The college basketball postseason is officially here, but before the craziness kicks in, we look back at the best of the best on the men’s side in 2020-21. (For Illustrated SportsAll-America Women’s Honorees, click here.) Even during this pandemic season of canceled games, altered schedules and uneven records, the sports stars were as strong as ever.
This year’s All-America honorees, who were divided into first, second, and third teams, were chosen by panel vote from among the SI college basketball staff, with three winners from the first team’s unanimous selection and designated with a asterisk.
Patrick Gorski, Raymond Carlin III, Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports
All-America First Team
Luka Garza, Iowa *
Garza returned to Iowa City as the favorite to win the National Player of the Year award, and he has done nothing to dispel that status over the course of his senior season. The 6’11 “center has dominated college basketball for two years and added an improved outside shot to his already impressive offensive arsenal this season. Garza has posted 12 double-doubles averaging 23.8 points and 8.7 rebounds. , and leads the country in winning actions, cash over / under, and player efficiency ratio. In a show of how consistent he can be, he failed to score at least 14 points in just one of his 27 games this season and has seven sets of at least 30.
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois * The Chicago native is on the cusp of something special for his home state school, having made the most of his surprising decision so far to return for a junior season. Dosunmu has established himself as one of the best players in the country and has earned a reputation as the most important player in all of men’s college basketball. He has the ability to shine more when the pressure is higher, which is why he and Illini are on television this postseason. Dosunmu will enter the Big Ten tournament averaging 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists, and witha badass looking mask
Jared Butler, Baylor *
Butler is the biggest reason Baylor has a national title in his sights, and he’s had an even better season than his standout sophomore campaign. The junior point guard is the guy the Bears can turn to at the deciding moment, and he’s at the top (or near the top) in several categories in the Big 12 game: effective field goal percentage (first), percentage actual shooting (first), assist rate (first), steal rate (second) and offense rate (fourth). He also turned a reliable three-point shot into an elite one, shooting 44.4% of three on 135 attempts.
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
Kispert rose to the occasion as a senior, comfortably assuming the role of favorite player on a stacked list of Bulldogs. After three years in the shadow of the former Gonzaga greats, Kispert stood out in 2020-21, averaging 19.5 points and 4.9 rebounds while hitting a ridiculous 46.3% of his 147 three-point attempts. He’s the perfect leader for this group of Zags, a longtime veteran who came on the scene a season after Gonzaga’s appearance in the 2017 title game and is looking to break out by capturing the show’s first national championship.
Cade Cunningham, State of Oklahoma
The highly praised freshman has made his mark in what is sure to be his only stint at Stillwater. And now it looks like he will be able to play in March Madness after all, as Oklahoma State continues to await the results of a postseason ban appeal. Cunningham has taken the reins of a young Cowboys team that impressed down the stretch, showing both a strong touch from the outside (42.5% on 3s) and the ability to get in and make teams pay at the line of goal. free shots. When the game is in play, you will find the ball in his hands most of the time; And with Cunningham leading the way, Oklahoma State can dream of much more than seemed possible this month when the season began.
All-America Second Team
Evan Mobley, USC
Playing out West in the Pac-12, Mobley hasn’t been as enthusiastic as his first-year teammate Cunningham, but he has had a stellar season in his own right. USC’s firm interior defense is largely a credit to Mobley and his length and shot-blocking ability; And offensively, he’s shooting 62.0% two at a time, while posting a high assist rate for a 7-footer. In March, Trojans will probably get as far as Mobley can (16.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.9 bpg).
Drew Timme, Gonzaga
Timme is the last in Gonzaga’s elite big man line and his sophomore season was not difficult to predict after the departure of Filip Petrusev. He’s the perfect five in Mark Few’s system, someone to whom you can throw the ball off the post for a bucket or who can beat opponents on the court for an easy transition. Timme is shooting an excellent 67.1% of two while averaging 18.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, and the only player taller than him in KenPom’s Player of the Year rating is Garza.
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan
Dickinson’s importance to the Wolverines became crucial last spring when his first-year teammate Isaiah Todd opted for the NBA G League, and Michigan barely missed a beat thanks to the great performance of the 7-footer. Able to dominate games in the paint when he’s at his best, Dickinson has been central to the Wolverines’ ability to wear down teams and turn their defense into an easy offense. With the freshman anchoring the paint, Michigan has held opponents to the second-lowest two-point percentage nationally, at 41.9%.
Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga
As part of the Zags “Big Three,” the freshman has dazzled fans since day one in college, when he lost 24 points in Game 1 against Kansas. Suggs’ ability to create plays fits perfectly with guards Kispert, Andrew Nembhard and Joel Ayayi, and his athleticism makes him a pleasure to see on Few’s fast-paced offense. His 13.9 scoring average may seem modest, but combine it with 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and a 3.8% steal rate, and he’s a critical piece in Gonzaga’s search for a perfect season.
Chris Duarte, Oregon
Duarte has quietly put together an outstanding senior season for a Ducks team that is finally healthy and likely not getting enough press heading into the postseason. The 6-foot-6 guard’s shooting stats are staggering, at 62.3% of his two and 44.0% of his three and making efficient starts every night. Plus, he’s a nightmare defender, ranking in the top 15 in Pac-12s play at both block rate and steal rate, while hardly ever getting into foul trouble.
Third All-America TeamDavion Mitchell, Baylor :
Jared Butler’s Batman Robin, Mitchell stands out on both ends for the Bears. On offense, he is tremendously efficient and has grown by leaps and bounds in his shooting range as a junior, now with 47.2% shooting.Herbert Jones, Alabama :
Crimson Tide’s type of glue is the anchor of his suffocating defense, and between that, his rebounding ability and his improved shooting, he’s an invaluable piece for Nate Oats to have on the court.Kofi Cockburn, Illinois :
Sometimes overshadowed by Dosunmu’s brilliance, Cockburn has improved almost across the board as a sophomore. Few teams have a big man who can stop the 285-pound, 7-foot-long player, as evidenced by his 66% shooting in pairs.Cameron Krutwig, Loyola Chicago :
Krutwig may be better known to the casual fan as the big man on the Ramblers’ 2018 Final Four squad, but he is now a dominant senior (15.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 3.0 apg) leading a Loyola team ranked in the top 10 on both the NET and KenPom.Quentin Grimes, Houston :
Grimes has really found a home in the Kelvin Sampson system after a good freshman year at Kansas, and the 6’5 “junior and his 17.9 scoring average is one of the main reasons the Cougars have been rated high year round.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.