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Andy Wittry | | October 11, 2018

We picked the best current college basketball player for every jersey number

Kansas' Udoka Azubuike defends West Virginia's Sagaba Konate

Since the college basketball season has officially started and we don't have on-court action to discuss and dissect yet, we took it upon ourselves to comb through hundreds of rosters and find the best player for every single jersey number.

A quick reminder: The digits on college basketball jerseys can't be greater than five because officials have to be able to signal a player's number to the scorer's table with one hand. That means there are only 36 numbers available for college basketball players (0 through 5, 10 through 15, 20 through 25, etc.). We had to dig deep to even find players who will wear No. 43, No. 51 or No. 53 this season.

Here are some ground rules. Players have to be active college basketball players to be considered, meaning players who are sitting out this season after transferring in the offseason aren't eligible.

MORE: What we learned from the NCAA tournament's oldest box score

Also, this isn't an NBA mock draft and we're not projecting who will have the best overall career.

We're simply looking at who is currently the best college basketball player, using stats from last season and years prior to look ahead at the upcoming season.

Here is the best college basketball player for each jersey number.

Vincent Carchietta | USA TODAY Sports Images Marquette guard Markus Howard drives to the rim

#0 – Markus Howard, Marquette

This comes down to a matter of preference. Boston College's Ky Bowman and Nebraska's James Palmer Jr. both have a very strong case to be the best "zero" in the country. Bowman averaged 17.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a sophomore, while Palmer averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in a First Team All-Big Ten campaign.

But we're going with the All-Big East Second Teamer Howard, who averaged 20.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game on 46.4%/40.4%/93.8% shooting. Palmer had one 30-point game last season and Bowman had a season-high of 30 points last year, while Howard eclipsed that mark on six occasions in the 2017-18 season, including a career-high 52 at Providence.

He led the country with a 54.7 percent three-point percentage as a freshman (on 4.8 attempts per game, so he wasn't shy from behind the arc) and even as his usage rate and shot attempts climbed as a sophomore, Howard still managed a 114.5 offensive rating. Howard is on the short list of the best shooters in the country and he can take over a game in a way that few other players can when he's hot from outside.

Other notable players:

  • Ky Bowman, Boston College
  • James Palmer Jr., Nebraska
  • Romeo Langford, Indiana
  • Naz Reid, LSU
  • James Palmer, Nebraska
  • Phil Cofer, Florida State
  • Quade Green, Kentucky
  • Kyle Allman, Cal State Fullerton
  • Josh Cunningham, Dayton
  • Nick Weatherspoon, Mississippi State
  • Pookie Powell, La Salle

RELATED: March Madness 2019 dates and schedule

Thomas Shea | USA TODAY Sports Images Kansas forward Dedric Lawson averaged nearly a double-double at Memphis

#1 – Dedric Lawson, Kansas

With apologies to the latest – and dare we say, biggest ever – mixtape phenom, Duke's Zion Williamson, Kansas forward Dedric Lawson averaged 19.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals in his last season playing at the high-major level. Lawson spent two years at Memphis before transferring to Kansas with his brother K.J.

After sitting out last season, the brothers will suit up for the Jayhawks this season and they're a major reason why Kansas will start at or near the top of the AP Top 25 poll.

Other notable players:

  • Zion Williamson, Duke
  • Charles Matthews, Michigan
  • Justin James, Wyoming
  • Anthony Cowan, Maryland
  • B.J. Taylor, UCF
  • Josh Langford, Michigan State
  • Jared Harper, Auburn
  • Bol Bol, Oregon
  • Remy Martin, Arizona State
  • Desmond Bane, TCU
Brian Fluharty | USA TODAY Sports Images Duke freshman Cam Reddish should be an immediate-impact player

#2 – Cam Reddish, Duke

Duke is no stranger to compiling impressive freshman classes. Just look at the Jahlil Okafor-Tyus Jones-Justise Winslow-Grayson Allen class that won a national title in 2015 or the Blue Devil's 2016 class featuring Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Frank Jackson, Marques Bolden and Javin DeLaurier.

Well, this year's group could potentially be the most impressive yet with Reddish, R.J. Barrett, Zion Williamson, Tre Jones and Joey Baker.

Reddish, a 6-8, 218-pound forward, was named a McDonald's All-American and Mr. Pennsylvania Basketball after his senior year of high school. He averaged 23.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game on the Nike EYBL Circuit last year and should step into an immediate-impact role at Duke.

The biggest question for Duke and the Blue Devils' individual stats will be how Reddish, Barrett and Williamson, who are all 6-7 or 6-8 forwards, share the floor together.

Other notable players:

  • Grant Williams, Tennessee
  • Ashton Hagans, Kentucky
  • Shamorie Ponds, St. John's
  • Marquise Reed, Clemson
  • Bryce Brown, Auburn
  • Luwane Pipkins, UMass

MORE: 11 under-the-radar players to watch this season

Rick Osentoski | USA TODAY Sports Images Purdue's Carsen Edwards is among the contenders for Big Ten Player of the Year

#3 – Carsen Edwards, Purdue

Purdue's Carsen Edwards might be the preseason frontrunner for Big Ten Player of the Year and don't be surprised if he warrants some national player of the year buzz this fall. Advanced statistics guru Ken Pomeroy ranked Edwards ninth in's Player of the Year standings for the 2017-18 season and seven of the eight players ahead of him are no longer in college.

As a sophomore, the 6-1 guard averaged 18.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 50.6%/40.6%/82.4% shooting from the field, three-point range and the free throw line, respectively.

Other notable players:

  • Tres Tinkle, Oregon State
  • Tremont Waters, LSU
  • Jordan Murphy, Minnesota
  • Chris Clemons, Campbell
  • Payton Pritchard, Oregon
  • Keldon Johnson, Kentucky
  • Tre Jones, Duke
  • Jalen Hudson, Florida
  • Jeremiah Martin, Memphis
  • James Bolden, West Virginia
  • Quentin Goodin, Xavier
  • Fletcher Magee, Wofford
  • Robert Franks, Washington State
David Butler II | USA Today Sports Images UConn's Jalen Adams takes a jump shot

#4 – Jalen Adams, UConn

Jalen Adams was a Second Team All-AAC guard last season after averaging 18.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the Huskies. Adams shouldered a heavy load offensively, taking 30 percent of the team's shots on the floor, while also registering a 30.5 percent assist rate, meaning he was incredibly valuable to UConn as both a scorer and creator for his teammates.

Other notable players:

  • Eric Paschall, Villanova
  • Vasa Pusica, Northeastern
  • Matisse Thybulle, Washington
  • Otis Livingston, George Mason
  • Jaylen Hands, UCLA
  • Chase Jeter, Arizona
  • Skylar Mays, LSU
  • Shelton Mitchell, Clemson
Dan Hamilton | USA Today Sports Images Duke's R.J. Barrett dunks

#5 – R.J. Barrett, Duke

There's a large selection of very good players who wear No. 5 but Barrett is our choice and here's why. In Duke's three exhibition games in Canada in August, the 6-7, 202-pound forward recorded the following stat lines:

  • 34 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block
  • 35 points and nine rebounds
  • 23 points and 10 assists

He's arguably the most talented freshman in the country who a year ago led Canada to a win over the U.S. in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2017 with 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. The U.S. roster included three 2018 NBA Draft picks – No. 19 Kevin Huerter, No. 20 Josh Okogie and No. 45 Hamidou Diallo – in addition to a plethora of familiar names for college basketball fans (Purdue's Carsen Edwards, Oregon's Payton Pritchard and Kentucky's PJ Washington) and promising incoming freshmen (Duke's Cameron Reddish, Indiana's Romeo Langford, Kentucky's Immanuel Quickley and Oregon's Louis King).

Villanova's Phil Booth has won two national championships, Virginia's Kyle Guy is coming off of a First Team All-ACC season and Michigan State's Cassius Winston ranked in the top five in both assist rate and three-point percentage last season, but if Barrett keeps up a similar pace as he did during Duke's exhibitions, he projects to have the best season of the bunch.

Other notable players:

  • Lindell Wigginton, Iowa State
  • Nassir Little, North Carolina
  • Kyle Guy, Virginia
  • Phil Booth, Villanova
  • Immenual Quickley, Kentucky
  • Cassius Winston, Michigan State
  • CJ Massinburg, Buffalo
  • Quentin Grimes, Kansas
  • Admiral Schofield, Tennessee
  • Justin Robinson, Virginia Tech
  • Marques Townes, Loyola Chicago
Brett Davis | USA TODAY Sports Images Nevada's Caleb Martin blocks a shot

#10 – Caleb Martin, Nevada

The reigning Mountain West Player of the Year, Caleb Martin averaged 18.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assist and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the field, 40.3 percent from three and 74.9 percent from the free throw line for Nevada. He's a versatile player at 6-7 who served as the primary offensive option for a 29-win Wolf Pack team last season.

The return of Martin, his twin brother Cody and teammate Jordan Caroline gives Nevada a core that could warrant a preseason top-10 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll.

The best of the rest:

  • Daniel Gafford, Arkansas
  • Darius Garland, Vanderbilt
  • Jaylen Fisher, TCU
  • Temple Gibbs, Notre Dame
  • Jose Alvarado, Georgia Tech
Christopher Hanewinckel | USA TODAY Sports Images Nevada's Cody Martin celebrates

#11 – Cody Martin, Nevada

No, this isn't a typo. Yes, we think that twins and teammates Caleb and Cody Martin are the best players in the country who wear jersey No. 10 and No. 11, respectively. You've already heard our pitch for Caleb but even though they're identical twins, their games do have some differences.

Cody Martin slid to point guard – a position he had only played "once or twice" and not since high school – after teammate Lindsey Drew tore his Achilles last season and he led the Wolf Pack to the Sweet 16. Cody actually had a higher offensive rating (116.5) than his brother Caleb, who averaged more points per game in the 2018 season.

Cody averaged 14 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.5 blocks per game, along with a 24 percent assist rate (meaning he assisted on roughly one of every four Nevada baskets when he was on the floor). Much of the value of Martin, the reigning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, comes on that end of the floor, where his 4.5 percent block rate and 2.7 percent steal rate were both nationally ranked.

In a nutshell, Martin is a 6-7 forward who made 55 percent of his two-point attempts, who can also play point guard and who averages a block and a half per game as a defensive stopper. Not bad.

Other notable players:

  • Jontay Porter, Missouri
  • Ty Jerome, Virginia
  • Lamar Stevens, Penn State
  • Oshae Brissett, Syracuse
  • Simisola Shittu, Vanderbilt
  • Alpha Diallo, Providence
  • Quinndary Weatherspoon
  • Courtney Stockard, St. Bonaventure
  • Eli Cain, DePaul
Amber Searls | USA TODAY Sports Images Virginia's De'Andre Hunter shoots against Georgia Tech

#12 – De'Andre Hunter, Virginia

At first glance, De'Andre Hunter's per-game stats from the 2017-18 season may not blow you away – 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

But keep in mind that Virginia played at the slowest tempo nationally (meaning the Cavaliers had fewer offensive possessions per game, on average, than every other DI team), Hunter was the team's sixth man and it was his first season playing collegiately after redshirting the previous season.

An athletic, 6-7 guard who shot 52.5 percent inside the arc and 38.2 percent behind it, Hunter's 115.1 offensive rating was the second-best among Virginia's rotation players. He averaged just under 20 minutes per game, making his per-40-minute numbers impressive at 18.4 points and 7.1 rebounds.

With the graduation of Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins and Nigel Johnson, Hunter should slide into a starting role as a redshirt sophomore, making him poised for a breakout season.

Other notable players:

  • Kerwin Roach II, Texas
  • Evan Boudreaux, Purdue
  • Dazon Ingram, Alabama
  • Carl Pierre, UMass
  • Jason Dunne, Hartford
Trevor Ruszkowski | USA TODAY Sports Images Indiana's Juwan Morgan dunks on Ohio State

#13 – Juwan Morgan, Indiana

Last season Juwan Morgan was responsible for 5.0 win shares, which estimates the number of wins for which a player is responsible, for 16-15 Indiana. That means Morgan was responsible for roughly a third of the team's wins.

Take, for example, the Hoosiers' win over Notre Dame in December, when the Irish led by as many as 13 points in the second half, only for Morgan to score the final eight points of regulation (and Indiana's last 12 points to end the half) to force overtime. He scored eight more in OT to finish with 34 points and 11 rebounds with former All-American Bonzie Colson in the opposing frontcourt.

Morgan averaged 16.5 pionts, 7.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, while shooting 63 percent on two-point attempts. While his three-point shooting (30.2%) and free throw shooting (63.1%) have room to improve, Morgan impacts the game on both ends of the floor and he does almost everything efficiently.

Other notable players:

  • Kris Wilkes, UCLA
  • K.J. Lawson, Kansas
  • Myles Powell, Seton Hall
  • Cameron Johnson, North Carolina
  • Josh Perkins, Gonzaga
  • Clayton Custer, Loyola Chicago
  • Joey Baker, Duke
  • V.J. King, Louisville 
  • Desean Murray, Western Kentucky
  • Charles Williams, Howard

#14 – Ryan Taylor, Northwestern

Northwestern coach Chris Collins enrolled one of the highest scoring transfers available in the offseason in former Evansville guard Ryan Taylor. The new Wildcat led the country with a 40.7 percent shot rate for the Purple Aces last season as he averaged 21.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

Taylor has great size at 6-6 and he shot 42.4 percent from behind the arc last season. Luckily for him, it's unlikely he'll be asked to do nearly as much offensively this season for Northwestern with veteran teammates Vic Law, Dererk Pardon and Aaron Falzon returning, which means Taylor could score even more efficiently in the 2018-19 season.

Other notable players:

  • Ahmaad Rorie, Montana
  • Khalil Ahmad, Cal State Fullerton
  • Tyler Herro, Kentucky
  • Elijah Thomas, Clemson
  • Isaac Copeland, Nebraska
  • Terance Mann, Florida State
  • Lindsey Drew, Nevada
  • Ryan Cline, Purdue
Logan Bowles | USA TODAY Sports Images UNC Wilmington's Devontae Cacok pumps up the crowd

#15 – Devontae Cacok, UNC Wilmington

All UNC Wilmington forward Devontae Cacok did last year was average 17.7 points and a national-best 13.5 rebounds per game in a season in which he was named a First Team All-CAA selection. At 6-7, he ranked second nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (17.7%) and third in defensive rebounding percentage (32%).

The season prior, he led the country with a ridiculous 80 percent field goal percentage.

Cacok knows what he is and that's not a three-point shooter. He didn't attempt a shot from behind the arc all season but it made him more efficient. His 114.1 offensive rating was the best on his team.

The UNC Wilmington senior drew an average of 6.5 fouls per 40 minutes last season, which allowed him to have a free throw rate of 52.3, meaning he attempted just more than one free throw for every two field goal attempts, on average.

Other notable players:

  • Jessie Govan, Georgetown
  • Noah Dickerson, Washington
  • Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
  • Lamont West, West Virginia
  • Isaiah Roby, Nebraska
  • Cane Broome, Cincinnati
  • Garrison Brooks, North Carolina
  • Jon Teske, Michigan
  • Alex O'Connell, Duke
Michael Thomas Shroyer | USA TODAY Sports Images Miami's Dewan Huell drives to the basket

#20 – Dewan Huell, Miami (FL)

The 6-11 Huell is Miami's leading returning scorer and rebounder after the forward averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore. His 113.4 offensive rating ranked in the 80th nationally among eligible players, according to, his offensive and defensive rebounding rates ranked in the top 10 in the ACC, and he shot 57.6 percent from the field. Huell tied for the team lead with 3.5 win shares.

Other notable players:

  • Ernie Duncan, Vermont
  • De'Ron Davis, Indiana
  • Marques Bolden, Duke
  • Nojel Eastern, Purdue
Robert Hanashiro | USA TODAY Sports Images Gonzaga's Rui Hachimura goes to dunk

#21 – Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga

We had three strong options – Hachimura, Texas' Dylan Osetkowski, Nevada's Jordan Brown. Brown is a 6-11 freshman forward who averaged 23.5 points and 13.1 rebounds per game last season to earn McDonald's All-American honors. Osetkowski is coming off of a season in which he made the leap from Tulane to become Texas' leading scorer.

We split the difference between high-level untapped potential and proven DI production with Hachimura, who saw his playing time increase nearly fivefold from his freshman to his sophomore season as he had a breakout year to average 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game off the bench for Gonzaga. While playing just 20.7 minutes per game in a sixth-man role, Hachimura's per-40-minute numbers were a team-best 22.4 points and 9.1 rebounds.

He had the second-best offensive rating on Gonzaga last season (120.2, compared to Osetkowski's 97.8 rating) while shooting 60.6 percent inside the arc and 79.5 percent from the free throw line. We think Hachimura can have another breakout season, especially if he can improve his 19.2 three-point percentage on limited attempts last season.

Other notable players:

  • Dylan Osetkowski, Texas
  • Jordan Brown, Nevada
  • Sterling Manley, North Carolina
  • Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, Villanova
Mark Zerof | USA TODAY Sports Images Kentucky's Reid Travis transferred from Stanford

#22 – Reid Travis, Kentucky

Kentucky Coach John Calipari got a good one in graduate transfer forward Reid Travis, who transferred to UK after averaging 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds in an All-Pac-12 First Team campaign as a redshirt junior at Stanford.

Wisconsin's Ethan Happ makes a good case to represent the "double twos" with his 17.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and more than a steal and a block per game averages as a junior, but Travis' 114.3 offensive rating (compared to Happ's 105.1), better free throw rate and free throw percentage, and expanding potential as a three-point shooter gives him the edge.

The best of the rest:

  • Ethan Happ, Wisconsin
  • Myles Cale, Seton Hall
  • Silvio De Sousa, Kansas
Kyle Terada | USA TODAY Sports Images BYU's Yoeli Childs pumps up the crowd

#23 – Yoeli Childs, BYU

Call this the Michael Jordan-turned-LeBron James Effect. It's no secret why No. 23 is wildly popular, especially among talented players, which made this one of the hardest choices just based on the sheer volume of players who wear the number.

With respect to a pair of talented freshmen in the state of Kentucky – Kentucky's EJ Montgomery and Western Kentucky's Charles Bassey – and a host of other key contributors for power conference programs, many of whom should have breakout seasons like Gonzaga's Zach Norvell Jr., Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver and Maryland's Bruno Fernando, we're going with the most productive No. 23, and that's BYU's Yoeli Childs.

As a sophomore, the Cougars' 6-8, 225-pound forward was a member of the All-WCC First Team after averaging 17.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game for a 24-win BYU team. Childs can protect the rim with his 6.2 percent block rate, which ranked in the top five percent of DI players, and despite being a low-post scorer, he was more likely to register an assist (14.6 percent assist rate) than turn the ball over (13.8 TO rate).

Other notable players:

  • EJ Montgomery, Kentucky
  • Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky
  • Bennie Boatwright, USC
  • Frank Howard, Syracuse
  • Zach Norvell Jr., Gonzaga
  • Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
  • Esa Ahmad, West Virginia
  • Bruno Fernando, Maryland
  • Romello White, Arizona State
  • Prince Ali, UCLA
  • Jeremiah Tilmon, Missouri
  • MJ Walker, Florida State
  • Kameron McGusty, Miami (FL)
  • Xavier Tillman, Michigan State
Brian Losness | USA TODAY Sports Images South Dakota State's Mike Daum takes a three

#24 – Mike Daum, South Dakota State

Let's show some love for the reigning two-time Summit League Player of the Year, who averaged 23.9 points and 10.3 rebounds per game as a junior. The 6-9, 235-pound forward was 22 shots and 11 free throws away from joining the 50/40/90 club last season as he shot 46.2 percent from the field, 42.5 percent from three and 85.1 percent from the free throw line.

Despite having one of the highest usage rates in the country – he took 36.3 percent of his team's shots when he was on the floor, the third-highest mark nationally – Daum remained efficient with a 59.5 true shooting percentage and a three-point accuracy that ranked in the top 100 at the Division I level.

Also considered:

  • Kenny Williams, North Carolina
  • Lagerald Vick, Kansas
  • Jordan Caroline, Nevada
  • Kerry Blackshear Jr., Virginia Tech
  • Joe Cremo, Villanova
  • Tacko Fall, UCF
  • Garrison Mathews, Lipscomb
  • Ed Polite, Radford
Rick Osentoski | USA TODAY Sports Images Syracuse's Tyus Battle celebrates

#25 – Tyus Battle, Syracuse

A prototypical Jim Boeheim guard, 6-6 guard Tyus Battle was an All-ACC Second Team selection and a semifinalist for the 2018 Jerry West Award, which honors the the best shooting guard in the country, after averaging 19.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a sophomore.

He played more minutes per game, on average, than any other player in the country (39 minutes per game) and he averaged 40.1 minutes per game in ACC play. Just think about that for a minute.

The best of the rest:

  • Tyler Cook, Iowa
  • PJ Washington, Kentucky
  • McKinley Wright IV, Colorado
  • Jalen Smith, Maryland
  • Cameron Krutwig, Loyola Chicago
  • Mamadi Diakite, Virginia
  • Kenny Goins, Michigan State
Billy Hurst | USA Today Sports Images South Carolina's Chris Silva takes a jump hook

#30 – Chris Silva, South Carolina

A key figure in South Carolina's Final Four run in 2017, 6-9 forward Chris Silva is one of the toughest players to contain in college basketball. He averaged 14.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.4 blocks per game as a junior.

Silva drew 9.2 fouls per 40 minutes last season, which ranked second nationally, and he actually attempted more free throws (283) than field goals (272). Just think about that for a minute. He's a beast on the boards with a 13.5 offensive rebounding percentage, which means he grabs almost one out of every seven South Carolina misses, and he had an offensive rating of 107.5 as one of the Gamecocks' primary options on offense.

Other notable names:

  • Luke Knapke, Toledo
  • TJ Haws, BYU
  • Marcus Bingham Jr., Michigan State
  • Ryan Funk, Marist
  • Ryan McMahon, Louisville
  • Jay Huff, Virginia
  • K.J. Smith, North Carolina
Geoff Burke | USA TODAY Sports Images Davidson's Kellan Grady shoots a jumper

#31 – Kellan Grady, Davidson

We're going to list the blind stat lines of two players.

Player A: 21.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.8 apg in 30.9 mpg on 46.3%/40.8%/85.5% shooting

Player B: 18.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.9 apg in 35.2 mpg on 50.1%/37.2%/80.4% shooting

Care to guess which players are responsible for the production listed above? Player A is Steph Curry – ever heard of him? – during his freshman season at Davidson and Player B is Kellan Grady's freshman year.

Curry is arguably the best shooter in the history of basketball and Grady was responsible for matching somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of Curry's production at the same age. Grady may not go on to be a multiple-time NBA champion and NBA MVP but at 6-5, he's one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the country at the college level.

Other notable players:

  • Seth Towns, Harvard
  • Max Strus, DePaul
  • Nick Rakocevic, USC
  • Jimmy Whitt, SMU
Rob Kinnan | USA TODAY Sports Images North Carolina's Luke Maye takes a jumper

#32 – Luke Maye, North Carolina

We'll start this by saying that if Maye is the No. 1 choice among No. 32s, then Kansas State's Dean Wade is choice No. 1a. The two players have incredibly similar statistical profiles but we're giving the edge to Maye, who took a major step forward as a junior, averaging 16.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, one steal and one block per game to earn All-ACC First Team honors.

As one of North Carolina's two primary scoring options, along with Joel Berry II, Maye had a 114.4 offensive rating, fueled by his 43.1 three-point percentage. He rebounded 10.3 percent of North Carolina's missed shots and 22.8 percent of his opponents' misses, putting him among the best rebounders in the ACC.

Maye played a critical role in North Carolina's run to the 2017 national championship with 10 points and nine rebounds against Texas Southern, 16 points and 12 rebounds against Butler and 17 points – including the game-winner – against Kentucky. He averaged a double-double in the NCAA tournament last season.

Other notable players:

  • Dean Wade, Kansas State
  • Ryan Welage, Xavier
  • Matt Haarms, Purdue
Jake Roth | USA TODAY Sports Marshall's Jon Elmore drives to the rim

#33 – Jon Elmore, Marshall

Perhaps the best player you likely haven't watched, Marshall guard Jon Elmore became the first Thundering Herd player to earn back-to-back First Team All-Conference USA honors. As a junior, the 6-3 Elmore averaged 22.7 points, 6.8 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, while shooting 52 percent on twos and 36 percent on threes, en route to becoming a Lute Olson Player of the Year finalist.

Marshall excelled in postseason play last season, earning Conference USA Tournament MVP honors before scoring 27 points on 13 shots in an upset win against Wichita State in the NCAA tournament. Elmore fills the stat sheet as much as any player in the country with six double-doubles and two triple-doubles last season. He scored in double figures in all 71 games he's played in the last two seasons, including two 38-point games as a junior.

Other notable names:

  • Killian Tillie, Gonzaga
  • Nick Perkins, Buffalo
  • David McCormack, Kansas
  • Grant Golden, Richmond
  • Jack Salt, Virginia
  • Nysier Brooks, Cincinnati
Charles Morgan Engel | USA Today Sports Images Northern Kentucky's Drew McDonald backs down a defender

#34 – Drew McDonald, Northern Kentucky

Northern Kentucky forward/center Drew McDonald earned First Team All-Horizon League and Lou Henson (mid-major) All-American honors as a junior after he led the conference with 18 double-doubles while averaging 17 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He was picked as the Horizon League's preseason player of the year last season and there's a good chance he'll be this fall.

McDonald is already the program leader in defensive rebounds (555) through three seasons and his defensive rebounding rate ranked 22nd nationally last season at 26.9 percent. He had a 34.4 three-point percentage, which is high enough for a center to keep defenses honest, plus he shot 54 percent on twos and 80 percent from the free throw line.

Other notable names:

  • Tevin Mack, Alabama
  • Jarron Cumberland, Cincinnati
  • Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State
  • Alex Hobbs, Boise State
  • David Knudsen, Marist
  • Bourama Sidibe, Syracuse
  • Jackson Rowe, Cal State Fullerton
Bob Donnan | USA Today Sports Images Kansas center Udoka Azubuike drives to the rim

#35 – Udoka Azubuike, Kansas

As a sophomore, Auzbuike led Division I in field goal percentage at 77 percent and he earned All-Big 12 Third Team honors. In his first full season playing college basketball, the 7-foot, 270-pound center was a starter on a 31-win Jayhawks team that swept the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles before advancing to the Final Four.

He averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Azubuike's efficiency inside the paint allowed him to have a team-best 121 offensive rating. He ranked in the top 80 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (12.4%) and block percentage (7.5%).

Other notable players:

  • Aric Holman, Mississippi State
  • Brady Manek, Oklahoma
  • Fabian White, Houston

#40 – Zac Cuthbertson, Coastal Carolina

Coastal Carolina's Zac Cuthbertson was second on the team in both scoring (14.7 points) and rebounding (6.8 rebounds) per game last season. The 6-7 forward shot 51.6 percent inside the arc and stretched the floor with almost one three-pointer per game.

Cuthbertson draws six fouls per 40 minutes, leading to a free throw rate of 58.3 percent that ranked 61st nationally and he shot 79.8 percent from the charity stripe.

#41 – Tyler Seibring, Elon

Tyler Seibring was named Elon's Most Valuable Player following a junior season in which the 6-9 forward was named to the All-CAA Second Team after averaging 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. He had a 119.5 offensive rating thanks to his 42.9 three-point percentage and 55.5 percent shooting inside the arc.

Seibring rarely turns the ball over – his 9.5 percent turnover rate ranked in the top 50 nationally – and he commits just 1.8 fouls per 40 minutes, meaning Elon's best player almost never has to worry about foul trouble.

Other notable names:

  • Aaron Menzies, Saint Mary's
  • Marcus DeBerry, Fort Wayne
  • Jacob Epperson, Creighton
  • Brock Bertram, Buffalo
  • Luke Worthington, BYU
  • Steffon Mitchell, Boston College
  • Jack White, Duke

#42 – Levi Bradley, Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois wing Levi Bradley has great size at 6-7 and provided a strong secondary option on offense with 14.6 points per game. He excels at getting to the free throw line, where he shot 83.6 percent last season on 134 attempts.

Bradley averaged 5.5 rebounds per game and recorded double-doubles of 25 points-14 rebounds, 18 points-17 rebounds and 18 points-10 rebounds as a junior.

He's also a presence defensively as he led NIU seven times in both blocks and steals in a game.

Other notable names:

  • Tommy Rutherford, UC Irvine
  • Ty Outlaw, Virginia Tech
  • Jeremy Hemsley, San Diego State
  • Brandon Huffman, North Carolina

#43 – Michael Finke, Grand Canyon

Michael Finke, a graduate transfer from Illinois, averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists for the Illini last season. As a 6-10 forward, he's a career 36.2 percent three-point shooter and he shot a career-best 62.9 percent inside the arc as a redshirt junior.

Patrick Gorski | USA Today Sports Images Michigan State's Nick Ward

#44 – Nick Ward, Michigan State

Listed at 6-8 and 245 pounds, Ward is a bit of a throwback player to a time before the position "stretch-four" flooded our basketball vernacular. But that doesn't make him any less effective in the college game.

He was the best offensive rebounder in the country as a sophomore, grabbing 18.2 percent of Michigan State's missed shots, and he drew an average of 8.1 fouls per 40 minutes, which was the fourth-most nationally. In short, he's hard to contain.

While he can be prone to foul trouble (and limited minutes as a result), averaging five fouls per 40 minutes played, Ward averaged 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game on 64.7 percent shooting last season. He had to share the frontcourt with a pair of lottery picks last season in Jaren Jackson Jr. and Miles Bridges, but he'll have the chance to shoulder an even larger percentage of the Spartans' offensive load as a junior.

If Ward's per-game averages ever approach his career per-40-minute averages of 27.1 points and 14.0 rebounds, look out.

Other notable names:

  • Isaiah Jackson, Providence
  • Zach Braxton, Weber State
  • Mitch Lightfoot, Kansas

#45 – Rashaan Holloway, UMass

Holloway was limited to 15 games during his junior season due to injury but the 6-10 forward/center was a regular starter for the Minutemen when healthy and averaged 9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game, while shooting an efficient 62.4 percent from the field.

As a sophomore, when Holloway played a full season, he ranked in the top seven in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage in A-10 play, while blocking nearly seven percent of opponents' shots and drawing 6.5 fouls per 40 minutes for the season.

Greg M. Cooper | USA TODAY Sports Images West Virginia's Sagaba Konate high fives a teammate

#50 – Sagaba Konate, West Virginia

Sagaba Konate averaged 10.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season while making 51 percent of his shots from the field and 79 percent of his free throws (a respectable mark, especially for a big man), but none of those stats come even close to describing the impact he has on the court.

Konate had a 15.6 percent block percentage last season, which means that he blocked almost one out of every six shots that opponents took while he was on the floor. He averaged 3.2 blocks per game and that doesn't include the countless others that he affected or dissuaded opponents from taking entirely because of his presence in the paint.

Other notable names:

  • Austin Wiley, Auburn
  • Eric Williams Jr., Duquesne
  • Elston Jones, UC Irvine

#51 – Max Mahoney, Boston University

BU forward Max Mahoney was an All-Patriot League Third Team selection and co-Team MVP honors last season after averaging 12.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He shot 60 percent from the field and scored at least 20 points on six occasions.

Other notable names:

  • Nicholas Baer, Iowa
  • Nate Fowler, Butler
  • Austin Davis, Michigan

#52 – Milik Yarbrough, Illinois State

In his first season playing for Illinois State after transferring from Saint Louis, forward Milik Yarbrough averaged the kind of numbers that let you get within striking distance of a triple-double on the right night. The 6-6 Yarbrough averaged 16.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game en route to being named a Missouri Valley Conference First Team selection, MVC Newcomer of the Year and a member of the MVC All-Tournament Team.

His 42.1 percent assist rate ranked fourth nationally and he got to the free throw line with regularity thanks to his impressive 51 percent free throw rate, meaning he averaged roughly one free throw attempt for every two field goal attempts.

#53 – Isaiah Crawley, Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern junior forward Isaiah Crawley will make the jump to the DI ranks this season after spending two years at Columbia State Community College, where he averaged 14.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, earning First Team All-TCCAA honors.

#54 – SaBastian Townes, Bryant

Bryant junior forward SaBastian Townes was limited to 22 games as a sophomore due to injury but he started 16 times and averaged 11.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He scored in double figures 13 times, including four 20-point games.

Jeffrey Becker | USA TODAY Sports Images Iowa's Luka Garza

#55 – Luka Garza, Iowa

Texas' Elijah Mitrou-Long and Middle Tennessee State's Antonio Green could both make cases for the best No. 55 as they prepare to suit up after transferring from Mount St. Mary's and UT Rio Grande Valley, respectively. They were higher per-game scorers in the 2017 season than Garza was last season, but the Iowa sophomore is far more efficient as a scorer and provides a strong rebounding presence at 6-11.

Iowa's reigning Newcomer of the Year started 26 of the Hawkeyes' 33 games, averaging 12.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, an assist and a block per game. He had a 122.3 offensive rating that ranked 87th nationally after shooting 34.8 percent on threes and 60.2 percent on twos.

Garza had a 12.8 percent offensive rebounding percentage and he grabbed 20.4 percent of opposing teams' missed shots, putting him among the top 15-20 rebounders in the Big Ten.

Other notable names:

  • Elijah Mitrou-Long, Texas
  • Antonio Green, MTSU
  • Shawn Williams, East Carolina
  • Evan Fitzner, Indiana
  • Eli Brooks, Michigan
  • Sasha Stefanovic, Purdue
  • Brison Gresham, Houston

Advanced stats courtesy of

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