LWOS’ preseason NCAA preview wraps up with the NCAA Preseason All-Americans. This season has been a long time coming and it appears there will be some great basketball. Certainly, preseason All-American predictions require a lot of guessing. While there are many great players that are left off, these fifteen guys have the best chances to earn some lofty praise.
2020-21 NCAA Preseason All-American Teams
First Team All-American
Remy Martin (ASU), Jared Butler (Baylor), Luka Garza (Iowa), Sam Hauser (Virginia), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova)
Obviously, if you win your conferences Player of the Year award, you will be closely considered for First Team All-American. On my first team, all five players won their conference’s Player of the Year.
Remy Martin is in a position to lead a talented Arizona State team that can really score. The Pac-12 does not get the respect that other conferences do, so Martin may have to go the extra mile. However, he is going to be in a position to score often, as well as lead the country in assists per game. I expect him to average somewhere around 18 points and 10 assists per game.
Jared Butler is not as well-known as some of the other guys on this team. However, he is easily one of the best guards in the nation. Butler is going to be the key to a wildly talented Bears team that can contend for a National Championship. He is going to have the ball in his hands constantly and if Baylor plays to their potential, Butler will be in the National Player of the Year picture.
Luka Garza was second to Obi Toppin in Player of the Year last season. Typically, it is difficult to repeat success. However, Garza has nearly his entire team back and gets a big addition in Jordan Bohannon. Those double teams that Garza sees may be limited with the talent around him. If Garza does see a steady double team then he will not be a First Team All-American. However, if that is the case, Iowa will be winning a lot of games so don’t worry Hawkeyes fans.
Sam Hauser is coming off a transfer season after leaving Marquette to join Tony Bennett and Virginia. He has a ton of game and can really score the ball. Virginia is always good and that alone will put their best player, which is clearly Hauser, on the national stage. The issue is Virginia does not score a lot which means players’ numbers are deflated. That may hurt Hauser a bit, but I expect this Cavaliers team to score more than years past.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is going to be the next stud from Villanova. Last season, as more of a contributor, Robinson-Earl showed some major flashes, but also struggled at times, like all freshmen. This season, he should take a major step forward and be a huge presence for the Wildcats. He can play all over the court, handle the ball, make plays, defend, and rebound. He is a true modern big and I expect him to flourish this season.
Second Team All-American
Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois), Collin Gillespie (Villanova), Marcus Zegarowski (Creighton), Corey Kispert (Gonzaga), Scottie Barnes (Florida State)
Ayo Dosunmu is highly touted and was expected to be a superstar. Unfortunately, he has not lived up to that level yet but he has been outstanding in flashes. Illinois is another team that returns a lot of talent and has some major aspirations this year. Dosunmu is the key to reaching all those goals. He is a really good player and has a ton of talent. Honestly, his ceiling is National Player of the Year. I just have some reservations that he can consistently play at that level because he has had chances to do so and hasn’t.
Collin Gillespie is going to be heavily relied on for the Villanova Wildcats. Gillespie feels like he has been at Villanova forever because he has played consistently since his freshman year. He really improved last season and seems to have taken a major leap. This season, I expect some steady improvement in the form of Villanova’s leading scorer. The Wildcats should be very good so Gillespie will garner plenty of attention.
Marcus Zegarowski makes this a ridiculous team of guards. Creighton was going to be a top-five team this season but TyShon Alexander left and that hurts. Zegarowski was a top-five guard last year and there is no reason he can’t do the same this season. He is an excellent playmaker but his scoring will need to increase this year. If Creighton has a better than expected season, Zegarowski could be a first-teamer.
Scottie Barnes is going to be a fantastic player. As a freshman, he will have a huge impact. Barnes is one of those new school forwards. He has all the skills of a point guard with the body of a forward. Barnes plays his best in a fast and aggressive style which he should get with Leonard Hamilton. I expect Barnes to lead Florida State in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
Corey Kispert ended last season incredibly strong. This year, Gonzaga is going to be really tough and Kispert gets a major boost with Jalen Suggs joining the team. A true point guard will help this scorer in a major way. Kispert should push the 20 points per game mark and be one of the best players on the west coast. If he adds some more ability off the bounce, Kispert can be a stud.
Third Team All-American
Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), Jalen Johnson (Duke), Evan Mobley (USC), Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga), BJ Boston (Kentucky)
Cade Cunningham is a popular pick by many for Player of the Year and First Team All-American. He is an all-around guard with great size. Truthfully, his game is perfect for the NBA. Part of my reasoning here involves his team. Oklahoma State will not be in the postseason this year, so I expect some lackadaisical efforts. Cunningham is going to have a great year, but I think some stats will appear empty. If you asked me to pick the best pro from this freshman class it would easily be Cunningham. As for college player, I am not so sure.
Jalen Johnson has to be the most underrated talent in this freshman class. He can really do everything on a basketball court, much like the other guys on this list, and he has freakish athleticism. Early reports out of Durham have him as the guy for the Blue Devils. Johnson is going to have a big year and if he has a consistent shooting year, he will be significantly higher than the third team.
Evan Mobley is this class’ unicorn. There have been several comparisons to James Wiseman. Mobley can do it all on the court and has a great shooting stroke for a big. He is going to have some huge games and maybe even a triple-double or two. The reason he is not higher is similar to Cunningham’s reason. The Trojans may struggle a bit this year and miss the NCAA tournament. While it is hardly Mobley’s fault, it can make his stats appear empty at times. If USC does play well, Mobley would be a candidate to be higher than the third team.
I’ll be honest: I am super high on Jalen Suggs. I have not seen his name on too many All-American rosters but I think he is as deserving as any freshmen of high praise. Suggs is in a perfect situation. The Bulldogs are very solid and point guards play a big role for Mark Few. In my opinion, Suggs is the best point guard to ever play for Few. Nigel Williams-Goss is probably second and that was the year the Bulldogs went to the National Championship so watch out. I fully expect Suggs to absolutely dominate even as a freshman.
Kentucky has to get some love. They will be a really good team with a ton of young talent. Of that talent, BJ Boston is clearly the leader. He starred for Sierra Canyon with their dream team and will look to do the same with Kentucky. Boston is a long and athletic wing that gets to the hoop with ease. He plays his best in transition so hopefully, John Calipari lets him go a bit.
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