1. Marcus Zegarowski Creighton JR Guard
2019-20 stats: 16.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.1 SPG
Zegarowski is an awesome offensive player. Super-efficient at 48.8% from-the-field, 42% from three. He’s a great passer, runs the offense well. He’s not a crazy athlete, not huge height-wise, not an elite defender, but he does everything well. He’s a First Team All-American for me and with Ty-Shon Alexander leaving he could be in the National Player of the year conversation.
2. James Bouknight UConn SO Guard
2019-20 Stats: 13 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.3 APG
Bouknight is like a Zach Lavine type guy to me right now, super talented and young and they play similarly. Bouknight has out of this world athleticism and great ability at getting to the hoop. His shooting developed a bit throughout the season, 34% is pretty solid. He just started out slow due to a 2-game suspension and had to earn his role later in the season. With Uconn losing Christian Vital and Alterique Gilbert (Wichita State), I’m excited about UConn’s Big East return, especially with it being led by Bouknight.
3. Collin Gillespie Villanova SR Guard
2019-20 Stats: 15.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.2 SPG
It’s hard to find someone to run an offense better than Gillespie, he was a key bench piece in 2017-18 in the National Championship sitting behind Wooden award winner, Jalen Brunson. Gillespie overall isn’t super efficient while 40% isn’t bad, but he’s a very good shooter at 35.7% from deep. Also 81% from-the-line so he’s able to knock down the important shots late in the game. Villanova is in for a great season, Gillespie will be running that offense and we’ll see how he develops his Senior Season.
4. Sandro Mamukelashvili Seton Hall SR Forward
2019-20 Stats: 11.9 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.4 APG
Those stats don’t do Mamu justice, he’s an extremely talented 6’11” Big-Man. He broke his wrist in a gruesome injury against Iowa State early in the season and he only ended up playing 20 games. He shot 54% from-the-field, and 43% from three, he has a sweet lefty jumper. He’s not a great defender, but is now the leader of this team without Myles Powell and will get a ton of shots. Mamu still has his name in the draft but he should be back, and he could score 15-20 points per game this year.
5. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl Villanova SO Forward
2019-20 Stats: 10.5 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.1 SPG
JRE is a good, young player but my thing with him is that he was overshadowed by Saddiq Bey. I don’t think he is great at any skill, I think he’s just kind of solid at everything. He’s not super scoring for a Forward at 45% while that’s still good, Forwards usually want to hover in the 50s. He’s a decent 3-point shooter at 32% but has a nice jumper and a good mid-range. He reminds me a lot of Saddiq Bey himself, they have very similar skills, he’s just a worse shooter. Bey is more of a wing, while Robinson-Earl is a forward but he could translate to that role.
6. D.J. Carton Marquette SO Guard
2019-20 with Ohio State Stats: 10.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3 APG
Carton played 20 games as a Buckeye last season and was extremely efficient 47% from-the-field, and 40% from deep. He was one of the most under-the-radar players in the Nation this season when he played he’s a good passer and will be a true point guard for the Golden Eagles this season. Carton also has super sneaky athleticism and had one of the best dunks of the season. He left the team in February citing Mental Health issues which are a very serious issue, and Ohio State might not have been the right situation for him, and that earned him a waiver as it should have.
7. R.J. Cole UConn JR Guard
2018-19 Stats with Howard 21 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 6.4 APG
Cole is a true point guard and will be a great compliment to Bouknight. Cole wasn’t overly efficient at Howard, 41% from-the-field, 38% from three which is great, but with how the defenses paid attention to him at Howard, he was taking some tough shots. He’s a great passer, rebounder, and shooter. I’d expect Bouknight to handle the ball quite a bit, but they’ll probably split duties and that will be really good for the Huskies.
8. David Duke Jr. Providence JR Guard
2019-20 stats: 12 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.5 SPG
Duke is a very talented 6’5″ Guard who has NBA level talent, his FG% being only 40 is rough, but his 3-point percentage at 42 is elite. He’s a good athlete and defender. If he can develop his scoring-wise outside of shooting three’s he’ll be a first-round pick. If he can piece together a nice mid-range shot he could be great. Providence loses Alpha Diallo and Luwane Pipkens so Duke will have full opportunity to pick up more shots.
9. Mitch Ballock Creighton SR Guard/Wing
2019-20 Stats: 11.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.1 APG
Ballock is one of the best 3-Point-Shooters in College Basketball. That’s what Ballock does, he shot 43% last-season and he and Zegarowski can light any team up from deep. I like Ballock more as a wing, he’s sneaky athletic and uses his 6’5″ frame well enough to be a decent defender, he’s not great but gets the job done. Ballock is the exact kind of guy you want to have the ball at the end of the game.
10. Justin Moore Villanova SO Guard
2019-2020 Stats 11.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.9 APG
Moore did something most Villanova guards don’t do, as he played a big role in their Freshman season. He shot 41% from-the-field and a great 39% from deep. He was listed as a combo guard coming out of High School, so I guess if needed he can run the point. His role for this team will be to be a productive scorer and someone who can get a three when needed.
11. Bryce Aiken Seton Hall SR Guard
2018-19 with Harvard 22.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 2.6 APG
Aiken played 7 Games this season for the Crimson, he didn’t play after December though and as a result, he earned a hardship waiver was able to transfer to Seton Hall, to replace legend Myles Powell. Aiken was paid a ton of attention to while at Harvard, he shot 43% from-the-field, in 2018-19 and 39% from three. He’s a pure-scorer just like Powell and will fill into his role nicely, as they are super similar players.
12. Jermaine Samuels Villanova SR Forward
2019-20 stats: 10.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.0 APG
One of the more valuable but quiet players in the Big East is Jermaine Samuels. Samuels is a forward that is really solid, albeit not spectacular at anything he does. He shot 46.4% from the field and 27.6% from three which is something he has to improve for this season. Despite those shooting numbers, he’s shown an ability to be a really good second or third option for the Wildcats.
13. Aaron Thompson Butler SR Guard
2019-20 stats: 7.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.7 APG
Thompson is a great playmaker and an elite defender and can drive to the hoop to score. The main problem is that he’s a terrible shooter, he went 1-7 from three this season and he isn’t a good foul shooter either, at only 59%. He is due to have a Big Season with the loss of Kamar Baldwin he will take more shots, and if he can develop a deep-ball watch out.
14. Paul Scruggs Xavier SR Forward
2019-20 Stats 12.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.9 APG
Scruggs has a tough task ahead of him in filling in the Naji Marshall role as was the Muskateers top scorer for a number of seasons. They play a similar style of game wing guys who are good defenders and can score, although Scruggs may be a slightly better pure scorer. 46% from-the-field, 37% from deep, he’s poised for a big season in 2020-21.
15. Charlie Moore DePaul SR Guard
2019-20 Stats 15.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 6.1 APG
Moore is one of the most hit-or-miss players in College Basketball, he shoots 37% from-the-field, 31% from-deep, good passer, and a true point guard. He just shot the ball a ridiculous amount for someone who has played at 3 schools, (California, Kansas, DePaul) and shot them out of games at points in the season. I think they’ll likely run him more as a pass-first guy this season with additions of Ray Salnave (Monmouth), Javon Freeman-Liberty (Valpo), Brian Patrick (IPFW). Those are 3 guys who can score and do so often they should pa a big role and take the pressure off of Moore.
16. Javon Freeman-Liberty DePaul Guard/Wing (Expected to receive waiver)
2019-20 Stats with Valpo 19.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 2.2 SPG
Freeman-Liberty chose DePaul over schools like Oregon and many more and as he wanted to return home which is Chicago, where DePaul is. Freeman-Liberty is listed at 6’3″ but he plays so much bigger than his listed height. He’s a strong, athletic scorer who isn’t a shooter, at only 28% from deep, but should have a good season for the Blue Demons.
17. Caleb Daniels Villanova JR Guard
2018-19 with Tulane 16.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.3 APG
Daniels transferred following the firing of Mike Dunleavy Sr at Tulane, but he was the Green Wave’s best player in-a-season to forget. He shot 44% from-the-field, 34% from three while having a ton of attention on him. He’ll likely be off the bench to start the season for Jay Wright’s squad. He can easily be a guy that averages 15+ for the clear Big East favorites.
18. Christian Bishop Creighton JR Forward
2019-20 Stats: 8.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.1 BPG
Bishop is a ridiculous athlete, he reminds me a lot of former Oregon Ducks Forward, Kenny Wooten. He’s a guy who’s a great defender and can throw down some crazy dunks. He does a lot of things that aren’t shown on the stat-sheet, tap-backs at the rim, good screens, he kind of does it all an is a great glue-guy, who has a ton of untapped potential. He can easily be a guy who has 13 PPG, 10 RPG, 2 BPG this year and I wouldn’t be surprised at all.
19. Zach Freemantle Xavier SO Forward
2019-20 stats 7.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG
The talent with Freemantle is quite evident from watching him, his biggest issue is that he’s not super strong. If he adds a good 10 pounds of muscle that’ll make a huge difference on the glass and defensively. He’s probably the starting 5-man without Tyrique Jones this season so getting those rebounds will be vital. He shot 46% from-the-field, which for a big-man isn’t that good, but he should improve that with time and work, but part of is that he missed about 30 three’s in 200 total shots. A lot of Freemantle’s flaws will work themselves out, he has the natural ability.
20. Denzel Mahoney Creighton SR Guard/Forward
2019-20 stats: 12 PPG 3.1 RPG
Mahoney is a pure-scorer who became eligible in December after sitting out the first semester because of when he transferred over from Southeast Missouri State where he had 19 PPG in 2018-19. Mahoney is a great scorer, he shot 42% from-the-floor and 35% from three which is very solid. He has his name in the draft as of now, but I highly doubt he decides to keep his name in the draft. He should return to Creighton, be more efficient, and take on Ty-Shon Alexander’s role.
21. Jared Rhoden Seton Hall JR Wing
2019-20 stats: 9.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.2 SPG
Rhoden is another underrated player, he’s an elite-rebounder for a 6’6″ wing, he’s a very important player for the Pirates. He played the four-spot when Mamukelashvili was hurt and was really good when doing so. With the team losing Romaro Gill, he will likely start at the 4-spot this season unless Coach Willard opts to go with Ike Obiagu at the 5, Mamu at the 4, Cale/Rhoden at the 3.
22. Takal Molson Seton Hall JR Guard
2018-19 Stats with Canisius: 16.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.3 SPG
Molson left Canisius following the conclusion of the 2018-19 season and headed to Seton Hall, where he sat last season. He is a good scorer and a high-volume shooter. He’s an interesting player, efficiency wise he was much better in 2017-18 but took far fewer shots. In 2018-19 he had a ton of attention as the Golden Eagles’ best player. He probably will start alongside Aiken, Myles Cale, Rhoden, Mamu and that’s a scary good lineup, Molson shot 36% from three in 2017-18 and dropped to 28% on 2018-19, he should revert somewhere in the middle-this-season.
23. Bryan Antoine Villanova SO Guard
2019-20 Stats: 1.1 PPG
Some may be questioning why I have a guy who had one point-a-game last season and he hardly ever played. He was hurt often, never got into the fold, but was a 5-Star recruit coming out of high school. Watching some old High School clips of his he’s so talented and will be great one day. He’s really athletic and great at getting to the rack, his 3-point shooting left something to be desired at 13% last season, but he barely played and I think he’s quite a good 3-point shooter. He probably won’t start but he should play a major role for Villanova this season.
24. A.J. Reeves Providence JR Guard
2019-20 Stats: 7.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.2 APG
Reeves was a very good player as a Freshman but was ridiculously inefficient this season and very inconsistent. One game he’ll drop 20 the next he’ll drop 5. Injuries have played a part in both of his 2 seasons. He was so much better in 2018-19 when he shot 42% from-the-field, and 38% from three. I like him as a player and his upside, but man last season was just super disappointing. He has the talent to be a Top-5 guy on this list but I really want to see him take a jump first.
T25. Julian Champagnie St John’s SO Wing
2019-20 Stats: 9.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 SPG
Champagnie is a very good player, he’ll be given a large role this season with LJ Figueroa off to Oregon, and Mustapha Heron now graduated. He’s a very good scoring wing, solid defender. He shot 46% from the field, and 31% from three, but will improve upon this season more than likely. His family has good genetics though as his brother Justin plays for Pitt. Julian is strong and uses his size to get to the hoop, he showed flashes of greatness. In two of the teams last three games against Butler and Marquette, Champagnie had 23 in one game and 21 in the next game, he should have more of those this season.
T25. Koby McEwen Marquette SR Guard
2019 Stats: 9.5 PPG, 5 RPG, 3.2 APG
McEwen started his career at Utah State but transferred following the conclusion of the 2017-18 season, where he sat out 2018-19. McEwen didn’t have a good offensive season, only 33% from the field, and 29% from deep. He had a stretch during the middle of the season in which he scored in double-figures in 7 straight and then in the final 7 games, he didn’t score over 8, it’s the inconsistency that lands McEwen here for me. He’s a good defender also, but that offense needs to be more consistent. He had games where he looked capable of being a great scorer, and games where he looked like he couldn’t score. He should have a big role with the departures of Markus Howard, Sacar Anim, and Brendan Bailey.