Basketball is a sport that people of all ages enjoy. While there are many different levels of play, the best college basketball players are those who have the skill and drive to compete at the highest level. These athletes possess the ability to succeed at the next level and have the potential to be the best in the game.
But who are the best players in the country?
Let’s be with Red’s Army to get more interesting information through this blog post.
Best College Basketball Players
1. Johnny Davis, Wisconsin
No player has contributed more to his team than Davis, who started the year as an afterthought before leading Wisconsin to a shared Big Ten championship.
Although he has endured some painful games and minor ailments, Davis has consistently and broadly contributed to his team’s ability to win basketball games by scoring, grabbing rebounds, and defending.
At the slow pace of the Badgers, averaging 20 points a game is no minor accomplishment, and on top of that, he’s one of the finest closers in the league. His time in Madison will be shorter than he had anticipated, but it has been a memorable season.
2. Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky
Tshiebwe, one of the most productive rebounders in the annals of collegiate basketball, has been a vital component of Kentucky’s dramatic turnaround since moving to Lexington.
It is impossible to overestimate the significance of his dominance on the glass; on one end, the attention he attracts allows teammates to dunk on him, and on the other, it gives opponents a chance to escape in transition.
He alone gives Kentucky several extra opportunities to get the ball and makes it much simpler for its outstanding trio of guards.
3. Keegan Murray, Lowa
Even though it was obvious that Murray was underused during the previous season as a sidekick to Joe Wieskamp and Luka Garza, no one could have realistically imagined the next breakout year.
He has been nothing short of phenomenal, helping Iowa greatly beyond its goals. He leads the nation in scoring volume and efficiency while also contributing to the defensive glass and in the paint. Consider the incredible season Garza had the previous year and realize that Murray has been just as impressive.
4. Jabari Smith Jr.
Jabari Smith Jr., a top-5 freshman addition, helped Auburn rebound after missing out on the NCAA Tournament for a season. Smith, a 6’10” modern four-man who is a capable shooter, defender, and scorer, has fit in well with the dynamic Auburn squad that is leading the SEC.
The Auburn player aspires to match or surpass his father’s prior Sweet Sixteen (2000) achievement with his own group of Tigers during this March Madness. Jabari Smith is the son of a former LSU star.
5. Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
There is merit in exceeding high standards, and Cockburn has unquestionably succeeded in doing so. Cockburn’s last-minute choice to return to Champaign has propelled the Illini to a top-20 national ranking after garnering unanimous All-American accolades in 2020–21.
The 7-footer has improved his conditioning to enable him to play for 30 minutes per game, and he is the only player in the nation to average 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds.
It is conceivable that Cockburn will surpass 1,500 points for his career at some point during the Big Ten tournament, marking yet another defining moment in his illustrious career in Champaign.
6. Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Gonzaga’s defense has been solid all season thanks to Holmgren’s distinct style of dominance, which effortlessly eliminates room in the paint and eats up errant attempts.
Additionally, he has been absurdly effective, shooting 73.4 percent on twos and 41.2 percent on threes, which are practically unheard of, especially for a 7-footer.
This season, Holmgren’s main genuine criticism is that he hasn’t always been as dominant against more vigorous opposition. However, no player in the college game compares to him, and his statistical achievements are unparalleled.
7. Ochai Agbaji, Kansas
Agbaji, who experimented with the NBA last spring and summer, has improved dramatically offensively in his senior season.
While he may not be the most dynamic creator off the dribble, he has developed his overall scoring ability to help the Jayhawks win a share of the Big 12 regular-season championship. He is currently one of the top shooters in the sport. He will surpass Frank Mason as the first KU player to average 20 or more points with a strong finish.
8. E.J. Liddell, Ohio State
Liddell was kept out of the top five by a few lackluster performances down the line and the Buckeyes’ late-season troubles. Still, the junior forward has had a fantastic season maintaining OSU in the top 25 for most of the year.
Liddell has been forced to assume a more significant role than anticipated due to Justice Sueing’s injury, leading the team in scoring, rebounding, and shot blocking while also placing second on the Buckeyes in assists. He improved each year of his college career, rising to the sport’s top and is expected to be selected in the first round of this summer’s draft.
9. Scotty Pippen Jr.
Scotty Pippen Jr. has been the only player to stand out throughout the underwhelming Jerry Stackhouse era. Pippen is the Commodores’ starting point guard. He has a high use rate and is an efficient scorer, shooter, and passer.
Even when his teammates aren’t making the most of the resulting open shots, Pippen has been a one-person wrecking crew, scoring effectively and energizing the crowd.
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10. Mark Williams
Williams was a monster down the stretch, the only bright light in Duke’s 2021 gloom. Williams, a seven-footer with effective inside scoring, has landed a significant position in a deep Duke rotation. He leads the nation in blocks per game with 3.0 and has a ridiculous scoring rate of 71.7 percent this year.
11. Jaden Ivey, Purdue
Ivey is not only among the most athletic players in collegiate basketball but also among the most dominant when he plays well. Few players anywhere can equal his raw brilliance, even though there have been some low times, and his propensity to drift in and out of games may be annoying.
Ivey is a hardcover since he can enter the paint with his right hand anytime he wants and has increased his offensive production with a largely reliable three-point shooting. When he is focused and playing at his best, there isn’t much you can do to stop him. Ivey’s performance in March will determine how far Purdue advances.
12. Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona
Arizona has been one of the most entertaining teams in college basketball, and Mathurin has been its standout player. He performs best when playing in space and sprinting during transitions.
As a sophomore, he developed his scoring and shooting abilities and showed that he could consistently handle high volume.
In order to have a bigger impact on games when his shooting isn’t falling, Mathurin has also improved his passing. Although the Wildcats have a strong supporting cast, they couldn’t consistently outgun opponents without him.
13. Paolo Banchero, Duke
Banchero has had a successful rookie year as the star of a strong Duke squad, although not being quite as overpowering as his preseason hype suggested he’d be.
His ability to bring the ball up and play from various locations on the floor makes him a challenging mismatch for every opponent due to his size, strength, and skill. Everyone on his team benefits from his presence since he attracts attention consistently puts forth effort, and produces quality work.
Despite his streaky shooting and room for improvement on the defensive end, Banchero is gifted enough to consistently be the best player NBA on the field, which is precisely what Duke will need from him in March.
14. Walker Kessler, Auburn
Kessler, who has been established as the most dominant defensive player in the sport, made a great choice by leaving North Carolina. He is the leader in the nation for blocks per game (19.1 percent! ), had five or more blocks 13 times during the regular season, and helped Jabari Smith and Auburn have the fortitude to win the SEC championship.
Thanks to him, the Tigers can play their high-pressure style because they know there is always covered in the paint. He is a game-changer that most opponents haven’t been able to prepare for. His campaign has quietly been legendary.
15. Drew Timme, Gonzaga
In the preseason, Timme received most of the votes for National Player of the Year. Even if he hasn’t exactly lived up to that high expectation, he’s still a deserving All-American candidate and one of college basketball’s top post scorers.
Timme has slightly less room to maneuver on the block this season due to Gonzaga’s decision to play two bigs, but he is still deadly in one-on-one matchups thanks to his variety of post moves and exceptional touch.
16. Collin Gillespie
Collin Gillespie decided to use his extra year of eligibility after suffering a season-ending MCL injury because he simply could not finish his collegiate career on the sidelines and wanted to help complete his time at Villanova with a National Championship.
Gillespie is an excellent lead guard who consistently assists his teammates while also scoring points and making accurate shots. This season, Gillespie has led the Big East powerhouse Wildcats in scoring and is expected to play a significant role in their success in March.
17. Azuolas Tubelis, Arizona
Tubelis might be one of the lesser-known talents in college basketball because of the way Bennedict Mathurin’s flashier style of play frequently overshadows him. Because of his quick hands and quick feet, he is a beautiful fit for Tommy Lloyd’s fast-paced system, and his passing skills are invaluable in the high-low plays Lloyd prefers to run in the halfcourt. I
It’s no accident that two of Arizona’s three losses had occurred when Tubelis played 15 minutes or less due to foul trouble because of advanced stats like Tubelis’s influence on the game.
18. Johnny Juzang, UCLA
Juzang, one of March’s top stars in 2021, reportedly disappeared from view in 2022. Even yet, the junior is scoring 17 points a game on a team that is expected to receive a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament.
He is one of the best tough-shot creators in the game, a talent he frequently displayed during UCLA’s March to the Final Four the previous season. Can they once again lead the Bruins to March glory?
19. Mike Miles
Although TCU hasn’t had the best recent run of success, Mike Miles is one of the top guards in the Big 12. Miles, a sophomore lead guard and floor leader, is a capable scorer with distance and a nimble passer. It will be on the strength of Mike Miles that TCU can shock their way into the tournament.
20. Tari Eason, LSU
With his zeal on the offensive end and his ability to accumulate thefts and blocks during the course of a game, Eason has developed a strong statistical record while playing off the bench for LSU.
Although the Tigers’ success has been limited by dubious guard play, his performance has been constant, and he has kept it up in conference play. His output hasn’t always coincided with team success.
Eason’s athleticism and aggression have, more often than not, given his team a chance. He isn’t individually talented enough to close out games in the classic star sense, and he still fouls out too much. It would be unreasonable to demand more, given that he was a transfer from Cincinnati who went unnoticed.
21. David Roddy, Colorado State
Along with the Rams’ outstanding point guard Isaiah Stevens, Roddy, one of the most distinctive players in the nation, has helped the team reach new heights. Although Roddy has a defensive end’s physique, his quick feet and exceptional playmaking abilities enable him to play just about every position on the court.
Additionally, in crucial circumstances, he has made essential shots for the Rams this season while shooting a scorching 47 percent from three-point range. He has the talent that could help you win one or two games in March.
22. Jaden Shackelford
Shackelford, who recently won the SEC regular season and tournament championships, toyed with the idea of transferring, even going out on a few dates with prospective suitors.
Still, he has since returned to Bama as one of the nation’s most feared perimeter scorers. Christian Braun of Kansas is a great two-way player with an endless lefty stroke range.
In Lawrence, Braun has really improved his game as the Robin to Ochai Agbaji’s Batman. He spent most of his first two years at Kansas as an off-ball shooter and made 60% of his three-point attempts.
He has become a better slasher this year, and in addition to his outside shooting abilities, he is frequently relied upon to create off the dribble. He is the kind of four-year player Bill Self has centered his KU program around, and he helped the Jayhawks share the Big 12 championship this season.
24. Alondes Williams, Wake Forest
In his one season in Winston-Salem, the Oklahoma transfer put together a remarkable statistical season.
If the season ended today, he would join an elite group that includes players like Penny Hardaway, Denzel Valentine, and Ayo Dosunmu as the 10th male basketball player since 1992 to average at least 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists per game for an entire season.
Williams significantly impacted Wake Forest, transforming a team that had just six victories the previous season into one that is projected to compete in the NCAA tournament in 2021–2022.
25. Wendell Moore Jr., Duke
Moore, who has taken on challenging defensive responsibilities while moonlighting at point guard, has emerged as Duke’s linchpin and revitalized his career in the process.
He has developed into a valuable, particular player who can perform as a distributor, make threes, and pressure opponents in various scenarios while handling the ball. While Moore’s teammates may get more attention, Duke wouldn’t win the ACC without Moore’s breakthrough performance.
26. Jalen Duren
The ground trembles when Duren dunks. Duren is the paint thunder to Emoni Bates’ perimeter lightning—a physical marvel with a vicious streak. While Duren has been the unflappable captain of Penny Hardaway’s team, Memphis has been a little lacking this season, primarily due to trying to get all their stars on the floor at once.
A modest 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks from the big man per game is an encouraging indicator for Memphis’ ability to hold up in the paint should they make the postseason this March.
27. Malachi Smith, Chattanooga
In the last 30 years of men’s college basketball, only George Hill, Kerry Kittles, Fred Hoiberg, and Malachi Smith have averaged at least 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists while shooting 50% from the field and 40% from three.
The first three players all had successful NBA careers. Might Smith? He has been the main factor in Chattanooga’s successful season and is among the finest players in college basketball overall, not just in mid-major basketball.
28. JD Notae, Arkansas
This season much has been said about how there aren’t many elite guards playing college basketball, but Notae belongs on that shortlist. As proven by the 30 points he poured in against Kentucky and the 28 points he scored against Auburn in February, the Razorbacks’ standout player is among the best in the country at creating his own shot off the bounce.
It’s no accident that Arkansas recovered its groove once it decided to simply toss the ball to Notae and let him go to work following a dismal run in December and early January.
29. Andrew Nembhard, Gonzaga
Even though he only scores 11.5 points on average per game, Nembhard is undoubtedly one of the best floor generals in college basketball. He drives the No. 1 Zags forward and is essential in getting the Bulldogs into transition, where they can be dangerous.
Nembhard is great at using ball screens to go past defenders, especially when Drew Timme or Chet Holmgren are screening for him.
30. Armando Bacot, North Carolina
There would probably be more discussion about the season Bacot has put together at Chapel Hill if it weren’t for Oscar Tshiebwe’s impressive rebounding totals this season.
He surpasses Brice Johnson, who played 40 games during his record-breaking season and set Carolina’s single-season rebounding mark. The Tar Heels have struggled on defense in Hubert Davis’ first season as coach, but they still appear ready to dance thanks to Bacot, a double-double machine.
31. Adam Flagler, Baylor
The most dependable guard in NCAA basketball, Baylor Flagler increased his role this season, stabilizing Baylor’s backcourt in a combo role and excelling as a shooter and secondary facilitator.
Despite an inflow of new talent, the Bears’ continuous success has been greatly attributed to his tenacity and reliability. There isn’t a team in the nation that Flagler couldn’t improve, although he may not always receive the recognition he deserves. This month, his propensity for making huge shots should be helpful.
32. Justin Lewis, Marquette
Lewis’s transformation into a knockdown shooter, a considerable step up from his first year in which he was a nonfactor from three, has played a significant role in Shaka Smart’s rapid comeback at Marquette.
He has developed into one of the better players in the Big East thanks to his willingness to shoot threes, physically challenge smaller defenders, and contribute on the glass. Although he can have bad streaks, the Golden Eagles wouldn’t be a tournament squad without him.
33. Jaime Jaquez Jr., UCLA
Jaquez has played with injuries for the majority of this season. Thus he hasn’t experienced the big breakout that some had anticipated. Nevertheless, he has improved significantly since the season’s finish and may be in position for another great March run.
He combines being one of the toughest and most diligent players in the world with a wide range of offensive talents. His maturity and experience make UCLA’s erratic team deadly when it counts.
34. Kennedy Chandler
Kennedy Chandler, one of the recent bright freshmen recruited by Tennessee, maybe the best. With a strong basketball IQ and quickness that enables him to score easily, Chandler is considered an outstanding playmaker.
He possesses all the necessary traits of a point guard—selflessness, quickness, and tight handling—but his voracious competitive fire may be his most valuable trait. The Vols benefited from Rick Barnes’ decision to give him the ball from the start.
35. Hunter Dickinson
Dickinson, who averages 18 points and 8 rebounds per game for the Wolverines, took over as Michigan’s interior anchor last season and has since remained the team’s go-to player.
Because of his size, physicality, and capacity for scoring in the low post, he is among the best pure big men in college basketball.
However, it is unlikely that he will receive another chance to compete for a National Championship with the bubble Wolverines on the verge of missing the tournament.
36. Trevion Williams, Purdue
Williams, one of the most distinctive players in the nation, provides Edey, his center platoon partner, with a completely different set of skills.
In Purdue’s motion system, he’s capable of zipping spectacular assists to open cutters, making him possibly the best passing big man in the nation.
He also has excellent rebounding ability, and his quick feet enable him to defend in space much better than in the past. He makes a lot of mistakes and has trouble making free throws, but if he played more regular minutes, he might be a contender for All-American honors.
37. TyTy Washington Jr., Kentucky
The impact Washington has had at Kentucky, where his instinct for moving the ball and timely shotmaking has provided the Wildcats an offensive boost, has been somewhat concealed by his modest freshman year numbers.
The Wildcats, who somehow make for an odd collection of components around Oscar Tshiebwe, had benefited much from his significance as a connecting piece, even when he didn’t score much.
Washington is one of the more versatile guards in the sport because he can play with and without the ball in his hands while directing the play.
38. Izaiah Brockington, Iowa State
Brockington’s excellent performance is one of the season’s most exciting tales. The Philadelphia native, who has moved twice, has finally settled in Ames and played a significant role in ISU’s spectacular recovery.
Due in large part to Brockington, who averages more than 17 points and seven rebounds while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc, the Cyclones, who had just two victories last season, are in a solid position to advance.
39. Ron Harper Jr.
Rutgers expects to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2022 thanks to Ron Harper Jr.’s comeback after making their first appearance this century.
Like his former NBA champion father, Harper is a point guard with the size and physicality of a wing, which effectively complements his scoring and shooting skills. He becomes the top choice for Rutgers due to all of this.
40. AJ Griffin, Duke
Griffin rediscovered himself in January after a sluggish start to the regular season as he recovered from an injury and found his place in the team. Since then, he has shot an incredible 48 percent from the three-point range. It has been a crucial development for Duke, which has desperately needed the floor space component.
Griffin has been one of the better role players in the country, and when the situation demands it, he has the personal potential to be more than that, especially with the size he adds defensively on the wing.
41. Zach Edey, Purdue
Due to his enormous 7’4″ stature, Edey, the other half of Purdue’s two-headed center monster, is arguably the most challenging defender in college basketball.
Edey is more than simply a big man; he also has superb footwork, a soft touch on the block, and excels at holding the ball high to avoid turnovers despite his nearly constant double teams. Although he has defensive weaknesses, his ability at the low post is enough to place him in this position.
42. Bryson Williams, Texas Tech
Texas Tech, one of the most evenly matched teams in the nation, has multiple possibilities for this list. Williams, a sixth-year player who has also played for Fresno State and UTEP, is the team’s top scorer and has had a significant influence in what will be his final season in Lubbock.
The big man is Tech’s top scorer, shoots 44 percent from three-point range, and maintains balance on the glass.
43. Jake LaRavia, Wake Forest
LaRavia and a transfer partner, The two main factors behind Wake Forest’s remarkable comeback in 2021–22 were Alondes Williams.
One of the greatest power forwards in the country, he is a multi-faceted danger with the ability to handle the ball, make shots, and pass, in addition to being powerful on the glass and agile enough to guard in tight spaces.
LaRavia also excels at the free throw line, where he consistently makes more than 78 percent of his attempts and has a free throw rate that places him in the top 50 nationally.
44. Jeremy Sochan, Baylor
While Sochan’s statistics don’t necessarily demonstrate the strategic variety he brings to Baylor; there have been several contests where he has been the team’s most important player. He can moonlight as a ballhandler in a pinch and is quick enough to guard just about anyone, giving Baylor some special moves to use when the occasion arises.
Unfortunately for Baylor, he won’t be in Waco for as long as he had hoped. His sense for positioning, moving the ball, and finding his spots is far beyond his years.
45. Jayden Gardner
Gardner was hidden away at East Carolina for three years, but he is now flaunting his thing at Virginia alongside the big boys.
Tony Bennett and company, who said farewell to three really effective scorers in 2021, are in dire need of his old man game. This season, Gardner has led the Cavaliers in points and rebounds and has a 51 percent shooting efficiency.
46. Kendric Davis
Kendric Davis, who transferred from TCU, has developed into one of the top players in the AAC and a possible All-American candidate this year. Davis is a skilled defense-manipulator, probing with the dribble and chopping them apart with pinpoint passes.
SMU should advance further in the tournament because they have been dominating the AAC this year and have a strong resume thus far.
47. Andrew Jones
The simplest athlete to support is Andrew Jones. Although in the past, his great narrative will always be remembered. He is one of the select few incumbents in Austin who remained in office when the Chris Beard era took hold.
The backcourt three of Jones, Marcus Carr, and Courtney Ramey will lead the Longhorns to the dance even if Texas is comfortably positioned on the fringe.
48. Adama Sanogo, UConn
Sanogo has developed into one of the top post scorers in college basketball during his second year at Storrs. He is very difficult to defend because of his strength and skill on the block, and despite suffering from an abdominal ailment in December, he has been quite productive.
Sanogo is a skilled scorer, but he’s also an aggressive rebounder, with six games this season with 15 or more boards.
49. Marcus Sasser
The Houston Cougars have built on their recent success after reaching their first Final Four under Kelvin Sampson, with Marcus Sasser stepping out from Quentin Grimes and DeJon Jarreau’s shadows. Sasser has made crucial shots for the Cougars all season long. He is a skilled shot creator, offensive creator, and defender.
Thanks to an adjusted efficiency margin of +25, Houston is placed seventh according to Ken Pomeroy’s rankings.
50. James Akinjo
Baylor Bears three in a row? Not possible! They are, after all, appearing to be a contender this year. Even though Akinjo has attended three different schools in that time, the senior guard is a crucial part of the Baylor Bears, the current national champions. Akinjo is a guard that sees a lot of action and makes a lot of assists.
51. Darius Days
Days, the lone survivor of LSU’s formidable quartet of offensive threats, took on a more dominant role for the Tigers this season. Tari Eason and Xavier Pinson also get a lot of shots, but Days has established himself as a reliable danger from inside and outside the paint.
Days, a four-year letter winner, has been a part of LSU’s elite team for their last two tournament trips, helping them reach the Sweet 16 in 2019 and battle Michigan in the second round in 2021. He offers a wealth of experience and moxie to the team.
52. Will Richardson
After an injury-plagued season, Will Richardson has many people underestimating the talented Ducks point guard. Richardson, a career 40 percent 3-point shooter in good health, can play on and off the ball. He is a skilled shooter, passer, and defender with a beautiful combination of Pac-12 significant game experience.
53. Isaiah Mobley
After a season in which USC reached the Elite Eight and Evan Mobley, the brother of Isaiah Mobley, won the Pac-12 honors, enthusiasm for Andy Enfield’s program is at an all-time high. Instead of through a rebuilding season, Mobley and the Trojans are vying for the Pac-12 championship.
Because of his size, quickness, and capacity for creating space on the court and scoring effectively, Mobley is a true big man in today’s game. He plays well on all fronts.
54. Max Abmas
In 2021, Max Abmas enjoyed one of the best seasons in mid-major history. Now that he’s back for one last time, he has a chance to become one of the all-time greatest mid-major players.
Abmas, a combo guard, is a fantastic scorer, a tremendous three-point shooter, and a great free-throw shooter, and he has a knack for finding the basket.
Abmas ended up being the top scorer in college basketball last year, helping Oral Roberts go to the Sweet 16. He is again among the top 5 scorers in the NCAA this year. Men like him who make baskets from the parking lot have a chance to play in the league.
The best college basketball players are those who can score, rebound and play defense. They are the ones who make the big shots and get the big rebounds. They are the difference makers on the court.
Are you a big fan of any of the above? You can tell us in the comment zone. Thanks for reading!