September 19, 2021

highland-laundry

Through Education Matters

Ranking the Top 100 And 1 best players in college basketball entering the 2020-21 season

The 2020-21 college basketball season is finally upon us. We’re a mere two weeks away from real games being played, the first live action in the sport since the season screeched to a halt in March amid the growing coronavirus epidemic.

Fortunately for you, the reader, we’ve spent the longer-than-expected offseason preparing for this moment by grinding through film, working our sources and getting a feel on the ground for what to expect. We’ve laid out our All-America teams. We’ve handed out our annual preseason awards. We even had Matt Norlander, that crazy cat, rank every single college basketball team. All 357 of them!  

Now, though, it’s time to get serious and talk in detail about the players to watch this season. As usual, our annual exercise of ranking of the best 101 players in the sport is a herculean task, but with the input from all our college hoops experts, we’ve compiled a list we feel confident is totally flawless. As a reminder on this list: we do not discriminate on age, or classification. We do not put a weighted preference on players from big schools over smaller schools. We simply rely on the talent and production and let it guide us. This isn’t about NBA Draft stock, either. It’s just: who are the best players at playing college basketball. 

Our list breaks down by class like this:

  • Freshmen: 11
  • Sophomores: 20
  • Juniors: 25
  • Seniors: 45

So behold, the CBS Sports Top 100 (And 1) college basketball player rankings for this season.

Top 100 And 1 college basketball players 

1. Luka Garza, Iowa: The Hawkeyes’ Garza is the only player selected to one of last season’s CBS Sports All-America teams who returned to college for the 2020-21 season, which makes him the most logical person to top this list. The 6-foot-11 center averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds as a junior while securing Big Ten Player of Year honors. His decision to play one more season at Iowa gives the Hawkeyes a legitimate chance to make the Final Four for the first time since 1980. — Gary Parrish

2. Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State: The freshman point guard who can become the face of the sport this season,  Cunningham is the most coveted recruit in program history and has grown to 6-8 and is 218 pounds at last check in early November. Displayed as much habitual maturity in terms of on-court decision-making as any top-five prospect I’ve seen in the past half-decade. Can single handedly make Oklahoma State a top-40 team this season and should go No. 1 in the 2021 draft.  — Matt Norlander

3. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois: After an All-Big Ten First Team breakout last season, Dosunmu opted to put a pause on his NBA career and is back as a junior to lead a top-10 Illini team. He figures to be one of the most prolific scorers on a roster that has a real chance to compete for a national championship. — Kyle Boone

4. Marcus Zegarowski, Creighton: Our preseason pick for Big East Player of the Year is an elite 3-point shooter. But he’s also an excellent distributor with a knack for creating shots inside the arc. Zegarowski took huge strides as a sophomore along with the Creighton program. Now both are poised for a season in the spotlight as he will be the star of a Bluejays with lofty aspirations. — David Cobb

5. Jared Butler, Baylor: Butler averaged a team-high 16.0 points and 1.6 steals last season while leading Baylor to a 26-4 record that was worthy of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The 6-3 guard’s decision to withdraw from the 2020 NBA Draft ensured the Bears would be the preseason favorite in the Big 12. If they win the league, it’ll be Baylor’s first conference title since 1950. — GP

6. Marcus Garrett, Kansas: Bill Self says Garrett, last season’s Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, is the best defender he’s ever coached at Kansas. So you better believe we’re relishing in the fact that Garrett (9.2 ppg, 4.6 apg, 4.5 rpg, 1.8 spg) is cracking so high on this list because defense matters. We’re also banking on him improving offensively in order to justify his spot here. The Jayhawks have a lot to prove with a new roster, so plenty is going to fall on Garrett. — MN

7. Collin Gillespie, Villanova: The top returning scorer for a potential preseason top-10 Villanova team, Gillespie is just the latest star upperclassmen set to shine as a senior for Jay Wright’s Wildcats. He averaged a career-best 15.1 points per game last season as a junior and should see his role expanded in 2020-21 with Saddiq Bey declaring early for the NBA Draft. — KB

8. Remy Martin, Arizona State: The Sun Devils’ Martin is a fierce competitor and our preseason pick to be the Pac-12 Player of the Year. The 6-foot senior guard probably hit his offensive ceiling in terms of point production after finishing second in the league at 19.1 points per game last season. But look for Martin to take the next step as a distributor and be the heart and soul of a potentially great team. — DC

9. Corey Kispert, Gonzaga: The Zags’ Kispert is the leading returning scorer from a Gonzaga team that finished 31-2 last season and was on the verge of earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The 6-7 forward averaged 13.9 points while shooting 43.8% from beyond the arc and 81.0% from the free-throw line. His withdrawal from the 2020 NBA Draft allowed the Zags to be No. 1 in the preseason Top 25 And 1. — GP

10. Evan Mobley, USC: The only freshman who pragmatically can compete for top-newcomer status with Cunningham. The Trojans have a center oozing with talent, someone who is probably so skilled, lengthy and vigorous that he can’t even play himself out of the top five in 2021, barring injury. Mobley will give USC a chance at making the NCAA Tournament; without him, it’s hard to see how that group would be anything other than NIT-at-best. — MN

11. Garrison Brooks, North Carolina: Roy Williams fielded his worst UNC team to date last season with Brooks acting as one of the team’s steadying hands. Now he’ll field a rebuilt team led by Brooks who we anticipate to have a huge senior season. The top returning scorer and rebounder for the Tar Heels headlines a team that could realistically go from worst to first in the ACC. — KB

12. Sam Hauser, Virginia: Hauser will provide immediate relief for a Virginia program that was starved for 3-point shooting last season. The Marquette transfer shot 44.5% from 3-point range during his three seasons in the Big East and is also a great rebounder and solid passer. He’s not going to post eye-catching statistics because of Virginia’s slow pace, but Hauser will be one of the top players in the ACC. — DC

13. BJ Boston, Kentucky: The highest-rated prospect in Kentucky’s top-ranked recruiting class, the 6-7 guard averaged 19.7 points and 7.0 rebounds last season while helping Sierra Canyon High in California finish with a 30-4 record. Boston projects as John Calipari’s next one-and-done lottery pick. — GP

14. Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana: Diehards knew how good this Hoosiers big man was last season (13.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.8 bpg). This season the nation will discover his promise. And we won’t get ahead of ourselves, but should Jackson-Davis have a great season and still manage to need a bit more training to grow into a high draft pick, he’ll 100% be a 2021-22 preseason All-American should a junior season be in his future. — MN

15. Oscar Tshiebwe, West Virginia: After leading West Virginia in field goal percentage, points, rebounds and shots blocked last season, we expect his jumbo role will further increase as he heads into his second season. The dynamic Mountaineer big man is a force on both ends of the floor and could take the mantle as the Big 12’s most impactful frontcourt presence. — KB

16. Jalen Crutcher, Dayton: Just because Obi Toppin is gone doesn’t mean Dayton is suddenly depleted. The Flyers should compete for another Atlantic 10 title largely because of Crutcher. The 6-1 senior point guard averaged 15.1 points and 4.9 assists last season while leading the A-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio during league play. — DC

17. Kofi Cockburn, Illinois: Coburn will combine with his higher-rated teammate (Dosunmu) to create arguably the best inside-outside combo in the country. The 7-foot center averaged 13.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks last season for an Illinois team that finished 30th at KenPom. His present in the frontcourt is among the reasons why some regard Illinois as the Big Ten’s best threat to win what would be the league’s first national title since Michigan State in 2000. — GP

18. Keyontae Johnson, Florida: The Gators have a lot of talent and a big season of expectation again, but those who saw UF underperform last season know that Johnson (14.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) brought the goods way more often than not. Mike White has a forward who’s unafraid of attacking around the rim. He’s as flexible a player as there might be in the SEC. Does so much all over both ends of the floor. — MN 

19. Trendon Watford, LSU: Quietly was one of the most impactful freshmen in the country last season, the LSU sophomore should step into a starring role this season with Skylar Mays off to the NBA. The versatile dual-threat wing is a dynamic defender who can fill it up on offense and has first-round potential if his shot starts falling with regularity from distance. — KB

20. Drew Timme, Gonzaga: With Filip Petrusev gone, Timme is in line to post monster numbers for Gonzaga as a sophomore. He played mostly off the bench last season and hit a stunning 61.8% of his shots while collecting 5.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game in just 20.5 minutes per game. But he’s also a proficient passer who can handle the basketball. — DC

 21. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova: Robinson-Earl is the second Villanova player to appear on this list, making the Wildcats one of four teams to have two players in the top 25. The 6-9 sophomore averaged 10.5 points and 9.4 rebounds last season for a Villanova team that shared the Big East title. If Robinson-Earl takes the so-called next step, Jay Wright could become just the seventh coach in history to win three national titles at the Division I level in men’s basketball. — GP

22. Matthew Hurt, Duke: It’s Duke so you know we’re going to have multiple guys on this list. The tricky part was trying to figure out where to slot them. Our money is on Hurt (9.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg), who has redefined his body and tweaked his role, making a huge second-season jump for Mike Krzyzewski’s team. Probably won’t be good enough or big enough in the stats department to win ACC Player of the Year, but seems like he’ll be Duke’s key player on a particularly young team.  — MN 

23. Caleb Mills, Houston: There was arguably no player more valuable to their team last season than Caleb Mills was to Houston. He led all AAC players in league play in usage rate and did it efficiently, too, averaging 13.2 points per game and earning All-AAC Second Team honors. As he returns for his redshirt sophomore campaign, he’s in line to eat up the lion’s share of Houston’s offense and should be considered one of the few must-watch guards in college hoops. — KB

24. MaCio Teague, Baylor: Teague transitioned from the Big South to the Big 12 with impressive efficiency last season after sitting out in 2018-19 as a transfer from UNC Asheville. Now a senior, he and Jared Butler will combine to form what should be the best backcourt in the country this season. — DC

 25. Oscar da Silva, Stanford: The Cardinal senior forward averaged a team-high 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds last season while shooting 57.0% from the field and earning First Team All-Pac-12 honors. The 48th member of Stanford’s 1,000-point club,  he should help the Cardinal make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014. — GP

26. McKinley Wright IV, Colorado: A terrific point guard who’s grown into one of the best players Tad Boyle’s ever coached. The Buffs get Wright back (14.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 5.0 apg) and in doing so now have one of the more valuable players in college basketball. He made the top 20 of our list a season ago, but truth be told, that was a little high. Now, if anything, we might have him a few spots too low. — MN

27. Terrence Clark, Kentucky: Kentucky lost 94% of its scoring from last year’s roster, so someone has to account for the points for the Wildcats. We think in the hierarchy it’s clear BJ Boston will be the go-to guy, but Clarke may be 1B and still has a clear path to stardom as a freshman. The former five-star recruit has the two-way talents to be an immediate impact presence from day one in John Calipari’s system. — KB

28. John Fulkerson, Tennessee: After playing a reserve role for a pair of NCAA Tournament teams as a redshirt freshman and sophomore, Fulkerson emerged as one of the best big men in the SEC last season. Now back for his fifth season on campus, the lanky left-hander will be the heart and soul of a team with great potential. — DC

29. Yves Pons, Tennessee: The SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20, Pons has gone from being a seldom-used freshman to a key returner for a team ranked 12th in the preseason Top 25 And 1. He averaged 10.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks last season. — GP

30. Nate Reuvers, Wisconsin: Greg Gard told me he has no best player at Wisconsin, but we can’t abide by those rules. We must rank! So the Badgers’ senior center (13.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 bpg) is our pick for best Bucky baller. His minutes will swell this season, so we’re forecasting a 15/6/2 campaign while fighting for a Big Ten title. — MN

31. Fatts Russell, Rhode Island: Fast-approaching Perry Ellis-levels of longevity in college hoops, Russell’s presence should be a steadying force for a Rams team that’s replacing a few key pieces. Russell is coming off an All-Atlantic 10 First Team campaign in which he posted career highs in points, assists, rebounds and 3-point percentage. Another leap forward as a senior and we’re talking about a potential All-American candidate. — KB

32. James Bouknight, UConn: Bouknight lived up to his top-100 prospect billing as a freshman last season while transitioning into a starting role and averaging 15.8 points per game once inserted into the starting lineup. He’ll be up against stiffer competition in the Big East this season but has all the makings of a star. — DC

33. Landers Nolley, Memphis: The decision to transfer from Virginia Tech to Memphis was a big boost for Penny Hardaway’s program. The 6-7 guard averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds for the Hokies last season. — GP 

34. Ziaire Williams, Stanford: They absolutely love this freshman out in Palo Alto, California. Williams ranked as the No. 6 player in the class of 2020 and will step into a situation at Stanford that should allow his lottery-pick potential to thrive. The Cardinal make the short list of unheralded NCAA Tournament teams heading into the season.   — MN

35. Joey Hauser, Michigan State: After a season on the sidelines serving an NCAA-mandated season off competitive action to satisfy transfer rules, the Marquette-turned-Michigan State forward Hauser steps in as a key cog for Tom Izzo as he looks to replace Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman. Hauser has the goods to be Sparty’s most reliable outside shooter right away after hitting 42.5% from 3-point range at Marquette two seasons ago. — KB

36. Javonte Smart, LSU: Smart upped his assist-to-turnover ratio while taking on the point guard job as a sophomore, and he shined offensively during conference play. The 6-4 guard averaged 13.9 points per game and hit 36.7% of his 3-pointers during league play. — DC

37. Greg Brown, Texas: This is the type of one-and-done talent who could help Shaka Smart have his best season yet as Texas’ coach. The 6-9 jumping-jack was a consensus top-10 prospect in the Class of 2020. — GP

38. Isaiah Livers, Michigan: He’ll get his (12.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg) on the offensive end, but it’s Livers’ well-founded defensive aptitude that ensured he’d crack our top 40. Juwan Howard’s got a pretty good team this season, but no player is the barometer for UM success like Livers, who deserves a full season without injury setbacks. — MN

39. Chris Smith, UCLA: The arrival of Mick Cronin revived Smith last season as he doubled up his per-season average as a scorer and took over the team’s frontcourt in Year Three, establishing himself in the process as a bona fide NBA prospect. Now, as a senior, he’s the team’s top returning scorer and the foundational piece for the Bruins’ Pac-12 title hopes. — KB

40. Joe Wieskamp, Iowa: The Iowa native is poised to take another step forward after averaging 14 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season. He was second to Luka Garza in both of those categories and should be one of the top players in the Big Ten as the Hawkeyes jockey for a league title. — DC

41. Scottie Barnes, Florida State: The highest-rated recruit to ever enroll at Florida State under Leonard Hamilton, Barnes is the type of talent that could help the Seminoles compete for back-to-back ACC championships. — GP

42. Micah Potter, Wisconsin: Though there’s a 12-spot difference between Reuvers and Potter, the gap might be smaller. In Potter (10.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) Bucky’s got a big man who seems to make good things happen when he’s around. A positive mojo follows with him, similar in some ways to Ethan Happ, which brings joy to UW backers everywhere. — MN

Oklahoma’s Brady Manek is known as ‘Larry on the Prairie.’
USATSI

43. Brady Manek, Oklahoma: The distinction of Oklahoma’s most experienced player belongs to Manek, the in-state standout who is affectionately referred to as “Larry on the Prairie” because of his Larry Bird-like looks. He also gets the nod as OU’s most important player on our list. The 6-9 senior is a knockdown 3-point shooter with good size and skill who the Sooners may rely upon as their go-to option this season with Kristian Doolittle graduating. — KB

44. Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers: Harper led Rutgers to one of its best seasons in program history while transitioning from a role player into being the team’s leading scorer last season. Now the dynamic wing/forward will try and lead the Scarlet Knights to the long-awaited NCAA Tournament appearance that COIVD-19 robbed the program of last season. — DC

45. Neemias Queta, Utah State: Queta averaged 13.0 points and 7.8 rebounds last season while shooting 62.4% from the field. His 84 blocks in the 2018-19 season represent a Utah State single-season record. — GP

46. Matt Coleman, Texas: Shaka Smart has an embarrassment of talent this season, but it’s Coleman (12.7 ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.0 rpg) who is the most important and probably the best all-around player he’s got. Super defense, cunning instincts and needs to be the reliable guy to push Texas into that top-10 or top-15 conversation by the time Big 12 play starts. — MN

47. Jalen Johnson, Duke: As is frequently the case at Duke — and is the case again this season — the Blue Devils are replacing a ton of outgoing NBA talents. But in Johnson, Coach K has once again stocked the cupboard. Johnson is a former five-star recruit who has a 6-8 frame the size of a power forward but carries the skill and feel of a guard. His versatility is going to unlock Duke’s offense. — KB

48. Marcus Carr, Minnesota: Carr emerged as one of the best guards in the Big Ten last season while averaging 15.4 points and 6.5 assists after transferring in from Pittsburgh. He flirted with the NBA Draft but decided to return and will be the unquestioned star for the Gophers this season. — DC

49. Kihei Clark, Virginia: Clark averaged 10.8 points and a team-high 5.9 assists while starting all 30 games last season. The junior point guard is an 86% free-throw shooter. — GP

50. Kellan Grady, Davidson: Whereas Grady once had some will-he-leave-early buzz about him, instead the shooting guard (17.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg) is going to graduate as one of the five best players in program history. If Davidson’s going to be an NCAA Tournament team they’ll need Grady to upgrade to 20 points per night and pull the Wildcats into a top-20 offense. — MN

51. Carlik Jones, Louisville: This Radford transfer is generating intense buzz about Louisville, and we expect Jones to step in from day one as a big-time offensive weapon for Chris Mack and Co. With the Highlanders, he ranked top-three in assist rate for three consecutive years and graded out last season as a top-5 performer in KenPom’s offensive rating metric. — KB

52. Ochai Agbaji, Kansas: The 6-5 junior could be in line for a breakout year after averaging 10 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2 assists per game while playing a complimentary role for a team that relied on departed stars Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike last season.  — DC

53. Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky: Bassey was averaging 15.3 points and 9.2 rebounds through 10 games last season when he suffered a season-ending leg injury. — GP

54. Aaron Henry, Michigan State: Was 90th on our 2019 list and he didn’t dominate (10.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg) to validate a big uptick. The reality is Henry is a top-40 player if he puts it all together. The question is if he’ll be able to do that this season. We’re banking on good things from a high-ceiling Big Ten wing.  — MN

55. AJ Green, Northern Iowa: The Panthers won 25 games last season on the strength of a star turn by Green. And this season might have an even rosier outlook. The 6-4 guard is one of the most electric mid-major players in the country because of the way he can score it at every level. — KB

56. Chris Duarte, Oregon: The junior college transfer shined as a two-way player in his first season at Oregon and could be one of the top players in the Pac-12 this season as he takes on an even larger offensive role following the departure of Payton Pritchard. — DC

57. Colbey Ross, Pepperdine: Ross has averaged at least 19.4 points in consecutive seasons while earning First Team All-WCC honors. — GP

58. Kyler Edwards, Texas Tech: Chis Beard’s junior combo wing (11.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.1 apg) is so impressive because of his poise, defensive consistency and dedication to improvement. His percentages were a bit wonky from freshman to sophomore seasons, but it’s likely he becomes the focal point for TTU in 2020-21. — MN

Florida’s Scottie Lewis has the Gators ready to rise again. 
USATSI

59. Scottie Lewis, Florida: As a five-star freshman last season, Lewis didn’t live up to lottery expectations. But Florida figured out its groove without him in a starring role as Keyontae Johnson emerged, and now it should be all the better for it as he enters Year Two. Elite-level, lengthy defender who embraces tough assignments. A truly perfect sidekick paired next to a superstar. — KB

60. Jacob Gilyard, Richmond: The undersized senior point guard is the returning Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year and will be the heart and soul of a team with NCAA Tournament expectations. — DC

61. Matt Mitchell, San Diego State: Mitchell was the second-leading scorer at San Diego State last season, in part because he shot 87.3% from the free-throw line. — GP

62. Austin Reaves, Oklahoma: He’s got great chemistry with Manek, and Reaves’ numbers (14.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.0 apg) are likely to swell for an Oklahoma team that’s going to be fighting for the top half of the Big 12. He’ll also be the Sooners’ highest-usage player, provided he can start making at least 30% of his triples. — MN

63. DJ Jeffries, Memphis: The crown jewels of Memphis’ lauded 2019 recruiting class are NBA-bound, but DJ Jeffries still stands. He’s the top returning scorer for the Tigers and figures to step into a larger role as a sophomore, where Penny Hardaway will need his two-way talents as a scorer and Swiss Army knife defender. — KB

64. Joel Ayayi, Gonzaga: The 6-5 redshirt junior is one of the best all-around guards in the country who defends, rebounds, distributes and is improving as a 3-point shooter. — DC

65. David Johnson, Louisville: Johnson averaged 5.2 assists in Louisville’s final six games last season while establishing himself as an important backcourt piece for the Cardinals. — GP 

66. Mitch Ballock, Creighton: The Bluejays will need Ballock’s 3-point shooting to remain excellent. The senior averaged 11.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.1 apg, but it was his 43.6% 3-point accuracy that helped the Jays clock in a 118.2 offensive rating at KenPom last season, No. 3 in the sport behind Gonzaga and Dayton. — MN

67. Davion Mitchell, Baylor: The third of Baylor’s big returning three, Mitchell will reassume his role this season as a two-way hound who gets in your grill defensively and adds a complementary piece to the offense, which is likely to revolve around Jared Butler. He’s the second-leading returning steals leader on his own team but the seventh-leading returning steals leader in the league, which is a testament to just how good Baylor was last season. He averaged 9.9 points and 1.5 steals per game as the Bears spent plenty of time last season atop the AP rankings. — KB

68. Aamir Simms, Clemson: The 6-8 forward with a nice outside shooting touch could play his way into NBA Draft consideration this season after leading the Tigers in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks. — DC

69. John Petty, Alabama: Petty averaged 14.5 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds last season while shooting 44% from 3-point range for the Crimson Tide. — GP

70. Denzel Mahoney, Creighton: The closest margins between any teammates on this year’s list is with Mahoney (12.ppg, 3.1 rpg) and Ballock just four spots above. Bluejays coach Greg McDermott tells me there’s basically no wiggle room between the two for CU’s second-best player honor. — MN

71. Mark Vital, Baylor: The Bears’ Vital is the defensive glue that holds their vaunted defense together. The two-time All-Big 12 defensive standout averaged a career-high 1.7 steals per game last season, which ranked seventh among all Big 12 players. — KB

72. Justin Moore, Villanova: The Big East all-freshman honoree is poised for a full-time starting role in the Wildcats’ backcourt after shooting 39.6% from 3-point range last season. — DC

73. Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA: Jackson averaged 26.8 points last season, breaking the previous Conference USA record for points per game in a season that was held by Aubrey Coleman, who scored 25.6 ppg for Houston in 2009-10. — GP

74. Antoine Davis, Detroit: Fitting that we’ve got the two highest-scoring players in the game back-to-back here. Like Jackson, Davis (24.3 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.1 rpg) is capable of flirting with scoring 30 a night and is only ranked this low because we don’t have enough evidence against power-conference teams to boost him higher. — MN

75. Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga: You like versatile? How’s this for versatile: Jalen Suggs is a five-star guard prospect who was also recruited as a quarterback out of Minneapolis. He picked hoops, and now he’s the most highly-touted recruit Gonzaga’s signed in its program’s history. The Zags have several returning pieces but he’ll get a chance to flash some special stuff because of how gifted he is as a combo guard. — KB

76. Miles McBride, West Virginia: The unheralded prospect figures to be a starter now after making the Big 12 all-freshman team while averaging 9.5 points and 1.1 steals in just 22.3 minutes per game last season. — DC

77. Trevion Williams, Purdue: Williams averaged a team-high 11.5 points and 7.6 rebounds last season while shooting 51.5% from the field for a Purdue team that finished 24th at KenPom. — GP

78. Jay Huff, Virginia: Minimal year-over-year gains for Mr. Huff (8.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.0 bpg), who was ranked 84th on our list last year. That wound up being too high. We expect him to be Virginia’s third-best player and put UVA over the top in the ACC. — MN

79. Herb Jones, Alabama: In three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Jones has been no more than a complementary piece. But folks around Tuscaloosa are buzzing about a potential fourth-year breakout for the 6-8 wing, and it’s possible that if he’s able to put all the pieces together, he steps in as the team’s top talent and fills the void Kira Lewis Jr. left behind. — KB

80. Quentin Grimes, Houston: The former five-star prospect took a nice step forward last season after transferring from Kansas and is ready to help Houston to another league title. — DC

81. Terry Taylor, Austin Peay: Taylor is the reigning Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year after averaging 21.8 points and 11.0 rebounds last season. — GP

82. Derrick Alston Jr., Boise State: Worried a bit we’ve got him 30 spots too low because this enticing two-way wing (17.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.1 apg) is quite capable of winning Mountain West player of the year for the NCAA Tournament-contending Broncos. Toyed with staying in the NBA Draft. — MN

83. Terrence Shannon, Texas Tech: Chris Beard has a way of developing NBA talents, and Shannon may be next in line here to benefit from a second-year star turn. The 6-6 sophomore has excellent positional size and athleticism and returns to lead a talented Texas Tech team after averaging 9.8 points and 4.1 boards per game in 2019-20. — KB

84. Aaron Wiggins, Maryland: Someone will have to replace the production of departed stars Anthony Cowan Jr. and Jalen Smith, and Wiggins — a former top-50 prospect — is sure to improve upon the 10.4 points per game he averaged as a sophomore last season. — DC

85. Moussa Cisse, Memphis: Cisse averaged 18.4 points, 15.3 rebounds and 9.2 blocks while leading Lausanne Collegiate School to a Tennessee state title last season, then reclassified and enrolled early seven miles away at Memphis. — GP

86. Sandro Mamukelashvili, Seton Hall: No Myles Powell and no Romaro Gill means the big Pirate (11.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg) will step into a starring role for Kevin Willard’s team that is hoping to maintain top-three status in the Big East. Say it with us: Mah-moo-kay-lahsh-vee-lee.MN

87. Franz Wagner, Michigan: Wagner was one of five players who last season averaged at least 10.6 points per game for the Wolverines. But with Zavier Simpson and Jon Teske out the door, he’ll assume an even larger share of the workload as he teams up with Isaiah Livers to lead Michigan into something of a reboot in 2020.– KB

88. MJ Walker, Florida State: The 6-5 guard is another former top-50 prospect poised to take a step forward as he enters his senior season looking to up his scoring average after developing a reputation as a high-quality defender. — DC

89. Wendell Moore, Duke: The five-star prospect in the Class of 2019 averaged 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds while starting 11 games for the Blue Devils last season. — GP

90. Timmy Allen, Utah: There are few players on this list who are truly underrated on a national level. Allen (17.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.0 apg) is absolutely one of them due to the fact Utah was merely 16-15 a season ago and Allen’s teammate, Rylan Jones, who missed making our list by 10-or-so spots, was one of the 20 best freshmen in America. — MN

91. Jordan Goodwin, Saint Louis: The top-returning shot-taker in the A-10, Goodwin returns as a senior for Saint Louis to claim the throne of the most productive player in the league. He averaged an astounding 15.5 points and 10.4 boards last season at just 6-3, and is again in line to be the team’s most reliable producer as Travis Ford and Co. gun for the conference crown. — KB

92. Derek Culver, West Virginia: The Mountaineers have a deep cast of proven talent, so don’t expect Culver to produce eye-popping offensive numbers, but the 6-10 forward is a great rebounder who does a lot for the Mountaineers. — DC

93. Chris Lykes, Miami: The Hurricanes senior is already listed among the best 25 scorers in school history after averaging 15.4 points last season. — GP

94. Caleb Love, North Carolina: The competition to crack the final 15 spots on our list was wild, but Love’s upside as a freshman point guard is too tempting not to slide him onto the list. He’ll be vital to giving Carolina a shot at top-four status in the ACC. — MN

95. James Akinjo, Arizona: A Georgetown import, Akinjo steps into a key role right away in Arizona after the Wildcats lost Zeke Nnaji, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, in addition to Nico Mannion and Josh Green. He should be able to pick up where he left off with the Hoyas as a high-volume scorer who can run the offense in Tucson while the team rebuilds around a youthful core. — KB

96. Armando Bacot, North Carolina: The Tar Heels are rightfully excited about their freshmen class, but Bacot’s freshman-to-sophomore progression could be a huge reason why this team returns to national prominence. — DC

97. DJ Carton, Marquette: Carton averaged 10.4 points in 20 games last season before leaving Ohio State’s program and transferring to Marquette. — GP

98. Will Richardson, Oregon: A former top-50 national recruit, Richardson is primed to step into a starring role as a junior for the Ducks as he returns as the team’s leading returning scorer. — KB

99. Jalen Pickett, Siena: This is a confidence pick, as the final four spots are reserved for our write-in votes and I achingly opted to pick Pickett over South Carolina’s AJ Lawson. Truth is, Pickett is a borderline-great point guard (15.6 ppg, 6.0 apg, 4.6 rpg) who would start on almost every team in America. — MN

100. R.J. Cole, UConn: The Huskies have  a star on its hands in James Bouknight, but don’t you dare overlook the underrated transfer addition of Cole. A Howard transfer, he averaged 22.5 points per game in two seasons for the Bison before moving on. He has an opportunity to step into a co-starring role next to Bouknight with senior Christian Vital exhausting his eligibility. — KB

101. Jayden Gardner, East Carolina: The AAC’s leading scorer from last season also averaged 9.2 rebounds per game and could help carry the long-suffering Pirates to respectability during his junior season. — DC