The biggest challenge for Sporting News’ annual mid-season All-America squad was not so much picking the 15 most deserving players, but deciding what precisely constituted mid-season in 2020- 2021.
Precision is not really the goal this season.
It is still necessary to put the ball inside the rim to win a basket and place a pass in a captivable position for the receiving player, but the reliability of a typical season’s schedule is a thing of the past (and , pretty please, the future). Some teams have played half of their original (truncated) regular season schedule. Some don’t. Some have probably played half of their games whether they realize it or not.
The time therefore seems ideal to make and announce our selections.
First Team All-Americans
Luka Garza, Iowa
6-11, 265, Sr., C
Key statistics: 26.9 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 0.610 FG PCT.
Definition game: 33 points on 13 of 20 shots in the 86-71 win over Minnesota.
Overview: The reigning Sporting News varsity player of the year is supporting the 2019-20 season with an even more impressive effort. Against tougher opposition due to the shortened schedule and an even deeper Big Ten conference, Garza increased his scoring average by three full points per game, his on-field accuracy by nearly 70 percentage points and his accuracy. 3 points over 100. percentage points. He’s so far ahead of the pack that he might stop now and have one more case to repeat as a POY. But he won’t, because his dedication to hard work is the reason he could improve so dramatically from such a high position.
Jared Butler, Baylor
6-3, 195, Jr., G
Key statistics: 17.1 ppg, 5.4 apg, .503 FG pct., .494 3-PT
Definition game: 30 points, 8 assists, 10 of 14 shots in a 77-69 win over Kansas
Overview: Butler left high school as a No.113 prospect in the 2018 recruiting class. Now he’s one of the top two players in college basketball. There’s a lot that goes into this kind of climb, and most of it involves Butler’s dedication to improvement, along with his eagerness and ability to cooperate with his talented teammates and deliver whatever they might need. at one point. Against KU, they needed his 30 points. Against Kansas State, there were 13 assists. Against Oklahoma State, it was a 6-of-7 3-point shot to calm an unexpected threat from the Cowboys. Whatever the bears need, Butler can deliver it.
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
6-7, 220, Sr., F
Key statistics: 20.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .582 FG PC, .490 3-PT
Definition game: 32 points, 9 of 13 3-pointers in 98-75 victory over Virginia
Overview: Gonzaga is so good that he presents three legitimate candidates from across America evenly distributed among the 15 players on this list – and a fourth, Joel Ayayi, who is good enough to have been a first team if he wasn’t. not (slightly) eclipsed by his teammates. How do you stand out among such an abundance of stars? Kispert does this by doing, it seems, almost every snapshot he takes. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to call him the best shooter in college basketball. Among the top 40 in Division I in 3 points, only two players converted a higher percentage of their attempts. He also makes 67.7% of his 2-point attempts, which is what you would generally expect from a low 6-11 point scorer, not a wing that specializes in jumpshots.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
6-5, 200, Jr., G
Key statistics: 21.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.9 apg
Definition game: 30 points, 5 assists, 11 of 17 shots in 69-60 win over Indiana
Overview: Dosunmu could have left Illinois after two seasons to enter the NBA, but he chose to stay and improve his game to be better prepared for the challenges of the league – and quit his college career with an NCAA tournament appearance. rather than a cancellation. He’s stepped up his game in all areas, going from an average of almost five points higher than a year ago to a 3-point shot that went from soft (.296) to powerful (.385) .
Cade Cunningham, State of Oklahoma
6-8, 220, Fr., G
Key statistics: 17.8 ppg, 6.2 apg, 3.8 apg
Definition game: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists in a 75-70 win over Kansas
Overview: He was expected to be college basketball’s most outstanding first freshman, and he delivered. While he wasn’t as busy a passer as expected, he excelled at winning and converting free throws and shooting 3-pointers. He gets one block per game – more than some crosses. He’s had his loudest statistical games in terms of losses, a sign that he’s willing and able to shoulder the brunt of OK State’s comeback effort when needed.
Second Team All-Americans
Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga
6-4, 205, Fr., G
Key statistics: 13.9 ppg, 5.2 apg, 4.9 apg
Definition game: 27 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 7 of 10 3-pointers in a 99-88 win over Iowa
Overview: Suggs is only playing 27 minutes per game because the Zags so often dominate the opposition – only one of their wins has come with a single-digit margin – and because junior Andrew Nembhard is such a helpful addition. Suggs is perhaps the most gifted player to sign at Gonzaga and has played himself in the discussion for the No.1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Evan Mobley, Southern California
7-0, 210, Fr., C
Key statistics: 16.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.9 bpg
Definition game: 19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals in 87-73 win over Arizona
Overview: Mobley had little trouble navigating the transition from high school perspective to college star. His 15 games included a single one in which he didn’t score in double digits (a game the Trojans won easily) and a single one in which he caught less than five rebounds. He’s a constant presence for USC in the rim defense and has only failed twice to save multiple blocks in a game.
Marcus Carr, Minnesota
6-2, 195, Jr., G
Key statistics: 20.9 ppg, 5.2 apg, 1.2 spg
Definition game: 30 points, 8 assists, 6 of 13 3-pointers in a 102-95 overtime win over Iowa
Overview: The Gophers rely on Carr as much as any player on this list. It is expected to be the source of the offense and often the offense. He produced three games of 30 points or more and six games of 25 points or more. Its seasonal low in minutes is 30; four times he’s been in the field for 40 years or more. For a player with so much responsibility, his average of 2.3 turnovers per game is remarkably low.
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
6-9, 245, therefore, F
Key statistics: 20.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.8 bpg
Definition game: 23 points, 7 rebounds, 9 of 14 shots in 81-69 win over Iowa
Overview: While 7-footer Joey Brunk has missed every game to date with a back injury, Jackson-Davis has had less indoor coverage than expected and has therefore been forced to carry a more load. heavy. He’s the team’s only constant source of attack and has scored in double digits in every game and produced five double-doubles.
Davion Mitchell, Baylor
6-2, 205, Jr., G
Key statistics: 11.5 ppg, 5.9 apg, 2.1 spg, .410 3-PT
Definition game: 15 points, 7 assists, 4 of 5 3-pointers in an 82-69 win over Illinois
Overview: Although Marcus Garrett, Naismith’s defensive player of the year, is still here and having a great season, Mitchell is considered one of the top contenders for the award this season. His teammate Butler called him the best defenseman he has faced, and opponents are feeling the impact of Mitchell’s ability to put pressure on the basketball. Baylor is undefeated for many reasons, but Mitchell’s defense at the point of attack is one of the most important.
Third Team All-Americans
Carlik Jones, Senior Warden, Louisville
Drew Timme, sophomore center, Gonzaga
Herbert Jones, senior forward, Alabama
David Duke, Junior Guard, Providence
Hunter Dickinson, freshman center, Michigan