Unlike the NBA, college rankings do not take into account potential. Instead, they are based on the players we think will have the most impact this season. After talking with coaches and studying film all summer, this is a list of the most dominant players in the country currently playing at the college level.
It’s no surprise that upperclassmen dominate the top rankings. These rankings reflect our expectations of the young players in the country.
Drew Timme | Gonzaga | Senior
For the second year in a row, Timme is the top player. He’s a 6-foot-10 forward who led the Zags to the NCAA Tournament’s top seed last season. His presence has helped boost the team’s ranking in the preseason AP poll.
Oscar Tshiebwe | Kentucky | Senior
A dominant force in the college basketball landscape last season, Tshiebawe became the fifth member of the Wildcats to win the national player of the Year award. He was able to do so after becoming the first athlete in over four decades to average over 15 rebounds per game.
Armando Bacot | North Carolina | Senior
In college basketball, Bacot showed a lot of potential last season. During the middle of the season, his North Carolina team was in danger of missing out on the NCAA Tournament, but he came through and led the Tar Heels to the title game. With a healthy and returning Bacot, the Tar Heels are expected to be a deep and dangerous team.
Marcus Sasser | Houston | Senior
After reaching his potential during the middle of the season, a toe injury prevented him from fully participating in the rest of the season. He was named the Preseason Player of the Year by the American Athletic Conference. As a senior, the 6-foot-1 guard is vital to Houston’s success this season. He’s capable of shooting from beyond the three-point line and significantly impacting the team’s offense.
Trayce Jackson-Davis | Indiana | Senior
Due to the presence of several talented big men returning to college, Jackson-Davis was able to earn a spot on our list. He’s an important component of Indiana’s success this season after leading the team to its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in two years. He averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds last season.
Hunter Dickinson | Michigan | Junior
The value of Hunter Dickinson may be understated, even though he’s already made a name for himself in college. Through two seasons, he’s already been able to average 16.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Michigan relies heavily on him as a post distributor, rebounder, and paint scorer, and he could end up being one of the top three players of value in the country in the next couple of months.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. | UCLA | Senior
Jaquez Jr. is on our list of seniors contributing significantly to their teams’ success this season. After losing its two leading scorers from last season, UCLA benefited greatly from the return of Jaquez, who could average 13.9 points per game.
Zach Edey | Purdue | Junior
After the departure of Trevion Williams, Edey is a vital component of Purdue’s frontcourt this season. He’s a 7-foot center who can play various roles and contribute to the team’s success. If he can avoid foul trouble and injury, he can become a top rebounding and scoring center in the Big Ten.
Kendric Davis | Memphis | Super Senior
After averaging 19.4 points and 4.4 assists at SMU, Davis was named the American Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year. His recruitment allowed Penny Hardaway to coach in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.
Caleb Love | North Carolina | Junior
Although we’re not as bullish on Love as we were earlier, he’s still expected to have a tremendous junior season if he can make his shots and contribute to the team’s success. During the Final Four and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, he had 28 and 30 points, respectively. His shooting accuracy has to improve to become a more effective player. Love’s ability to shoot from beyond the arc and draw multiple defenders makes him an attractive prospect for NBA scouts.