Connor McCaffrey – Iowa
The Coach’s son played an elevated role this season following the injury to Jordan Bohannon and played the Point Guard a lot, he had 6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steals per game. He runs the offense very well and can still do it with Bohannon back, his ability to feed Luka Garza the ball, find shooters while being a solid defender. He’s everything you want in a glue guy, his efficiency is an issue, as he only shot 34% from the field, and the same percentage from 3. He’s a big strong lefty who can use that left hand to drive to the rack and draw contact. With all the attention on Bohannon, Wieskamp, and especially Garza this season, it could open more scoring lanes for McCaffrey entering his Junior Season and continue to be a real-good glue guy.
Herb Jones Alabama
The 6’7″ incoming Senior is a great defender, and a better version of Nojel Eastern, Jones had 7 points, 6 rebound, 2 assists, and 1 steals per game. He’s an elite defensive player and a super-efficient at 48%, but no shooting ability at only 7% from deep this season to be fair he was 1-14 though. Jones can even be a big-guard if needed and if Jahvon Quinerly struggles early-on we may see a lot of Jones at guard. He can defend 1-5 switch onto anyone. The Crimson Tide with Jones, Quinerly, John Petty Jr should he return, Jaden Shackelford, Alex Reese, Jordan Bruner, Josh Primo, Keon Ambrose-Hylton. This is a super talented team that has the ability to not only in order to do well in the SEC but make an NCAA Tournament run and Jones being the best defender on that team is huge. One interesting thing to see with Jones is can he work on his three-point ability, which would fit the Nate Oats style. You saw at Buffalo he had C.J. Massinburg, Jeremy Harris, Nick Perkins, Dontay Carruthers, Jayvon Graves and that’s just on the 2018-19 Buffalo squad.
Yves Pons Tennessee
Although he’s testing the waters he has to make the list since he is expected to return. Pons is one of the most athletic players in College Basketball, an elite-defender and averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds and, 2.4 blocks per game. The switch-ability on the 1-5 guys, the shot-contest ability. He’s super efficient at 48% from the field, oh and he can shoot it from deep, last year shooting 34%. It’s honestly incredible that he’s not a first-rounder right now or even a draftee, maybe too much of raw skills for the NBA right now, but he would be a great NBA player one day. Pons along with Herb Jones will battle all season for SEC Defensive Player of the year. Tennessee has a lofty set of expectations and Yves Pons and John Fulkerson will be at the forefront of that they could be really good, but Pons needs to contribute like he did last season for the Vols to meet those expectations.
Aaron Thompson Butler
Thompson played a big role in the Bulldogs resurgent season in 2019-20, he had 7 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, he is super quick, he’s shifty to the basket and shot 48% from the field. He’s a really good defender but due to him being 6’2″ he mostly defends only guards, but oftentimes that’s what you want your best defender to be guarding. Over the past few seasons, Thompson had to guard guys like Markus Howard and Myles Powell, there probably wasn’t a taller task for any defender in College Hoops. Two of the All-Time great college players and will continue to defend great guards In the Big East in the near future with Rasheem Dunn, Colin Gillespie/Bryan Antoine, A.J. Reeves, Koby McEwen, ane Charlie Moore. The Bulldogs are likely a bubble team entering the season following the departures of Kamar Baldwin and Sean McDermott, but LaVall Jordan is a great coach so he’ll piece it together.
Romeo Weems DePaul
The highly touted recruit for DePaul a 6’7″ power forward who averaged 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game. He’s not fully developed yet and still young, but that’s why for now and this upcoming season he’s a glue guy rather than a star. He can score and he defends pretty well and his length and athleticism, his potential fulfills itself as he can be really good. He’s smaller for a true power forward, but will likely play exclusively there with the departure of Paul Reed. Playing alongside Jalen Butz this year, Weems could develop into a very well-known glue guy this season.