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College Basketball’s Top 100 Players

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There are 13 scholarship players allowed on every college basketball team.

There are 353 teams in the Division I ranks.

Do the math and that means that there are roughly 4,500 players that we had to parse through to put together the definitive list of the 100 best players in the sport.

Here it is:



1. Cassius Winston, Michigan State

After averaging 18.8 points and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3 as he led Michigan State to the Final Four as a junior, the only thing that returning to school could offer Winston is a shot at National Player of the Year and a National Championship. It just turns out that, after eschewing going pro, Winston and the Spartans are the frontrunners to do both. Those are incredibly high expectations for anyone to live up to, but we all saw Winston rip through the NCAA tournament last year. The big stage and the bright spotlight suits him just fine. (Travis Hines)

2. Myles Powell, Seton Hall

Powell is a monster. Seton Hall has had stars in recent years (Angel Delgado, Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez) but none of them have set up for a season as good as Powell’s senior year should be. He’s coming off of a campaign where he averaged 23.1 points, 4.0 boards and 2.9 assists while shooting 36 percent from three while shooting nearly nine threes per game. Should I mention that Seton Hall is a preseason top 15 team and a legitimate favorite to win the Big East? (Rob Dauster)

3. Markus Howard, Marquette

With all due respect to Myles Powell and Antoine Davis and all the rest of the high-volume scorers that show up on this list, Howard is the most lethal. There were just two players in all of college basketball last season that were more efficient last season while also posting a usage rate higher than Howard: Ja Morant, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft, and Chris Clemons, who scored 3,225 points in four seasons for Campbell, good for third in college basketball history. Howard did his work in the Big East. (RD)

4. Udoka Azubuike, Kansas

When it comes to NBA prospects, Azubuike is more or less irrelevant. Slow-footed big men that can’t guard on the perimeter are dodo birds in the league. But in college, where it’s harder to find 7-footers that can dribble, shoot and pass without falling over their own feet, the behemoths can still thrive. Azubuike is just that, and he’s playing in an offense – and for a coach – that is as good as anyone at scheming ways to get his five-men easy dunks. When strictly talking what is going to happen in college basketball this season, Azubuike is going to be utterly dominant. (RD)

5. Cole Anthony, North Carolina

The son of 11-year NBA vet and UNLV star Greg Anthony, Cole Anthony’s recruitment was one of the tougher ones in track in recent years. His talent and lineage made him the object of intense speculation, but rarely did he offer a glimpse into his thinking. Ultimately, he landed at North Carolina, and is expected to to be a star. He’s a dynamic offensive player that can operate in both guard spots, and could give the Tar Heels back-to-back years of lottery picks after going seven years (Harrison Barnes 2012 – to Coby White and Cameron Johnson – 2019) without one. (TH)

6. Jordan Nwora, Louisville

Louisville’s leading scorer and rebounder last season, Nwora pulled his name out of the NBA Draft and gave the Cardinals a chance at a national title run. Nwora’s unique skill set makes him a matchup nightmare. He’s a capable scorer from all three levels and physical enough to mix it up inside with bigger players. You can make a strong case that Nwora is the ACC’s best returning player. (Scott Phillips)

7. Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati

The reigning AAC Player of the Year is the driving force behind Cincinnati’s offense. Without him on the floor, the Bearcat offense was miserable last season. Thankfully for Cincinnati, Cumberland is back for his senior season after putting up 18.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. If Cumberland can improve his efficiency then he should easily crack the 20 point-per-game mark. (SP)

8. Anthony Edwards, Georgia

An absolute monster get for Tom Crean on the recruiting trail, the 6-foot-5 Edwards hails from Atlanta and was the second-ranked prospect in the 2019 class. The McDonald’s All-American could have had his pick of destinations, but decided to stay home and give Crean a massive win and a chance to get better in a hurry after going 11-20 overall and 2-16 in the SEC in his first year in Athens. (TH)

9. James Wiseman, Memphis

Penny Hardaway convinced his former prized big man from Memphis East to join him in the college ranks this season. Possibly the No. 1 prospect not playing in the NBA, the 7-footer is mobile and skilled. The lefty is capable of stepping out and making a jumper but he can just as easily erase opposing shots at the rim with his imposing frame. Enjoy Wiseman in college hoops while you can. (SP)

10. Tre Jones, Duke

Tre Jones is one of the nation’s best defenders. He’s a guy that has proven himself a leader and a winner. He’s tough. He can finish in the lane despite standing just 6-foot-1. He does everything you want from a point guard … except make perimeter shots. If he’s hitting them this season, this ranking will be justified. If he isn’t, then this ranking will look silly. (RD)

11. Devon Dotson, Kansas

Dotson came to Lawrence with some one-and-done expectations, but struggled in the early goings before finding his footing. He ended up averaging 12.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from 3, and ultiamtely decided to return to Kansas for his sophomore season. He could be the best guard in the Big 12, and maybe even an All-American. (TH)

12. Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

Haliburton has an awkward game, but he’s nothing if not effective. Last year, he averaged 6.8 points, 3.6 assists, 3.4 boards and 1.5 steals while shooting 43.4 percent from three as the fourth or fifth option for the Cyclones. This year, he’s going to be one of the leaders for this team, and after impressing at the U-19 FIBA World Cup, expectations are sky-high. He’s one of those guys that is going to be better than his numbers suggest. (RD)

13. Sam Merrill, Utah State

This is not a name that everyone is going to know heading into the season, but Sam Merrill is legit. He averaged 20.9 points and 4.2 assists while shooting 37.6 percent from three as a junior on a team that was clearly the best team in the Mountain West by the end of the year. He’ll be a name everyone knows come March. (RD)

14. Kerry Blackshear Jr., Florida

The biggest offseason transfer in college basketball, Blackshear moves from Virginia Tech’s Sweet 16 team to the Gators. One of game’s few big men who is a true go-to threat, Blackshear can do it all as he averaged 14.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Just ask the ACC’s elite from last season. Blackshear put up monster double-doubles against Virginia, Duke and North Carolina. (SP)

15. Isaiah Stewart, Washington

A freshman bulldozer who isn’t afraid to bang inside, Stewart was a major coup for Washington. The 6-foot-9 big man should bring a rugged physicality that is seldom seen in the Pac-12. But Stewart is more than just power. He brings an improving skill level and a high motor to the Huskies as he could end up being the most productive freshman in the nation. (SP)

16. Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky

Maxey is one of those guys where there is no real weakness in his game. He’s a combo-guard that can shoot it, score off the bounce, distribute the rock and compete on the defensive end. I’m not sure if he is elite at any of those skills, and I’m not sure how Kentucky is going to end up using him this season, but I do think that he is going to end up being the best player on a consensus top three team. (RD)

17. Payton Pritchard, Oregon

Pritchard is so underrated. His efficiency numbers took a hit last year, but down the stretch of the season – when Oregon spent a month playing as a top 15 team in America – he was at his very best. Pritchard was also the star point guard the Ducks the year that they made a run to the Final Four. He’s a winner and a leader and one of the biggest reasons we should not be concerned about just how new this Oregon roster will be. (RD)

18. Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State

Ohio State exceeded expectations last season thanks in large part to Wesson’s play on the interior. The Buckeye offense often flows through Wesson and he’s capable of scoring on the block, drawing in double teams and finding open shooters with his underrated passing ability. Keeping Wesson on the floor can be tricky, however, as the foul-prone big man has to get better defensively. (SP)

19. Yoeli Childs, BYU

Childs plays in a conference that includes Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s, yet he is likely the best player in the league. A 6-foot-8 four that essentially averaged 20 and 10 last year, Childs is going to have to sit out the first nine games of this season after messing up paperwork with the new NBA draft early entry rules. (RD)

20. Vernon Carey Jr., Duke

There’s a chance that Carey will end up being the best big man in the ACC this season. The 6-foot-10, 260 pound freshman will be the anchor for Duke’s offense this season. With a soft touch around the rim and an improving ability to score from the perimeter, Carey will be a double-double threat every night and one of the best post players in college basketball. (RD)

21. Jordan Ford, Saint Mary’s

Transitioning from solid starter to star in his junior season, Ford is worth staying up late for. His combination of perimeter shooting and runners are fun to watch. The catalyst of the Saint Mary’s offense, Ford averaged 21.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game last season as he’s the preseason favorite for WCC Player of the Year. (SP)

22. Alpha Diallo, Providence

The 6-foot-7 wing returns for his senior season after averaging 16 points on 42 percent shooting last year while also grabbing 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per night.He is one of the Big East’s best, and a serious All-American candidate if he can be a bit more efficient from the 3-point line. In a deep and talented Big East, Diallo is a darkhorse player of the year candidate. (TH)

23. McKinley Wright IV, Colorado

Not many people know about Wright, who quietly averaged 13 points and 4.8 assists as a sophomore. Those numbers were actually down from his freshman season, as Wright spent the majority of the second half of the year battling a shoulder issue. He still managed to help lead Colorado to 23 wins, and with everyone back this season, the Buffaloes are a sneaky Pac-12 contender. (RD)

24. Tristan Clark, Baylor

Clark was on pace to be a first-team all-Big 12 performer last season when a knee injury in early January ended things for him. He’s back for his junior campaign, which is arguably the biggest reason why the Bears are picked in the top 20 heading into the year. The 6-foot-10, 245 pound Clark will likely be the best big guy in the Big 12 this side of Udoka Azubuike. (RD)

25. Anthony Cowan, Maryland

The 6-foot guard has been a big-time scorer the last two seasons, putting up just udner 16 points per game as both a sophomore and junior. His shooting percentages took a dip last year, and if he can find a way to inch those back up, he’ll be an even more fficient producer for the Terps. (TH)

26. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois

It was unclear if the Chicago native was going to return to Champaign for his sophomore year or head off to the NBA, but his decision to come back to school was one of the most influential in the country.The 6-foot-5 guard has a shot at being a lottery pick after scoring 13.8 points per game – shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and 35.2 percent from 3 – and can help elevate an Illinois program that hasn’t really gotten off the ground under Brad Underwood. (TH)

27. Andrew Nembhard, Florida

The Florida guard averaged 8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game as a freshman last season. He shot 41.4 percent from the filed and 34.7 percent from deep. If he can find a way to have fewer games like the 1 of 8 performance against Kentucky in the season finale and more like the 20 points, four rebounds and six assists he had against LSU in the SEC tournament, it’ll go a long way to moving up these rankings – and helping Florida win the SEC. (TH)

28. Mamadi Diakite, Virginia

Diakite was absolutely dynamite down the stretch of last season and during Virginia’s run to the national title. We know what he is on the defensive side of the ball, but Diakite showed that he can be a double-figure scorer. Jay Huff has been the guy that has gotten all of the offseason hype, but Diakite may very well end up being their best player this season. (RD)

29. Killian Tillie, Gonzaga

Health will be the key focus for Tillie this season. When he’s on the floor, the Frenchman is one of college basketball’s best frontcourt players. He uses his volleyball-like leaping ability to gobble-up rebounds and score around the basket. But it’s been over a full season since we’ve seen that Tillie and he’s hurt again entering this season. (SP)

30. Anthony Lamb, Vermont

It’s not easy for a Catamount to crack this list, but putting up 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 51.5 percent from the floor will do it. The Vermont senior hasn’t gotten the accolades that many of his high-profile mid-major brethren have received, but he’s every bit as effective and could crack the college basketball consciousness to a greater degree in his final season. (TH)

31. Ashton Hagans, Kentucky

Hagans had a so-so freshman campaign, averaging 7.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and 27.5 percent from distance. His talent, though, is undeniable, and a talented, now-veteran point guard under John Calipari is usually a recipe for success. Expect a big year from Hagans. (TH)

32. Jalen Smith, Maryland

Once “Stix” returned to school it gave Maryland a sleeper national title team. The sophomore should gobble up much of the production handled last season by Bruno Fernando. Now that Smith will be an offensive focal point he should be one of the Big Ten’s best players, and at the end of the season, potentially a lottery pick. (SP)

33. Jaden McDaniels, Washington

The younger brother of recent San Diego State standout Jalen McDaniels is a star in his own right. A five-star mega wing, McDaniels is a jumbo scorer who can thrive from the perimeter when he gets going. Similar to his brother, however, you never really know which version of McDaniels you’re going to get. Consistency could be a huge key for Jaden’s season. (SP)

34. Obi Toppin, Dayton

Coming off of a freshman season where he averaged 14.4 points and 5.6 boards, Toppin is ready to breakout on a national stage as a sophomore. The 6-foot-9 Brooklyn native has grown seven inches since his junior year in high school, turning himself into a legitimate first round prospect and the best player in the Atlantic 10. (RD)

35. Isaiah Joe, Arkansas

The Fort Smith, Ark. native shot 41.4 percent from 3-point range (41.3 percent overall) en route to averaging 13.9 points per game as a freshman. He’ll now be under the direction of Eric Musselman in Year 2 in Fayetteville, and could be in line as on of the SEC’s breakout players. (TH)

36. Lamar Stevens, Penn State

When you play for Penn State, it’s hard to get basketball fans at large to know who you are. Such is the case for Stevens, a 6-foot-8 forward that averaged 19.9 points and 7.7 boards for the Nittany Lions last season. He’s one of the best players in the Big Ten. Can Penn State find a way to be good enough for Stevens to get the credit he’s earned? (RD)

37. Nico Mannion, Arizona

Mannion became the first five-star commit to pledge to Arizona after the program was caught up in the middle of an FBI investigation into corruption in the sport. Mannion is a 6-foot-3 point guard with good vision, good feel and a knack for making the right play. He’s everything that you want out of a point guard at the college level, and he has the talent to one day play his way to the NBA. (RD)

38. Xavier Tillman, Michigan State

The 6-foot-8 Tillman takes over frontcourt duties in East Lansing full-time after Nick Ward left the program. Tillman may be a better player. Splitting minutes with Ward last season, Tillman still managed to average 10.9 points, 7.3 boards, 1.7 blocks and 1.6 assists. (RD)

39. Marcus Evans, VCU

Marcus Evans has torn each of his achilles in the last two years. This offseason was the first offseason since he arrived at VCU as a transfer from Rice that he was able to focus on getting better at basketball instead of, simply, getting better. If he has improved on his shooting – he hit just 27 percent from three last year after shooting 37 percent in 2017 – then it changes things for this VCU team. (RD)

40. Scottie Lewis, Florida

Lewis is not a guy that is going to put up huge scoring numbers, but shooting is probably the only thing he doesn’t do at a high level. He’s an elite athlete. He has long arms and, at 6-foot-6, is the perfect size to defend wings. He’s a smart passer and a high IQ player that can really, really defend and plays as hard as anyone you’ll find in college hoops this year. He’s one of those guys that doesn’t win many awards but always ends up on winning teams. (RD)

41. Reggie Perry, Mississippi State

Perry was one of the best big men in the SEC down the stretch of his freshman season, and then over the summer he went to Greece with the U-19s and led Team USA to a gold medal while winning MVP of the tournament. He has a chance to be one of this year’s breakout stars in college basketball. (RD)

42. Tres Tinkle, Oregon State

It’s a shame that Oregon State hasn’t been better in the last four years, because Tinkle is talented enough that he deserved more national recognition. The 6-foot-7 combo-forward averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 boards and 3.8 assists last year. (RD)

43. Kamar Baldwin, Butler

A double-figure scorer his first three years at Butler, expect more of the same from the guard this season after an All-Big East campaign as a junior. Baldwin is a slippery scorer who can also contribute on the glass and get into passing lanes for steals. Not many in college hoops have as much game experience as Baldwin brings to the Bulldogs this season. (SP)

44. Kira Lewis, Alabama

Once this stud sophomore guard returned from the NBA Draft process it made Alabama an intriguing team in Nate Oats’ first season as head coach. Lewis was the second youngest player in college hoops last season. He still put up 13.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game while looking wise beyond his years. This two-way guard could be a menace in the SEC this season. (SP)

45. Matthew Hurt, Duke

Hurt is the best shooter on this year’s Duke roster and arguably the best shooter in this year’s freshman class. At this point he’s probably more of a four than a three, but it is going to be fascinating to see how Duke opts to use him this season. His skill set complements Vernon Carey’s perfectly. (RD)

46. Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

I’m on the Ochai Agbaji bandwagon. After a thunderous start to his freshman season – he scored 20 points three times after getting his redshirt pulled in mid-January – Agbaji tailed off a bit down the stretch. I think he’s going to play some critical minutes for the Jayhawks at the four this season, when Bill Self opts to play a smaller lineup. (RD)

47. Dwayne Sutton, Louisville

The Louisville senior averaged 10 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists last season after seeing a major reduction in his role and production as a sophomore. Keeping things on an upward trajectory is important as the Cardinals look to do the same in Year 2 under Chris Mack. (TH)

48. DeJon Jarreau, Houston

Houston has a lot of offensive production to make up for in 2019-20, and Jarreau could be the man to help fill that void. He shot 47.1 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from 3 (up from 24.4 the year before) last season. (TH)

49. Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Davidson

The reigning A-10 Player of the Year is a triple-double threat every time he takes the floor. Putting up 16.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per contest, the native of Iceland terrorizes opposing coaches with his ability to make plays all over the floor. (SP)

50. Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton

Alexander took a huge leap as a sophomore, averaging 15.7 points for a Creighton team that won 20 games. He’s going to be asked to carry a bigger load this season, as the Bluejays don’t have much on an interior presence. The Big East is absolutely loaded with guard talent, but Alexander should not be flying this far under the radar. (RD)

51. Nojel Eastern, Purdue

Matt Painter is as good as any coach in the country at finding a way to scheme his best players into actions where they can succeed. Eastern has his flaws – he’s a point guard that has shot 3-for-13 from beyond the arc in two seasons – but he’s an elite defender, a good passer and a guy that can bury smaller guards in the post. I’m excited to see how Painter takes advantage of that this year. (RD)

52. Jermaine Samuels, Villanova

This should be the year Samuels turns his potential into production. A role player for Villanova as a sophomore, Samuels showed his top-50 pedigree late in the season with four straight games in double-figures. With the size and skill to be a tough cover on the wing, Samuels should blossom into a go-to player for the Wildcats this season. (SP)

53. Naji Marshall, Xavier

I’m torn on whether or not we can call Marshall a potential breakout star this season because I think he had his breakout last year. He was very good down the stretch, as Xavier won five straight and six of their last seven in Big East play. Think about it like this: Marshall is a natural wing that scored 31 points against St. John’s and had three games where he made at least five threes, but also posted 21 boards in an NIT win over Toledo. The kid is a player. (RD)

54. A.J. Lawson, South Carolina

The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 30.5 minutes per game as a freshman. He connected at a 41.1 percent clip overall from the floor and converted 35.8 percent of his threes. If he can cut down on his turnover rate, he could prove to be one of the SEC’s elite. (TH)

55. Kellan Grady, Davidson

A complete scorer for Davidson, Grady became much more than just a perimeter threat last season. Grady’s offensive versatility showed through as he averaged 17.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game on solid splits (45%, 34% 3PT, 73% FT) as he was selected first-team All-A10. Coupled with Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Davidson’s backcourt becomes must-see TV. (SP)

56. Koby McEwen, Marquette

Following two standout seasons for Utah State, McEwen joins Marquette’s lineup this season after sitting out a transfer year. Markus Howard is undoubtedly the Golden Eagles’ go-to player. But McEwen could wind up filling a huge role left by the departure of the Hauser brothers. The junior is a gifted scorer who should finally get the national pub he deserves. (SP)

57. Xavier Sneed, Kansas State

Sneed is another guy that is not going to put up the biggest numbers and can hardly be considered a star even on his own team, but he may just be the best 3-and-D wing in college basketball. He’s an elite defender. (RD)

58. Grant Riller, Charleston

The 6-foot-3 Orlando native has been a big-time scorer all three of his seasons in college, but had a career-best average of 21.9 points per game last season despite seeing some downticks in his efficiency. If he can bring his 3-point shooting back closer to 40 percent this season, he could post some truly astounding numbers for Charleston. (RD)

59. Tyler Bey, Colorado

McKinley Wright IV gets overlooked, but if anyone is going to get attention on the Buffaloes, it’s him. That means that Bey, a 6-foot-7 forward that was an all-Pac-12 played last season, gets completely ignored. He averaged 13.6 points and 9.9 boards last season and averaged 17.8 points and 12.5 boards in his last four games. Stud. (RD)

60. Lamonte Turner, Tennessee

With Jordan Bone gone, Lamonte Turner is going to have a chance to take over the Tennessee backcourt, and that will definitely not be a bad thing. Turner is a winner and a big shot maker that is as tough as point guards come. (RD)

61. Zavier Simpson, Michigan

Simpson is unique. He’s a menacing on-ball defender. He’s a point guard that can’t really shoot and struggles from the free throw line but is a terrific passer and as savvy as anyone in the game. I’ll believe he can dunk when I see him dunk. In the meantime, I’ll salivate as he makes sky-hook after sky-hook. (RD)

62. Matt Haarms, Purdue

Haarms has been something of a role player throughout his Purdue career, but the 7-foot-3 Dutchman will have a chance to step into a much bigger role this year. He’s going to start at the five. He’s also going to be asked to be more than just a screener for Carsen Edwards and Ryan Cline. Players in the Purdue program always develop over time, and I’ll be very interested to see what Haarms has developed into this year. (RD)

63. Antoine Davis, Detroit

The 6-foot-1 Alabama native put together a brilliant freshman campaign for Detroit Mercy. He averaged 26.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 37.4 minutes per game. He did it with high-volume shooting, but converting at a 40 percent clip overall and 38 percent from 3-point range as a freshman is a heck of a baseline to build from. (TH)

64. Skylar Mays, LSU

Tremont Waters was the talented returning sophomore. Naz Reid was the big-name, five-star recruit. Both players had a ton of hype in Baton Rouge last season. But Mays was the guy that I wanted to see with the ball in his hands in a big moment. He’ll have a chance to lead LSU this season. (RD)

65. Jon Teske, Michigan

There is nothing sexy about the game of Teske. But that’s sort of his appeal as the anchor of Michigan’s defense. The senior center is one of the game’s best positional defenders while providing potential double-doubles and the occasional outside jumper. With Michigan losing so much from last season, Teske’s offense could take a leap this year. (SP)

66. John Mooney, Notre Dame

Notre Dame wasn’t worth watching very many nights last season but it didn’t stop Mooney from having a monster year on the interior. Averaging a double-double (14.1 pts, 11.2 reb) in the ACC isn’t easy. Mooney accomplished this feat by banging inside, knocking down threes (37 percent) and being one of the most consistent bigs in the nation. (SP)

67. Omer Yurtseven, Georgetown

A 7-foot native of Istanbul, Yurtseven was a five-star prospect when he committed to N.C. State and Mark Gottfried. He left the program after averaging 13.5 points and 6.7 boards during his sophomore season and has spent the last year learning from Patrick Ewing. This ranking may end up being too low. (RD)

68. Jalen Pickett, Siena

Siena’s stud sophomore had a huge freshman season (15.8 pts, 6.7 ast, 4.6 reb per game) before entering his name in the NBA Draft. The Saints are thankful Pickett decided to return to school as he will be among the elite mid-major players in the country this season. Pickett went for 46 points and 13 assists in a game against Quinnipiac last season. (SP)

69. Precious Achiuwa, Memphis

Achiuwa is one of the top wing forwards in the 2019 recruiting class. He has all the physical tools to really thrive – he’s strong, he’s long, he’s bouncy, he’s 6-foot-9. The key for him is going to be keeping his motor running hot. When he’s engaged and consistent, he flashes brilliance. He’s not overly skilled at this point in his career, but he should thrive playing in Penny’s uptempo system as a freshman. (RD)

70. Neemias Queta, Utah State

Queta is a 7-foot-1 Portuguese shot-blocker that could end up averaging a double-double as a sophomore. The big question is going to be the health of his knee. He hurt it during the U-20 Euros over the summer, and while it wasn’t deemed to be too serious, 7-footers with knee issues are worrisome.

71. Nathan Knight, William & Mary

Knight returned to William & Mary for his senior season after an utterly dominant junior campaign. Check these numbers out: 21 points, 8.6 boards, 3.5 assists and 2.3 blocks. Clinically speaking, he’s a hoss. (RD)

72. Isaac Okoro, Auburn

The 6-foot-5 Georgia native is a top-50 recruit who picked the Tigers over offers from the likes of Florida State, Florida, Memphis and Oregon, giving Bruce Pearl an important piece as he looks to keep the momentum gained by last year’s Final Four run. (TH)

73. Desmond Bane, TCU

TCU was picked by the Big 12’s coaches to finish last in the league, but that is in spite of Bane’s talents. He averaged 15.2 points per game as a junior and shot better than 40 percent from 3-point range for the second-straight season. The Horned Frogs might struggle in what has been the country’s best conference, but Bane’s ability to fill it up from distance should keep them competitive. (TH)

74. Nate Reuvers, Wisconsin

Under Bo Ryan, sophomore big guys that do things like average 7.9 points, 3.9 boards and 1.8 blocks in 22 minutes while shooting 38 percent from three turned into junior All-Americans. We’ll see if that’s the development path that Reuvers takes now that Ethan Happ is gone and this Badger frontcourt will be built around him. (RD)

75. Trendon Watford, LSU

Watford might end up being the key that unlocks LSU’s potential this season. He’s a skilled scorer at the four spot that will be playing alongside a pair of dynamic guards and a couple of elite, quick-twitch athletes. LSU needs him to be a guy that can space the floor and provide a scoring touch. (RD)

76. Kahlil Whitney, Kentucky

The latest in a long line of five-star freshmen wings at Kentucky, Whitney should come in and produce right away. The son of former Seton Hall standout Kelly Whitney, Kahlil will make a name for himself this season using highlight-reel athleticism and a high motor on both ends of the floor. Whitney is a high-level scorer who should also contribute on the glass. (SP)

77. Javonte Smart, LSU

LSU becomes Smart’s team now that Tremont Waters turned pro. Putting up solid numbers as a freshman (11.1 pts, 3.3 reb, 2.4 ast), Smart’s numbers could explode now that he’s a primary option. The former McDonald’s All-American needs to improve his inconsistent perimeter shooting (31% 3PT). But Smart has a shot to be an elite SEC player for the Tigers. (SP)

78. Braxton Key, Virginia

The 6-foot-8 forward has had an interesting career trajectory with his time (29.8-25.2-19.8) on the floor and scoring production (12-7-5.7) decreasing in each of his three seasons in Charlottesville, but, well, he’s got a national championship ring on his finger now and will have the chance to step back into a bigger role with the Cavaliers rebooting following their title last April in Minneapolis. (TH)

79. Jay Huff, Virginia

It’s time for Huff to be more than a guy who looks sick in warm-up lines. The big man needs to take on a massive role this season for Virginia to be successful. And Huff has all the tools to do so. He’s a skilled post player and decent rim protector who has shown flashes of being an elite ACC big man. This season is about turning more minutes into consistent numbers for Huff. (SP)

80. Josh Green, Arizona

The five-star freshman should earn heavy minutes right away for the Wildcats. Smooth and athletic, Green is a terror in the open floor and at his best slashing to the rim. Although the perimeter jumper is a work-in-progress, Green made great strides on his shot during his senior season of high school ball. It should greatly benefit Arizona that Green was AAU teammates with five-star freshman running mate Nico Mannion as the two are familiar with each other. (SP)

81. Derek Culver, West Virginia

Last year was a debacle in just about every way for West Virginia, but Culver was undoubtedly a bright spot for Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers. The 6-foot-10 Ohio native averaged 11.5 points and 9.9 rebounds while shooting 45.6 percent from the floor in 27 minutes per game. (TH)

82. Aaron Henry, Michigan State

Henry had somewhat of a quiet overall freshman season, averaging just 22 minutes per game, but was huge in the NCAA tournament, scoring 20 points in the Sweet 16 aginst LSU and then playing 38 minutes in the Elite 8 against Duke. He made every shot he took in scoring 11 points in the Final Four against Texas Tech, and now returns for what many view as the best team in the country. Just some marginal improvement will make him among the country’s best. (TH)

83. Chris Clarke, Texas Tech

The 6-foot-6 forward may be one of the most influential players in the country this season. Texas Tech needs talent to follow up its national title game appearance, and Clarke has plenty of that. He also has baggage after being suspended for the entire year at Virginia Tech last year ahead of his graduate transfer to Lubbock. If he’s right and Chris Beard can get the most out of him, he’ll be an all-Big 12 player. And the Red Raiders could be national contenders again. (TH)

84. Luka Garza, Iowa

Garza looks like a goof. He’s awkward and kind of chunky. He moves with the grace of a baby deer. But he’s coming off of a sophomore season where he averaged 13.1 points and has proven himself a guy that plays as hard as anyone in the country, and at 6-foot-11, he can score in the post and make threes. He’s a player. (RD)

85. T.J. Gibbs, Notre Dame

Gibbs had a disappointing junior season, as the Fighting Irish dealt with youth and injuries en route to a last place finish in the ACC. But everyone on that roster is older – most notably the freshmen – and with essentially everyone back, the Irish are a sneaky-good team in an ACC that’s pretty wide open. Gibbs is one of the biggest reasons why. (RD)

86. Saddiq Bey, Villanova

Bey shocked the world last season by turning into Villanova’s best freshman in a class that included Jahvon Quinerly, Cole Swider and Brandon Slater. He’s a perfect fit for the way Jay Wright wants to play, and it would only make sense that he takes a step forward as a sophomore. I wonder if N.C. State regrets pulling his scholarship before he enrolled? (RD)

87. Josiah-Jordan James, Tennessee

Tennessee was thrilled to win this hotly-contested recruiting battle. James is the highest-rated recruit for the Vols in the Rick Barnes era. A tall combo guard who can defend multiple spots, James should fit in nicely with Tennessee’s veteran backcourt. James can handle, attack the basket and create for others. (SP)

88. Remy Martin, Arizona State

Great name. Great hair. What’s not to like? Martin will be the engine that runs Arizona State this season. He’ll have his work cut out for him on a nightly basis in the league with the best point guard play in the country. (RD)

89. Bryce Aiken, Harvard

An Ivy Leaguer averaging 22.2 points per game, Aiken shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range last year for the Crimson while also posting 2.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals. If he can be more effective around the rim while maintining his accuracy from distance, he could put up even more impressive numbers. (TH)

90. Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky

The former top-10 recruit had a big year in Conference USA, averaging 14.6 points, 10 rebounds and 2.4 blocks her game. He shot 62.7 percent from the field and 45 percent on 20 attempts from 3-point range. There’s little doubting Bassey talent, but it’s hard to exactly judge where it fits when he’s spending his winter facing off against Charlotte, FIU and UTEP. (TH)

91. Matt Coleman, Texas

I’m bullish on Texas this season, and much of it has to do with the fact that Coleman is back. My money is on him becoming the best player for Texas this season, and after averaging 10 points and four assists over the course of his first two years in Austin, I think he’s in line for a bump as a junior. (RD)

92. Marcus Santos-Silva, VCU

The 6-foot-7 native of Taunton, Mass., average 10 points and 7.4 boards for VCU a year ago, and based on the rumblings coming out of Richmond this offseason, he is going to be in line for a major bump as a junior. (RD)

93. Osun Osunniyi, St. Bonaventure

How many freshman are there that averaged 2.7 blocks in their first season on a college basketball? With three of the top four scorers from the Bonnies gone, Osunniyi is going to be asked to carry much more of the load offensively as a sophomore. (RD)

94. Lamine Diane, Northridge

Northridge was not very good last year. Diane, however, was. How about this stat line: 24.8 points, 11.2 boards, 2.2 blocks, 2.1 assists, 1.5 steals. That’s enough to make Zion Williamson jealous. (RD)

95. Joe Wieskamp, Iowa

The sophomore will have a lot on his shoulders offensively this season following a strong freshman campaign. Already comfortable taking the big shot, Wieskamp is a perimeter killer. If he shows a little bit more off the bounce this season then Wieskamp will be one of the toughest assignments in the Big Ten. And with Isaiah Moss and Jordan Bohannon potentially both gone from last season, it’s Wieskamp’s time to shine. (SP)

96. Markell Johnson, N.C. State

Johnson had a very good season for the Wolfpack, posting 12.6 points and 4.2 assists while shooting 42.2 percent from three. If N.C. State is going to make the leap to being a top five team in the ACC, Johnson is going to have to be in the mix for a first-team All-ACC spot. (RD)

97. Trevion Williams, Purdue

Williams showed flashes of being a monster for the Boilermakers as a freshman. Getting in shape (and staying in shape) will be the key here, but Matt Painter has proven that he can be wildly successful with big guys that can dominate on the block. Williams has the potential to do just that. (RD)

98. Paul Scruggs, Xavier

Scruggs might actually be the best player on Xavier’s roster. Like Marshall, he really came on late in the season, as the Musketeers went from being an afterthought in Big East play to a group that was legitimately on the bubble in March. (RD)

99. Mustapha Heron, St. John’s

Heron has been a big time scorer throughout his career, and that shouldn’t change with the coaching change at St. John’s. The question is going to be whether or not the Johnnies will be good enough for Heron to matter nationally. (RD)

100. Chris Lykes, Miami

The 5-foot-7 guard’s production went from good to great from his freshman to sophomore season, averaging 16.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game last season. It came at the expense of a little bit of efficiency, but not to a degree that’s concerning. A little bit of tightening up around the edges could go a long way in making Lykes even better. (TH)

John Petty Jr. returns to Alabama for senior season

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama guard John Petty Jr. is staying in school instead of entering the NBA draft.

The Crimson Tide junior announced his decision to return for his senior season Monday on Twitter, proclaiming: “I’m back.”

Petty, the Tide’s top 3-point shooter, averaged 14.5 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds rebounds last season. He was second on the team in assists.

Petty made 85 3-pointers in 29 games, shooting at a 44% clip.

Alabama coach Nate Oats called him “one of the best, if not the best, shooters in the country.”

“He’s made it clear that it’s his goal to become a first round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and we’re going to work with him to make sure he’s in the best position to reach that goal,” Oats said.

Fellow Tide guard Kira Lewis Jr. is regarded as a likely first-round draft pick.

McKinley Wright IV returns to Colorado

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McKinley Wright IV will be back for season No. 4 with the Colorado Buffaloes.

The point guard tested the NBA draft process before announcing a return for his senior year. It’s a big boost for a Buffaloes team that’s coming off a 21-11 mark in 2019-20 and was potentially looking at an NCAA Tournament bid before the season was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wright was an All-Pac-12 first team selection a season ago, along with an all-defensive team pick. He and athletic forward Tyler Bey declared for the draft in late March. Bey remains in the draft.

“We’ve got unfinished business,” said Wright, who averaged 14.4 points and 5.0 assists per game last season.

Midway through the season, the Buffaloes were looking like a lock for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since ’15-16. Then, the team hit a five-game skid, including a loss to Washington State in the Pac-12 tournament. Simply put, they hit a defensive rut they just couldn’t shake out of, Wright said. It drove him to work that much harder in the offseason.

“This is my last go-around and I’ve got big dreams,” the 6-footer from Minnesota said. “I want to take CU to a place they haven’t been in a while. We want to go back to the tournament and win high-level games.”

The feedback from NBA scouts was reaffirming for Wright. He said they appreciated his transition game, movement away from the ball and his defensive intangibles. They also gave Wright areas he needed to shore up such as assist-to-turnover ratio and shooting the 3-pointer with more consistency.

He took it to heart while training in Arizona during the pandemic. He recently returned to Boulder, Colorado, where he’s going through quarantine before joining his teammates for workouts.

“The work I put in and the time I spent in the gym compared to all my other offseasons, it’s a big gap,” Wright said. “Last offseason, I thought I worked hard. But it was nothing compared to the time and different type of mindset I put myself in this year.”

Another motivating factor for his return was this: a chance to be the first in his family to earn his college degree. He’s majoring in ethnic studies with a minor in communications.

“My grandparents are excited about that. My parents are excited about that,” Wright said. “I’m excited about that as well.”

Wright also has an opportunity to take over the top spot on the school’s all-time assists list. His 501 career assists trail only Jay Humphries, who had 562 from 1980-84. Wright also ranks 13th all-time with 1,370 career points.

NOTES: Colorado announced the death of 95-year-old fan Betty Hoover, who along with her twin sister, Peggy Coppom, became fixtures at Buffs sporting events and were season ticket holders since 1958. Wright used to run into them not only on the court, but at the local bank. “I’ve never met anyone as loving and supporting and caring as those two,” Wright said. “They hold a special place in my heart. It sucks that Betty won’t be at any games this year. Maybe we can do something, put her name on our jersey. They’re two of the biggest fans in CU history.”

Jared Butler returns to Baylor

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Baylor got some huge news on Monday as potential All-American Jared Butler announced that he will be returning to school for his junior season, joining MaCio Teague is pulling his name out of the 2020 NBA Draft to get the band back together.

Butler was Baylor’s leading scorer a season ago, averaging 16.0 points and 3.1 assists for a team that went 26-4, spent a portion of the season as the No. 1 team in the country and was in line to receive a 1-seed had the 2020 NCAA Tournament taken place.

With Butler and Teague coming back to school, the Bears will return four starters from last season’s squad. Starting center Freddie Gillespie is gone, as is backup guard Devonte Bandoo, but those are holes that can be filled. Tristan Clark, who was Baylor’s best player during the 2018-19 season before suffering a knee injury that lingered through last year, will be back, and there is more than enough talent in the program to replace the scoring pop of Bandoo. Matthew Mayer will be in line for more minutes, while transfer Adam Flagler will be eligible this season.

Baylor will enter this season as a consensus top three team in the country. They will receive plenty of votes as the No. 1 team in the sport, making them not only a very real contender for the Big 12 regular season crown but one of the favorites to win the national title.

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As MaCio Teague returns, Baylor now awaits Jared Butler’s NBA draft decision

Butler is the key.

Baylor was one of college basketball’s best defensive teams last year. They finished fourth nationally in KenPom’s defensive efficiency metric, a ranking that dropped after they Bears lost two of their last three games to TCU and West Virginia. Where they struggled was on the offensive end of the floor. The Bears would go through droughts were points were at a premium and their best offense was a missed shot. Butler’s intrigue for NBA teams was his ability to shoot and to create space in isolation. He’s the one guy on the roster that can create something out of nothing for himself.

And now he is back to try and lead Baylor to a Final Four.

Arizona State’s Martin to return for senior season

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TEMPE, Ariz. (–Arizona State guard Remy Martin is withdrawing from the NBA draft and will return for his senior season in the desert.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to coach Remy Martin for one more season,” Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley said in a statement Sunday. “Remy will be one of the best players in college basketball this year and will be on a mission to lead Arizona State basketball in its pursuit of championships.”

A 6-foot guard, Martin is the Pac-12’s leading returning scorer after averaging 19.1 points in 2019-20. He also averaged 4.1 assists per game and helped put the Sun Devils in position to reach the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year before the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Martin’s return should put Arizona State among the favorites to win the Pac-12 next season.

Martin joins fellow guard Alonzo Verge Jr. in returning to the Sun Devils after testing the NBA waters. Big man Romello White declared for the draft and later entered the transfer portal.

Hurley has signed one of the program’s best recruiting classes for next season, headed by five-star guard Josh Christopher.

Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman will remain in the 2020 NBA Draft

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In the end, Xavier Tillman Sr.’s decision whether or not to return to remain in the 2020 NBA Draft for his senior season came down to security.

A 6-foot-8 forward that averaged 13.7 points, 10.3 boards, 3.0 assists and 2.1 blocks this past season, Tillman was an NBC Sports third-team All-American a season ago. He’s projected as the No. 23 pick in the latest NBC Sports mock draft. He was the best NBA prospect that had yet to make a decision on his future until Sunday.

That’s when Tillman announced that he will be foregoing his final season of college eligibility to head to the NBA.

In the end, it’s probably the right decision, but it’s not one that the big fella made easily.

Tillman is unlike most college basketball players forced to make a decision on their basketball future. He is married. He has two kids, a three-year old daughter and a six-month old son. This is not a situation where he can bet on himself, head to the pro ranks and figure it out later on.

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He needs something stable, particularly given the fact that we are living in the midst of a pandemic that has put the future of sports in doubt, at least for the short term.

He needs security.

He needed to know that there would be a job for him in the NBA. Not a two-way contract. Not a spot on a camp roster or a chance to develop in the G League. Hell, there might not even be a G League next season. That was an option at Michigan State. He was living in an apartment with his family that was covered by his scholarship and stipend. He had meals paid for. He was able to take food from the training room home and have dinner with his family. He was able to get to class, to the gym, to practice and back home in time to do the dishes at night. He told NBC Sports in March that the school was able to provide him with $1,200-a-month to help pay for things like diapers high chairs. That was all going to be there if he returned to school. It was a great situation, one that lacked the uncertainty that comes with the professional level.

Because as much as I love Tillman as a role player at the next level, NBA teams do not all feel the same. The tricky thing about the draft is that it makes sense to swing for the fences on the guys that can be locked into salaries for the first four years of a contract. The Toronto Raptors took Pascal Siakam with the 27th pick and have paid less than $7 million in total salary in his first four years for a player that made an all-star team. Kyle Kuzma is averaging 16.0 points through three seasons and is on the books for $3.5 million in year four.

Tillman’s ability to defend, his basketball IQ, his play-making and his professional demeanor means that he can step into the modern NBA and do a job as a rotation player for just about any team in the league. But he doesn’t have the upside that other bigs in the same projected range have — Jalen Smith, Daniel Oturu, Jaden McDaniels, Zeke Nnaji — so there are teams that are scared off.

I don’t get it.

But Tillman’s decision to head to the professional ranks indicates that he does, indeed, feel confident in the fact that he will have gainful and steady employment next season. Since he would have walked at Michigan State’s graduation in May had it been held, that doesn’t leave much to return to school for.

The Spartans will now be left in a tough spot. There are quite a few pieces to like on this roster. Rocket Watts had promising moments as a freshman, as did Malik Hall. Gabe Brown and Marcus Bingham are both talented players. Joey Hauser had a good season at Marquette, and the early returns on freshman Mady Sissoko are promising. But this is going to be a young and unproven group.

Izzo has had less at his disposal before, but this is certainly not an ideal situation for Michigan State.