Positioning

The top 25 returning men's basketball players for the 2022-2023 season – NCAA.com

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The deadline for men’s basketball players to withdraw their names from the 2022 NBA Draft after declaring as early entrants was 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 1, which means there’s now greater clarity as to the composition of rosters across the sport. March Madness correspondent Andy Katz ranked his top 25 returning players, starting with the reigning Naismith Award winner.

Position: Forward
Height/weight: 6-foot-9/255 pounds
2021-22 stats: 17.4 ppg, 15.1 rpg, 1.8 spg, 1.6 bpg, 1.1 apg
In his first season playing for Kentucky after transferring from West Virginia, Tshiebwe was the unanimous national player of the year — the first Kentucky and SEC men’s basketball player to win the sport’s top six individual awards. Tshiebwe had 25 double-doubles and five 20-rebound games, including a season-high 28 against Western Kentucky. He’s the first national player of the year to return to school since North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough.

Position: Forward
Height/weight: 6-foot-10/235 pounds
2021-22 stats: 18.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.8 apg
Timme earned AP All-American second team honors and first-team All-WCC accolades as a junior, when he led the Zags to a No. 1 seed for the second season in a row. Timme has scored 1,521 points in his career, and if he maintains his scoring level from the last two seasons — an average of 599 points per season — he has a really good chance to eclipse 2,000 points in his career.
You can watch Timme’s 2022 NCAA Tournament highlights below.

Position: Forward/center
Height/weight: 6-foot-10/240 pounds
2021-22 stats: 16.3 ppg, 13.1 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 1.5 apg
Bacot, who has started 99 of his 100 career games, had a breakout junior season under first-year head coach Hubert Davis, who pivoted to more of a four-out offense built around Bacot in the middle. The Tar Heels’ big man averaged a double-double as he led North Carolina to the 2022 national championship game thanks to a pair of unlikely wins over rival Duke in the regular season finale and in the national semifinals. He’s the first men’s basketball player to ever have six double-doubles in one NCAA tournament and he ended last season with eight in a row, all of which came in the postseason.
You can watch Bacot’s highlights from the 2022 NCAA Tournament below.

Position: Forward
Height/weight: 6-foot-9/245 pounds
2021-22 stats: 18.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 1.9 apg
As a junior, Jackson-Davis was a second-team All-Big Ten selection and a member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team and All-Big Ten tournament team. He helped the Hoosiers reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-2/195 pounds
2021-22 stats: 17.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.2 spg
Sasser averaged a team-best 17.7 points per game before suffering a season-ending foot injury 12 games into the season in December. The season before, Sasser was a second-team All-American Athletic Conference selection, one season after being a member of the conference’s all-freshman team. Remarkably, despite the injuries to Sasser and his teammate Tramon Mark (10.1 points per game in seven games), Houston finished 32-6 (15-3 AAC) and advanced to the Elite Eight after wins over No. 4 seed Illinois and No. 1 seed Arizona.
POWER 36: Andy Katz’s latest Power 36 rankings after the NBA draft withdrawal deadline

Position: Center
Height/weight: 7-foot-1/260 pounds
2021-22 stats: 18.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 bpg
Dickinson was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore, as voted on by the media members who cover the conference, one season after he was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. After missing all four of his 3-pointers as a freshman, Dickinson shot almost 33 percent on 2.5 attempts per game as a sophomore, when he improved his scoring average by 4.5 points per game.

Position: Guard/forward
Height/weight: 6-foot-7/225 pounds
2021-22 stats: 13.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.1 spg
One season after helping UCLA go on an improbable NCAA tournament run from the First Four to the Final Four, Jaquez led the Bruins in rebounding (5.7 rebounds per game), while scoring 13.9 points per game en route to being named a first-team All-Pac-12 selection. He was also a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honoree for the second season in a row.

Position: Forward
Height/weight: 6-foot-8/225 pounds
2021-22 stats: 11.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.8 apg
In 2022, Wilson helped Kansas win its first national championship since 2008 while ranking first on the team in rebounds per game (7.4), third in scoring (11.1) and fourth in assists (1.8). He started 27 of the 37 games he played, while shooting an efficient 56.9 percent from 2-point range.

Position: Center
Height/weight: 7-foot-4/290 pounds
2021-22 stats: 14.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 1.2 apg
As a sophomore, Edey helped Purdue earn the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll for the first time in school history and he earned second-team All-Big Ten honors and AP honorable mention All-American recognition. His per game averages improved significantly from his freshman season, from 8.7 points to 14.4, and from 4.4 rebounds per game to 7.7, yet Edey still only averaged 19 minutes per game last season, which meant his per-40-minute averages last season were 30.3 points and 16.2 rebounds per game, suggesting Edey could be capable of even more impressive numbers if he can play at least 25 minutes per game.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-feet/180 pounds
2021-22 stats: 19.4 ppg, 4.4 apg, 3.8 rpg, 1.5 spg
As a senior at SMU last season, Davis led the conference in scoring at 19.4 points per game and he ranked third in assists at 4.4 per game. He transferred to another AAC school, Memphis, in the offseason.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-2/195 pounds
2021-22 stats: 15.4 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1.2 spg
Miles was named a second-team All-Big 12 selection last season, plus he was named to the Big 12 all-tournament team, as the only player in the conference to finish in the top six in the conference in points and assists, according to TCU. His scoring average improved by nearly two points per game from his freshman to his sophomore season. He scored 41 points in TCU’s two NCAA tournament games last season.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-1/165 pounds
2021-22 stats: 23.9 ppg, 4.4 apg, 3.6 rpg, 1.0 spg
Davis is projected to be one of the top career scorers in the history of men’s college basketball as he enters his fifth season of college with 2,734 points, good for 22nd all-time. He would be just the 11th player ever to reach 3,000 career points and his 429 career 3-pointers rank 12th. He averaged 23.9 points per game last season, and amazingly, that was the lowest mark of his career, but his 42.9-percent shooting was the second-best percentage of his career.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-3/185 pounds
2021-22 stats: 15.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg
As a third-year sophomore in 2022, Wong was named a third-team All-ACC selection and a member of the Jerry West Award watch list. He was the Hurricanes’ second-leading scorer at 15.3 points per game and he helped Miami reach the Elite Eight as a No. 10 seed. After scoring seven points in Miami’s season opener, he scored in double figures in each of the team’s next 19 games.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-7/200 pounds
2021-22 stats: 7.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.2 spg, 2.1 apg
One of the best defensive players in the country, McConnell won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior and now he’ll return to Piscataway for a fifth season. He also earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-4/195 pounds
2021-22 stats: 15.9 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3.4 rpg
Love was critical to North Carolina’s national runner-up finish as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament last season as he scored 30 points against UCLA in the Sweet 16 and 28 against Duke in the Final Four. Twice, against UCLA and Marquette in the first round, he made six of his 13 3-point attempts in an NCAA tournament game. He scored at least 20 points in a third of the 39 games he played.
You can watch Love’s 2022 NCAA Tournament highlights below.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-6/215 pounds
2021-22 stats: 10.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.0 apg
Shannon transferred from Texas Tech to Illinois in the offseason after helping the Red Raiders post the No. 1 defensive efficiency in the country last season, according to kenpom.com. The Chicago native was a member of the Big 12 all-tournament team and a member of the John R. Wooden Award and Jerry Mike’s Naismith Award watch lists. He scored a season-high 23 points against West Virginia on 7-of-12 shooting and he had an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double against Tennessee.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-feet/200 pounds
2021-22 stats: 13.8 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.4 rpg, 2.3 spg
As an encore to a freshman campaign in which Alexander was named Big East Freshman of the Year, he was an honorable mention All-Big East pick as a sophomore after leading the conference in steals per game (2.3) and ranking second in assists (5.5). Defensively, he was named to the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award watch list. Against Providence last season, Alexander had a 29-point, 12-assist double-double.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-feet/178 pounds
2021-22 stats: 11.0 ppg, 4.9 apg, 3.5 rpg
Hunter was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year after starting all 35 games for Iowa State, a new program record for a freshman. His 11 points per game ranked second on the team and his 4.9 assists per game was the third-best average in the Big 12. In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Hunter scored a season-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including seven 3-pointers, in a 59-54 win over No. 6 seed LSU.
You can watch Hunter’s 2022 NCAA Tournament highlights below.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-6/210 pounds
2021-22 stats: 10.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.4 spg
McCullar was critical to Texas Tech’s defensive success last season as he was a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist and now he’ll join the roster of a conference foe in Kansas. The All-Big 12 honorable mention selection ranked first on the Red Raiders in assists, second in rebounding and third in scoring.

Position: Forward
Height/weight: 6-foot-11/240 pounds
2021-22 stats: 16.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 1.5 apg
Castleton was a second-team All-SEC selection last season, for the second season in a row, after leading Florida in points, rebounds and blocks per game. After Castleton had a breakout junior season (3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per game at Michigan in 2020 to 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per game at Florida in 2021), Castleton improved his per game averages by 3.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game last season.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 5-foot-11/180 pounds
2021-22 stats: 11.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.5 rpg, 1.0 spg
Campbell is a two-time reigning first-team All-Pac-12 selection and he averaged 15.6 points and 5.0 assists per game in UCLA’s three NCAA tournament games, plus at least 14 points in each of the Bruins’ final five games. He scored a season-high 27 points, including a 13-of-14 free throw shooting performance, against Southern California.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-feet/175 pounds
2021-22 stats: 22.8 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.4 rpg, 1.0 spg
A breakout star from the 2021 NCAA tournament who helped Oral Roberts advance to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed, Abmas was a first-team All-Summit League selection last season and an AP honorable mention All-American. Abmas enters his senior season with 1,818 points, setting him up to finish next season with somewhere around 2,500 career points.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-7/205 pounds
2021-22 stats: 11.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.0 apg
Strawther enjoyed a breakout sophomore season in which he started all but one of the games he played and earned honorable mention All-WCC honors. His scoring average climbed from 3.4 points per game as a freshman to 11.8 as a sophomore, while shooting 36.5 percent from 3-point range on 4.6 attempts per game.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-4/220 pounds
2021-22 stats: 16.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.0 spg
Last season, in his first at San Diego State after transferring from Cal, Bradley was named the Mountain West Newcomer of the Year and a first-team All-Mountain West pick, according to the conference’s coaches. On March 7, he was named both the NCAA March Madness Player of the Week and ESPN National Player of the Week after he scored a season-high 30 points at Wyoming, posted a 26-point, 10-rebound double-double in a win over Fresno State and put up 24 points in a victory at Nevada.  He was the Aztecs’ leading scorer and second-leading rebounder and assist man.

Position: Guard
Height/weight: 6-foot-6/205 pounds
2021-22 stats: 16.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.3 spg
Creighton’s addition of Scheierman is a major reason why the Bluejays could be a preseason top-five team in the AP poll. The Bluejays pushed eventual national champion Kansas in the NCAA tournament despite being down two starters and now they’ll add the reigning Summit League Player of the Year after he became the only Division I player to lead his conference in rebounds per game and assists per game.
Andy Wittry has written for Stadium, SI.com, Sporting News, the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is a graduate of Indiana University.
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