The men's college basketball season is quickly approaching and like we've done in years past at NCAA.com, I've gone through every available roster for the upcoming season to pick out who will be the best player for each jersey number. I used a combination of traditional and advanced statistics, firsthand viewing experience, postseason honors from the 2021 season and roster analysis in determining these selections. These opinions are mine and mine alone.
Note that no jersey number has a digit larger than five because officials must be able to signal a player's jersey number to the scorer's table with one hand. That's why numbers such as No. 16, No. 26 and No. 36 aren't available.
No. 0 – Marcus Sasser, Houston
Other players to watch: Antoine Davis (Detroit), Timmy Allen (Texas), Kevin Obanor (Texas Tech), Stanley Umude (Arkansas), Boogie Ellis (USC), Noah Gurley (Alabama), Will Richardson (Oregon), Benedict Mathurin (Arizona), Kyle Lofton (St. Bonaventure), Avery Anderson III (Oklahoma State), Wendell Moore Jr. (Duke), Michael Devoe (Georgia Tech), Geo Baker (Rutgers), Myreon Jones (Florida), Noah Locke (Louisville), Jacob Gilyard (Richmond), Posh Alexander (St. John's), Logan Johnson (Saint Mary's), Nate Watson (Providence), Aminu Mohammed (Georgetown), Nelly Cummings (Colgate), Khalil Shabazz (San Francisco), Eli Scott (Loyola Marymount), Khalif Battle (Temple)
As a sophomore, Marcus Sasser was the second-leading scorer (13.7 points per game) for a Houston team that made the Final Four and posted a top-10 defensive efficiency rating, per kenpom.com. He was named a second-team All-AAC selection last season after being named to the conference's all-freshman team the season prior.
All-American guard Quentin Grimes has moved on, so this is Sasser's team now. Given Houston's tempo (No. 332 nationally in 2021, per kenpom.com), Sasser's traditional stats may not appear as gaudy as other players, he'll arguably be the best player on an AAC contender and one of the top defensive squads in the country.
No. 00 – Grant Basile, Wright State
Other players to watch: Abdul Ado (Cincinnati), Mike McGuirl (Kansas State), Jason Strong (Northeastern), B.J. Maxwell (IUPUI)
We only found five DI players with the jersey number No. 00, making it one of the rarest jersey numbers in the sport. I could've gone with Cincinnati's Abdul Ado, who was named to the 2020-21 SEC All-Defensive Team while playing for Mississippi State but he only attempted roughly four shots per game. At Wright State, Basile averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game, while shooting 65 percent from two and 47.6 percent from three. According to kenpom.com, Basile's 66.2 effective field goal percentage ranked 11th nationally and his 124.6 offensive rating ranked 47th.
Basile was a second-team All-Horizon League selection.
No. 1 — Hunter Dickinson, Michigan
Other players to watch: Emoni Bates (Memphis), Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee), Andrew Jones (Texas), Paul Scruggs (Xavier), Jamaree Bouyea (San Francisco), Tyson Etienne (Wichita State), Isiaih Mosley (Missouri State), Trent Frazier (Illinois), Lucas Williamson (Loyola Chicago), Trevor Keels (Duke), Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech), Hyungjung Lee (Davidson), Joseph Yesufu (Kansas)
As a freshman, Dickinson helped Michigan win the Big Ten regular-season title and earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, while he was named a consensus second-team All-American, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an All-Big Ten honoree after averaging 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, while shooting better than 60 percent from the field and roughly 74 percent from the free throw line.
He shouldered the highest usage rating on Michigan (26.4 percent, per kenpom.com), yet he remained efficient. He finished last season ranked eighth in kenpom.com's national player of the year standings.
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No. 2 — Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Other players to watch: Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Marcus Carr (Texas), Scotty Pippen Jr. (Vanderbilt), Isaiah Wong (Miami (FL)), Kendall Brown (Baylor), Jalen Duren (Memphis), Caleb Love (North Carolina), Sahvir Wheeler (Kentucky), Julian Champagnie (St. John's)
Entering the 2021-22 campaign, Timme, a second-team All-American last season, is arguably the favorite to win national player of the year next spring. Playing for a No. 1-seeded Gonzaga team that took a 31-0 record into the national championship game, he was the team's leading scorer (19 points per game) and rebounder (seven rebounds per game), while averaging 2.3 assists per game and shooting 67.7 percent inside the arc.
No. 3 — Johnny Juzang, UCLA
Other players to watch: Max Abmas (Oral Roberts), Kendric Davis (SMU), Courtney Ramey (Texas), Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga), Isaiah Mobley (USC), JD Davison (Alabama), JaQuori McLaughlin (UC Santa Barbara), Matt Bradley (San Diego State), Landers Nolley II (Memphis), Javonte Perkins (Saint Louis), TyTy Washington (Kentucky), Prentiss Hubb (Notre Dame)
Juzang largely fueled UCLA's historic run from the First Four to the Final Four in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, where he was the leading scorer with 137 points — 15 more than Timme, who finished second in scoring. He received All-NCAA tournament honors for his efforts.
After transferring from Kentucky, Juzang's minutes-per-game average climbed by 20 per night from 12.3 to 32.3, which he turned into 16.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, while shooting 50 percent from two, 35 percent from three and nearly 88 percent from the free throw line.
If Juzang can consistently produce as he did in the NCAA tournament, where he scored at least 23 points four times in six games after doing so just four times in the previous 21 games, then he could play his way onto first-team All-America lists next spring.
No. 4 — Darius Days, LSU
Other players to watch: AJ Green (Northern Iowa), Fatts Russell (Maryland), Caleb Mills (Florida State), ShanQuan Hemphill (Drake), Armaan Franklin (Virginia), Desmond Cambridge Jr. (Nevada), Braden Norris (Loyola Chicago), Tyrese Martin (UConn), Jordan Usher (Georgia Tech), Nathan Cayo (Richmond), Jericole Hellems (NC State), Dwight Wilson III (Ohio)
While there arguably isn't as much top-end star power for the No. 4 jersey number compared to other single-digit numbers, there was still some tight competition for this honor. I chose Days, who averaged 11.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game while posting the 24th-best offensive rating in the country (128.0), per kenpom.com.
Days, a 6-7 forward, shot 40 percent from three on 130 attempts and he made two-thirds of his 2-point attempts. As LSU looks to replace the production of Cameron Thomas, Trendon Watford and Javonte Smart — and they'll also be without Illinois transfer Adam Miller due to injury — Days' raw scoring numbers could jump this season, even if it comes at the cost of his elite efficiency.
No. 5 — Paolo Banchero, Duke
Other players to watch: Andre Curbelo (Illinois), Jaden Shackelford (Alabama), Justin Moore (Villanova), Eric Ayala (Maryland), Armando Bacot (North Carolina), De'Vion Harmon (Oregon), Au'Diese Toney (Arkansas), Max Christie (Michigan State), Isaiah White (USC)
Banchero is believed to be the best freshman in the country this side of Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren. In the preseason, the 6-9 forward is projected to average 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, according to the advanced analytics site barttorvik.com. The Blue Devils debuted at No. 9 in the preseason AP poll, largely because of a freshman class that's headlined by Banchero, who projects to be enough of a difference-maker to potentially make Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's final season a special one.
No. 10 — Adam Flagler, Baylor
Other players to watch: Jalen Wilson (Kansas), Azuolas Tubelis (Arizona), Jabari Smith (Auburn), Tyger Campbell (UCLA), John Fulkerson (Tennessee), Hunter Sallis (Gonzaga), Davion Mintz (Kentucky),Justin Lewis (Marquette), Vince Williams (VCU), Warith Alatishe (Oregon State), Malik Osborne (Florida State), Wynston Tabbs (East Carolina), Samuell Williamson (Louisville), Bryce Nze (Butler)
Adam Flagler played a critical role in Baylor's 2021 national championship run, as the team's fourth-leading scorer (9.1 points per game) and the team's second-most accurate 3-point shooter among rotation players (43.4 percent). He also averaged 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
Flagler, however, didn't start a single game last season. He did average 22.8 minutes per game, though, so he played more minutes than he sat, and now he projects to be a top-three scorer for the Bears. Flagler ranked as the 12th-most efficient player in the country last season with an offensive rating of 130.2, per kenpom.com, and while it's much easier to post numbers that efficient when you're a secondary scoring option, Flagler is still an elite-shooting, low-turnover threat on offense who can keep Baylor among the best teams in a crowded Big 12.
No. 11 — Remy Martin, Kansas
Other players to watch: James Akinjo (Baylor), Jeenathan Williams (Buffalo), Chris Lykes (Arkansas), Kyler Edwards (Houston), Jaiden Delaire (Stanford), Lester Quinones (Memphis), Keyontae Johnson (Florida), Fardaws Aimaq (Utah Valley)
After spending four seasons at Arizona State, where he was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, Remy Martin transferred to Kansas in the offseason and he was recently named the Big 12's preseason player of the year. Last season, Martin averaged 19.1 points, 3.7 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. He led the Pac-12 in usage rate in conference play, per kenpom.com, at 32.3 percent, and he drew the most fouls (6.5 per 40 minutes), but on a talented Kansas team, Martin's share of the offense will likely decrease, although his efficiency could improve as a result.
No. 12 — Colin Castleton, Florida
Other players to watch: Deandre Williams (Memphis), Taz Sherman (West Virginia), Victor Bailey Jr. (Tennessee), Amadou Sow (UC Santa Barbara), Devante' Jones (Michigan), Keion Brooks Jr. (Kentucky), Michael Flowers (Washington State), Jabari Walker (Colorado), Tyler Polley (UConn), Miller Kopp (Indiana), Tramon Mark (Houston), Theo John (Duke)
In his first season at Florida, Colin Castleton had a breakout junior season in which he averaged 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, while playing a career-high 25.7 minutes per game, after playing only 7.9 minutes per game as a sophomore at Michigan. Castleton shot 60 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line, where he had four attempts per game.
After starting last season with four consecutive single-digit scoring performances, Castleton broke the 20-point barrier in back-to-back games and he scored in double figures 16 times in the team's final 20 games, including a 19-point, 14-rebound double-double against Virginia Tech in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
If Castleton can continue — and even improve upon — that consistency, then there could be a lot more double-doubles in his future in the 2021-22 season.
No. 13 — Alex Barcello, BYU
Other players to watch: Jahvon Quinerly (Alabama), Dawson Garcia (North Carolina), Isaac Likelele (Oklahoma State), Bryce Hamilton (UNLV), Walker Kessler (Auburn), Jack Ferguson (Colgate), Quincy Guerrier (Oregon), Brandon Mahan (UCF), Drew Peterson (USC), Jeremiah Bailey (Pacific), Hakim Hart (Maryland)
Alex Barcello, who started his collegiate career at Arizona, had a breakout senior season in which he was named a first-team All-WCC selection after averaging 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.0 steal per game. His 47.2 3-point percentage ranked 15th nationally, and he was also effective at drawing fouls; he attempted 3.5 free throws for every 10 field goal attempts and he shot 85 percent from the free-throw line.
No. 14 — Nate Laszewski, Notre Dame
Other players to watch: Jared Rhoden (Seton Hall), Justice Sueing (Ohio State), Marcus Santos-Silva (Texas Tech), Caleb Daniels (Villanova), Moussa Diabate (Michigan), Bryce Williams (Oklahoma State), Emmanuel Akot (Boise State), Luke Frampton (Davidson), Tyler Harris (Memphis)
Nate Laszewski was an honorable mention All-ACC honoree last season after averaging 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while posting the eighth-best effective field goal percentage in the country (67.8 percent), per kenpom.com. Laszewski shot nearly 70 percent from 2-point range, 43 percent from three on 83 attempts and 71 percent from the free throw line, where he averaged roughly four attempts per game. He ranked just outside of the top 200 nationally in both defensive rebounding percentage (20.7 percent) and turnover rate (12.1 percent), per kenpom.com.
No. 15 — Zach Edey, Purdue
Other players to watch: Keegan Murray (Iowa), Myles Johnson (UCLA), Kevin McCullar (Texas Tech), Koby McEwen (Weber State), Noah Freidel (South Dakota State)
Picking the best player who wears jersey No. 15 in men's basketball this season was a challenge of projection. How will reigning Big Ten All-Freshman Team selections Zach Edey and Iowa's Keegan Murray develop as sophomores? Will Murray have a breakout 2022 season as the Hawkeyes try to replace the production of national player of the year Luka Garza, fellow NBA draft pick Joe Wieskamp and CJ Fredrick, who has since transferred to Kentucky? Will Edey's minutes remain limited (14.7 minutes per game as a freshman) as he plays behind reigning first-team All-Big Ten selection Trevion Williams and as many observers project his classmate Jaden Ivey to have a breakout sophomore campaign of his own?
How will Myles Johnson, who helped end Rutgers' NCAA tournament drought, fit in at UCLA, which returns all five starters from its Final Four run? Could Texas Tech's Kevin McCullar average a few more shots per game after the Red Raiders lost leading scorer Mac McClung?
We'll find out these answers soon, but in the preseason, I'll go with Edey, who averaged 8.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game last season, which once again, weren't gaudy numbers, but still very impressive when you keep in mind how little he played. He started the game on the bench in 26 of the 28 games he played and his per-40-minute averages were 23.6 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks, so he's very productive when he's on the floor, but he's splitting time in Purdue's frontcourt, like so many Boilermaker bigs before him. Edey shot almost 60 percent from the field, attempted six free throws for every 10 field goal attempts and he shot 71 percent from the free throw line.
If he played enough minutes to qualify, his 9.6 percent block rate (the percent of 2-point shots he blocked when he was on the floor), would've ranked 27th nationally, per kenpom.com.
No. 20 — Coryon Mason, Abilene Christian
Other players to watch: Chad Baker-Mazara (San Diego State), Da'Monte Williams (Illinois), Jaylon Tyson (Texas)
Coryon Mason was the second-leading scorer for an Abilene Christian team that upset No. 3 seed Texas in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. He averaged 10.6 points, 2.4 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game, while shooting 40 percent from three. He earned third-team All-Southland Conference honors and he was named to the All-Defensive Team as well.
No. 21 — Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
Other players to watch: Evan Battey (Colorado), Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (Villanova), Osun Osunniyi (St. Bonaventure), AJ Griffin (Duke), David Roddy (Colorado State), Liam Robbins (Vanderbilt)
Prior to the start of the season, Cockburn has been named preseason Big Ten Player of the Year and a preseason first-team All-American by numerous media outlets, as well as a top-five player in the sport, according to several prominent lists that ranked the top returning players. March Madness correspondent Andy Katz places Cockburn third among his top returning players.
As a sophomore, Cockburn was a consensus second-team All-American after averaging 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 65 percent from the field. According to Illinois, he was the only player in the country to average at least 15 points and nine rebounds per game last season while shooting at least 60 percent from the field.
No. 22 — Keve Aluma, Virginia Tech
Other players to watch: Caleb Houstan (Michigan), Allen Flanigan (Auburn), Andre Kelly (California), Anton Watson (Gonzaga), Myles Cale (Seton Hall), Darin Green Jr. (UCF), Nike Sibande (Pittsburgh), Kalib Boone (Oklahoma State), Tyree Appleby (Florida), Sean McNeil (West Virginia), Dzmitry Ryuny (San Francisco), Pete Nance (Northwestern), Gabe Kalscheur (Iowa State)
Keve Aluma was only five votes shy of being a first-team All-ACC selection last season when he averaged 15.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 blocks per game in his first season playing for Virginia Tech. He shot 53 percent from 2-point range, 35 percent from three and 72 percent from the free throw line, which gave him an offensive rating of 113.3 (306th nationally), per kenpom.com. He led the team in both offensive rebounding percentage (10.1 percent) and defensive rebounding percentage (21.3 percent), as well as block rate (5.2 percent).
No. 23 — Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
Other players to watch: Jaden Ivey (Purdue), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee), Jermaine Samuels (Villanova), Michael Weathers (SMU), Dane Goodwin (Notre Dame), Marcus Bagley (Arizona State), Kameron McGusty (Miami (FL))
Trayce Jackson-Davis was a first-team All-Big Ten pick last season, when he averaged a career-high 19.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game, while shooting 51 percent from the field. Jackson-Davis drew 7.2 fouls per 40 minutes, which ranked 10th nationally per kenpom.com, and he attempted almost two free throws for every three field goal attempts.
In a Big Ten Conference that's full of talented bigs, Jackson-Davis could be a first or second-team All-America candidate as a junior after he was a consensus third-team All-American selection in 2021.
No. 24 — Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
Other players to watch: Matthew Mayer (Baylor), Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers), Taevion Kinsey (Marshall), Noah Williams (Washington State), Jeremiah Davenport (Cincinnati), Nigel Pack (Kansas State), Abu Kigab (Boise State), Jae'Lyn Withers (Louisville), Justin Powell (Tennessee)
Jaime Jaquez Jr. was Johnny Juzang's running mate last season and the two second-team All-Pac-12 selections helped the Bruins reach the Final Four as a No. 11 seed. Jaquez was also named to the five-player Pac-12 All-Defensive Team.
In UCLA's six NCAA tournament games, he averaged 15.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, while shooting 47.8 percent from the field (33-for-69) and 62.5 percent from three (15-for-24). For the season, Jaquez averaged 12.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game, so his NCAA tournament averages were even better than his season-long averages.
No. 25 — Grant Sherfield, Nevada
Other players to watch: Ledarrius Brewer (East Tennessee State), Race Thompson (Indiana), Kyle Young (Ohio State), Tristan Clark (SMU), Nimari Burnett (Alabama), Adonis Arms (Texas Tech)
Grant Sherfield was a first-team All-Mountain West honoree in 2021 after transferring from Wichita State. Sherfield's scoring and assist averages more than doubled from his freshman to his sophomore season from 8.1 points per game to 18.6, and from 2.9 assists per game to 6.1. His shooting percentages also took notable leaps, from 38 percent from two to 47 percent, from 30 percent from three to 36 percent, and from 74 percent from the free throw line to 85 percent.
Sherfield's 39-percent assist rate ranked seventh nationally, per kenpom.com, so in addition to leading the Wolf Pack in scoring, he assisted on nearly four out of every 10 made baskets when he was on the floor.
No. 30 — Ochai Agbaji, Kansas
Other players to watch: Josiah-Jordan James (Tennessee), Jason Carter (Ohio), Aher Uguak (Loyola Chicago), Connor McCaffery (Iowa)
Agbaji was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection as a junior, when he averaged a career and team-high 14.1 points, along with 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game, while shooting a career-best 37 percent from three on almost seven attempts per game. He was an above-average offensive player in terms of efficiency — his offensive rating was 109.6 and the national average for teams was 102.2, per kenpom.com — and Agbaji's 12.1 turnover rate ranked just outside of the top 200 nationally.
No. 31 — Kellan Grady, Kentucky
Other players to watch: Nathan Mensah (San Diego State), Adam Thistlewood (Colorado State), Jan Zidek (Pepperdine), Robbie Beran (Northwestern), Seth Towns (Ohio State)
In four years at Davidson, Grady was a two-time first-team all-conference selection, including as a senior in 2021, and he was named to the second team twice. He averaged between 17 and 18 points per game in each season, giving him a career average of 17.4 points per game, along with 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steal per contest, while shooting 54.9 percent from two and 36.6 percent from three for his career.
Despite being Davidson's highest-usage player last season — he took almost 28 percent of the team's shots when he was on the floor, per kenpom.com — he had a turnover rate of just 12.4 percent. On an overhauled Kentucky roster, full of talented transfers and freshmen, Grady could prove to be the team's leading scorer.
No. 32 — E.J. Liddell, Ohio State
Other players to watch: Zach Freemantle (Xavier), Christian Bishop (Texas), Darryl Morsell (Marquette), JT Shumate (Toledo), Reggie Chaney (Houston), Matt Dentlinger (South Dakota State)
E.J. Liddell was named a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore after helping Ohio State earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament while being the Buckeyes' second-leading scorer at 16.2 points per game and their leading rebounder at 6.7 rebounds per contest. He also averaged 1.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game, while shooting 51.8 percent from 2-point range, 33.8 percent from three and 74.6 percent from the free throw line. With the loss of Duane Washington, who led Ohio State in scoring last season, Liddell has the opportunity to take on an even larger role on offense as a junior.
No. 33 — David McCormack, Kansas
Other players to watch: Tre Mitchell (Texas), Qudus Wahab (Maryland), Nick Muszynski (Belmont), Jalen Adaway (St. Bonaventure), Grant Golden (Richmond), Moussa Cisse (Oklahoma State)
A couple of players could prove this pick wrong, as reigning first-team All-A-10 selection Tre Mitchell (18.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 blocks per game in 2021) transferred to Texas in the offseason and the Longhorns are now ranked preseason No. 5. Former Georgetown center Qudus Wahab (12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game) joined preseason No. 21 Maryland via transfer as well.
But I went with Kansas' David McCormack, who notably was named to the six-player preseason All-Big 12 Team, while Mitchell was merely an honorable mention choice, as it remains to be seen who will be the top performers on a new-look Texas roster full of talented transfers. As a junior, McCormack had a breakout season in which he averaged 13.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 block per game while earning second-team All-Big 12 honors.
McCormack posted a solid free throw rate (he attempted just more than one free throw attempt for every three field goal attempts) and he shot 80 percent at the line, which is a productive mark for any player, but especially a big man. And despite posting the highest usage and shot rates on Kansas' roster, McCormack's 14.4 percent turnover rate was notable. He has shown year-over-year improvement in minutes played (10.7 to 14.7 to 23.1) and points (3.9 to 6.9 to 13.4), so if he can have another breakthrough as a senior, McCormack could potentially be Kansas' best, or most important, player.
No. 34 — Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Other players to watch: Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky), Justin Bean (Utah State), Josh Mballa (Buffalo), Alex Arians (South Dakota State), Jacob Groves (Oklahoma), Cheikh Mbacke Diong (UCF)
The combination of 7-foot freshman Chet Holmgren and the return of leading scorer Drew Timme is the reason why the 'Zags are ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP poll, even after they lost three of their top four scorers from last season's team that took an undefeated record into the national championship game. Holmgren is considered the best freshman in the country and he could very quickly enter the All-America and national player of the year discussions in which Timme already resides.
The advanced stats website barttorvik.com projects Holmgren to average 18.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game with an offensive rating of 130.
No. 35 — Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse
Other players to watch: Tanner Groves (Oklahoma), Ryan Davis (Vermont), Fabian White Jr. (Houston), Matthew Cleveland (Florida State), Douglas Wilson (South Dakota State)
As a junior, Boeheim wasn't even an honorable mention ACC selection, but he averaged 17.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 38 percent from three on eight attempts per game. He ended the 2021 season on a high note, scoring at least 12 points in each of his final 12 games, including seven games with more than 20 points. In Syracuse's five postseason games, which included a Sweet 16 run, Boeheim averaged 25.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 48 percent from three (25-for-52).
If Boeheim can continue his impressive postseason play from the 2021 season during the 2022 season, then he can play his way onto All-America lists next spring.
No. 40 — Collin Welp, UC Irvine
Another player to watch: Elijah Pepper (UC Davis)
Last season, Collin Welp was named a first-team All-Big West honoree after averaging a career-best 15.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He was the team's leading scorer, he ranked first in steals and he shared the team lead in rebounds per game. Welp's 26.8 defensive rebounding percentage ranked 26th nationally, per kenpom.com, and his 109.9 offensive rating ranked first on the Anteaters.
No. 41 — Jeriah Horne, Tulsa
Other players to watch: Sukhail Mathon (Boston University), Brock Bertram (Buffalo), Jacob Boonyasith (UMBC)
Jeriah Horne transferred back to Tulsa in the offseason after playing for Colorado last season, where he averaged 10.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent inside the arc and 39 percent from behind it. Horne's 116 offensive rating ranked 205th nationally, per kenpom.com, and his defensive rebounding percentage of 22.9 ranked 107th.
He helped Colorado earn a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament and beat Georgetown in the first round.
No. 42 — Jacob Young, Oregon
Other players to watch: Dylan Painter (Delaware), Ishmael El-Amin (Rhode Island), Dan Fotu (Saint Mary's), K.J. Hymes (Nevada), Mark Flagg (St. Francis (PA)), Malik Jefferson (Mount St. Mary's), Tomas Murphy (Vermont), Richard Harward (BYU)
Jacob Young was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection at Rutgers last season after averaging 14.1 points, 3.4 assists, 1.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game as he helped Rutgers end its NCAA tournament drought, which dated back to 1991. Young was Rutgers' second-leading scorer and top assist man while being the team's most accurate 3-point shooter among players who attempted at least 10 threes.
No. 43 — Eric Dixon, Villanova
Another player to watch: Jason Whitens (Michigan State)
I only found six current DI men's basketball players who wear No. 43, so there's little competition for this distinction.
As a redshirt freshman, Eric Dixon was Villanova's eighth-leading scorer last season at 3.0 points per game. Dixon arrived in Philadelphia as a talented freshman, ranked as one of the top 70 in the country, so there's reason to believe Dixon could have a bit of a breakout season. In his fourth game last season, he had a double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and three assists while playing 21 minutes in a win over Hartford.
No. 44 — Gaige Prim, Missouri State
Other players to watch: Nic Lynch (Lehigh), Gabe Brown (Michigan State), Alex Ducas (Saint Mary's), Kaleb Hunter (UNC Greensboro), Andre Jackson (UConn), Ryan Hawkins (Creighton), Brison Gresham (Texas Southern), Mitch Lightfoot (Kansas)
Last season, Gaige Prim helped Missouri State reach a 17-7 record, which marked the program's highest winning percentage since 2011. He was the team's second-leading scorer (16.7 points per game), leading rebounder (9.1 rebounds) and third-leading assist man (3.0 assists). Prim's 117.7 offensive rating ranked 150th nationally, per kenpom.com.
No. 45 — Rasir Bolton, Gonzaga
Other players to watch: Brady Manek (North Carolina), Parker Stewart (Indiana), Tyler Cochran (Ball State), Mason Madsen (Cincinnati)
Rasir Bolton arrived at Gonzaga in the offseason on an 18-game losing streak, because he played at Iowa State last season, which went 2-22. Bolton, who transferred to Iowa State from Penn State, averaged 15.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game last season. He drew 4.5 fouls per 40 minutes and he assisted on 26.4 percent of Iowa State's baskets when he was on the floor, per kenpom.com.
At Gonzaga, Bolton will often be the third or fourth offensive option on the floor on any given possession, so while his scoring average will likely decrease, his efficiency could increase.
No. 50 — Trevion Williams, Purdue
Other players to watch: Eric Williams Jr. (Oregon), Marcus Weathers (SMU), Austin Phyfe (Northern Iowa)
As a junior, Trevion Williams was named a first-team All-Big Ten selection and an AP honorable mention All-American after averaging 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He helped Purdue finish fourth in the competitive Big Ten and earn a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Williams led the country in shot percentage last season, per kenpom.com, as he attempted almost 37 percent of Purdue's shots when he was on the floor and his offensive rebounding percentage (17.5 percent) ranked fourth. He's the headliner on a Purdue team that's ranked No. 7 in the preseason AP poll.
No. 51 — James Butler, Drexel
Other players to watch: Rienk Mast (Bradley), Brevin Galloway (Boston College), Darnell Brodie (Drake), Gavin Baxter (BYU)
James Butler was a third-team All-CAA selection last season after averaging 12.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He helped Drexel win the CAA tournament and qualify for the NCAA tournament last season. His 120.6 offensive rating ranked among the top 100 nationally, per kenpom.com, and his 28.1 defensive rebounding percentage ranked 14th.
No. 52 — Jair Bolden, Butler
Other players to watch: Kiyron Powell (Houston), Riley Sorn (Washington)
Last season, Bolden was Butler's third-leading scorer at 10.5 points per game, in addition to averaging 3.5 rebounds per contest. Bolden's 10.1 percent turnover rate ranked 78th nationally, per kenpom.com, and he played 81.5 percent of the available minutes, which was by far the highest on the team.
No. 53 — Xavier DuSell, Wyoming
Another player to watch: Tamar Bates (Indiana)
I only found seven players who are wearing No. 53 this season, so it's one of the least common numbers in the sport. As a freshman at Wyoming, DuSell averaged 9.7 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 45.6 percent on five 3-point attempts per game, which ranked 30th nationally. His 121 offensive rating ranked 90th in the country and he posted a low turnover rate at just 12.8 percent.
No. 54 — Russel Tchewa, South Florida
Other players to watch: Kuba Karwowski (Sam Houston), Niko Rocak (UC Santa Barbara)
Jersey No. 54 is another rare number in men's college basketball.
After transferring from Texas Tech, Russel Tchewa averaged 3.3 points and 2.4 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game at South Florida last season. He started three games and played in 22 total.
No. 55 — Eli Brooks, Michigan
Other players to watch: Jalen Coleman-Lands (Kansas), Sasha Stefanovic (Purdue), Jamari Wheeler (Ohio State), Braun Hartfield (Pepperdine), Harrison Ingram (Stanford)
As a senior at Michigan, Eli Brooks started every game for the second season in a row and he averaged 9.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 39.6 percent from three and 90.9 percent from the free throw line. His 117 offensive rating ranked 166th nationally, per kenpom.com. He helped the Wolverines win the Big Ten regular-season title, earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and finish in the top 10 in offensive and defensive efficiency nationally.