A select panel of college basketball journalists and broadcasters from across the country who voted for 2020-21 The Sporting News All-America team mentioned 31 different players in their ballots. How vast was the universe of outstanding Division I basketball players this season.
And yet, there were five apparent masters of that universe.
Iowa center Luca Garza and Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu were both named on each ballot. Boiler guard Jared Butler missed by one vote. Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham missed three and Gonzaga wing Corey Kispert was the first team for all voters.
More SN Awards: Player of the Year | Freshman of the Year | Coach of the year
Each of our three All-America teams has exceptional players who have accomplished extraordinary things, as noted 16 players but did not make the cut.
But it was clear who was the best this season. Along with that, 2020-21 Sporting News Basketball All-America Team:
Luca Garza, Iowa Center
6-11, 265-pound senior
Key Statistics: 23.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, .550 FG pct.
Defined Games: Ohio State had 24 points, 11 rebounds, 10-of-16 shooting in 38 minutes of a 38–57 win.
This is Garza’s second consecutive season as Sporting News’ first team All America choice. He is the first player to complete it since Ohio State center Jared Sullinger, who did it as a freshman (2011) and sophomore (2012). Given the uncertainty of the 2020–21 season amid the epidemic, Garza could have been selected to play professionally. But he committed to returning the Hawkeyes and taking the shot in the final four appearances. From a 26-point game in the season opener to a 21-point, 16-rebound effort from Wisconsin to the conclusion of the regular season against Wisconsin, he has done everything he can. so far.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois Center
6-11, 265-pound senior
Key Statistics: 20.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.2 APG, .492 FG PTC.
Defined Games: 31 points, six assists in a 77-72 overtime win over Nebraska
Nebraska finished last in the Big Ten. So why would it be a player-defined game? Because in the case of Dosamu, it showed its best quality: he is the closest since Mariano Rivera. He has always shown the ability to make big shots, and in that game he saved the Illini from a flawless performance by scoring 15 consecutive points – the last five in regulation, the first five in overtime – to save them from a defeat they might have. NCAA Tournament Seed Line Cost. Dosumu thought about the 2020 NBA draft after last season, but committed himself to being a better 3-point shooter (and thus, a better draft prospect). He jumped from .296 3-point shooting percentage to .400. He was thrust to Gaza for SN’s National Player of the Year Award, until he missed three late games with an injury. But his season was at number two.
Jared Butler, Bayour Guard
6-3, 195-pound juniors
Key Statistics: 17.1 ppg, 5.0 apg, .493 FG pct., 2.1 spg
Defined Games: 30 points, eight assists, 7-9-9 3-point shooting 77-69 win over Kansas
One wonders if Butler would have been able to challenge the thunder, as Baylor did not endure a three-week COVID stoppage in February; Brace climbed to just 17-0 after Butler scored 21 in a road win against Texas. But even at the time when he was absent, it was clear that Butler was one of the best players in the country: a versatile guard who could play point and ball, who could defend all perimeter positions and who Is a punishing deep shooter. He is taking almost one fewer shot per game than a year ago, but his scoring has increased by a point, as he makes better use of the opportunities presented.
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga Guard
6-7, 220-pound seniors
Key Statistics: 19.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .550 FG pct., .447 3-PT
Defined Games: 32 points, 11-of-15 shooting, 9-of-13 3-point shooting 98-75 win over Virginia
Kispert is an absurdly effective season as a shooter. His offensive rating is 138.5 – the second-highest figure in the nation – and he ranks seventh nationally in effective field goal percentage (-671). A player who takes half of his shots from long range should not be shooting about 60 percent from the floor, and still has the numbers to prove it. Any of the three Gonzaga players can be a first-team option, but Kispert’s impact on the game is the deepest.
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State Guard
6-8, 220-pound Freshman
Key Statistics: 19.7 ppg, 6.3 RPG, 3.5 apg, .455 FG pct., .425 3-PT
Defined Games: 40 points, 11 rebounds, 21-of-12 shooting in a 94-90 overtime win at Oklahoma.
There may be some doubt about whether Evan Mobley of Cunningham, USC, Hunter Dickinson of Michigan or Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga were the best men in the country. But before that, Cunningham had conquered Oklahoma State, which was soon back. Later, there was no doubt. He appeared as a first-teaman on 85 percent of the ballots selected for the Sporting News All-America team. Cunningham’s size and shooting touch make him a special talent, but what makes him a special player is his attitude towards his team and his eagerness at the moment.
Second team all-american
Drew Taimi, Gonzaga Center
4-10, 235 lb. pound
Key Statistics: 18.9 ppg, 7.1 RPG, .654 FG pct.
Defined Games: 25 points, six rebounds, 11-of-15 shooting 102-90 win over Kansas
Timme scored double figures in every game, where it was marginally required; The only time he came up short was in a 112–67 victory over Dixie State. He is a highly skilled offensive player who has the highest offensive rating in any player category, who uses at least 24 percent of his teams’ possessions. He finished the regular season converting at least two-thirds of his shot attempts in seven of the final eight matches.
Evan Mobley, USC Center
7-0 210 pound freshmen
Key Statistics: 16.1 ppg, 8.6 RPG, 2.9 bpg, .582 FG pct.
Defined Games: 20 points, 11 rebellions over Washington State, six blocks in 76-65
Moby may be the most promising NBA prospect in college basketball: He has the size and timing of a dominant shot-blocker and the mobility of an elite perimeter defender. The versatile offensive player is developing as a long-range jump shooter, but is lethal at 12- or 15-foot. His defense of Lane was essential in the Trojans’ statement-winning road against UCLA.
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan Center
7-1, 255-pound freshman
Key Statistics: 14.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, .596 FG pct.
Defined Games: 22 points, nine rebellions in Ohio State, two blocks in 92-87
It has not been the most successful season for college hoops freshmen, and yet here in 2020 the No. 43 prospect is that the recruiting class is being voted one of the top 10 players in Division I. Michigan needed what it had to offer – a talented big man who is fiercely competitive – and Dickinson needed the condition this team provided. He revolts fiercely and overcomes the defenders. In a league of stellar centers, Dixon managed to stand above all else.
Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga Guard
6-4, 205-pound Freshman
Key Statistics: 14.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.5 APG, .515 FG PTC.
Defined Games: 27 points in victory over Iowa, seven rebellions, four assists and three steals in 99–88
Suggs has also served as Gonzaga’s primary playwright and as a wing scoring substitute. He is a versatile guard whose coach Mark Few rarely wants to be eliminated from the team’s most competitive games. The Suggs could make a big scoring team that needed it (he ranks third on the team in shots, as well as behind fellow All-Americans Kispert and Timme). There is no doubt that he is the Zags’ best pro prospect, and there is a possibility that there will come a time in March when the Zags will need the man.
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois Center
4-10, 235 lb. pound
Key Statistics: 17.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg, .660 FG pct.
Defined Games: 33 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks, 12–15 shooting 92–65 win over Minnesota
Cockburn provides the physical force we rarely encounter in college basketball: she is powerful, dynamic, aggressive and empowered. He defends the lane not by looking at every shot, but by discouraging opponents from any closer proximity to the target with his shot. He is the only Division I player to produce more than 15 percent of the game, shooting 65 percent or better, while contributing more than nine rebels on average.
Third team all-american
Quentin Grimes, Houston Guard
6-5, 205-pound juniors
Grimes’ transfer to Houston has paid off well for him. He was expected to become a one-on-one star when he enrolled in Kansas, but lost confidence in his shot and made only 34 percent of his 3-point attempts in his freshman year. This season, he is up 38.9 percent and is one of the most important offensive players for the 21-3 Cougars
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana Center
6-9, 245-pound Sampoamore
How good is it to make All-America from the losing team? this OK. Jackson-Davis’ team’s dependence as a scorer lacks another consistent offensive option which is surprising. He scored at least 20 points in 14 games, including 31 in the Maui Invitational win over Stanford.
Herbert Jones, Alabama Ahead
6-8, 210-pound seniors
Jones is only the fourth leading scorer on his team, but he served as the foundation for the Crimson Tide’s comfortable victory in the SEC regular season race. Jones has always been a first-class defender and rebounder, but has also made himself into a reliable jump shooter. He was 1 of 14 in 3-pointers last season. This year, it is 20 out of 44.
Davion Mitchell, Bayour Guard
6-2, 205-pound juniors
Mitchell is one of the top one ball defenders in college basketball; Even if he could not make the bucket, it would have been invaluable. But he is shooting better than 47 percent from 3-point range and has 13.8 points and 5.7 assists as a Baylor’s primary – but not eccentric – point guard.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova ahead
6-9, 230-pound Sampoamore
Robinson-Earl is a fierce rebel who not only caught more than a dozen in a game four times, but also averaged 8.4 per game. He defends so effectively without fouling that he was able to average another 34 minutes of play for another Jay Wright Big East champion. Robinson-Earl, at 15.2 points per game, was the leader of a balanced Wildcats attack.