-Jim Root, Ky McKeon, Matt Cox
First - the ranking process: Matt, Ky, and Jim each assembled their own top 125 list; then, using a HIGHLY scientific scoring system (rank of 1 = 125 points, 2 = 124 points, ..., 125 = 1 point), we consolidated our rankings into the master list of 100 (plus honorable mentions) that you see below.
Parameters for ranking were simple: we tried to guess who would be the best players in college hoops in 2019-20. No NBA implications, no "he'll be amazing in two years" - one season only. Some players we were spot on (see: unanimous top 2), while some players caused great turmoil amidst the Weave. Debates were fierce and feelings were hurt - we included who was high and who was low so that you can direct your own fury appropriately.
Without further ado, here are 3MW's second annual Top 100 Player Rankings:
Honorable Mention (in order, 125-101)
Matt Coleman, PG, Jr., Texas
Dru Smith, PG, R Jr., Mizzou
Quinton Rose, F, Sr., Temple
LaQuincy Rideau, PG, R Sr., South Florida
CJ Elleby, G/F, So., Washington St.
Savion Flagg, G/F, Jr., Texas A&M
Armando Bacot, F/C, Fr., UNC
Bryan Antoine, G, Fr., Villanova***
Corey Kispert, G/F, Jr., Gonzaga
Jermaine Samuels, G/F, Jr., Villanova
Isaac Okoro, G/F, Fr., Auburn
Brad Davison, G, Jr., Wisconsin
Jordan Bohannon, PG, Sr., Iowa***
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, F, Fr., Villanova
Seth Towns, F, Sr., Harvard
Wendell Moore, G/F, Fr., Duke
Mario Kegler, F, R Jr., Baylor
Tyrique Jones, C, Sr., Xavier
Giorgi Bezhanishvili, F/C, So., Illinois
Rayshaun Hammonds, F, Georgia
TJ Gibbs Jr., G, Jr., Notre Dame
Trendon Watford, F, Fr., LSU
LJ Figueroa, G/F, Jr., St. John’s
Marcus Zegarowski, PG, So., Creighton
Chris Clarke, G/F, R Sr., Texas Tech
*** - would likely have ranked higher if not for injury concerns
100. Jordan Bowden, G
Someone has to fill all of the production that Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield take with them to the NBA, and Bowden, a smooth wing scorer, seems as good a bet as any. We’re guessing he ascends into the primary scoring role but teammates Josiah-Jordan James and Lamonte Turner could become that, as well.
99. Jordan Burns, G
Turning on a Patriot League game, one does not expect to see such a dynamic star in the point guard position, but Burns is just that. He can get anywhere on the floor with his quickness, and he’s a knockdown shooter to boot. He took some time to get back up to speed after a midseason injury, but his performances in the Patriot championship and against Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament showed his true abilities (33.5ppg, 5apg, 2spg, 22/36 from the floor, 14/22 from deep).
98. Remy Martin, G
That 21-point, 5-steal performance at Kansas feels like a lifetime ago, but Martin has quietly improved since bursting on to the scene as a freshman. He’s a spark plug on both sides of the ball and underrated as a decision-maker, a responsibility he’ll now take full ownership of with Lugentz Dort and Zylan Cheatham no longer in the picture.
97. Terry Taylor, F
Not yet a household name, Taylor ranked 4th in the OVC in scoring (20.5 PPG) and 3rd in rebounding (8.9 RPG) last year. He’s Austin Peay’s greatest hope to help conquer the Belmont juggernaut.
96. Nathan Knight, F/C
William & Mary fans owe Knight a giant thank you and maybe a gift card to Macy’s after his decision not to transfer this offseason with most of his other teammates. Knight is going to put up some gaudy stat lines this season playing for what should be one of the worst CAA teams. His versatility and athleticism is unmatched in the Colonial.
95. Christian Keeling, G
Somebody has to step up into the #2 role behind freshman phenom All-American Cole Anthony, and it might as well be Keeling. At Charleston Southern, Keeling was a three-time All-Big South honoree, averaging 17.9 PPG and 6.4 RPG during his career and brings shooting and playmaking to the Heels. Bonus: Keeling attended Laney High School, which is somewhat notable in UNC history.
94. D’Mitrik Trice, G
Trice was the unsung hero of the Badgers last season, leading the squad in minutes played and chipping in with steady ball handling and shooting. In true Wisconsin fashion, Trice isn’t flashy but he gets the job done.
93. Ja’Vonte Smart, G
Like the rest of the LSU roster, Smart declared for the NBA Draft, but the athletic defender returns to Baton Rouge with a larger creation role waiting for him. He needs to prove that he can score efficiently, especially without Tremont Waters setting the table.
92. Onyeka Okongwu, F/C
While he sits behind a few other more prominent first year forwards in the recruiting rankings, Okongwu’s dominance abroad this summer caught everyone’s attention. A two-time Mr. Basketball recipient in California, he’s the crown jewel of yet another star-studded Trojan freshman class.
91. Xavier Sneed, G/F
Sneed has been a high-level 3+D player alongside the Barry Brown/Kamau Stokes/Dean Wade core for three years now, but with them now gone, he should ascend into much more of a go-to role as a senior. He may struggle a little with that transition, but his length and disruption on defense will always keep his value high.
90. Admon Gilder, G
After an ‘eventful’ career at Texas A&M, Gilder now leaves his home state to head up a retooled backcourt in Spokane. His consistency is critical to the Zags retaining their WCC title crown, as Gilder has the versatility to plug a variety of perimeter needs for Mark Few.
89. Trevion Williams, C
The Boiler bulldozer was extremely efficient in limited minutes last year and spent time this offseason with the USA U19 squad. He’ll split minutes with Matt Haarms in the frontcourt, but even in 20-25 MPG, Williams could make us look very silly for this ranking.
88. Skylar Mays, G
Before Tremont Waters arrived, Mays started 25 games at point guard as a true freshman in 2016-17. He’ll have the ball in his hands once again this year, and the steady senior should help Will Wade and LSU remain comfortably in the Top 25.
87. AJ Lawson, G
Lawson was pressed into a major scoring and playmaking role as a freshman, and the Canadian held his own for a South Carolina squad that wasn’t flush with offensive weapons. His size (6’6) gives him a unique weapon on the ball, able to score and pass over smaller defenders, and Frank Martin will need him to continue to develop to keep the Gamecocks out of the SEC basement.
86. Lamine Diane, F
If you’re starting a college basketball fantasy league, Diane is on your short list for top picks. He scores, dishes, boards, blocks and steals with the best of them, but he’ll need to convert better than 50% from the free-throw line before his efficiency can catch up with his production.
85. Nico Carvacho, C
The Rebound King. Carvacho has led the Mountain West in offensive AND defensive rebounding rate on a per possession basis for two straight seasons, but a deteriorating jump shot made for some adventurous trips to the charity stripe last year.
84. DeJon Jarreau, G
Jarreau has always had the talent and confidence to be a star: he’s a former top-50 recruit, and he led both UMass and Houston in usage during his first two seasons. Now he’ll need to extrapolate last season’s production over a much larger minutes load while becoming the Cougars’ number one offensive option. I (Jim) am obviously bullish on this possibility, believing he can be an AAC POY candidate, but Matt and Ky are cooler on him.
83. EJ Montgomery, F
He struggled to find himself in a reserve role behind Reid Travis and PJ Washington last year, but the former top 10 recruit has a clear path to 30mpg this year. He’ll play both frontcourt spots, and if he delivers on his upside on both ends of the court, it could make him an All-SEC player.
82. Jahmi’us Ramsey, G
His 44-point outing on Texas Tech’s foreign tour is legend now, but it’s justifiable: the well-built combo guard can absolutely get buckets, and the Red Raiders will need him to do so immediately. Scoring on Kansas and Texas is different than the Bahamas Elite, to say the least, but Ramsey seems a lock to outperform his recruiting ranking while playing a vital role for Mr. Beard.
81. Mustapha Heron, G/F
A prototypical power guard, Heron is an offensive force when healthy - key words being ‘when healthy’. Lingering pain from knee tendinitis and a sore Achilles handcuffed Heron down the stretch last year.
80. Xavier Johnson, PG
An ACC All-Freshman Team member last season, Johnson looks to lead Pitt back to conference relevance. After finishing 2nd in the ACC in assist rate and 4th in FT rate in 2018-19, Johnson figures to be one of the biggest breakout candidates in the country.
79. Charles Bassey, C
Bassey is making up for Mitchell Robinson’s absence in Bowling Green by giving Hilltopper fans two seasons, despite being oft-hyped as a potential one-and-done recruit. He’s surrounded by perimeter players who are all fond of firing away, but his physical talents are undeniable, even if his production doesn’t take a major step up from where it was last year.
78. Nick Rakocevic, C
Amidst a program constantly engulfed with ‘hype’ and ‘potential’, the reliable Rakocevic simply produces. His mixtape won’t wow you, but he’s a double-double threat every time he takes the floor.
77. Reggie Perry, F/C
Perry won the FIBA U19 MVP this offseason, though many who watched the tournament (including myself) would have ranked him no higher than third on the USA roster (behind Tyrese Haliburton and Cade Cunningham). Still, he’s a glaringly obvious breakout star for the Bulldogs, a dominant two-way rebounder and effective paint scorer who will replace the production left by Aric Holman, Quinndary Weatherspoon, and Lamar Peters.
76. James Bolden, G
“Beetle” was cursed last year at West Virginia, struggling to stay on the court with a litany of injuries. He’s a tremendous defender and a perfect secondary ball-handler and scorer next to Kira Lewis, and after being miscast as the primary playmaker for the Mountaineers, he picked a great system to thrive in with the arrival of Nate Oats from Buffalo.
75. Paul Reed, F
The palpable buzz surrounding this elastic forward is warranted. Reed’s reputation as a shot-swatter and glass cleaner precedes him, but a silky smooth shooting stroke will only push his confidence as a scorer higher.
74. Omer Yurtseven, C
Formerly an interior centerpiece in an uptempo system at NC State, Yurtseven will feel right at home playing in the newly sped up Hoyas’ offense. The Turkish 7-footer will be asked to showcase the full spectrum of his versatility as the successor to Jessie Govan.
73. Jared Butler, G
Originally slated to attend Alabama, he switched his commitment to Baylor when Kira Lewis reclassified, and Scott Drew will be writing thank-you notes to Avery Johnson on a weekly basis. When Drew shifted to a more perimeter-oriented attack following Tristan Clark’s injury, Butler stepped into the starting lineup and emerged into a star-in-the-making in the Bears’ backcourt.
72. Paul Scruggs, G
The younger of Xavier’s two-pronged backcourt, the Indianapolis native has officially solidified the second guard spot next to Goodin. If Scruggs continues to shoot it with precision from behind the arc, All-Conference recognition may be in his future.
71. Kahlil Whitney, F
John Calipari should weaponize Whitney’s athleticism as a bouncy forward who can seek-and-destroy in transition and be a mismatch on offense with his size/skill combination. He also can be a lockdown defender if he consistently taps into his physical gifts.
70. Davide Moretti, G
Already solidified as one of the best shooters in the country, Moretti could rise even further up this list if he exhibits added skill with the ball in his hands this year. He may not need to with the newcomers around him, but players have a habit of rapidly improving under Chris Beard.
69. Antoine Davis, G
There’s no greener light in college basketball than the one Mike Davis gives his son Antoine. Davis is a one-man-band in Detroit and could etch his name in the record books by the time his tenure in the Motor City expires.
68. Precious Achiuwa, F
A divisive freshman, Achiuwa has all of the physical tools and a smooth jumper for someone of his size. His shot selection in a wide open Penny Hardaway offense may be a concern, though, along with his decision-making and defensive positioning.
67. Derek Culver, C
Talk about a perfect marriage of player and scheme: Culver is a maniacal rebounder, throwing his body around in a Bob Huggins system that consistently dominates the offensive glass. He and fellow juggernaut Oscar Tshiebwe will leave opponents soaking in an ice bath for days.
66. Tristan Clark, F/C
Clark was completely dominant in the paint before getting injured last year, shooting a staggering 73.7% from the field thanks to his combination of skill and aggression. Baylor re-tooled its offense after he went down last year, but Scott Drew should revert back to playing through his interior monster.
65. Chris Lykes, PG
The ACC’s 2nd leading returning scorer is small in stature but big in heart. Few guards in the country can match Lykes’s combination of speed and scoring versatility.
64. Tyler Bey, F
One of the bounciest forwards in college basketball, Bey owns the boards on both ends of the floor. Another appearance on the Pac-12’s All-Conference team seems inevitable, but there are bigger goals in mind this year in Boulder.
63. Jaden McDaniels, F
Think homeless man’s Kevin Durant. If Mike Hopkins can unlock the power of McDaniels’ enviable toolkit in an expedited fashion, the nation’s best frontline could reside in Seattle this season.
62. Matt Haarms, C
Ivan Drago aka Matt Haarms has built a reputation as one of the most passionate players in college basketball. The 7’3” center led the Big Ten in block rate last year and started to expand his game out past the arc.
61. Trent Frazier, G
The Illini leader has been an all-conference level player the past two years. Comfortable as a go-to scorer or facilitator, Frazier will anchor a dangerous Illinois squad hungry for an NCAA Tournament berth.
60. Mamadi Diakite, F
Significant impact isn’t always measured by gaudy counting stats. Diakite is arguably the best interior defender in the ACC and is due for a giant leap in usage in 2019-20.
59. Ashton Hagans, PG
Hagans was an on-ball monster last year, storming onto the scene along with Tre Jones as freshman ballhawks that could break the will of opposing point guards. His jump shot and off-ball awareness need to catch up to his physical talents, though.
58. Jalen Pickett, G
Not many freshman single-handedly shift the paradigm of a particular conference, but such was the case with Siena’s table-setter last year. Pickett’s breakout rookie campaign prompted him to test the NBA draft waters, but he returns as the undisputed MAAC Player of the Year frontrunner.
57. Scottie Lewis, G/F
Lewis is absolutely reckless in the best kind of way, using his phenomenal bounce to dunk and swat shots with no regard for human life. He plays balls-to-the-wall at all times, and he’ll be a significant weapon for a loaded Gator squad.
56. Grant Riller, PG
An electric scorer, Riller should repeat as a First Team All-CAA member and is the favorite to capture Player of the Year honors. Few, if any, players in the country will score more this season than Riller.
55. Matthew Hurt, F
One of the top recruits in the country, Hurt is a smooth, stretch-4 who should provide Duke with much needed outside shooting.
54. Marcus Evans, PG
A dynamic two-way guard, Evans breathes life into an otherwise pedestrian VCU offense. With Evans leading the way, the Rams figure to be one of the top mid-majors in the country.
53. Tyrese Haliburton, PG
Haliburton was content to intelligently move the ball and bury wide open jumpers last year, but he’ll be the Cyclones’ leader as a sophomore. His excellent run in a similar role for the USA U19 team this offseason portends success, and he has flashed brilliance on both ends of the floor.
52. Trent Forrest, PG
Forrest is a lock-down perimeter defender and one of the most physically imposing guards in the country. He won’t score 20 PPG, but Forrest is the heart and soul of the Seminoles this season, a team that is sure to overwhelm opponents with size and athleticism.
51. Joshua Langford, G
When healthy, Langford is one of the best outside shooters in the country, having never shot worse than 40% during a season in his career. He’s the perfect right-hand man to All-American point guard Cassius Winston.
50. James Akinjo, PG
The ‘1A’ of Georgetown’s dynamic guard duo, Akinjo paces Patrick Ewing’s fast-break frenzy. ‘Efficiency’ is the key to his improvement, particularly as a finisher at the rim and in the mid-range.
49. John Mooney, F/C
One of the lone bright spots on a disappointing 2018-19 Irish squad, Mooney, a walking double-double, transformed into an ACC All-Conference player and led the league in rebounding.
48. Kellan Grady, G
Grady has been one of the most consistent scorers in the A-10 the past two seasons. A fully healthy 2019-20 will do wonders for getting back to his insane freshman efficiency numbers.
47. Bryce Aiken, PG
Aiken’s heroic 38-point performance against arch rival Yale in last year’s Ivy League Championship still wasn’t enough to propel the Crimson to the Big Dance. Surrounded by an unprecedented amount of talent in Cambridge, Aiken must strike the right balance between scoring and sharing if Harvard wants vengeance for last season’s heartbreak.
46. Nojel Eastern, PG
Eastern has all the signs of breaking out in a big way in 2019-20. The 6’6” point guard is one of the most unique players in the country and a solid jump shot away from All-American consideration. His development as a free throw shooter as last season wore on hints that the jump shot may not be too far away, either.
45. Josh Green, F
Arizona’s “other” 5-star blue-chipper, Green is an off-the-charts athlete and terror in transition. He’s licking his chops at the notion of catching pinpoint lobs from Nico Mannion out on the break this year.
44. Neemias Queta, C
Some thought Queta might flirt with the NBA draft, but the Portuguese paint protector is back to anchor the Aggies’ defense. A rapidly expanding offensive skillset has the potential to push Utah State even higher up the seed line next March.
43. Andrew Nembhard, PG
A wonderful pass-first point guard with the size to defend multiple positions, Nembhard needs only refine the intricacies of his game to become a star. He will benefit from having more potent weapons manning the wing (like Tre Mann!), a boon for a player with such creative court vision.
42. Ayo Dosunmu, G
The electric Dosunmu passed on the NBA to return to Champaign and attempt to lead the Illini to their first NCAA Tourney since 2013. He has one of the best first steps in the country and uses it to his advantage to blow by unsuspecting defenders.
41. Breein Tyree, G
The only returning player from the SEC’s top 10 scorers, Tyree bloomed with Kermit Davis taking over in Oxford. He won’t have Terence Davis drawing defensive attention this year, though, so sustaining his excellent shooting percentages will be a challenge.
40. Alpha Diallo, G/F
The marquee member of Ed Cooley’s army of wing clones, Diallo is the prototypical Swiss-army knife. You won’t see him on the highlight reels, but you’ll see crooked numbers littered throughout his box score stat columns.
39. Markell Johnson, PG
Already one of the best distributors in the ACC, Johnson expanded his game offensively to also be one of its deadliest scorers. His 42.2% clip from downtown was one of the nation’s best in 2018-19, and less than half of them were assisted.
38. Obi Toppin, F/C
Toppin’s potential is unlimited and he should become a household name in 2019-20. The sophomore can score from anywhere on the floor and doubles as one of the A-10’s best rebounders by rate. Dayton’s postseason case is strong with Toppin in the fold.
37. Ty-Shon Alexander, G
Someone on the Jays had to replenish Marcus Fosters’ scoring prowess, and Alexander promptly raised his hand. The former top-100 recruit can get buckets in bunches and headlines a dynamic backcourt that can light up the scoreboard in a hurry.
36. Jon Axel Gudmundsson, PG
A nightly triple-double threat, JAG finished 3rd in the A-10 in scoring, 7th in rebounding, and 5th in assists in 2018-19. He’s one of the best lead guards in the country and together with Kellan Grady forms one of the nation’s scariest backcourt duos.
35. Jalen Smith, F/C
Weighing less than a helium balloon didn’t stop Sticks from being one of the Big Ten’s best big men as a freshman. An offseason workout regimen has reportedly added significant size to the forward’s frame, which should help the Terps get over the loss of Bruno Fernando.
34. Jon Teske, C
Teske quickly turned into one of the country’s best roll men in 2018-19, feasting off pick-n-rolls and pick-n-pops in John Beilein’s ball screen heavy offense. He’ll serve the Wolverines as a rock-solid offensive frontcourt piece and one of the best shot blockers in the Big Ten.
33. Payton Pritchard, PG
Dana Altman injects the Ducks with another wave of top-tier talent, but Pritchard is still the consistent constant. There’s no shortage of offensive ammo around him, but the Ducks fly the highest when Pritchard plays in attack mode.
32. McKinley Wright, PG
This battle-born warrior fueled the Buffs’ scintillating late surge, despite effectively playing with one arm. Now fully repaired after offseason shoulder surgery, Wright has a Pac-12 championship in his crosshairs.
31. Tyrese Maxey, G
Likely the best of Kentucky’s freshman, Maxey oozes potential as a primary bucket-getter in the backcourt. The Wildcats have plenty of shots to go around after waving goodbye to their top four scorers.
30. Xavier Tillman, F/C
Tillman’s production increased by leaps and bounds as a sophomore, but the 6’8” forward has plenty more room to grow. He’ll be the featured big in Sparty’s devastating motion attack and should compete for First Team All-League honors.
29. Kamar Baldwin, G
Burdened with unfair expectations and hampered by injury, Baldwin’s 2018-19 performance fell shy of our sky-high standards. In a cutthroat Big East, Butler needs its lefty lead guard to make the jump from ‘very good’ to ‘great’ in 2020.
28. Tre Jones, PG
The quintessential point guard is one of the best on-ball perimeter defenders in the country. He’ll look to improve on a sub-par three-point shot to complement his gorgeous facilitation and penetration game.
27. Desmond Bane, G
Just look at that thumbnail photo – Bane is a physical specimen. But he’s also been one of the country’s most efficient scorers over the last two years, slashing 51.6/44.1/82.2 (FG/3FG/FT) over that combined period. His true test will be maintaining that deadly efficiency while becoming the Horned Frogs’ alpha.
26. Jordan Ford, G
Perhaps the best-kept secret in college basketball, only those around Moraga, California, knew Ford had the chops to be a one-man-wrecking-crew. It’s quite simple really: contain this slippery assassin, and you have a chance. Don’t, and watch your heartbeat slowly flatline over the course of 40 minutes.
25. Zavier Simpson, PG
Captain Hook is the owner of one of the coolest signature shots in college basketball and is also perhaps the best backcourt defender in the land. Like Tre Jones before him on this list, Simpson will look to add a more consistent outside shot to his arsenal as a senior.
24. Naji Marshall, F
When Xavier’s do-it-all wing went to another level last February, the Musketeers ascended with him. As Marshall goes, so do the X-Men.
23. Kaleb Wesson, C
Wesson is the center of Ohio State’s attack and a guy who affects every facet of the game. Now armed with a consistent three-point shot, Wesson should be one of the most efficient scorers in the Big Ten in 2019-20.
22. Lamar Stevens, F
Stevens led the Big Ten in minutes last season and was second to only Carsen Edwards in scoring. He’ll be one of the highest-usage players in the country this season as he looks to lift Penn State to a surprising Tourney berth.
21. Kira Lewis, PG
One of the youngest players in the entire sport last year (he turned 18 on Final Four Saturday), Lewis nevertheless turned in an impressive offensive campaign in the SEC. Under tremendous new coach Nate Oats, he should flourish as a versatile, athletic ball-handler and scorer; a year of physical development will help quite a bit, as well.
20. Yoeli Childs, F/C
The Cougars’ interior meal ticket, Childs has done nothing but produce since arriving in Provo. His surprise return to school has BYU and new coach Mark Pope eyeing a run at Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga’s long reign atop the WCC throne.
19. Devon Dotson, PG
The rising sophomore point guard really blossomed in KU’s five postseason games, and with a less congested court thanks to an influx of perimeter shooting on the wing, he should be even better this year.
18. Anthony Cowan, PG
Maryland’s floor general clamped down on turnover woes and increased an already-high assist rate in 2018-19. He’s consistently one of the better guards in the league at getting to the foul line and will look to get his outside shot back on track in 2019-20.
17. Isaiah Stewart, F/C
A big man fossil brought back to life, Stewart puts on for all the old school post-centric centers out there. His motor is perpetually in top gear and his diet is composed of one food group: glass.
16. Tres Tinkle, F
If there’s a hole in his game, I haven’t found it. Tinkle will do everything except drive the bus this year for his father and a thin Beavers roster.
15. Nico Mannion, PG
With Brandon Williams confirmed out for the season, few rookies will be asked to carry a bigger burden than Mannion. Can the local kid from Phoenix resurrect his home state school from PAC-12 irrelevancy?
14. Udoka Azubuike, C
The man in the middle for a consensus top five team, Azubuike fundamentally changes the way a team needs to defend the Kansas offense. His post-up game has developed into even more than “seal and dunk,” increasing his utility; Bill Self just needs to make sure he doesn’t get exposed in pick-and-roll coverage too frequently.
13. Killian Tillie, F/C
Injuries have kept him out of the limelight, but Tillie now becomes the headliner of a retooled Zags roster. He’s been the alpha dog in brief spurts before, but can he play that role for a whole season?
12. Jordan Nwora, F
Nwora enjoyed arguably the biggest breakout in the country last season, ranking 6th in the ACC in scoring and capturing a spot on the All-Conference 3rd Team. Many peg Louisville to be a top 5 squad this year behind a plethora of talent and the leadership of an ever-improving Nwora.
11. Sam Merrill, G
The engine of Utah State’s surgical offense, Merrill is Craig Smith’s ‘Easy Button’ when all else fails. Sustaining his hyper-efficient shooting percentages is critical to the Aggies’ offense.
10. Anthony Lamb, F
Playing for Vermont doesn’t get you national attention, but rest assured Anthony Lamb is one of the best players in the country. Lamb led the America East in scoring and rebounding last season and is the primary reason many expect the Catamounts to be a legit First Round upset threat in the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
9. Jarron Cumberland, G
Cumberland is a force of nature whose funky shooting form has become more and more effective throughout his career. New coach John Brannen may ask him to handle some point guard duties this year in addition to his heavy scoring burden, and he’ll enjoy feeding his cousin Jaevin, a knockdown shooter.
8. Vernon Carey, F/C
The McDonald’s All-American center is one of the most versatile players in the land, with the ability to shoot, drive, and punish foes on the block at 6’10” 270 lbs. He’s the headliner of Coach K’s star-studded 2019 class.
7. Kerry Blackshear, F/C
Blackshear emerged into a bona fide star after Justin Robinson got hurt, as the Hokie offense shifted to play through its multi-skilled big man. His developing perimeter shot gives reason to believe he can continue to get even better, and if Florida grows into the national title contender many believe the Gators can be, Blackshear will be at the heart of it.
6. Anthony Edwards, G
A powerful tank of a wing creator, Edwards is the jewel of Tom Crean’s touted recruiting class. He should be given free reign in Crean’s uptempo offense, and he may end up contending for the number one overall pick come June 2020.
5. James Wiseman, C
The nation’s top recruit is not our number one player (nor our top freshman, even), but his upside as a skilled big man is a major reason why many are so high on Memphis this year. He needs to be a defensive cornerstone and not spend too much time on the perimeter offensively.
4. Cole Anthony, PG
Anthony’s presence is the main reason we at 3MW are higher on the Heels than the national consensus. He is an explosive lead guard who attacks the rim with reckless abandon; truly one of the most exciting and dynamic players in the country.
3. Myles Powell, G
The departure of a decorated senior class left Seton Hall searching for scoring and leadership, but Kevin Willard found a savior in Mr. Powell. The senior sniper repeatedly ripped out the hearts of awe-struck defenders last year and now carries the weight of historic expectations in Newark.
2. Markus Howard, G
Perhaps the nation’s deadliest long range marksmen, Howard is in range the moment he enters the gym. Under-appreciated by many as a slasher and creator, he returns for his senior farewell tour as the fulcrum of Marquette’s offense.
1. Cassius Winston, PG
Winston is the first 1st Team All-American to return to school since Creighton’s Doug McDermott in 2012. His evolution from facilitator to leading scorer last season was truly remarkable. Winston has led the Big Ten in assist rate three straight years and he carries with him a career 43% clip from outside the arc.