25 best returning players for the 2021-22 men’s basketball season

The DI men’s college basketball season is right around the corner and Andy Katz is here with his top 25 returning players on the latest edition of the March Madness 365 podcast.

Katz was also joined by four players in his ranking – Marcus Carr of Texas, Garrison Brooks of Mississippi State, Buddy Boeheim of Syracuse and Kofi Cockburn of Illinois – on this edition of March Madness 365.

Here are Andy Katz’s top 25 returning players for the 2021-22 college basketball season:

25. Tyson Etienne, Wichita State

Tyson Ettiene enters his third year at Wichita State after winning co-AAC Player of the Year. Etienne averaged 16.3 points per game and led the Shockers to the regular-season conference crown in 2020-21.

24. Matt Bradley, San Diego State

Matt Bradley moved down I-5 to San Diego State to give the Aztecs a much-needed boost. Cal’s transfer finished third in the Pac-12 in scoring, shooting 36.4% from three.

23. Armando Bacot, North Carolina

Armando Bacot, the All-ACC third-team big man, gives North Carolina a physical presence down there. Bacot led the Tar Heels in points, field goal percentage, rebounds and blocks last season.

NEW COSTUMES: The 12 most impactful practice moves of this college basketball offseason

22. Julian Champagnie, St. John’s

Julian Champagnie of St. John's

Katz thinks that if St. John’s makes it to the Big East this year, Julian Champagnie will play an important role. Champagnie led the conference with 19.8 points per game in 2020-21.

21. Scottie Pippen Jr., Vanderbilt

Scottie Pippen Jr. knows how to fill out the stat sheet. The first-team All-SEC guard averaged 20.8 points per game for head coach Jerry Stackhouse.

20. Chris Lykes, Arkansas

Chris Lykes joins Arkansas this year, transferred from Miami (FL). Lykes has sneakily averaged over 15 points per game over the past three seasons. In 2020-21, he improved in every major statistical category and shot 45.5% from three. Katz thinks Lykes will shine in Fayetteville as one of the best goaltenders in the country.

19. Kellan Grady, Kentucky

Davidson’s transfer retains the Wildcats moniker but changes colors in 2021-22. Grady has averaged over 17 points per game in each of his previous four seasons and will look to bring his scoring ability to Kentucky as Big Blue Nation looks to return to the tournament.

COACH CAL: 8 male college basketball coaches who could be next to 800 wins

18. Kevin Obanor, Texas Technician

In 2020-21, Kevin Obanor was a key part of Oral Roberts’ Cinderella run, averaging 23.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in three NCAA Tournament games as the No. 15 seed Golden Eagles qualified for the Sweet Sixteen. After transferring to Texas Tech, Katz sees Obanor score all over the Big-12.

17. Trevion Williams, Purdue

The underrated big man averaged 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last season for Purdue. Katz sees a big season on the way for Williams and the Boilermakers.

16. Sahvir Wheeler, Kentucky

The second Kentucky player on the list is also a new transfer to Sahvir Wheeler. The former Georgia Bulldog remains in the SEC after averaging 7.4 freshman assists.

15. Garrison Brooks, Mississippi State

Garrison Brooks is transferring to Mississippi State after a productive career in North Carolina. The big man joins the Bulldogs looking to add to his 1,276 career points.

14. Andrew Jones, TX

Andrew Jones of Texas

Andrew Jones is back in Texas and brings big goalscoring potential with him. The cancer survivor is healthy for 2021-22 and part of a talented team at Longhorn. Katz predicts a stellar season for a player with one of the best histories in college basketball.

GREATNESS EXPECTS: 5 men’s basketball teams that could be set for historically great seasons

13. Collin Gillespie, Villanova

Collin Gillespie was one of the best guards in the nation, averaging 14 points per game with a 2.88 assist to turnover ratio last season. Gillespie returns to Villanova after tearing his MCL at the end of the regular season, an injury that caused him to miss the NCAA Tournament. Healthy again, Gillespie will look to lead Villanova to another Big East title.

12. Remy Martin, Kansas

Former Arizona State star Remy Martin could have gone to the NBA, but he opted to join Kansas instead. The three-time All Pac-12 guard led the conference in scoring 19.1 points per game, hitting the 30-point mark four times. Katz thinks Martin could be the missing piece for the Jayhawks this year.

11. Max Abmas, Oral Roberts

The NCAA’s leading scorer is back! Max Abmas took the college basketball world by storm last March, scoring big shots in Oral Roberts’ surprise NCAA Tournament. Averaging 24.5 points per game and shooting 43% from three, Abmas finds himself among the best in the sport at the start of the season.

10. Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA

While Jaime Jaquez Jr. might have been overshadowed at UCLA, Katz sees the 6’7” winger as a scorer, pitcher and winner coming into the season. After improving his stats in the regular season, Jaquez took the next step in the UCLA Final Four averaging 15 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 45% on three. Jaquez’s continued growth as a player is part of the reason many have the Bruins as a preseason favorite to return to the Final Four.

9. Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse

The son of the legendary coach stood out last year and showed what he can do on the pitch. Buddy Boeheim scored 55 points in Syracuse’s first two games of the NCAA Tournament, making 13 threes on 57 percent shooting from deep. After turning off the lights to bring the Orange to the Sweet Sixteen, Katz believes Boeheim can replicate his success in 2021-22.

8. Jaden Ivey, Purdue

This summer, Ivey shone as one of the best players on the United States U-19 gold medal-winning squad, finishing second on the team in scoring despite playing just 16.5 minutes per game. match. The summer performance followed Ivey’s 26-point NCAA tournament game for Purdue. After a stellar first year that saw Ivey named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, Katz believes Ivey can be one of the best Big Ten players for the Boilermakers.

WHO IS NEXT: 7 programs with a strong case for being college basketball’s next premier champion

7. EJ Liddell, Ohio State

In a conference filled with elite big names, EJ Liddell can fly under the radar. Liddell averaged 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last year. By mid-season, Liddell was on many awards watch lists. Liddell helped the Buckeyes earn a double seed in the NCAA Tournament. Katz thinks he can lead Ohio State to a Big Ten title in 2021-22.

6. Marcus Carr, TX

The top-ranked transfer on the list, Marcus Carr joins Texas after landing some big shots in Minnesota. Carr averaged 19.4 points for the Gophers and was named to the All-Big Ten first team. Carr can also do more than score the basketball; he is also Minnesota’s single-season assist record holder. Katz sees Carr as the missing piece for Chris Beard in Texas. He could lead the Longhorns to the Final Four.

DO NOT MISS : 11 men’s college basketball non-conference games not to miss this fall

5. Tracye Jackson-Davis, Indiana

The Wooden Award finalist is back in Bloomington! Indiana’s Tracye Jackson-Davis returns after averaging 19 points and nine rebounds, shooting 51% from the field. The All-American will look to take the Hoosiers to the NCAA Tournament under new head coach Mike Woodson for the first time since 2016. Katz thinks Jackson-Davis could be the Big Ten player of the year.

4. Hunter Dickinson, Mich.

Hunter Dickinson returns for Big Blue after a fantastic first season. Dickson dominated his position in games and won numerous accolades in his freshman college season. Dickinson scored in double figures in 23 games while shooting nearly 60 percent from the floor. Only a sophomore, Katz calls Dickinson one of the best greats in the country.

3. Kofi Cockburn, Ill.

Kofi Cockburn has had a busy offseason watching the NBA and entering the transfer portal. However, he returns to Illinois where he appears to be having another stellar season. Cockburn was a consensus second-team All-American, making 16 double-doubles during the season. Katz believes Cockburn’s steadfast presence can lead Illinois deeper into the NCAA Tournament and possibly a Big Ten title.

OUT OF SEASON: The 12 biggest summer winners in men’s college basketball

2. Drew Timme, Gonzaga

Drew Timme became a household name during Gonzaga’s undefeated run. After losing in the National Championship match, Timme will try to bring Gonzaga back to the biggest match of the year, this time with a different result. He’ll have more responsibility this season without 2021 NBA lottery pick Corey Kispert, but he’ll be joined by prized rookie Chet Holmgren. Katz thinks Timme is one of the best players in the country on one of the best teams in the country.

1. Johnny Juzang, UCLA

After leading UCLA to the Final Four, Johnny Juzang is the top returning player entering the 2021-22 college basketball season. In the NCAA Tournament, Juzang averaged 22.8 points on 50.9% shooting from the field. However, after suffering a heartbreaking loss, Juzang returns to the Bruins better, stronger and more focused. Katz predicts a stellar season this year for one of the best players in the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.