’Mitrik Trice, SR, G, Wisconsin
Nate Reuvers, SR, F, Wisconsin
Tre Mitchell, SO, F, UMass
Wendell Moore, SO, G, Duke
Kendric Davis, JR, G, SMU
Jose Alvarado, SR, G, Georgia Tech