The best player from the past 10 seasons
The Field of 68's ranking of the 25 best players from the past 10 seasons concludes, revealing the top 5. Who should be No. 1? And who was left out overall?
It’s the end of July and arguably the most boring time for college basketball fans. Preparations for next season are still ongoing, so let’s discuss them before the weekend! Also, why not subscribe? You can start weekday mornings with us.
1. Who missed the cut for the Top 25 players countdown?
All week, The Field of 68 released its list of the 25 best players since the 2012-13 season. We’re down to the last five.
The Field of 68 @TheFieldOf68We’re into the top 15 of our countdown of the best players in college hoops from the last 10 years. And no, Kentucky fans….Anthony Davis will not be included. This list is played who appeared from the 2012-2013 season on. Thoughts on this group? https://t.co/W6NNENMyq4 https://t.co/6EWFf56V5z
For those who follow The Field of 68 on Twitter (as you should), you’ve probably guessed the top 5 names. And for those who read the Daily, I’ll give you the names of those who’ll be revealed today in alphabetical order.
Jalen Brunson (Villanova)
Buddy Hield (Oklahoma)
Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin)
Doug McDermott (Creighton)
Zion Willamson (Duke)
Once the final order is revealed, go ahead and @ us. People are already mad. But that’s just the final five. What about who didn’t make the list at all? Let’s highlight the stars who we considered.
Markus Howard (Marquette)
It’s rare for a high-major player to average 20+ ppg for one year, let alone three like Howard did. The 5-11 guard went for a career-high 27.8 ppg as a senior, including 51 points versus USC. An otherworldly shot creator, Howard was Big East Player of the Year in 2019 and made multiple All-American teams.
Cassius Winston (Michigan State)
One of the best passers in program and Big Ten history, Winston put up 18.7 ppg and 6.7 apg in the final two years for the Spartans. That includes 20 points and 10 assists against Zion’s Duke squad that propelled Michigan State to the Final Four. Winston also was Big Ten Player of the Year and an All-American that season.
Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga)
Slipper Still Fits @slipperstillfitI have zero idea how this list is being formulated but considering that Paolo Banchero is No. 25 it just goes to show that when Brandon Clarke doesn't appear in the top 5 he is one of the most underrate college basketball players in the past decade. https://t.co/b4r7ODjHfZ
The 6-8 athletic forward put up some huge stats at San Jose State, but no one (seriously, no one) watched those games. He transferred to Gonzaga and entered the limelight. He subsequently broke the program’s single-season blocks record (117) in 2019 and scored in double figures in every game, including 36 points against Baylor in the NCAA Tournament. Clarke also won WCC Defensive Player of the Year that same season.
Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia)
One of the program’s most decorated players, Brogdon was ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 en route to an Elite Eight run. The 6-5 guard locked down opponents’ best perimeter players and engineered Tony Bennett’s offense. He played an enormous role in UVA’s rise.
Payton Pritchard (Oregon)
As a freshman, Pritchard started on Oregon’s Final Four team. His role grew over the years, blossoming into the offense’s primary initiator and averaging over 20 ppg as a senior. He was awarded Pac-12 Player of the Year and made the All-American first team. Pritchard ended up playing 144 career games and was one of the best Pac-12 point guards since the start of the century.
2. Decision time is coming for these 2023 recruits
Several 2023 prospects have narrowed their choices or plan on committing in the next week (or so). Keep an eye on these four (Ugonna Kingsley is announcing Monday, but he’s locked onto Kentucky, so we didn’t include him below):
Andrej Stojakovic (top-30 wing)
Stojakovic, son of former NBA All-Star Peja Stojakovic, is a 6-6 elite shooter. UCLA is seen as the favorite for the California kid, though Stanford’s also been in the mix. His list of 6 finalists comes out today.
Scotty Middleton (top-50 small forward)
The 6-6 scoring wing is down to just 3 teams in Seton Hall, Ohio State, and UConn — though the Buckeyes seem to be in the front. But maybe new Seton Hall coach Shaheen Halloway can swing him. Middleton makes his decision on August 6.
Isaiah Collier (top-15 point guard)
The 5-star point guard from Marietta, Georgia, will certainly be heading out of state, but it’ll be to Ann Arbor or Los Angeles (UCLA or USC). No offense to Cincinnati, who made his recent final, but the other three are leading, with Michigan viewed as the favorite. Expect an announcement in the next few months.
Devin Royal (top-50 small forward)
The 6-6 native of Pickerington, Ohio, is narrowing his list to three today. Michigan State and Ohio State seem likely to make the cut. Perhaps a third team is added later, but it’s looking like a 50/50 battle between the Big Ten teams for Royal’s services.
3. Vegas ‘confident’ it’ll host a Final Four soon
With its sportsbooks and thousands of TV screens, Las Vegas is a hot spot for the NCAA Tournament’s first week.
What might it be like for a Final Four?
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that city officials think they could host a Final Four as early as 2027. The NCAA will announce its host cities for five Final Fours (2027-2031) in November and Lisa Motley, senior director of sports and special events for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told the paper that among the six other markets in contention, Vegas is the only city on the West Coast in contention. “We’re confident,” she told the paper.
Fans of Final Four schools flock to the host city. A Vegas Final Four? That’s like asking everyone to attend.
4. Time to announce the non-con schedules
We put all of ‘em in one place so you don’t have to go hunting.
St. John’s non-con is highlighted by Florida State and Iowa State.
Memphis lined up Alabama, Auburn, and Saint Louis, among others.
Washington will face Auburn and in-state rival Gonzaga.
BYU, Texas, and the Maui Invitational lead Creighton’s non-con.
Virginia Tech has Dayton and Oklahoma State as its top non-con opponents.
Illinois will face UCLA, Syracuse, and Texas.
5. How the Billikens’ backcourt stacks up
Saint Louis is one of the numerous teams set to go on a foreign tour this offseason (August 11-21) in preparation for the 2022-23 campaign. And now, they’ll be fully equipped, with Javonte Perkins reportedly cleared to play.
Jon Rothstein @JonRothsteinSaint Louis' Javonte Perkins (knee) has been fully cleared for the Billikens' foreign tour this summer, per Travis Ford. DNP last season. Averaged 17.1 PPG in 20-21. Significant Atlantic 10 News.
Perkins missed all of 2021-22 with a knee injury but averaged 17.1 ppg and 3.9 rpg on 38 percent 3-point shooting in the prior year. The fifth-year senior joins Gibson Jimerson (16.3 ppg; 42 percent beyond the arc) and Yuri Collins, who led the nation last season with 7.9 apg, as one of the nation’s elite backcourts.
Could it be the best in mid-majordom? Let’s dive in.
San Diego State
Potential MWC Player of the Year Matt Bradley is back for the Aztecs, along with standout defender, Adam Seiko. Joining them is All-WAC scorer Darrion Trammell, who averaged 18.7 ppg and 5.1 apg in two years at Seattle. He also was an all-league defender. If Trammell can add consistent scoring — SDSU’s an elite defense — this is a nasty backcourt.
Jordan “Jelly” Walker returns after averaging 20 ppg and 4.9 apg and taking home C-USA Player of the Year honors. He’s joined by Tavin Lovan (8.2 ppg), along with several incoming transfers: Eric Gaines, a double-digit scorer at LSU; Tyler Bertram, a 3-point assassin from Charlotte; and Ledarrius Brewer, who led East Tennessee State in scoring last season (14.6 ppg). The offensive potential makes the Blazers heavy favorites to win the league.
Charles Pride flew under the radar last season (it happens when your teammate leads the nation in scoring), but he averaged over 17.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg. Pride leads a loaded backcourt that includes Memphis transfer and former top-50 prospect Earl Timberlake, Saint Peter’s sharpshooter Doug Edert, and Chauncey Hawkins, a transfer from Saint Francis (PA) who averaged over 15.0 ppg in two seasons before missing last year with an injury.
Max Abmas, perhaps the game’s best scorer in the past two seasons (22.8 ppg last season), anticipates one last ride. Also back are a pair of former Big 12 transfers in Issac McBride and Trey Phipps, who averaged 12.3 and 8.4 ppg, respectively. It’ll once again be one of the most potent mid-major scoring backcourts.
Jalen Moore was second nationally last season with 7.6 apg. He also can score (15.5 ppg). Joining him are a pair of former Big Ten players in Lorne Bowman (Wisconsin) and Rocket Watts (Michigan State). If either breaks out in a similar fashion as Jamal Cain last season, the Horizon League could have a new champ. Could it be Watts? The former top-30 recruit may have finally found a home.
Even if leading scorer Tucker DeVries is technically a forward, the trio of starting guards from last season’s 25-win team are back in D.J. Wilkins, Garrett Sturtz, and Roman Penn. All three are fifth-year seniors — so Drake can say that it has the oldest backcourt in the country.
Andrej Stojakovic lives in California, but his dad was an NBA star and a legendary player for which European national team?
Answer at the bottom
OFF THE CAROUSEL
Archie Miller wants more Atlantic 10 success
After a year off of coaching, Archie Miller is back in the same conference that put him on the national map. He led Dayton to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and returns to familiar territory as the new leader of Rhode Island.
Check out his interview with the Field of 68 on how he plans on taking over the A-10 once again.
THE FAST BREAK
Links as you dive into the recession debate.
South Alabama snagged a commitment from 2023 guard John Broom.
Boise State gave Leon Rice an extension through 2027.
Class of 2023 guard Jaydon Young is set to make a decision later this evening.
Check out Providence MBB social media for highlights of their class of ‘87 and ‘97 reunion.
Michigan State commit Jeremy Fears officially joins Overtime Elite while maintaining college eligibility.
Enjoy your weekend and make sure to share this with a friend!
Trivia Answer: Serbia and Montenegro, also known as the FR Yugoslavia team