This college basketball season has been filled with a lot of undeniable talent, especially from the freshmen, such as Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Tyler Ennis and Jabari Parker. They have all been impacting this season. But not only have the freshmen been killing, but also the super sophs and juniors. Marquee players like Marcus Smart, Gary Harris or even James McAdoo have been under every college basketball fan’s radar.
But nobody ever mentions the seniors. What about the players that been through thick and thin and willed their teams to victories? Or how about the players that decided to stay and graduate while improving their stock so one day they can actually make the league? All these thoughts raise one more question.
Simply, where is the love?
I mean, seniors are just as important–if not more important–than freshmen. The leadership and maturity is something you simply can not teach. That said, I put together a list of the top 15 seniors that deserve some spotlight and might have been lost in all the freshman phenom hoopla.
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15. C.J. Wilcox
A phenomenal outside shooter, the 6-5 swingman is putting up nearly 20 points per game and hitting three triples a night. Already being touted as a potential first-round pick this summer, Wilcox is also a solid defensive player, averaging a combined 2.1 stocks (blocks plus steals) per game. It’s too bad Washington is super average, currently just 13-11.
14. Roy Devyn Marble
Like his father Roy Marble, Devyn Marble is a flat-out scorer that has abilities that NBA scouts are salivating over. His best attribute is his ability to be versatile and have an impact on games from various positions on the floor. The Iowa senior is a great guard that can finish with either hand and through contact. His high basketball IQ is evidence he is ready for the next level.
13. Cory Jefferson
Cory Jefferson is a long, athletic forward that is capable of shooting right into the first round of this year’s draft. At 6-9, with a 7-0 wingspan, Jefferson possesses an NBA-caliber physique that is more than ready for the next level.
12. Patric Young
At 6-9 and with a 7-1 wingspan, big man Patric Young was already looked to play at the next level. Equipped with elite potential and showing flashes of dominance in the paint, Young hasn’t developed the way many expected he would, leveling off this year to the tune of 10.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. With that being said, he’s still a potential NBA player on one of the best teams in college basketball.
11. Cleanthony Early
Averaging 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds, Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early is one of the best players in the country. While helping propel the shockers to a 25-0 start and making them one of two undefeated teams in the country, there is no way you can not mention Cleanthony Early on this list.
10. Markel Brown
The freakishly athletic shooting guard has tremendous explosiveness and is one of the most athletic players in the country. Averaging 16.6 points a game while shooting 48 percent from the floor, Markel Brown makes it look easy and is a natural on the hardwood.
9. DeAndre Kane
Recently named to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, DeAndre Kane is playing like he deserves it. The fuel behind the Iowa State Cyclones, this point guard is as gritty as they come. DeAndre Kane’s versatility is a big plus for Iowa State, not to mention he can change the impact of a game on both sides of the floor.
8. Keith Appling
Appling has been solid in his years as a Spartan and has built Michigan State to be one of elite teams destined for an NCAA Tournament run. Keith Appling has truly become of the best guards in the country by affecting both sides of the floor and cutting his ratio of turnovers every season.
7. Shabazz Napier
Shabazz Napier has constantly made big shots during his career at UConn. Playing alongside Kemba Walker as a younger player, it really matured his game and now, helped make him one of the best senior guards in the nation.
6. Russ Smith
Where do I start? Russ Smith is on Wooden Watch, an NCAA Champion and is one of the most sensational players in the country. After staying around and learning from the likes of Peyton Siva, it’s clear Russ Smith is one of the best seniors in the country.
5. Casey Prather
Fulfilling his role as a senior, Casey Prather has developed into one of the most surprising players this season. He has proven his role on both sides of the court. There is no question he is one of the best players on the floor for the Gators, averaging 15.6 points and 5.2 rebounds a night.
4. Adreian Payne
Adreian Payne has stepped forward as not only one of the best senior forwards in the country but flat-out, one of the best players in the country. With his newfound jump shot and his quick feet, Payne has the potential and caliber to play at the next level.
3. C.J. Fair
Opting to finish his career at Syracuse, C.J. Fair has become a fairly high NBA Draft pick and possesses athleticism and size that will be useful at the next level. The left-hander has been consistent his whole career and is now looked to be the go-to guy on ‘Cuse. Fair’s ability to be more assertive without the ball has made him a deadly player.
2. Aaron Craft
Leader. That’s the only word needed to describe Craft. He has shown since his freshman year that he has the ability to lead his teammates and is the definition of an elite point guard. Without a doubt, Aaron Craft is the best pure on-ball defender in the country and he shows it every single night.
1. Doug McDermott
Doug McDermott is the perfect example of a player that stayed four years and is now receiving the fruits of his labor. McDermott, who is averaging over 25 points a game while shooting over 42 percent from the arc, is a shoe-in for the Wooden Award. He needs less than 400 points to join the NCAA’s 3,000-point club. Just as with Craft, there’s only one way to describe Doug McDermott: elite.
What do you think?
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