Post’s preseason All-Americans
Jr., G, Oral Roberts (24.5 PPG, 3.8 APG)
The nation discovered the electric 6-foot guard in March, after he led the Golden Eagles to upsets of Ohio State and Florida in the NCAA Tournament. But Abmas was already dominant before that, leading the country in scoring and shooting 42.9 percent from 3-point range. He is back for an encore, and even more will be asked of him now that his running mate, Kevin Obanor, has transferred to Texas Tech.
Fr., F, Duke
There are a variety of reasons Duke will have a bounce-back season after missing the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time since 1995. At the top of the list is Banchero, an uber-talented, 6-foot-10, inside-out force who is in the mix to be the No. 1 pick in the next NBA draft. Just ask Villanova, which was bludgeoned by Banchero for 29 points and 12 rebounds in a closed-door scrimmage.
Jr. C, Illinois (17.7 PPG, 9.5 RPG)
The NBA is focused on what Cockburn can’t do: shoot and defend on the perimeter as the game has moved away from the traditional big man. But there is so much the 7-footer does at an extremely high level, such as own the paint at both ends of the floor and lead his team to its most wins in 12 years last winter.
Jr., G, UCLA (16.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG)
Juzang flopped at Kentucky, but thrived at UCLA, leading the Bruins to their first Final Four in 13 years and averaging 22.8 points in five tournament games. The skilled wing returned after toying with entering the NBA draft, and that decision made the Bruins a chic national championship pick.
Jr., F, Gonzaga (19.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG)
One of the sport’s big breakout stars a year ago, the multi-talented forward is a National Player of the Year candidate after passing on the professional ranks for another season in Spokane, Wash. Timme is incredibly tough to defend, a skilled post-up player who is lethal passing out of double teams and can also hurt you with his jumper.
Hunter Dickinson: So. C, Michigan (14.1 PPG, 59.8 FG%)
Chet Holmgren: Fr., F, Gonzaga
Trayce Jackson-Davis: Jr., F, Indiana (19.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG)
E.J. Liddell: Jr., F, Ohio State (16.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG)
Trevion Williams: Sr., F, Purdue (15.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG)
Emoni Bates: Fr., F, Memphis
Julian Champagnie: Jr., F, St. John’s (19.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG)
Collin Gillespie: Sr., G, Villanova (14.0 PPG, 4.6 APG)
Jaden Ivy: So., G, Purdue (11.1 PPG, 3.3 RPG)
Remy Martin: Sr., G, Kansas (19.1 PPG, 3.7 APG)
Post’s All-area team
Julian Champagnie, Brooklyn
Jr., F, St. John’s (19.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG)
Quiet and humble, Champagnie lets his play do the talking, and it spoke volumes last year, keying the Red Storm to a fourth-place finish in the Big East. The sweet-shooting forward’s decision to return to school after testing the NBA draft waters set up St. John’s for what it hopes is a special season.
Kofi Cockburn, Brooklyn
Jr., C, Illinois, (17.7 PPG, 9.5 RPG)
One of the very best big men in the country will be extra motivated this year, by the Illini’s stunning second-round NCAA Tournament loss to Loyola-Chicago and the tepid feedback he received from the NBA. Get in his way at your own risk.
Andre Curbelo, Brookville, L.I.
So., G, Illinois, (9.1 PPG, 4.2 APG)
In a limited role as a freshman, the 6-foot-1 floor general put up quality numbers, providing glimpses of his immense promise. It’s his show in Champaign this year, and there is no ceiling for one of college basketball’s most exciting players.
Tyson Etienne, Fort Lee, N.J.
Jr., G, Wichita State, (16.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG)
His massive leap from role player to star propelled Wichita State to the AAC crown despite being picked seventh. After flirting with the NBA, the league’s preseason Player of the Year opted to return, looking to boost his draft stock and lead his team back to the Dance.
Jahvon Quinerly, Hackensack, N.J.
Jr., G, Alabama (12.9 PPG, 3.2 APG)
After two years of waiting, Quinerly showed what all the hype was about, exploding onto the scene as the engine behind Alabama’s first Sweet 16 team in 17 years. Now, the All-SEC preseason first team selection is ready to build off his breakout season.
Posh Alexander, Brooklyn: So. G, St. John’s (10.9 PPG, 4.3 APG)
AJ Griffin, White Plains: Fr., G/DF, Duke
Ron Harper Jr., Franklin Lakes, N.J.: Sr., G/F, Rutgers (14.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG)
Kyle Lofton, Hillside, N.J.: Sr., G, St. Bonaventure (14.4 PPG, 5.5 APG)
Jared Rhoden, Baldwin, L.I.: Sr., G, Seton Hall (14.9 PPG, 6.7 RPG)
Jamir Harris, North Brunswick, N.J.: Sr., G, Seton Hall (20.5 PPG, 3.5 APG)
Markquis Nowell, Harlem: Jr., G, Kansas State (14.3 PPG, 6.0 APG)
Kadary Richmond, Brooklyn: So., G, Seton Hall (6.3 PPG, 3.1 APG)
Adama Sanogo, Elizabeth, N.J.: So., F, Connecticut (7.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG)
Keith Williams, Brooklyn: Sr., G, Western Kentucky (14.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG)
Coaches in new places
Chris Beard, Texas
His five-year run at Texas Tech — where he produced a .671 winning percentage, reached an Elite Eight and a national title game — turned Beard into one of the big stars in the sport. At Texas, with ample resources and name-brand recognition, he will be in the title hunt on an annual basis. There is no doubt: Texas is back — but in basketball, not football.
Hubert Davis, North Carolina
The big stage won’t scare Davis. He played for the Knicks, and played and coached at North Carolina, serving the past nine years as an assistant for Roy Williams. He is also inheriting a quality team led by leading scorer and rebounder Armando Bacot, and fortified by transfer forwards Dawson Garcia (Marquette) and Brady Manek (Oklahoma).
Tommy Lloyd, Arizona
For two decades, Lloyd was Mark Few’s top deputy, helping him turn Gonzaga into a powerhouse, his international connections a major factor in the Zags’ success. He’s going out on his own now, taking over at Arizona following Sean Miller’s scandal-filled tenure, which produced dwindling success in recent years.
Porter Moser, Oklahoma
After four straight 20-win seasons, a Sweet 16 berth and a Final Four appearance at Loyola-Chicago, Moser is moving up, taking his shot at the high-major level at Oklahoma. But Sooners fans may need to be patient: Their three best players are gone, Oklahoma was picked seventh in the Big 12 and Moser didn’t reach the NCAA Tournament until his seventh season at his previous stop.
Shaka Smart, Marquette
The complaints Marquette fans had about Steve Wojciechowski — doing less with more — are the same ones Texas fans had with Smart, who left the Longhorns for his new job after last season. Since leading VCU to the 2011 Final Four, Smart’s tournament record is 2-8, and that includes an upset loss to No. 14 Abilene Christian as a third seed last March. Smart was still able to recruit at an elite level and produce pros — he had six players drafted in six years in Austin — which he will continue to do at Marquette.
Tony Stubblefield, DePaul
After nearly 30 years as an assistant coach, the 51-year-old Stubblefield is getting his shot at DePaul. He won’t have to work miracles right away. Anything would be progress after his predecessor, Dave Leitao, compiled an abysmal 51-103 league record in his second stint at the Chicago school.
Mike Woodson, Indiana
Juwan Howard has proven that an NBA guy can excel at his alma mater, if he surrounds himself with the right assistants and is willing to grind and adapt. The early signs are positive for the former Knicks coach, who was able to keep Associated Press preseason All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis, and four-star recruits Tamar Bates and Logan Duncomb, and land key transfer center Michael Durr (South Florida) and guard Xavier Johnson (Pittsburgh).
Before the transfer market became such a hallmark of college basketball recruiting, Eric Musselman was using it to turn Nevada into a mid-major power. At Arkansas, after an Elite Eight trip made possible by significant transfers, he has continued that trend. Musselman made up for key losses by bringing in playmaking guard Chris Lykes (Miami), skilled guard Au’Diese Toney (Pittsburgh), high-scoring wing Stanley Umude (South Dakota) and gritty forward Trey Wade (Wichita State).
If the transfer market had a draft, few players would’ve gone ahead of Walker Kessler, the ultra-talented 7-foot-1 big man from North Carolina. On top of the former five-star recruit, Bruce Pearl reeled in 44.9 points per game worth of guards in K.D. Johnson (Georgia), Wendell Green Jr. (Eastern Kentucky) and Zep Jasper (College of Charleston).
Two-time All-Pac-12 performer Remy Martin is the headliner, a lead guard who averaged 19.1 points for Arizona State last season. But he isn’t alone. Guard Joseph Yesufu (Drake) and shooter Jalen Coleman-Lands (Iowa State) are proven scorers, and Division II All-American transfer Cam Martin (Missouri Southern) can be utilized as a stretch five with his touch from deep.
John Calipari is adjusting to the times, hitting the transfer market hard. He filled several major holes: at point guard by landing playmaker Sahvir Wheeler (Georgia), on the perimeter by snagging shooters CJ Fredrick (Iowa) and Kellan Grady (Davidson), and in the paint with bruising forward Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia).
Texas added the leading scorers from three teams: — Marcus Carr (Minnnesota), Tre Mitchell (Massachusetts) and Timmy Allen (Utah) — and the leading rebounder from another, Christian Bishop (Creighton). That doesn’t even factor in gifted forward Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt) or former top-35 point guard recruit Devin Askew (Kentucky). What a haul for Chris Beard.