With the closing of the college basketball season, the LWOS staff has put their college basketball knowledge together. It has been an incredible season through the Covid-19 pandemic. With all of the compounding factors, the NCAA and its players put on an amazing show. Now, LWOS presents its college basketball awards.
2020-21 College Basketball Awards
Third Team All-Americans
Miles McBride, Charles Bassey, EJ Liddell, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, McKinley Wright IV
Just missed: Trevion Williams, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Quentin Grimes
McBride, Bassey, and Liddell received several second-team votes but just missed out on that spot. All three have been absolutely dominant this year. Miles McBride led West Virginia with 15.3 points and 4.7 rebounds while consistently coming up clutch. As a sophomore, he took a major leap forward and will be a preseason first-team All-American next year.
Charles Bassey is unheralded because he plays for Western Kentucky but he could not have had a better season. Bassey is averaging 17.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game. Absolutely ridiculous numbers for the former five-star. Bassey is a major reason his team will be dancing.
E.J. Liddell is averaging 16 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his breakout sophomore season. He has clearly been one of the best players in a loaded Big Ten conference and is very deserving of national honors.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl poured in 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He also will most likely be first-team all-defense and Big East Defensive Player of the Year. His impact on his Villanova Wildcats team is immeasurable.
McKinley Wright IV is another guy that deserves way more attention than he’s gotten. He is a stat-sheet-stuffer who averages 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Wright led his Colorado team to Pac-12 prominence when they were not expected to contend. He’s a late first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Second Team All-Americans
Hunter Dickinson, Evan Mobley, Kofi Cockburn, Drew Timme, Jalen Suggs
Hunter Dickinson had a phenomenal freshman season for the Michigan Wolverines. He averaged 14.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. The main reason Michigan was as good as they were this year is because of Dickinson. He is the definition of a matchup nightmare on the block.
Evan Mobley is another freshman sensation on this team. He is averaging 16.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Mobley has carried his Trojan team to a very successful Pac-12 season. Mobley is staking his claim to the number two pick in the NBA draft behind this incredible season, but first, he wants to win a few NCAA tournament games.
The last freshman on this second team is Jalen Suggs. He has been dominant for the number one Gonzaga Bulldogs. Suggs was another highly rated recruit but his impact cannot be understated. He makes everything easier for his team. Suggs is averaging 13.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. For a freshman to impact every aspect of the game shows just how special he is.
Kofi Cockburn has been a huge presence for the Fighting Illini this year. He is averaging 17.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Cockburn returned for his sophomore season and developed a very solid game. His motor is incredibly high and he knows how to use his massive frame to gain the advantage.
The second team is rounded out by another dominant big in Drew Timme. He is one part of the incredible three-headed monster for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Timme is averaging 18.9 points and 7.1 rebounds this season while showcasing his unique offensive game and footwork. There is no doubt his production slipped a bit late in the season, but he is still very deserving.
First Team All-Americans
Jared Butler*, Luka Garza*, Ayo Dosunmu*, Cade Cunningham, Corey Kispert
*denotes unanimous selection
Let’s start with the only freshman on this first team. Cade Cunningham is as good as any player in the country and has locked up the number one spot in the NBA Draft. Additionally, Cunningham just won the Big 12 Player of the Year over another member of this first team. He is averaging 19.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game and leading an Oklahoma State team that was not supposed to be too good. Cunningham shines brightest when the moment is the biggest. He has made several huge shots this year including some game-winners.
Corey Kispert is the third and final member of the Gonzaga Bulldogs to make the All-American teams. He is averaging 19.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from three on six attempts. He has taken a massive step forward in his senior season and is primed to lead his team to a National Championship.
Jared Butler is the player that finished behind Cunningham in the Big 12 Player of the Year race. Regardless, he had an incredible season. He averaged 17.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. It may have hurt Butler that his team was so deep and talented but he is as deserving as any. That is why he was a unanimous selection for our All-American team.
Ayo Dosunmu was another unanimous selection. He is averaging an absurd 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game this year. He came back to school to prove he could be a playmaker and happened to increase his scoring and assist numbers significantly. Dosunmu is the straw that stirs the drink of the number one seeded Illinois Fighting Illini.
Luka Garza is the final member of the All-American teams and the last unanimous selection. After finishing second in the National Player of the Year race last year, he put up similar numbers. Garza averaged 23.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. There is no arguing that Garza is one of the top players in the college game and he has played like it all year.
Freshman of the Year
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
Cunningham was a unanimous choice for Freshman of the Year. As you can see, LWOS values several other freshmen highly as three made All-American teams, but none had the impact Cunningham did. His numbers speak for themselves as we have discussed but his impact is immeasurable. Oklahoma State was 18-14 last year and returned only 38 percent of their points. Most of which were from players that have been hurt all year. Cunningham took an incredibly young team and led them to glory in a year that young teams have had almost no success. He is a calm, steady presence and always shows up when needed most.
Coach of the Year
Nate Oats, Alabama
Others receiving votes: Juwan Howard, Mark Few, Eric Musselman
Undoubtedly, this was the hardest award to pick. LWOS is going with Nate Oats for several reasons. One of which is how Alabama outperformed all expectations and ended up winning the SEC regular-season title easily. Alabama has been good in the past, but they have not been two-seed in the NCAA tournament good recently. Oats has also transformed the Crimson Tide into a dominant defensive team which is special considering that has never been a strong suit.
Howard and Musselman both lead top ten teams that outperformed expectations. They absolutely deserved all of their votes. Few is also the coach of an undefeated team that has plenty of quad one wins to go around.
National Player of the Year
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
Others receiving votes: Luka Garza
This was our closest vote. Dosunmu ended up winning the National Player of the Year vote by one single vote. When it comes down to it, it really is a coin flip. Dosunmu has better all-around stats and does slightly more for his team than Garza. Garza has some of the most dominant stats in the nation as well so he is very deserving. Ultimately, Dosunmu is the better player on the better team and that should mean something. There is no wrong answer, but our answer is Dosunmu.
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