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Alberto Camargo | | February 20, 2022

2022 first-time NBA All-Stars and what they achieved in college

2022 NBA All-Stars and their March Madness highlights

The 2022 NBA All-Star rosters have been announced and drafted, and there are six first-time participants in the star-studded game who played college basketball.

The 71st NBA All-Star Game will tip-off at 8 p.m. EST on TNT. Here are the fresh faces who will take the court in Cleveland on Feb. 20 and how their talent shined in college.

RANKINGS: AP poll | Andy Katz's Power 36 NET rankings

Team Durant

Ja Morant Murray State

Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Murray State

The 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year made an enormous leap from his freshman to sophomore year at Murray State. As a newcomer, he made a significant impact averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 assists per game as the Racers won the Ohio Valley Conference.

But Morant’s sophomore year was an explosion. Shouldering the load offensively, he doubled his scoring average and led all of Division I in assists. After repeating as conference champs, Morant became the first player since Draymond Green in 2012 to record a triple-double in the NCAA tournament. 

VIDEO VAULT: Ja Morant becomes March Madness legend with rare triple-double

He made NCAA history by becoming the first player to ever average 20 points and 10 assists per game in a season, earning him First Team AP All-American honors.

Andrew Wiggins Kansas

Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors), Kansas

Wiggins stands out among this year’s All-Stars as the one surprise inclusion. Given the hype train that followed him when he arrived in Lawrence, his pro career has had a strange trajectory.

In his one season at Kansas, though, Wiggins lived up to the standard. He averaged 17.1 points per game and finished with some stellar stat lines, such as a 17-point, 19-rebound day at Iowa State and a 41-point performance against West Virginia.

In combination with fellow All-Star Joel Embiid, Wiggins led the Jayhawks to the program’s 10th consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship.

CONTENDERS: Here are 10 national title contenders as we move closer to March

Dejounte Murray Washington

Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs), Washington

Murray’s Washington team in 2015-16 failed to make any waves on the national scene, only reaching the second round of the NIT, but the Seattle-born guard made sure he was noticed.

Murray started in all 34 games that season, averaging 16.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists. His best outing came in the first round of the NIT against Long Beach State when he dropped his first 30-point game of the season.

Team LeBron

Darius Garland Vanderbilt

Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers), Vanderbilt

Garland’s time in college was short but impactful. He arrived in Nashville as the top point guard in the class of 2018 and was selected to the All-SEC preseason second team. 

In his first collegiate game, Garland scored 24 points in an opening day win over Winthrop. Just three games later, he nearly broke a freshman scoring record at Vandy with a 33-point performance against Liberty. 

The next game would, unfortunately, bring the end of his season when he tore his meniscus early on against Kent State. Garland soon announced his intentions to enter the 2019 NBA draft, where he was selected fifth overall by Cleveland.

B1G UPSET: Michigan lands massive Big Ten win, routs No. 3 Purdue 82-58

Fred VanVleet Wichita State

Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors), Wichita State

VanVleet is the one player on this list who played all four years of college ball, and he made the most of them. 

As a freshman contributing off the bench, he was a part of the Shockers’ second-ever Final Four run. He scored crucial late points against No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the third round and against Ohio State in the Elite Eight.

The next season, VanVleet broke out as the team’s starting point guard. Averaging 11.6 points and 5.4 assists per game, he led the Shockers to the first 31-0 regular season in DI men’s basketball history.

By the time he finished his senior season, VanVleet was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and Wichita State’s all-time leader in assists, steals and games played.

Jarrett Allen Texas

Jarrett Allen (Cleveland Cavaliers), Texas

Like a number of others on this list, Allen was a one-and-done in college, averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. His 33 games in Austin were jam-packed with high-scoring nights and dominant rebounding performances.

Allen had his most spectacular night under the brightest lights. At a sold-out Allen Fieldhouse against then-No. 2 Kansas, he dropped season-highs in points (22), rebounds (19) and offensive boards (7).

Despite not seeing much team success on a Longhorns team that finished 11-22 that year, Allen caught enough eyes with his play to be selected No. 22 overall by the Brooklyn Nets in that year's NBA Draft.

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